Mad River Courier

Does anyone have any specs on this canoe? Or know where I could get them?

Mad River Courier

– Last Updated: Mar-13-06 11:26 PM EST –

The Courier was made in Royalex & Kevlar layups.
The Royalex retailed for about $870.00, and the Kevlar for about $1,320.00 in l988. I think l988 was the first year it was made.

Royalex version:
Length 14'9"
Width 33 1/2" beam 29 1/2" waterline
Depth 22" 14" 22"
Weight 60lb.

This information is from the 1988 Canoe magazine buyer's guide.


P.S. I noticed in your profile that you paddle the BWCA, and whitewater. In my opinion the Courier would "not" be suitable for either.
Too many boats now available are better for either venue.

i used to have one when
it was one of “the” white water solo boats. It had no rocker and only went well in a stfaight line. Wide - very wide and very heavy as i recall. A short explorer would describe it best.

Go to the “Product Reviews” and you
will see me arguing with some guy(s) who apparently ran Chattooga IV and the Ocoee in Couriers. It was a drier boat than my MR Guide, but not as nimble. Calling it a mini-Explorer is probably fair.

Mini Explorer
My buddy Marshal paddles a Courier and an Explorer. I have to remember his Explorer is the yellow boat.

Mini Explorer sounds right to me.

Mad River Courier
Thanks for all the info. I had read the reviews but they were short on specs. I don’t think this is the canoe I’m after. I have a kevlar Rendezvous and an Outrage. I’m looking for something in between those two for rocky, pool drop rivers. Probably nothing over a class 2. I’d like about 14ft, royalex with a seat so I can also kneel. Some maneuverability (rocker) but also some tracking and speed for the pools. I’ve run the Middle Yough in the Outrage (9 miles with a 3 mile pool) and it was a haul. I’ve looked at the specs on the Bell Yellowstone, Wenonah Argosy, Mowhawk Odyssey and Mad River Freedom Solo. Any thoughts or other suggestions?

Personal Opinion…

– Last Updated: Mar-14-06 6:36 PM EST –

My personal opinion; based on my paddling experience, and ownership of a Bell Wildfire(aka Yellowstone Solo), Mohawk Odyssey 14, and Mad River Freedom(aka Guide),is that you are on the right track. I use those 3 boats for just the type of conditions you mentioned; class 1 & 2, pool/drop, with some obstacles to dodge along the way.

A test paddle of the boats you mentioned would certainly help you make a "well informed" decision. Hopefully, others will add their input to your question. Check out the archives & product reviews on the boats you mentioned; there have been "many" threads on the Wildfire/Yellowstone, Guide/Freedom Solo, and the Odyssey.

I know your Outrage wouldn't be suitable. I paddled an Outrage X for 5 years & have 2 paddling buddies who paddle Outrages.

I can't offer much information about the Wenonah Argosy, having never paddled one. I have heard very little good about it thru the grapevine. I sought information about it myself, and generally speaking, the silence was deafening.
You might check out Wenonah's Vagabond..........


P.S. I'd set up a test paddle date for you, but I think the trip to south central Missouri might be cost prohibitive.

Overcome laziness.
I would have no problem running the middle Yough in an Outrage. I ran Dolores Slickrock Canyon in a Mad River Synergy, and it was a piece of cake.


– Last Updated: Mar-14-06 11:53 PM EST –

Are you saying a Mad River Outrage would be one of the boats you'd choose to run class 1 & 2 on a regular basis?

You'd rather use an Outrage on class 1 & 2 than use a Wildfire, an Odyssey, or a Guide?


courier alternate
I never paddled a Courier but own a MRC Guide and an Outrage.

For any moving water thats not enough fun for the Outrage, the Guide is perfect.

I ran the middle Yough in a ww solo class in a Dagger Ovation. If you play in the rapids, the Outrage would be better, if you’re just traveling, the Guide would be.

Yeah, at this point, I would. In fact
I often use the Synergy in class 1-2 rather than the Guide. But this is because my ability to get the Synergy to track and cover ground is perfected.

It also depends on what one wants to do in class 1-2. On Georgia’s Broad River, while there is substantial flat water between the rapids, those rapids themselves have so many interesting possibilities that the Synergy is a little bit more fun than the Guide.

Remember the Mini Tripper?
It won the combined class once in the Nationals.

Synergy? Where did that come from?

– Last Updated: Mar-15-06 12:36 AM EST –

I wasn't asking about a Synergy, which is 3 feet longer than the 12 foot Outrage.

I was asking you if you're saying that you would prefer to run class 1 & 2 in a Mad River Outrage, rather than using a Mad River Guide, Mohawk Odyssey, or a Bell Wildfire?


Outrage is fine on flatwater
unless there is a headwind, or a sidewind… even a tiny hardly get the flags to flutter breeze in your face.

Or unless you are looking to make time.

ME is better, so’s my Osprey but I hate to grind that on rocks.

Personaly I wouldn’t take a Wildfire on anything over a very easy class II, too wet.


Sorry; I don’t get it…

– Last Updated: Mar-15-06 11:57 AM EST –

I don't understand the reasoning for anyone paddling flatwater in a Mad River Outrage.

I'm sure you can do it; you could also do flatwater in a Viper, Detonator, Ocoee, Spark, etc. But again, what's the reasoning?

You could do the boundary waters in them too. Again, what's the reasoning?

Sure would help cut down on the number of boats anyone would need.
All you need for whitewater, flatwater, and the boundary waters, is a Mad River Outrage.


P.S. Apparently the majority of the (22) Wildfire/Yellowstone owners who reviewed that boat would not agree with you about it being too wet for class II. I don't agree with you either.

Mini Tripper
I used to paddle with a guy who soloed a boat they called the Mini Tripper. I always assumed it was a Camper and they were having some fun with him because he went to a “short” boat.

Old Town really made a Mini Tripper?

Sorry Bob
That was supposed to come off as tounge in cheek.

um… except for the part about the Wildfire. It’s a sweet quietwater/freestyle boat but I don’t like it in more than easy class II. Just my opinion.

Yes, Mini Tripper was about 15’ long
and appeared in late 70s or early 80s. They were handier as solos than Blue Hole OCAs, but when the Sunburst appeared, the Mini Tripper became passe’. Not enough maneuverability for WW, and not enough speed for flatwater.

I only paddled an Outrage X for a short
time, through the Nantahala gates, but I would not hesitate to use it for camping on the San Juan or the Dolores, where the rapids are rather easy. I used my Synergy on both rivers, and it is only a little faster than an Outrage X. I was alone on the Dolores, but on the San Juan, I had to keep up with Dagger Reflections, a tandem 17’ MR Explorer, etc., and I had no difficulty. My advantage was that in the larger rapids, I could play and they could not. Also, I did not have to chicken-route the heavier rapids, even though I had about 100# of gear in the boat. We had brutal headwinds at some times, and I had no more difficulty than the flatwater boats… Maybe less, because if I was blown sideways, I could get back in line easier.

I did not own my MR Guide in '99 when I made the 84 mile San Juan Canyons run. I could have taken the Guide last year for the Dolores run, but I took the Synergy anyway. The Guide has very good whitewater behavior when unloaded, and even ferries better than the Synergy. But both are carrying a 100# load, the Synergy retains more of its whitewater handling than the Guide, by a substantial margin.