How to ID an old Mad River

OK, first of all the Manufacturer does not know the answer.

So this is what I’m looking to ID: A 1973 Mad River 18’ by 36" fiberglass canoe. 13" deep at center, 22" deep bow and stern. Anyone old enough to know about 40 year old canoes?

My guess…

– Last Updated: Apr-12-13 10:32 AM EST –

IF your measurements are a little bit off; my guess would be the Mad River Northwood.

Northwood stats: Length 17'6"

Depth 14" at center

Width 36" at gunwales
32 1/2" at waterline

Weight 62 lbs kevlar
78 lbs fiberglass


Northwood 1979-1984

Never saw one though

If in fact it is a 1973…
…then its a TW Special (1973-1984). Prior to that, only the Malecite (1971-present)had been produced. TW was 2nd MRC production model. Ser#? Probably not.

You would know better of course
But isn’t that kind of wide for a TW Special.

Mine is around 33"
It’s been a while since I measured it. But it’s definately not 36"

I suspect someone mis-measured, or another center thwart/yoke was put in it. Or it’s not a '73.

Next long boat after TW was…
…the Kevlar Voyageur (1978-1994). 18’6"

MRC also started building a Royalex Voyageur (1978-1983)at 18’2".

sounds promising
I’m heading out to look at the boat now. I have a TW Special, was co-owning it with DougD and I’m getting ready to add ribs and stuff to get it to resemble it’s former shape (if that’s possible - it’s pretty tired). Then I saw this for sale and thought just maybe it is a TW and guy has a crappy yardstick.

It’s definitely a '73 so I’m gonna shut my eyes tight and wish with all my might.

Take pictures.

Well it is a TW Special
Definitely a 1973 TW Special. And definitely not kevlar. Hoo! Could not lift it by myself. Still there for sale on Craigslist in Scarborough ME if anyone is interested. Needs an outwale, a new center thwart and there is a curious dent in the bottom. I’ve never seen fiberglass dent like that but an area about 1.5 ft. in diameter underneath the stern seat is caved in with apparently no leaks or tears. The guy says he got that running the Dead, which I believe. There is not one piece of outfitting or any modifications that I could see.

Based on my experience, owning a '73
MR pure fiberglass layup, a glass T-W Special shouldn’t be that heavy. Maybe 75# at the worst. They were doing a thin, flexible layup then. Mine was a '13 Compatriot, and weighed 50 pounds in glass.