I’m looking at a older Mad River canoe for sale in our area. I think it has a fiberglass hull and ash trim and cane seats.

Have called Mad River and they think it was built in 1984 and its a TW Special, beyond that they don’t have any other records.

Anyone have a clue what this boat was designed for?

It appears to be a high speed lake boat. TW Special?

Yes, it was designed for racing, and was
better for whitewater downriver than it was for flatwater marathon. It has the capacity for mult-night tripping. Mad River used to paint the insides of their boats then, but if you scrape the paint away, you can see whether the boat is “Kevlar” or pure glass.

I had a pure glass Mad River, a '73 Compatriot. I had a lot of trouble with hydrolysis blisters, and that was partly my fault. If you store that T-W under a tarp, DO NOT allow the tarp to rest on the boat surface, so that minute amounts of water can escape from stress cracks. Hydrolysis is described extensively on the West/Gougeon Bros website. It is caused by gas-producing interaction between polyester resin (not vinylester or epoxy) and water. Just a tip.

TW boat
Thanks for the history and information on this boat.

Due to my location, Colorado, I think I’ll pass on getting this one. Not enough class I-II water for a boat like this for me.

The TB Special

– Last Updated: Aug-10-08 6:00 PM EST –

The Titcomb-Walsh Special started life as a USCA Comp cruiser that Jim Henry added a V bottom and higher sides too. It was a fine all around canoe for Lakes/ Rivers and won a whole lot of races.

The sole issue with the thing would be the weight in FG - high 70s anyway. I had a glass one, and was pretty quick to move into Kevlar when it first became available. The TW will do pretty much anything on lakes / rivers you ask it to do quickly and dry, except thrash around on small streams.

Have One
Up in the loft of the barn. Year is 76 and is has seen a lot of Labador paddling, not by me. Just picked up new gunwales for as they finally rotted out. It’s kevlar and pretty damn light for 18’ 6". Yeah, it is not a solo canoe and at 33-34"? at the beam can be kind of tender but once you get that sucker moving there is no stopping it and it flies with very little effort from the paddler. Unique boat, don’t see many of them around but I’m glad I have one.