Canoe shopping

Hi all, Newb here, I am shopping around for a new boat. I had in the past a Discovery 158 and a Penobscot, which was great but a bit heavy. Old Town sayd it was heavier than usual because it had alum gunwales. I have my search narrowed down to a Mad River Explorer TT 16, or a Wenohnah Prospector, which I really don’t want to spend the money on, can’t.

I am looking for opinions on the Mad, is it a slow as I have heard, I have also heard great things about this boat. My price range is $600-$800 that’s it as I have to my all new equipment too.

As I am just getting back into paddling I am not really looking for a racer just to keep up with the other paddlers.

How are the Mohawk boats, I have heard there not bad at all and good prices.

Always wanted a MAD though.

Any help you guys can give me would be great.

Thanks Tony

Which Penobscot?
Yes, rolayex is heavy but my P 16 is only 58 pounds or so. Not much weight for someone in fair to decent shape. The 17 and 186 are certainly heavier. Mad Rivers are just as heavy and slower to boot.

Aluminum Gunnels are not the cause of the weight. Who exactly told you that? Aluminum gunnels are lighter than vinyl ones. I tested a MR Explorer 16 when I was shopping for a $1,000.00 royalex boat and it was a tank in comparison to the Penobscot 16. Both in weight and performance, even though the advertising on both when compared would lead you to believe they are very similar boats. Perhaps you experienced a bad Penobscot and I experienced a bad MR but all the Explorers I have seen since then (on the showroom floor) are just as heavy to the feel/dead lift and just as wide in the hull shape. Don’t get me wrong, the MR Explorer gets great reviews from owners. Must be a good boat. I just liked the Penobscot better. The Wenonah has some loyal followers. Maybe a few owners will pipe up here.

Good luck!

Woodsman III-16’6"
made by Bell ia a special makeup for Galyan’s(oops!-now Dick’s Sporting Goods)and is real nice new boat for that budget. I would stay away from the polyethylene boats if at all possible. I still find it hard to believe that the Old Town Penobscott was too heavy unless you were using an 18’-6" model; the 16’s and 17’s certainly are nothing in weight compared to the Discoverys; also it paddles way better than the other boats you are considering. I would suggest going “used” for a better boat if the budget is the concern.

Good luck

Poly Boats
I second the anti-poly boat sentiment. It wasn’t until after I purchased mine that I found out that you can’t reliably glue in D-Rings to to tie gear down or for that matter put in knee pads. Dwayne

Thanks another ???
Thanks guys, I have heard the same as you guys are saying. Royalex is the way to go.

I am thinking about a Dagger Reflection 16 used 10 times. Royalex, I have heard it is a very good boat compares with all the other good boats of this class. I think I might try to grab it before someone else does. It is in my price range and is Royalex. I get paddles, 1 PFD, center seat, good deal I think at about $875, boat is like new!!

Need opinions on this craft! ! !

Thanks Tony

David, Penobscot
Hi David, I contacted Old Town they said if I had Alum gunwales that’s why it was heavy, I had this boat about 10 years ago and thought maybe the material was different then? It was no 60 lbs thats for sure, I struggled with it all the time, it had to go 75 lbs…

Don’t know, Tony

That sounds a little pricey to me for a used boat? It had better be pretty new and in really good shape. You could get a brand new Prospector for $1099. Boats do tend to go fast this time of year though? I’ve heard really good things about Dagger’s canoes. I would have looked at them closely if they were still producing canoes. I would think a boat like the one you’re talking about would go for about $650?

Mad River Mystique, et al Rambling
I know where the guy’s coming from. If you’ve been paddling canoes for awhile, there use to be something “Special” about Mad River Canoes, heck maybe the little rabbit cast a spell on some of us (LOL). Back in the 70’s, 80’s and early to mid 90’s Mad River was to canoes was what BMW is to the automobile, the “Gold Standard.” I had owned a few canoes prior to the mid ‘90’s, but there was always something missing because I thought I should own a Mad River at least once in my lifetime. I subsequently found a used Revelation, and owned it until about a year ago. You are not going to be satisfied until you own a Mad River, so I’m going to try to help make your experience positive rather than negative. First let me say, Mad River IS NOT the same company it once was. You used to never here stories like Dwaynes (Scates), but they do produce a few lemons now that they’ve moved their factory from Vermont. That wouldn’t/hasn’t stopped me from buying Mad Rivers, just made me more cautious. I also own a Mad River 14TT (Poly) and have had no problems, it’s the second 14TT I’ve owned, and it’s an excellent river boat. I DO NOT think you would be happy with the 16TT. Poly boats are heavy, the 14 TT isn’t bad for carrying arround, but the 16 is about 80 lbs. If you thought the Disco and Penobscot was heavy… If you’re sold on a Mad River, I would be more interested in the ROYALEX Explorer, unless you will be primarily on twisty rivers, then I would get a 14TT. As far as poly being brittle, I have boats in poly, glass, royalex, and kevlar in the barn, and the poly boats will take the most abuse. Heck, that’s why the canoe liveries buy them. So, I guess what I’m saying is, go ahead and buy a Mad River, but don’t buy a poly boat over 14’. Good luck and take care. WW

I think it’s too much
Dagger stopped making canoes a couple years ago. There are still some shops that have a few never used ones. For example: there are a few reflection 15s at a shop in Kansas City that are going for $799.

There are a lot of royalex canoes that are a lot alike: Mohawk Nova 16 (new for $839), Penobscot 16, Reflection 16. You could also try to find a Woodsman - there is a 15.5 and a 16.5 version, both would be a decent choice.

Yes, Royalex is the way…
Hi all, Yes The Royalex is the way to go I’m sure. I think I am going to go with the Dagger if I can get it before anyone else. Yes Scates, it is new, used only a few times. I know the price is not that much different, but with the tax, paddles, pfd’s, center seat, the Wenohnah would run me close to 1300 and I cannot spent that much, no way.

Thanks for all the info dudes, Tony

Pretty close…
My Prospector will come out to $1253 with the center seat installed. I hate paying tax!

Someone else that lives in this area and knows the market should give him some feedback on that price. It sounds like a great boat but I’ve seen that same kind of deal for a couple of hundred less?

Hey Webb, I really valued the advice you gave me back in July and that’s why I bought the 14TT. I really liked how the boat handled and for a first boat it was great. I was disappointed with fit and finish. When I looked at the Wenonah Prospector it just felt like a more well built boat? Now if they could just deliver it before Spring Break! Dwayne

Hi Scates, I have been searching the net, you are correct, there are dealers out there selling brand new Dagger Reflections for less than $800. We’ll see, this boat is close to me, no travel to get it, the price is right, the boat is right, what more can I say. wish me luck

Thanks Tony

Thats why you have to
live in NH and buy your boats there…no sales tax!

Let me till you something, if I could I’d get out if here NOW. No choice for the time being though. NH sounds like a good place to me, maybe VT, upper NY, lots of gooder spots than here :slight_smile:


Dagger Canoes

– Last Updated: Feb-25-05 5:56 PM EST –

I think you'll like the Dagger. Owned one, sold it to a childless, er, canoeless couple who I thought needed a canoe. Wish I had it back, it was a good boat and well made. Dagger made a good canoe, too bad they don't make canoes anymore. IMHO, the Dagger is probably better than the royalex MRC. Remember that when you start thinking about that rabbit with the pipe in it's mouth (LOL)! BTW, Dwayne, I hate it that you bought that "Lemon." No problems with mine so far (Fingers crossed). WW

Yes I think this a good deal for me, we’ll see about the price. Light wieght boat, just what I am looking for.

Tony :slight_smile:

Usually aluminum gunnels are light.
Lighter than ash, lighter than vinyl. I wonder whether the hull WAS heavy, and OT was just pulling your leg.

I had an Old Town Tripper with vinyl gunnels, and I find it hard to imagine any aluminum gunnels weighing more than their vinyl version.