Mad River Adventure 16

I have some friends who are interested in taking up canoeing. They have asked me for a bit of assistance to help select something suitable and within their budget, from the limited choice available.

They are looking for a polyethylene canoe that can be used for day trips, fishing, photography, maybe a bit of mild white water and the occasional 2 to 5 day trips. Preferably be able to take a bit of rough treatment also.

We have a few Australian made boats available and a limited number from American manufacturers, these are very expensive with shipping and import costs added on.

After reading all the reviews about the Mad River Adventure 16 here on PaddleNet, I suggested it may be worth a look.There is only a limited amount of information on Mad Rivers website and only 2 small pictures with very little detail.

Can anyone here show me any good photos of the Adventure 16 or send me to a site where I can have a look at some.

I would like to hear any positive or negative comments about the boat which I mightn’t have read in the reviews?

“For instance” does the underside of the plastic hull tend to buckle and warp and what kind of buoyancy is in the hull and where is it located.

Has anyone done any 2 day or longer trips in one of these?

I think if my friends decided against the Adventure 16 the next choices would probably be the Mad River 14 TT or the 16 TT.

If anyone can help with this it would be greatly appreciated.

Packhorse in Cairns

North Queensland


I got the 14 tt
I really like the 14tt for tandem day paddles and for solo trips. it weighs 60 pounds and with the center carrying thwart is pretty easy to load on a car single handed. I really didn’t like the Adventure 16 it is too heavy and has a seat in the center that prevents one person from being able to carry it even if they are strong enough.

If I had to have a 16 footer poly boat I’d get the Mad River 16tt but it is heavy.

if it’s available
the old town guide 147 is a great all round boat, it’s made of poly-link 3 and has a 950lb capacity, it is also tough as nails. the only drawback is that it weighs aboutt 78lbs. hope this helps.

I have one too,
I like the boat and use it often, but it weighs 75 lbs. They lie…

That so-called capacity is for 6" water
clearance. I would hesitate to do anything beyond still pond paddling with 500 pounds in that boat.

Even my 18.5 foot, 15 inch deep Moore Voyageur does not paddle well when loaded over 500 pounds.

g2d, Interesting load capacity comment
Mad Rivers website claims this canoe will carry 1000lbs or 454kgs. Somehow I don’t think I would like to be paddling the Adventure 16 with that kind of load either. I gather from the few comments so far no one seems overly excited about this boat.

I probably should have mentioned that I have a Mad River 14TT which my friends can borrow for a test paddle but we are still curious about the Adventure 16.

Thanks for the comments so far

Adventurer 16
The displacement derived load capacity is really garbage. Fill a canoe with weights till it has 6" of freeboard left. It does give an ideal of the canoes volume, but not how well a canoe that deep in the water will paddle, or how seaworthy the hull will be at that depth and load.

But who carries a 1000# total load. Even three adults at 200# that leaves 400# for gear. And who needs 400# of gear. On a trip with portages, 400# is 8 fifty pound packs. With three people thats three trips to haul your gear and one for the boat since this boat can not be single carried. The center seat is right where a yoke should be for single carries,and the seat is not removable. It is cast into the top half of the canoe. And where in a 16’ canoe with three people can you put 8 50# packs?

This is a cheap heavy canoe that paddles decently, is equipped for the lazy day drinking and fishing on the pond, and requires no care. When the design favors 6 cupholders over a portage yoke, the projected usage is pretty clear. Non-adjustable seats with built-in folding seatbacks, padded lift handles at the ends, and a typical weight that is close to 90# are about all i can add without taking one out for another paddle.

It will get you on the water as will the Pelican plastic canoes, but the Old Town Discovery 174 ( now sold as a Kineo 174) is far better for your intended usage. It used to be available as a kit boat like the Grumman Eagle.

And that makes shipping less expensive and less risky. Unassembled there is little to damage and it takes less than an hour to put one together.