Mad River Independence: Will I fit?

I came across a used Indy for sale and i’m curious to know if I’d “fit”. I’m a bigger guy at 240 that plans to use the boat as a solo tripper.

Is this appropriate?

Oh you’ll fit
A 240lb paddler is no problem for the Indy, and it will do great day paddling and maybe weekending (depending on how you pack). But IMHO the Indy does not shine when loaded too far, it starts to become a bit of a hog.

How tall are you?

Buy it…
you won’t be sorry. If it’s that one on Craigslist outfitted with spray covers, it looks to be a good price in good condition. I’ve used mine for workouts on local flat water only, so I don’t know how she’ll handle fully loaded but, Indy’s such a sweet boat it almost doesn’t matter.

Indy burden

– Last Updated: May-22-08 7:51 AM EST –

Indy is a semi v hull with marginal bow rocker. At 240, you and weekend gear will be approaching 300lb. Veed bottoms set deeper in the water than elliptical hulls and that long Veed bow will not respond to draws very well.


– Last Updated: May-22-08 10:35 AM EST –

Like Charlie said, with gear you'll be stressing the Indy's ability to give back what you want from it. There's a lot of better fitting canoes for your specs. It's also on the shallow side and you might get wet in bigger chop and waves.

It is an awesome canoe! I just think there's a better fit out there.

Many great choices but the Indy will work for you.

Redrill the wood gunnels and move the seat back an inch or two at most. Plug the original holes to maintain the integrity of the gunnels. Consider modifying the seat hangers no matter what your weight to equalize stress on the gunnels.

For spacers I cut 2 triangular pieces of 3/4" mahogany and routed the top out side edges to match the gunnel curve. The pieces are a bit wider than the depth of cane seat. For additional stiffness I also routed the top outside edges of the thwarts to match the curve of the gunnels.

These mods are not necessary but I just can’t leave any stock boat alone.

I’ve seen some of the indy hulls flex below the seat with a heavy paddler. Not sure if it’s fatigue or unique construction or what the specific paddler weight was.

Get to know the boat and it will do anything you want it to do. Stable enough to pole.

Take all advice with a grain of salt as most advice donations are relative and may or may not be applicable to your situation.