Help - Identifying my old Canoe!!

-- Last Updated: Dec-26-08 6:28 PM EST --


I have what I "thought" was a Swift whitewater canoe that I purchased back in the mid 80's from a now closed local dealer (tells my age!) I would like to clean and fix her up with new decals etc. (actually want to trade for a flat water boat) anyway. I acquired this boat new though I do not remember the model nor can I find any of my paper on it. It is royalex and approximately 16' with rocker etc. and in fairly good shape. The decals are all faded/gone and I can make out only faintly on the waterline of the hull "Swift" and near the bow "Designed by John winters" decal, the serial number is MMN82001BXXX, I contacted Swift and was told that the serial number is a Mad River S/N yet John Winters was a canoe designer who designed Swift not Mad River. That is all the help rep from swift could give me and suggested I take the boat to a Swift dealer for further identification..!?? Well that's easier said than done here in the states let alone in central va.!

Anyone know how to ID this boat via this S/N? I bought generic seats, thwart and yoke but I sure would like to know what model it is and maybe get some decals as it will help me out on my trade.

Did Swift ever work with Mad River or vice versa?

Also - what is the best product to clean the hull with?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks. F6

................below from Swift....

There are two interesting aspects of this boat. First, the serial number
you have provided is that of a Mad River canoe. Second, is that John
Winter's doesn't have a design with Mad River - to my recollection.

The best way for the true identification of this particular canoe would be
to bring it to one of our Swift locations. Swift can then install any
parts/decals that you would like.

With respect to seat pricing, expect to spend about $60 to $90 per seat.
Installation can be arranged with labour charges

Is a Mohawk Canoe.

RE:Help - Identifying my old Canoe!!
Thanks for pointing me to a Mohawk…

How can I determine a model (i would like to know spes etc.)

Who is John Winter and did he work for Mohawk?

Also - what is the best product to clean the hull with?

Did Swift ever work with Mohawk or vice versa?

I am curious why the tech from Swift stated this was a Mad River number and if it it is a Mohawk, why would it have been sold as a Swift and have a Swift decal on it?

Thanks for the input.

Try to reach Jonathan Winters.
He shows up occasionally on and you might post your inquiry on the Equipment forum.

Winters is such a smart hull designer that anything he did for “whitewater” would be of great interest. Is there a way you could post a picture?

I don’t think the boat will be worth that much in trade, but I would not trade away a boat that had merit as a whitewater design.

Occum’s Razor

– Last Updated: Dec-27-08 10:15 PM EST –

John Winters is one of the best designers of all time and a very bright guy. And he designed some ABS hulls for Swift ~1990. But Swift has never owned an ABS sheet oven or vacuum equipment up to the task of vacuum forming. [Not that Bill couldn't write the check tomorrow morning if he wanted the setup.]

Therefore, someone else vacuum formed those hulls for Swift Canoe. Circe 1990, Blue Hole, Dagger, Mad River and Old Town were among those vacuum forming ABS sheets. Who had the capacity to sub hulls for another company? I'd bet Mohawk, and that you have a Swift Dumoine, a sweet boat! On the other hand, I can't check my records when online, and The Dumoine may not be exactly 16 ft. More later if necessary.

1 Like

cleaning royalex …

– Last Updated: Dec-26-08 10:41 PM EST –

..... recently I purchased an older roylex canoe that was/is in pristeen condition .

It was dirty as all get out though . It had what appeared to be oily stains leaching from the royalex since day one , that had never been cleaned away , so just turned into one big ol spotted blend of stains with the occassional open original color inbetween .

The outside is green but the inside is cream color (tan) ... what an ugly site on the inside , ugg !!

I ask about how to clean it up if possible , because I was using a soap and water solution agressively and repeatingly rubbing over the stains to remove them .

They lightened with the repeated wiping process , but it was tough going and near impossible to make them disapear completely .

I didn't want to go into chemical cleaners just yet until I exhuasted my soap and water efforts , because I wasn't sure how the chemical would effect the roylex upon constant repeated contact wiping in the same spots until all stain disapeared .

Eric Nyre mentioned "acetone" , and I had been hesitant to try it yet because I am aware that acetone can disolve vinyl (roylex outer layers) .

But I went ahead and began to clean it with the "acetone" being careful at first to work small areas with not a soaking rag .

Immediately the stains lifted and disapeared completely ... I got braver and braver and acually soaked the rag and worked ever larger areas .

The boat cleaned up with soooooo much less effort , and cleaned to perfection as well . Not a bit of damage or harm was done to the roylex skin . I did not allow the acetone to puddle or remain on the skin but used generous amounts on the rag and wiped in quick circular movements .

Now I have a nice and clean looking hardly ever used , 1984 royalex canoe , that was previously in fantastic condition but was oily stained dirty and ugly !!

In researching I found that oils are purposely added to the royalex during manufacturing process , and these oils "do" leach out into the surface as time goes on ... seems you are suppose to clean them up occassionally as opposed to every 24 years , lol .

Thanks again to Eric Nyre , a real life saver for the final boost to go ahead and try the acetone .

Cleaning Royalex
Thanks for the tip on cleaning the hull! My boat is red outer hull with inside tan as well. I’ll give the acetone a try tomorrow if the weather turns. Can you recommend a protectorant to use after it is cleaned or just leave as is after the acetone wipe down?

Thanks again. F6

please go slowly at first with the …

– Last Updated: Dec-27-08 12:33 AM EST –

..... acetone , just as I did originally ... to be certain in your own mind that no ill effects are or will take place ... I am 100 percent certain that my Old Town Roylex boat was not harmed or damaged in anyway at all ... I would expect your boat to be the same , but as I said start off cautiously as I did .

As for coating with a protection product ... I do not use any myself . I believe others recommend 303 for UV protection , perhaps some will respond about your question there .

My thoughts about putting any type of protection like 303 or comparable "on the inside" of the hull , is that any such product makes for a more slippery surface , especially when wet , and therefore I don't .

1 Like

If I was gonna use acetone on my OldTown Hunter (another old royalex canoe) I’d wash it with soap and hot water first, use the acetone in the sections where needed (or all over if I had to) then wash it with soap and hot water again. I do wax the bottom of my canoe when I’m done cleaning it using a liquid car wax. Never used it on the inside though.

My ex Dumoine was 16’4"
I dont live with it anymore…too bad I cannot check the HIN.

Is it true what you are saying that you could have a Swift boat with a HIN from another company?

Thats intersting…

From the serial number
I deduce that it was made in 1991.

There are yacht waxes available that
provide both UV protection and a non-skid surface.

Resolved?! - Identifying my old Canoe!!
Thanks to all for the help and advice! I have received some great feedback on the boat from this site and I also have received some great info on Swift and this boat (Thanks Stephen and Bill!) Intel shows it to be one of these - Madawaska (16.4), a Dumoine (16.6) or Albany (17.4) My boat measures 16’6” tip to tip so I will assume it is the Dumoine (CE mentioned this as well)

Roadtrip is correct as I read on the Mohawk site that the last 2 digits of the S/N are the year. Mine is MMN82001B191 so I will assume it is 1991 (not late 80’s that my fogged brain eluded too!)

I cleaned her up today and replaced the thwart, yoke and seats. I feel a bit guilty/ignorant as after some elbow work and mildew removal I have found a small Mohawk decal with a Fl. Address (right again Stephen) on it and as mentioned the Swift decal and the John Winters decal is discernable. As mentioned the boat is 16’6” tip to tip and 37” at midship. I used soap and water and a light pressure wash and let it dry then rubbed it down with the acetone and washed it again with soap and water. The acetone left it quite dull so I went over it with a UV protectorant.on the outer hull only.

I have realized I put a lot more wear on her than I recall and unfortunately I have let her go a bit. I always stored her on sawhorses on the gunnels but I fear the occasional hard freeze here in Va. May have impeded some freeze (checking?) to the Royalex at a single location on inside bow floor (approx. 3” in length).

I hope this is not serious as I would still like to try and trade for a boat with some keel at my closest boat shop (not a Swift dealer).

Is this 3” crack serious damage? (boat does not leak)

What should I use to repair this “crack”?

Would be it beneficial (add value) for me to add skid plates before I try and trade?

What is a good wax to keep a sheen on the outer hull?

What would be fair trade/value for this boat?

Can you recommend a tandem lake canoe that might be equal in value?

Here is a link to see some pictures of the boat. after the cleanup and parts added.

Thanks again for the help. F6

1 Like

in my 1991 Algonquin/Swift catalog
there was no Madawaska, only a 16’4" Royalex Dumoine and 17’2" Albany.

picture here

Got some more pix. of my Dumoine in other albums, mainly the poling albums.

Repair thread here.

As Kevlar skid plates are a mediocre
"fix" for a problem that your boat may not have anyway, I would suggest not adding them. You would probably lose money on such an “improvement.” As for the 3" crack, if I were the buyer, I would rather buy the boat “as is” and do the fix myself. Remember the age of the boat when you set your expectations for a sales price. Royalex becomes less sturdy with age.

From your catalog compared to the

– Last Updated: Dec-28-08 11:34 AM EST –

linked pictures of my boat....would you say mine is the Dumoine? Mine is exactly 16'6" from the very outside tips of the stern and bow decks.

Also - Dag, what is the ourpose of the spaces under your thwart?
Thanks, F6

Deducting 10% per year
18 years (20%) would be more realistic, not much value left for trade, sell or otherwise. Better to give as a gift to some young paddler just starting out.

Deducting 10% per year
18 years (20%) would be more realistic, not much value left for trade, sell or otherwise. Better to give as a gift to some young paddler just starting out.

Fairway6 , just curious about …
… demensions . Not trying to ID your boat .

I see you’ve given length 16’-6" , and width 37" .

You said has “rocker” … do you know how much ?? … symetrical ??

In your pics. , hull looks like “shallow arch” , is it ??

Do you know bow , stern , center heights ?? … just thinking about what “capacity/volumn” your boat might have … expedition class like Appalachian ??

Do you know weight ?? … I understand it’s royalex .

*also , I don’t think that crack in your pics, is anything more than the vinyl layer has shrunk a bit more than the ABS sub layers … has to give somewhere , so cracks open . At least if such “is” the case , you could reasonably conclude , the vinyl layer and ABS layers are still strongly bonded to each other there .