Kevlar Mad River Malecite seat width and center thwart width measurements?

I’m likely buying an abused kevlar Malecite with aluminum gunwales tomorrow and it’s missing the center thwart or seat and the front seat’s been replaced with plywood and the rear seat cane is torn and I’d like to scrounge through my spare parts before going to pick it up (3 hour drive 1 way) and the boat will be staying in the state that I’m picking it up in, not coming back to this location where my parts are.

So, any help with what the width of the seat frames and thwart should be would be appreciated.

The front and rear thwarts have already been replaced with plywood and appear serviceable from the pictures.

MRC lists a gunwale width of 33" for the Malecite. In my experience, MRC usually width at the molded beam of the hull. So I would just jack the hull out a bit (if necessary) until the distance from outer hull to outer hull measures 33" at center, and determine the length of center thwart/yoke required (probably around 32").

Seat frame width will of course depend on your exact seat placement which is not an absolute. I don’t have a Malecite so I can’t suggest approximate seat frame widths. The Malecite is rather sleeker than the majority of tandems of similar length so I would say that any seat frames that were intended for, or came out of a 16-17’ tandem of 33" or greater beam should fit.

Thanks for that info, Pete. The gunwale width turns out to be closer to 35" and there never has been a center thwart or seat installed, just the two seats and two kneeling thwarts, rather than standard thwarts, so I’m thinking that it’s probably an Explorer 16, rather than a Malecite. I did buy it. I forgot my cell phone in Indiana, or I’d post a few photos.

Yes, the gunwale width for the Explorer is 34.5" at the molded hull. The Malecite hull is actually slightly longer than the Explorer, 16’ 6" as opposed to 16’4", although the exact LOA for both depended on the trim (end caps versus inlaid deck plates, etc.). Stock Explorers had just the one carry yoke at center with a short carry handle thwart at each end about 6 inches inboard from the deck plate or end cap.

If you plan to re-outfit it I could take some measurements from my stock Kevlar Explorer if you need them. Just tell me what you need.

Thanks again. After I get my phone back with the picture of the s/n, I’ll check with Mad River to verify exactly what model I have, since it appears to outfitted in a rather unusual manner with two seats, two kneeling thwarts and nothing in the middle.

I’ll try paddling it a few times as is, before deciding whether to change the outfitting. The open middle might be good for poling or SUP, though rather sucky for solo portaging, unless I clamp a portage yoke in the middle.

I happen to have a 25th aniversary Malicite in my basement. It’s got mahogany trim. It’s on a rack with a couple other boats and if you can’t find the specs you want, I could pull it down and get some measurements that you want…

There’s a small story that goes with the boat…My son( top gun… flight instructer, USN F-18 Super Hornet aviator) saw this canoe about 5 years ago for sale in Conneticut. He asked his mother and I if we could go pick it up for him. So we planned a trip from Cleve. Ohio to pick it up. When we got to the seller’s home, a 240 year old main house right on the main (200 yrs. ago) road that our Revolutionary Army marched through for years fighting the British… Just driving around that area was facinating…

Pics of this unusual canoe.

Definitely an Explorer, I would say. The “K” appended to the end of the HIN indicates a Kevlar layup. The “model year” format HIN indicates the hull was certified (built) in January of 1981. Mad River Canoe did not use synthetic gunwales on their composite canoes so unless that boat was some type of special order, my bet is it has been re-railed. MRC also did not use carriage bolts for their thwarts. The bow seat might possibly be original, but obviously none of the rest of the wood trim is. I have a circa 1981 Kevlar Explorer and the hull build quality is very good.

Thanks Pete. That explains why it looks so non-standard. I didn’t weigh it, but it sure feels like it’s a minimum of 60 lbs, so I’d be guessing maybe expedition kevlar layup. It’s a real beast to get a hold of without a center thwart or seat.

The seller bought it this way and paddled it all around Indiana on just about every river, White, Blue, Red, Big Walnut, Eel, etc. and other places around the country. Said it’s a great river boat.

It is an all-cloth layup, no foam ribs or core, and quite strong. The Kevlar Explorer with wood gunwales and deck plates was listed at 55 lbs. The synthetic gunwales and deck plates are going to add several pounds, as are those big, homemade thwarts and that solid wood stern seat.