Everyone mentions that Vermont made boats have better build quality. Looking online I can find that Kay Henry sold the company in 1998, but I know they moved later. When did the move happen?
I don’t know, and apparently others
don’t either. I assume that you, or someone you know, are thinking about whether it is safe to buy a MR canoe made after the move.
I have also heard a lot about a supposed drop in quality, but aside from a few examples, I have not seen solid evidence. On the other hand, the ABS work on my '97 Mad River Synergy was so outstanding that I might have doubts that the current outfit can duplicate it on the Outrage and Outrage X.
You are in the realm of rumor and innuendo (the latter being a kind of kayak rodeo move), and I doubt you will get out of it. The real question is, how badly do you want a particular MR canoe, and do you want it bad enough to put up with less quality than enjoyed in the past. Things like rivet and seat work you can examine before purchase. Hull quality will be determined only after hard use.
Mad River is now owned by Confluence.
Most of their stuff is built in close proximity, no need for the logistical problems of such a long distance from their headquarters. couldn't find the location, but they probably build in Easly, SC now.