Mad River IQ2 gunwale woes

I picked up a 16’ Polyethylene (I think they call it Triple Tough or something) Mad River Explorer hull for next to nothing. The gunwales seats, decks and thwarts were missing. I found the nearest Mad River dealer that was willing to order gunwales, most aren’t and asked for the basic cheapest vinyl/aluminum gunwales. Vinyl because this would be a third canoe for buddies to borrow and would be low on my list to maintain. So I get the gunwales and they are the goofiest looking things ever. A. they’re about 2’ too short so I guess I need to find a matching deck to complete the canoe. B. Instead of just hanging flat over the interior of the hull so you can attach whatever you want wherever, they’re about 1 1/2" thick and have a strange circular channel running down the inside. After some research I discovered that I was now the lucky owner of “IQ2” gunwales which seem to be Mad Rivers way of cornering the outfitting market. According to retailers web sites only “official” Mad River accesories fit the gunwales. My question, where can I get matching decks to finish the canoe, and is there any way to attach normal wooden seats to these gunwales or do I have to pony up 100 bucks for lousy plastic seats?

Sounds to me like Mad River and/or
the dealer screwed up the order. I would try to return the things.

IQ System…

– Last Updated: Sep-07-09 11:36 PM EST –

Nothing about the IQ system is lucky; bogus is what comes to my opinion.

All I see is a ploy for Mad River to sell more IQ system attachments & gee gaws.
Don't think so?
Go to the Mad River website, and take a look at the 19 different IQ System "modules".

Here are "a few" of the IQ gee gaws:

Chameleon side drapes 131.99
Belly cover 109.99
Bow sprayskirt 109.99
Waterproof chine drybag 79.99
Universal yoke 94.99
Center overbag 79.99
End overbag 59.99
Padded seat & backrest 49.99
Lashing system 34.99
"IQ System Spreader tool" 34.99
Cup holder 9.99

I much prefer my wood gunwaled, "original" Mad River Guide, or the "original" vinyl gunwaled Guide I had before I got the wood timmed one to the Freedom Solo.


P.S. Metal seat hangers in Bell & other canoes; also in my opinion, bogus.

You got the wrong gunwales
Your gunwales should measure 16’ for a 16 foot Explorer. When bent around the boat, that will leave them about 6-8" short of the end on both ends, but the official Mad River deck plate is designed to compensate for this. Pretty sure that all the Explorer TT boats always came with IQ2 gunwales. If you don’t like them, order vinyl Wenonah gunwales. They’ll fit just fine and are less expensive.

One of those bogus metal seat hangers
might save you from a hip shot.

And some metal seat hangers…

– Last Updated: Sep-07-09 11:39 PM EST –

And some metal seat hangers(if you kneel in your boat) may put a cut in your leg, or your hand, or some other part of your body if you don't check out some of the sharp edges & burrs that quality control missed, or didn't check.


some more info
Well After talking to the dealer and getting some generic emails from Mad River doesn’t look like anyone is interested in getting me the right gunwales unless I pay freight to ship them back (150+) lesson learned I guess. I’m going to fab some extensions with aluminum and some scrap ABS I’ve got laying around and just make two large decks on the ends to finish them up. Chalk this one up to experience, make sure to get a part number or something before ordering from Mad River. Surprised to hear that they actually are suppposed to be 16’ the instructions actually say to cut off the excess and use a heat gun to weld the ends together. I think I can make them work, its just a lot more headache than what I was planning on.

question for nermal
Nermal, do you know of any dealers, online or phone, that would ship the Mad River decks? The nearest dealer is a 2+hr drive away for me and I haven’t found any decks searching the online dealers.