I just purchased an older Mad River Canoe from Facebook Marketplace that is need of some serious TLC. I need to replace all of the wood as it has all rotted beyond repair, and to find the right parts I need to know what boat I have. This is going to be a fun restoration project for me and my kids once we can get the parts together.
I have looked all over for any identifying serial numbers or marks and there isn’t much to go on beyond the basic pictures. The boat is a darker green exterior and is approx. 16’ long. The inside is has a textured grey finish. The gunwales had slots along the inside rails. The seats are wicker. There is also foam in the bow and stern in the cavity under the deck plates.
I am new so I can only post 1 image. I made a collage of several pics. I am hoping maybe the decal images and the font along with body shape might help someone narrow this down for me.
I also have a link for more pics on Google Drive below.
I could be wrong but it may be an Explorer. It looks pretty deep in the middle and Explorers were popular because they are good, versatile boats. If the link works you can check the specs against your boat.
You just have to take the dimensions and match them up with the the boats they have built. Explorers have been very popular. You should be able to figure out the age of your canoe by the last two numbers of the serial number. The boat looks like it was stored on the ground. Replacing gunwales is no big deal. If the sun has not eaten up the hull you could have a nice canoe when you are done.
Thanks. Unfortunately I cannot find any numbers anywhere. The decks are screwed down to the top of the rails, which is different from a lot of the ones I see, but the seller thought it could be from the 90’s. It was owned by her uncle so she did not have many details. Apparently he took it on a hunting trip or two, and even had a caribou in it in Canada.
Thank you. I will get some better measurements and see. Things are a little out of whack since so much wood is rotten, but it is around 16’9" along the outside edge. Seems like a kit with 17’ side pieces should work I think. I’ll keep looking to try to narrow it down.
I’ve owned a couple of older MR Explorers and the serial number has always been on the outside, a couple feet or so from the stern, just an inch or so down from the gunwale.
Thank you very much
I found the serial number. It is MAD E9858 M83K
Doing some online searching I found this thread that gave me some good info so far
MAD = Mad River
E9858 = Explorer model
M83 = Model year 1983
K = Kevlar
Bingo. A kevlar MR Explorer is a good canoe.
I only paid $150 for it in the current condition. I called the closest Mad River dealer and they can get the wood parts, but i have to come in person to put in the order. It is a little over an hour away, but I hope to get there by this time next week so I can start putting it back in working order
That’s a score. I got a similar one (an '85) last winter for $250, same color even. Most of the wood was there and could be refinished, but it had a big hole in the side! In my opinion, one of the best all-around canoes ever made.
I definitely like ordering online better than driving an hour to put in a special order, go home, and then come back to pick it up.
I have some shopping to do now!