Family Cruiser

I want a canoe to cruise easy class I-II streams with my two children (4&7). I’m looking for something stable and comfortable for non-challenging day trips. Chances are I will be doing most of the paddling :wink:

The Mad River Adventure 16 has caught my eye. I’d be grateful for any advice and opinions.

Tim Edwards

Looks ok
A goodly volume 16 footer should do it. I would recommend taking the kids out on a small easy lake with PFDs just for a short fun outing before a river, and check the water temps first. Also, know the river well before taking the kids along, ensuring no matter what they do with their small paddles, you can overcome their efforts to avoid obstacles. Two youngsters are like the equivalent weight in potatoes- and worse, because they move around and get up high. Try the river with 100 lbs of rocks around the bow seat to ensure your control around even class 1 and 2 rapids. Its no fun chasing them if the canoe dumps. Good luck, good planning.

get em used to being in a canoe before taking on rivers. I have 2 little ones and kids can be a handful. Especially when they are girls and spot a spider in the canoe.

Any 16’ or longer will do
but skip the Class II with the 4 and 7 year old kids together until they are a little older. I paddled with an old 16.5 ft smokercraft aluminum canoe, very heavy and hard to load and carry by oneself but not impossible, builds character.

If you dump with two kids a boat full of water is no match in strength for a 4 year old. A small child may have trouble getting out of the boat or avoiding getting pinned even in easy water. If you practice in flat water and the water is not cold in a year or two the 7 year old is probably OK. Lakes are great for kids. I started paddling with my son when he was 5. Class II when he was about 10. We have now got into kayak surfing (he is 18 now) and he surfs waves that give me a heart attack.

When you go paddling with kids be prepared to spend lots of time playing in the shallows, jumping out on stumps, catching crayfish and letting them roam the boat. Make capsize practice into a game and the kids will be comfortable and competent when it happens unexpectedly shooting down a river.

the Adventure is a cottage guest boat

– Last Updated: May-15-04 4:41 PM EST –

not a river runner. Those little channels lengthwise will impede maneiverability. If you plan on doing any whitewater you will be restricted to being seated. The undersides of the seats have sharp plastic edges and really need a sanding. This particular boat doesnt have the versatility you are looking for and you might have a time drilling holes for float bag anchors if you do ww. The price is awfully appealing, but if you are looking for a long term boat you might consider the Explorer, which is for sure more money. The Adventure might be fine for you and your kids now though. Beware: kids love capsizing and you will have to right it...with the closed decks on the ends that tend to retain water and the hefty weight of the beast, you will have a weight lifting regimen...
there are some good 16 foot boats FS in the Classifieds

It occurs to me that most of the posts I make on this site are advertisements for wenonah. Well, I like em and have never been disappointed by them. The Spirit 2 is 17 feet an possibly a little long( I river canoe in an old 16.5 foot echo) They make a Aurora at 16 feet for rivers. That would be a good choice. Shorter than that you are getting cramped. Get it in Royalex or Fiberglass and it will be tough and much lighter than the boat you mentioned. They are not cheap. However they are great boats. We have a 23 year old wenonah in the garage, the echo I still canoe the river in nearly every week. Get a strong paddle cause you will be moving a lot of weight ny yourself. Tie the kids paddles to the boat or you will be chasing them all day like my dad did.

Thanks to everyone for the responses.

I have taken the kids canoeing a few times in outfitter’s boats, so we’re pretty comfortable on the water. I’m probably exagerating when I describe the streams we paddle as class II - at worst they are I+. Playing in the shallows & catching crawdads is about our speed right now. Squirt boats and big drops will come later :wink:

The Mad River boat interested me because of it is relatively cheap and comes standard with seating for 3. The website describes it as stable & easy to handle.

The main downside seems to be the rolled gunwales & decking that would make it difficult to empty. It is heavy, but not much more so than any other 16’ plastic boat. (I can’t see going to kevlar just yet.)

Again, thanks to everyone for the advice.

Tim Edwards

Heavy Adv 16
Saw one of these the other day . Not only is it heavy, but without the traditional center thwart, it looks like you’ll need 2 people to carry it any distance .

Or you could just drag the plastic pig .

I take little kids out in my Malecite
and it does very well, BUT I wouldn’t run rapids in it.