Mad River Malecite

Greetings folks, need some help here.

have a chance to buy a 1992 Kevlar Malecite. I currently own a 1984 Fiberglass Malecite, and the two canoes do not look the same. The 1984 looks much nicer/swelte/sleek. The Kevlar SN#MAD6X207E292-K. MAD River has nothing on this serial number. Is there that much difference on the canoes through those years???

Any help would be highly appreciated.



Have owned two
I have owned and restored two fiberglass Malecites and I am pretty sure the Kevlar versions should have virtually identical hull configuration. The canoe is probably the sweetest paddling tandem flatwater 16-17 ft canoe I have paddled. If that Kevlar boat differs in hull-shape appearance compared to the fiberglass version, I would be suspect!

If it doesn’t look good, don’t buy it.
You don’t know the true identity of the model, you don’t know the layup.

malecite kevlar 1992
Thanks for the reply.

The canoe has all of the markings of a Mad River Malecite, has the original mad river warning label-_very faded- but the previous owner did a terrible job on the gunnel/seats, all homemade. The hull is in great condition, the color-sand- is just faded. I think that for $200 I will take a chance and refurbish. Just wish the serial number could be deciphered

Perhaps if he re-did the woodwork, the
hull might change a bit.

Having owned an all-glass Compatriot, I would rather skip the Kevlar. Not that light, not that strong. Sells better, though.

The Malecite seems to have gotten wider and fuller over the years, like the Chevy Caprice and lots of us paddlers.

deciphering HIN
What do you want to decipher, exactly?

The first three characters of the twelve character hull identification number are the manufacturer’s identification code and “MAD” is, of course, the MIC for Mad River Canoe.

The last four characters denote the month and year of manufacture and the model year. In this case, the date of manufacture was May of 1992 and the model year 1992. The “-K” appendage used by MRC denotes a Kevlar model.

The remaining 5 characters could be used by manufacturers in any manner they wished. Some makers just numbered all hulls produced sequentially regardless of model. Others used one or two of the characters as a model code. In the case of your HIN the “6X” might be a model code for the Malecite.

If you have a Malecite, check its HIN and see if the next 2 characters after the MAD MIC are “6X”. If so, I think you can safely assume that this boat is a Malecite. Even if not, the boat may well still be a Malecite, as Mad River might have altered their serial number designations over the years. Regardless, unless the HIN on the boat in question has been incorrectly reported, or faked, the boat is definitely a Kevlar Mad River canoe built in 1992.

The 1992 Malecite has a shallow V bottom, is 16’ 6" in overall length with a gunwale width of 33", a bow height of 20", stern height of 19", and center depth of 13". Fiberglass weight 62 lbs. Kevlar weight 47 lbs.

As ezwater said, if the boat has been rerailed and the thwarts changed, the gunwale width could have been either increased or decreased a bit.

The only other tandem Kevlar canoes that Mad River made in 1992 that would be within 6" of the same overall length as the Malecite were the Explorer that came in an all cloth Kevlar version, and a Kevlar/Airex foam core version, both of which were 16’ 4" in length. The Explorer had a very similar shallow V hull cross-section but had a gunwale width of 34 1/2" and was higher at the stems, deeper in the center, and fuller at the quarters. The Explorer would certainly appear less “sleek” than the Malecite.

If you can get some accurate length measurements and a center depth measurement, you should be able to determine whether this boat is a Malecite or an Explorer regardless of the HIN.

Either way, $200 for a bare hull in good condition is quite a good deal. Seats and thwarts are easily replaced and not terribly expensive. New gunwales and decks are a bit more work and expense, but if you can find a source for wood and are willing to do the work yourself, you can probably have a very nice boat with all new wood trim for $500-600 or so. Wet sanding the hull down to 2000 grit and buffing it with a good polishing compound will do a lot to restore the appearance of the gel coat.

Malecite Kevlar
Thanks for all of the reply’s.

Got a hold of someone at MR who verified that it is a Malecite. I guess that the installed wood makes it look kinda strange. I have a 84 fiberglass Malecite that I refurbished-sanded,gelcoat,all wood, paid $50 for it- with all of the wood from Ed’s Canoe, and that is currently my baby. Also have a 86 Explorer in Kevlar.

This will be a slow project, have to make it as good as new,it is one sweet canoe to paddle.



If so, it would reflect MR’s awareness
that a bit more boat makes for better tandem camping opportunities.