Deck Photo - Mad River - Explorer?


I’m trying to replace the wood on a 17 Mad River - I believe it is the Explorer model. The wood on the original was pretty much rotted away.

I need to see a photo of where the deck, inwale and outwale come together at the bow and stern. The way it looks now is that there is a gap where the raw kevlar shows at the tip of the deck. This can’t be right - or can it?

I’m pretty much an old wooden canoe guy - this newfangled chemical stuff puzzles me - Thanks


I am in the middle of re-doing 3 royalex Mad River Explorers, and I only have matching decks for one. On the other 2, I an just gonna leave the decks off. I will install carry thwarts. I think the look is OK and they will drain quicker and more completely.

I am rebuilding an old Mad River Canoe a
I am rebuilding an old Mad River Canoe as well. Would also like to get inputs on decks. The existing ones are some sort of composite material and are pretty well worn out and look ugly.

Would like to get some suggestions as well.

I have diagrams
showing how to make the end cuts on your Mad River gunwale/deck restoration. What is the serial number? Mad River didn’t make a 17’ Explorer in Kevlar, they only made 17’ Explorers in Royalex. The Kevlar Explorer is 16’2". Give me the serial number (which starts MAD…)and I can tell you what MRC it is.

If you have a fax I’ll be able to send you the diagrams.


Me too

– Last Updated: Jan-16-08 8:54 PM EST –

I'm also needing to replace outwales on my MRC. I was able to download diagrams from some forgotten site, possibly Mad River, by wading deep into customer service info. The diagrams that I have will make sense after really looking at them and the boat together for awhile. A few tricky cuts, though. Might be nerve-wracking for the timid, but for a seasoned wooden boat person it shouldn't be daunting. What's not fully explained is the joint between the wood decks and the inwales or how best to fashion new flush decks (mine are inset butternut, I think). That part of the job seems to require some honed skills. Once again, Openboater has gone above and beyond with his generous offer to help us less informed 'vintage' Mad River Canoe owners and devotees. If I can cajole my lovely accountant/social director successfully, I'm going to buy one of his new boats! Another of my favorite P-netters, jjmish, 'Kong of the Kenduskeag' recently posted some pics of his modified thwart/inwale joint that seems worthwhile also. I'm going to try same on my Independence when my shop thaws to the point where Watco will cure! -Tom P.S. Mike, Those gaps at the very ends are probably 'right', although, I got a good look at a MRC 'Slipper" that had flush mahogany decks and outwales that extended beyond the ends of the hull to form a neat and comely tip. I'm going to try for that look on my boat and, if I bungle it, I'll just cut the ends to the original configuration.

Hey Mikey
Are you sure it’s a 17 footer? Maybe a 16’6"? I want to remember Malecite, but can’t be sure. I think it’s probably ca.1985-88. There’s a 1975 MR Explorer (Royalex) with the decks off hanging in my garage if you want to take a look. New inwales and outwales a few years ago, but have not put the original (beat up) fiberglass decks back on or crafted new wooden ones yet. Originlly, this had a large fiberglass deck mounted on top of the inwales.


yep - not 17’
I think it is actually 16’4 or 6" - kevlar. Can anyone e-mail me a deck photo?

Does This Help a Bit
Here’s a closeup of my royalex Explorer’s stern deck. WW

Yup, that’s what mine looks like too
As I recall, the inwhale extends just a bit further along the canoe than the outwhale…one inwhale is just a bit shorter than the other and cut at an angle so the other has room at the nose. But there is still a bit of royalex (or Kevlar, if that’s what you have) that will be exposed at the very tip. No big deal…the deck plate is cut to cover it up (be sure to carve in a groove or two on the bottom of the deck plate to allow water drainage when the boat is upside down) and screwed onto the top of the inwhales with six stainless screws.

Tried to find a photo to send, but looks like someone beat me to it.


Malecite deck pictures
I don’t know if this helps but here are some shots of how the deck is done on my kevlar Malecite

Big Difference
Yours must be Vermont made. Mine looks like it was made by a blind guy! WW

Not where it was made -

– Last Updated: Jan-21-08 10:23 PM EST –

the difference is what it was made of. I believe the wood trimmed Royalex Mad Rivers were always made with the deck mounted on top of the gunwales while the composite hulls were made with the inset deck.