Mad River Synergy 12 / 14

I guess these are considered to be canoes, although they look like very deep sit on top kayaks to me.

My questions is, why no scupper holes? Do you just keep sponging the water out of it? I’m not experienced at canoes - maybe that’s what they do.

I’m looking for something to take on short camping trips where I have to carry my gear in the boat. Anybody tried this (12 or 14)? I’m leaning towards the 14 but would like to try it first. Thanks.

I forgot to mention

– Last Updated: Sep-23-07 1:48 AM EST –

I plan to keep all my gear in drybags so I don't really care about the lack of dry storage. I did an archive search and found some talk about that, and about possible quality problems with Mad River.

I probably should just test paddle one if I can find one locally. Still, any comments are welcome.


– Last Updated: Sep-23-07 5:09 AM EST –

First let me preface this with the fact that I have never had a boat with a rudder and the time I have paddled one in minutes can be counted on one hand.
I loved the synergy boats. I tried them out in 4 star conditions in Charleston on a very windy and cold day and found the 12 footer to be a hoot for surfing waves and bouncing around. The 14 I paddled for a couple of minutes and liked it a lot but again the rudder felt alien to me so I went back to the 12 and had some real fun. I would imagine the 14 woudl be the same without a rudder. (please don't take this as a bash against rudders...just my lack of experience with them)
Even in those conditions, the boats did not take on much water and a sponge woudl take care of that with no problems, very stable, very fun to paddle, and being a lightweight camper, I see no problems loading up in dry bags enough for a weekend trip in the 12 and possibly longer in the 14?
Now I have always been a proponent of longer faster better tracking boats but I gotta tell you that 12 footer....

Your comment about it being a canoe is pretty much on the mark. the hull is very canoeish and the top is very sit on top ish.


if she had scuppers it’d be a SOT kayak. the depth is what makes the Synergy cool. it paddles alot like a SINK - Sit In Kayak

I’d go 14 for camping.


Another question
What provides the floatation in these, in the event of a capsize? In a SOT, it’s the body of the kayak being hollow. In a kayak, it’s typically hatches with bulkheads. In a canoe (without float bags), I don’t know because I have virtually no experience with canoes. Therefore it’s probably a dumb question but without float bags, will the Synergy sink if I capsized it?

And now that I’m thinking of it, what would keep a canoe from sinking?

synergy is hollow
like a sot.

That would make sense. Thanks.