Canoe ID

A buddy and I are restoring a fiberglass/wood trim canoe found on Craigslist. We’d like to know what model it is now that I finally stripped the three coats of paint off and can read the serial number. It measure 16’3" long Shallow V hull and the serial # is MADE4828J485. I think it’s a Mad River. From there I don’t know much. Any experts out there? Thanks

I agree; sounds like a Mad River
1. Try calling Mad River. Maybe they can confirm or deny if that serial # matches anything they manufactured.

2. Do you have a picture? That would make it easier to identify the model.

HIN now has three letters
I don’t know if anyone ever did four or if the E is a paint filled 8.

The last two numbers are the year it was

Jack L

Mad River
It is a Mad River manufactured in October 1984 for the 1985 model year. I can’t remember what the ‘E’ stands for, but I think it denotes the layups - probably fiberglass (E glass?). Rob at Vermont Canoe would know. The 1985 catalog isn’t available yet, but here is the 1984.

Most of the likely models are listed at 16’6". Width at gunwales and bow, center and stern depth would help determine model (see catalog).

I bet its a Malecite,.although it is listed at 16’6" overall, the measurements from deck-end to deck-end is closer to 16’3" on mine.

Wow thanks!
Wow, you guys are fantastic. The info is much appreciated. This canoe had been badly abused 1)left out in the elements upside down on the earth. The gunnels and decks are rotted to heck. Quite honestly, the gunnels weren’t doing much of anything as far as structure anymore 2)It was patched…on the outside. The good news is 1)I’m a passable wood worker 2)I know an auto/body guy who also does fiberglass jobs and works for beer (cheap beer) 3)If I have any fine woodworking or canoe craft questions, my wife’s uncle is Tom Mackenzie of Loon Works Canoes. He has already been a great help in other projects, canoe or otherwise. I think that’s why I have the confidence to attempt a project like this 4)This canoe cost $30. Uncle Tom has told me, “Anything that floats is worth $300” Well, this barely floats but not with me in it! I still think it was a deal. I will try to attach some pics when I can snap some in the daylight. The numbers were very clear once the paint was removed, no confusion there. I’ll also measure the beam tomorrow as well. Thanks again

“E” stands for Explorer…
Later the code for the Explorer was changed to “EX”. The Malecite used to be “6” and latter became “6X”. “AX” indicates Rioyalex Explorer.

Addtionally, the Hin number indicaes that it is indeed fiberglass becase there is no “K” at the end of the number.


Sounds like a great project
jack L

Not quite Ask your uncle
about the boat that was held together by canvas.All the tacks had rotted. The customer wanted it restored. Your uncle thought it was fit for the fire.

There’s some of us here who are friends with your uncle and have spent time in the shop and have some of his boats…nice to hear from you and that the canoe bug bit you.

Guess I should have used spell check
Hadn’t had my coffe yet. :wink:

Repairing vs building from scratch
I understand that at some point of deterioration, a decision has to be made weather to do a major repair or scrap the whole thing when it comes to a boat meant for paddling (ie: with no historic, or emotional value). My project is going to be for a family to leisurely paddle, fish, or an occasional short trip. The fiberglass is solid, other than the crappy patches, so the rest is just going to be fun. It’s actually not “mine” It’s my buddy’s. I’m just using this for practice when I find MY diamond in the rough.