Mad River Adventure 16

has a long list of positive reviews…I’m wondering if anyone here, who’s paddled in one, can speak up? Coast Mountain has it on sale for $598CDN and my brother and I are seriously entertaining the idea of getting one.

I have
tho I work for Confluence (Mad River).

It’s a decent ride for what it is…an in-expensive roto-molded recreational canoe.

IMO waaayyy better than a Coleman, many ol’ school aluminum tin can canoes and quite a number of other rec style canoes.

My wife and I have surfed 1.5’ wind waves in the Columbia river (in OR)in 20 knots of wind and it was a frickin’ hoot.

good luck


OT Ojibway
I have one of the first Old Town Ojibways … OT’s version of a rotomolded and cheap canoe.

If it’s all you can afford, go for it.

However, after two years I know I should have spent a few hundred dollars more and bought the real thing: the Discovery 158.

On the plus side, these rotomolded canoes are light years ahead of the Colemans and Pelicans in terms of performance!

If only they weren’t so heavy and awkward to carry …

Have you paddled the new Synergy kayak/canoe hybrid yet? The one I saw and wanted to paddle at a demo was a prototype 12 footer and had leaks in the hull, no drain plug, so it wasn’t available. The 14 footer looks like it would work for lake and slow river fishing.

Second Flatpick’s opinion
Decent shape for a family canoe, heavy, inexpensive. I solo’ed one for a day on the Black River in NC, and lived to tell about it.


now that’s an endorsement!

Adventure 16
Ours has been on every body of water within 100mi, rough & calm. Bounced off many a rock. Flipped 1.5 times. Currently rigged for sailing.

If anything happened, we’d buy another just like it.

heck ya…
paddle it??..heck, I helped DESIGN it!

this is a sweetheart and should do very well, IMO.

sorry about the leaks. the SOT models are the hardest to prototype w/o leakage. in testing them we have to deal with this constantly!

hopefully you will have a chance to paddle a production boat soon.


You may know Scott, I think his real name is, he’s now a Confluence advisor and guide on Galveston Bay, goes by the name Let’s Go on He told me that he and Ruben at Fishing Tackle Unlimited got in the Synergy at one of the design meetings, together they weigh over 500 lbs, and the boat didn’t have any problems, other than riding low in the water. I believe he worked mostly with the designers of the new Ride.

oh yeah
Scott Null. He’s the Texas rep and fishing team bigwig. it was way funny seeeing him and Ruben in the Synergy. Scott’s no ‘little’ guy.

yes the new Ride was a hoot working on! we had alot of work involved getting it RIGHT!

have you seen it yet?


I paddled it at the demo at
Fishing Tackle Unlimited in Houston, Ruben’s the kayak guru there. The Ride was nice, especially for a fat old fart like me. But, some who paddled the Ride at the Austin and San Antonio demos complained about too much water getting into the cocpit, including the seating are. See the thread on It appears it may be a problem with the Austin Canoe and Kayak Synergy, both were prototypes, but the Houston one was better done. Scott is one of the best bay guides in Texas, really knows his stuff, and has put bunches of murderers behind bars…former homocide cop.

being that the plastics the Adventure 16 is made of are almost indestructable, I’m curious what repair options you have, should something happen and it gets holed?

looking over Mad River accessories, I noticed lots of stuff for the kevlar and royalex, but nothing mentioned for the plastics.

word I have heard is that at one time you could weld them shut but now, with the molecular designs, that’s no longer possible.

while I don’t anticipate destroying it anytime (if I get one), being the low income I am, I have to consider the sustainability issue.


More info
You are very observant; yes repairing poly boats is very difficult. Apparently there is some fancy epoxy available for lot $ that can glue it, but most stuff available for Rx and Kevlar will not stick to it. If you buy the canoe at the right price it won’t really matter and unless you are running a lot of WW, the chance of damaging your canoe to the point it would need repair is not very likely. Also keep in mind that poly boats are very prone to oil caning (bottom of the canoe distorts and become wavy). I do not know very much about the canoe you mentioned but I assume it is similar to the OT Disco line or Mad River TT models those canoes are several steps above the Colman models and probably similar to aluminum in performance (except for the weight). In reality any canoe is good to get started with. You can always upgrade ones you are more knowledgeable and know the types of paddling you will be doing. If you are planning to do overnight trips, I still recommend you go with a longer canoe (17 ft +). Don’t get fooled with the weight capacity manufacturers are advertising, it is really a useless number. I would like to see how much free board is left on a canoe loaded to the specification (1000lbs+). Most canoes get hard to handle with loads above 500 lbs. I also would not want to sit in a 14 or 15 ft canoe with a load of 500 +lbs in any kind of rough water. I don’t know where in Canada you are located but if you are close to Quetico you might want to check out the following:

I also know, If you are interested, of an outfitter in Wisconsin that sale his one year old fleet of OT Disco 169/174 for 400-450 $/pc.

Good luck

To be fair
Barring unforeseeable accidents, if you punch a hole in one of these you’d spend $500 on patch kits for a kevlar boat.

Beware: Newbie review . . . .
This is the only canoe I’ve owned or paddled, so, as heavily discussed in another thread, you may want to take my opinions with a grain of salt, but here it is. :wink:

It’s heavy. I don’t know if you understand almost 80 lbs. when its also 16’ long, but this dude’s tough to move with two people. Plan on getting or building some wheels for this canoe.

That said, I’m an inexperienced paddler, and have navigated a slow moving, occasional class 1-2 river with ease both lightly, and heavily laden. 'Been out with me, 200lbs, and my 5yr old in the front at 45lbs., and it was a dream to track and paddle. Another time I had my 185lb. dad in the front, both my sons in the middle (the other one is 70lbs.) and it was a little difficult to handle. You should probably forget about solo on this one from the back seat, as when I tried, the bow was out of the water. I didn’t try it from the center though. Stability seems good to me, never really felt like we were going over, even once when I had my 70lb lab with me, and he decided to get a drink over the side while I floating through a class 1 part of the river. :-0

As for the comfort, I doubt you could find a more comfortable ride. 9 times out of 10 I’ll use this for me and one other paddler, probably one of my sons, and I couldn’t be more pleased with it. Now I know there are MUCH lighter canoes out there, but the weight is not unmanageable for me, might be for others.

Don’t remember the Canadian to Dollar exchange, but I paid $419 US at Dick’s a few months ago. It’s usually $599 there, and I think it was actually a mistake. They were supposed to be demoed, but not a scratch on it, and they had 5 at the time.

just be forwarned that if your mad river does get damaged, Dicks will not assist in warrenty coverage. I bought a tt16 canoe from them and it cracked in the rear about 3 feet from the end and the store manager walked away from me saying there was nothing he could do for me. He wouldn’t even give me a phone number of Mad river and if you us the Mad river website you will find no way of making human contact with any of their representatives. Their warrenty might be useful if you can contact someone. Good luck, Cuda

I think they chose the correct name for their store.