Mad river explorer 15 rx

-- Last Updated: Nov-02-06 7:33 AM EST --

Im looking at getting one but wonder how are they? My Wife is a little unsure in canoes are they stable?

Only as stable as the paddler
makes it. The boat is in my opinion excellent canoe and everyone will have a different opinon on what is good, bad, better or best etc. One of the reasons i like that canoe is because it had good secondary stability. Sure, when you got in it felt tippy but once you were in it was very stable even in rough wave like conditions. Part of the reason for this is the “V” hull shape of the hull. Here, i will stop and let others who know way more about this talk and some who I am sure will have the very opposite idea. Sounds too like you should consider taking some lessons.

should be fine
I don’t think she’ll have any problems with it. One thing you may want to check out in person is the amount of room that the bow paddler has. The photo on the website looks like there is plenty, but I’d recomment having the bow paddler sit in the boat to make sure the seat is far enough back for comfort (and so that you don’t feel like you are sitting on the nose of the boat when you are paddling).

The Expolorer is very stable and a great boat.

With a nervous wife…
I would suggest going no lower than a 16 foot boat and preferably a 17 footer. With length comes some more stability and sense of assurance.

I owned a 15ft RX Explorer now for aout
six years. It was my first canoe. I used it for both a solo canoe and tandem when I go paddling with my wife and our two dogs. We even took our dogs on the whitewater upper section of the Buffalo river in the Explorer. I now own a 18ft Wenonah that I use for tripping and also a solo canoe. However, I still use the Explorer when not tripping. It is very stable and I can’t imagine you having problems with too many unexpected swims. However, if you’re thinking of extended tandem canoeing trips for several days or more, a 16ft Explorer would be a better choice. I think though arguably, most paddlers would agree that a 16ft canoe is the best overall size for a general purpose canoe since it can be paddled tandem, solo and still have enough volume for lots of gear.

MR Explorer 15
I think MR Explorer 15 is perfect canoe if you are mainly paddling in smaller streams.

I have found my Explorer 16 little bit big for that usage. However, when paddling in bigger rivers and lakes I prefer Explorer 16.

For solo paddling Explorer 15 is little better than 16. But Horizon 15 is even better than Explorer 15, I guess.


Get over the stability issue. Newbies
should kneel. If you kneel, you will not be bothered by stability issues. Soon you will be able to paddle sitting in any available canoe, and feel confident.

“Stability” is hocum. There are no canoes sold for general use that have stability issues.

Smart ass were you never new to canoes ?

– Last Updated: Nov-03-06 3:17 PM EST –

that seems like a somewhat stupid statement. Im not worried about stability for me but I wanted a canoe that I could take my wife with me once in awhile and she would feel ok in it. but thanks for the smartass comments. pllease drive thru

A wise man…
…doesn’t enter a room and begin his introduction to strangers by hurling insults.

I’ve never met g2d in person, but I’ve read his comment here for years. The man is straight forward, has a point of view and is quite experienced. He tells it like it is in his own, sometimes brusque way. Sometimes I agree with him sometimes I don’t. Rather than dismissing his opinion with knee-jerk name calling you might want to take heed. He was actually giving you very sound advice.

Welcome to - Randall

Uncalled for
I agree with Arkay that g2d is seemingly well qualified to offer an opinion on just about anything to do with canoes and canoeing…what I find unsettling, however, is his seeming hatred of all things “newbie”…he lashes out in a manner that is totally uncalled for. I’ve asked him to please remember when he too was a newbie, and cut these guys a little slack. By trashing a newbie’s thread g2d is showing the worst kind of respect on this board, IMHO. I too reacted the way the owner of this thread did, what a stupid, smart ass response to a thoughtful, well phrased request for information. If we more experienced boaters treat newbies like this man has been treated then before long we’ll weed them all out and wind up with no one to talk to but ourselves. Then who will g2d have to hurl insults at? I would rather forego reading this board altogether, than to see time after time a newbie’s thread trashed by an insulting, boorish, crass, smart ass. Just my humble opinion, of course:) And, by the way, g2d has for years hidden behind the anonymity of his screen name, and has never posted his name or where he’s from. I know from responses to other threads that his name is “Dave”, and he’s from somewhere around North Carolina. Why it remains important to him to remain anonymous baffles me. He has posted very useful information numerous times, and I’ve enjoyed his point of view on some very technical issues. I just wish he would stop with the smart ass comments every time a newbie comes on the board with an honest question. In my world, if you can’t say something nice just shut up. Or something like that:)


Buena Vista, Virginia

MR Explorere 15 is an excellent choice
I paddled mine every weekend for a season and in all kinds of water up to Class II. I bought it because it is light, easy to handle on and off the truck, and goes well on most kinds of water. I had the IQ system so I could move the stern seat forward for paddling solo, and so I could take various size bow paddlers by sliding the bow seat forward or back. I’ve since sold the MR Explorer 15 and replaced it with a Mad River Horizon 17. The Horizon 17 is heavier but a lot faster and turns just as well. I don’t have the IQ system on the Horizon because I think its an overpriced gimmick. For $250 you can fashion your own sliding seats, for example. The IQ seats however are very comfortable for long range paddling, just hard to get your feet under when kneeling. If the canoe you have available in your area is a MR Explorer 15 then I say go for it. It is well suited for what you have in mind IMHO.

Andy Lee

My wife and I started in a markedly
shallow-arched canoe, one with very little initial stability, but that firmed up quickly as it rolled. We started our toddlers down class 1-2 whitewater in that boat when the kids were under two years old. My wife and I are average klutzes, not balance artists.

Secondary stability is important, and can be had without seriously compromising straight line speed or turning performance. Primary stability is not important, and designing a lot of primary stability into a boat will result in a somewhat slower, somewhat poorer handling boat.

I think a lot of people on this board are actually talking about secondary stability when they talk about a stable canoe. I have owned three Mad River canoes, one of them (a Compatriot) exceeding the 15 foot Explorer in the V-bottom characteristic. V-bottom canoes DO NOT have marked primary stability. They do not feel highly stable when wiggled around the zero degree position. But they do have good secondary stability.

I hope this isn’t too factual for you.

There is absolutely nothing in my
first post that can be interpreted as an insult to anyone, newbie or otherwise. If you take it that way, that is your problem. I am certainly not hostile to newbies. I have helped many choose and outfit their boats, and I have taken many newbies down Georgia rivers, earning nothing but appreciation from them.

Let’s face it. On this board one can’t make a straightforward assertion about something without some people getting their shorts in a wad. They take it as a personal insult. But I will not be held responsible for that.

Something that amazed me was
an article on fly fishing from canoes in which the author was pictured fishing standing up from a Horizon. Just shows what one can do with a little practice.

And what’s more, AndyLee, I don’t
think you can back up your statement that I make smartass comments to newbies. But I do often make sharp comments to people giving bad advice to newbies.

Get that search engine going, AndyLee. Show me where I have been whipping up on newbies. While you’re at it, check the other two threads going right now regarding canoe choice by the less-experienced. You might find that you have been ignoring contrary evidence.

only my personal experience g2d
twice within the past six months you’ve called me an IDIOT! Once for protecting my heirloom wood and canvas canoe from scratches at the landing, and once for saying I like gel coat on my composite canoes. Along the way I’ve seen your posts disdainfully chastising newbies who ask what are to them important questions, but to you seem stupid. So, I’m saying you are a knowledgeable poster on this board, except sometimes, especially with newbies, you are curt, premptive, rude and just plain PITA. BTW, those aptly descriptive words came from several p.netters who contacted me off list to thank me for standing up to you and not being bullied by you.

If you have so much knowledge to share, why not just post on the threads where intelligent people hang out, and keep your mouth shut if you don’t like a newbie’s questions that you feel are so stupid? There are dozens of threads going at any one time on this board, so there’s lots of opportunities for you to share wisdom and experience to let everyone know how important you are. You don’t have to crush newbies to prove your superiority. And, I don’t have to turn on the search engine to find your posts, I’ve been the butt of them so I have first hand experience with your venoumous lashing out against what you perceive to be stupid questions. So I have another stupid question for you. Whenever you see another stupid newbie question why not just shut your mouth and move on to the next thread instead of blasting newbies off the board? Oh, and another question, why do you hide behind your screen name and not even post a profile? Are you afraid one of your friends will see your stupid posts and think badly of you? Do you think the anonymity of a screen name gives you a license to push people around when you dont’ agree with them? BTW, I’m really glad to hear you’re in Georgia so I don’t have to paddle with you and your sorry … attitude.

And, for the record, I’m not a newbie. I’ve been paddling for 38 years; OC1, OC2, and K1. And on real whitewater, too. I lead two to three trips every month for the three canoe clubs I’m a member of, and probably a quarter of the participants are “newbies”. So you’re not the only one who helps introduce newbies to the sport of paddling. Lot’s of us do it, and we don’t blast them off the board because they ask stupid questions. these are the same questions you asked when you started out, so give them a break, eh?

Andy Lee

Buena Vista, Virginia

what’s so amazing about that?
I routinely stand up and pole my Bell Prodigy X, which is a whole lot less stable than my Horizon.

BTW, I didn’t take a moment to respond to your stupid response earlier about newbies having to kneel until they learn stability. That’s BS and you know it. Of the hundred or so that I’ve taught to paddle I’ve never asked one of them to kneel. Actually, many of the older ones can’t kneel, at least for more than just a few minutes to shoot a rapid.

Furthermore, if what you say is true that “no general purpose canoe has a stabiltiy issue”, then why in the dickens would anyone have to kneel in the first place? Stupid advise if you ask me:)

Andy Lee


my apologies to 98esten
I sincerely apologize for being party to the hijacking of your thread. I sincerely hope you and your wife enjoy canoeing as much as I do, and as much as 99% of the posters on this board do. It is a great sport, and probably one of the least expensive ways to enjoy the outdoors. Not as cheap as backpacking, but darn close.

Andy Lee

no need for an apology
It’s probably for the better that this newbie learned from the get-go that this message board is dominated by arrogant people who are unable to follow a simple request such as “please drive thru” as their egos and the delight they take in putting down others won’t allow it.

It also does little good to call them on their attitudes, as they’ll just gang-tackle you and beat you to a pulp, allegorically speaking.

Sadly, I think this board actually hurts paddling more than it helps as we (speaking collectively)take an obscene amount of pleasure in harrassing and putting down those that are new to the sport and do not subscribe to “our” ideologies and lifestyle choices.

It’s sad, but so is the genocide in Rwanda and there’s not much we can do about it.