mad river malecite - Mid Michigan

I would like to solo paddle a Malecite if someone would be willing to let me test paddle one. I have a Bell Magic, MR Traveler, or MR Indy that I would share! I live in the Lansing area but would make an hour or two drive in order to do some paddling.

Thanks, David

I Sold My Malecites
Hey David,

I’ve sold some Malecites. The ones I had had center seats for solo paddling.

Performance-wise they are just a little slow. VERY nice handling canoe (solo or double). Always predictable, but best as a tandem.

Just didn’t do it for me as a solo. I collect hulls if you’d like to try a few. I’m in Coldwater, Mich.


David, I’ve had a Malecite for about 12 years. I agree with Wildwater, it is really a tandem hull. I paddled it solo a couple of times and its size dictates Canadian Style paddling, which is not for everyone. Its good for that style if that is your goal.


6’2" and have no trouble solo

– Last Updated: Oct-26-07 4:16 PM EST –

Tbe Malecite is not a dedicated solo but a tandem or crossover tandem/solo. As a crossover, it takes second place to nothing I have paddled.

In ocean-type waves, it is a very fun and extremely capable solo. But, you've got to have size to be able to solo it well.

I have a Mad River Independence, Bell Magic, and Mad River Travler (all solo canoes). So, I am looking for something a little different. -just to mix things up a bit :slight_smile: And, I find that slow is okay if I’m by myself or paddling with someone else that is on the slow side. If I need speed, I will go with my Magic. Thanks for the replies. Glenn, I sent you an email! So, if I can paddle a Malecite in the area that would be appreciated.


You Need to Try a More Lively Hull
I like my original Merlin (or sometimes my Sawyer Summersong) best for flatwater. Also paddle a Bell Wildfire which is my fav. for moving water.

Well, I am paddling with 40-50 pounds of gear, 200 lbs of my own weight, and a 65 pound dog. And, I paddle on the great lakes-so for that bigger might be better. But, for quick trips to my local lake- a lively hull might be a lot of fun. I look forward to trying a few!


I certainly understand that…
…equation David (the gear, the dog, my large frame through the fog). And being out there on a frothing chiily expanse such as said Great Lake waters, with substantial cargo as you mention, certainly puts me in the mood for, let us say, a less lively and yet stay-alive-me kind of hull. That’s not to say that sheddin’ down some of the beam and heavier hull pounds such as I’ve utilized under all your said variables (OT Camper, Discovery, various Prospectors, MR Explorer, Das Uberbot, and some other big boys in Royalex and glass) as the soloist is not to be appreciated. But, when the waves are gettin’ giddy, the wind is try’n to spin me, and the dog’s gettin’ that, “I don’t what a wet butt, hey! What’s that to port? Hey! What’s that to starboard?”, kinda mood, a firm-friend from sixteen-plus-foot stem-to-stem just put’s my mind and paddled cadence a bit more at ease.

Three tandem boats I’ve sat solo with antsy canine and a cord’s worth of cargo, and that I would definately say helped afford me greater ease per sheddin’ a few inches in beam and pounds per lay-up in composite, have been a Hemlock Eagle, a Wenonah Prospector in their heavier aramid layup, and a Bluewater Freedom 17. Haven’t sat it solo with dog and gear, but I’ve currently got a covetous desire for one particular Old Town Koru in carbon fiber I paddled tandem last spring. AAAAnd, though I solo’d her, just not yet with the dog and big gear, but also heeding in every word and shared experience that Brian (Clarion) mentioned above, there’s a lovely fiberglass Malecite I presently hold in a clandestine perpetuity sittin’ Mr. McCrea’s racks which awaits my next Assateague voyage. I think you’ll find that in terms of your desire to fulfill your load and conditions requirements that you’ve made a fine choice. Yes, she may not be the open-water sprint and glide vixen that is the Bell Magic, but then, I’ll take my steady as she goes tortoise to carry me and load cross tempestuous seas verses a canine-induced Hare-eee experience possibly lookin’ for a Davey Jones burrow.


Oh, and if you ever get the chance, take the dog and a heavy load and try a dedicated solo Swift Shearwater, too!

Given your specs, 16’+ a little works (like duckhead said).

The Vermont Canoe Encore (16’2") is a worthy choice for your needs in addition to the ones above. It’s a great vee bottom, good performing tandem that comes standard with a contoured knelling thwart. Handles open water and your load quite well. They are made in glass and Kevlar. I don’t know if any hulls have made it out your way yet. Upstate NY is probably as close as one has gotten yet.