Mad River Adventure?

Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum (and new to paddling as well). I am Considering buying a Mad River Adventure 14’, which would be my first canoe. This boat is appealing because of its low cost. It also looks like a comfortable ride. My other option is to purchase a cheap used aluminum boat, which appeals to me primarily because of the durability factor, which is my main concern with the polyethelene hull. Most of the reviews I have seen are positive except for the weight (which can’t really be a factor in my price range) but I wondered if anyone here had any personal experience with this boat. Thanks for any feedback.

I helped design/ test it!!!

it’s a sweet little ride for a cheap canoe. waaaayyyy better’n a tin can boat, IMHO.

don’t worry about the durability. just don’t drag it around and you’re fine.


MR Adventure series
Have not paddled the 14, but I soloed the 16 at the spring Tortoise Reserve trip. Mike McCrea thought he was punishing me for not bringing a canoe, but it was a pleasant ride.

Downsides? It doesn’t have that sleek canoe look - more of an industrial appearance IMO. The 16 is a relatively heavy boat, although not much more than a Royalex hull. The 14 should be proportionally lighter. One downside of any plastic hull is longevity: There are 50 year old Grummans that are still serviceable, but I doubt that in 2050 there will be any rotomoulded hulls that are seaworthy.


PS: Gotta love those seatbacks though!

Mad River
the MR Adveture 14’ was my first canoe purchase three years ago…

While it is a far cry from the canoes that are often most mentioned on these boards - I found it to be a very good canoe and a good bargain.

I am only a novice - but what better place to start out?

Me? Solo canoe/camper

The Adventure '14 -

Durable (no, I wouldn’t drag it too far, either)

Light? Well nothing is light when you solo - but at 70 LBS it is manageable.

Comfortable - cane seat are very comforatable…

And while I solo mostly, with two seats (you’ll have to turn it around LOL) it becomes a compact tandem…

It holds enough gear …

… and it paddles well enough - again, this is my first and only conoe purchase, so I am a novice in this area… - it has given me many hours of paddling pleasure -

Save the expensive, lighter canoes for the techno-crats, paddling pros, and the people with money to burn… dollar for dollar ($499 @ Galyans/Dick’s) I am quite pleased…


Thanks alot for the input guys.

till ya see what we’re bringing to OR (Outdoor Retailer Summer market) in AUG!!!


PE vs vinyl longevity

– Last Updated: Jun-06-06 4:46 PM EST –

Mike, I can see where a well-cared for Royalex canoe could conceivably last 50 years. My MRE - stored inside - is 25 and fine except for the scratches. My gut feeling (and I have a substantial gut to feel from!) is that the vinyl layers of the Royalex sandwich REALLY protect the laminate. I have a reinforced vinyl membrane roof over 176,000 sf of grocery distribution center, and it has a 20 year warranty. The manufacturer, Sarnafil, has roofs in Europe that are older than that. But I also have Rubbermaid Brute trashcans (LDPE of the same quality as boat builders use) that have been sitting outside and have gotten brittle in 5 years.

As I said, gut feeling, but if our Prez can feel from the gut, so can I.


PS: THe MRE is going "out to pasture" this 4th of July. I'm taking it to Ohiopyle where it will live out it's days being paddled on the Middle Yough and the COE lake.

One would like to see some impact
testing on new and old Royalex. The vinyl protects the ABS from sun, but the ABS may grow more brittle with time. Progressive brittleness is suggested by the way some old Royalex boats have cracked rather than torn under high impact.

Most Royalex owners don’t have to worry about impacts high enough to crack the stem. And those who buy Royalex for whitewater may destroy their boats in other ways, or discard them, before they get old and brittle. A few whitewater paddlers, myself included, are likely to use the boats over 20 years and begin to face the brittleness issue.

Adventure 16
I purchased an adventure 16’ a bit ago from GI Joes (hint: talk to the manager and make a deal).

I’ve paddled tons of Grummans, first other boat.

All I can say is that it’s great. Seats are incredible comfortable, it goes straight and isn’t too tippy.

Bad: heavy mother. 80lbs for the 16 footer. Second problem is that I fish from it with my son, the rotomold doesn’t have good mounting areas as it’s all curved for a rod mount. Made one out of a milk crate.