I checked out the Mad River website and pnet’s product reviews, but I find scarce info on the Mad River Liberty in kevlar. Can anyone comment on whether the Liberty is appropriate for solo trips of 6 to 10 days on a mix of lakes and rivers (northern Algonquin and the Adirondacks)? I’m 5’11", 215-220lbs and prefer to travel light with about 30lbs of gear.
The Liberty as a tripper?
My daughter and I shared a Liberty for 8-9 years and each found it a wonderful boat, though for different uses. For her it was a fine tripper and fishing boat; she weighs 100 lbs. Loaded down with a paddler your size (and please note that at 240 I am 25-30 lbs. heavier than you) and enough gear and provisions for the trip you describe, you may find, as I did, that the low freeboard (and pleasing shear) that helps makes the Liberty such a pretty sight in the water is now a little too close to that water for comfort! It’ll paddle fine in calm water, but Algonquin and Adirondack trips are seldon always calm. The possibility of shipping water over the gunwales of a loaded Liberty made it a daytrip boat for me. Again, my daughter loved it ten days at a time, and found the scalloped (slotted) gunwales great for safely securing her gear. The Liberty was built during the very top of Mad River’s glory days, and it shows both visually and in performance. But for larger paddlers, there is a real limit to how far you can load one up.
Thanks for your very helpful comments. It is tempting for me to grab one just for playing around with, but caution is the better part of valor.
Mad’s Liberty was an interesting boat. They cut the center out of a heavy glass Independence; bonded it together and called it a smaller persons’ hull. Further, they refused Jim Henry his commission as they had altered the commissionned hull.
When they bonded it together Liberty became a better boat than Indy, maybe the best solo tourer MRC ever made, because it inadvertantly ended up with more rocker. But, is never fit smaller paddlers well because it was still quite wide amidships.
It should fit 210 with light kit pretty well, if you are wide at shoulders.