Malecite history

A few years ago I noticed Mad River started cataloging the Malecite as 32.??" at the 4" waterline and 34" at the rails and 16’-5" long. Since the canoe was cataloged at and measured 31" and 33" respectively and 16’-6" for years previously, I am wondering what the story is? Has anyone out there paddled a recent issue that can compare it with the earlier Malecite or the current Kev Explorer whose dimensions are extremely similar?

I think I heard that they changed the
mold a little along the way, but the differences you cite could be due just to measurement error. I’ve also found that Mad River’s catalog data and descriptions can be wanting in strict accuracy.

Do those measurement errors concern you for some functional reason, or is it just related to dimension drift in a classic design?

the original Malecite
was a little on the small side for a tandem canoe. Its tripping and rough water capacity were quite limited. But it was excellent as a day boat for teams up to 275 or so because it was speedy and very good in the wind (deep draft and low freeboard). We found it particularly handy when our kids were growing up for mother/child teams from 160# up. Small paddlers were not blown away in the wind and could keep up with stronger teams in slower boats.

If the volume was given a boost to increase the capacity that could be great for light tripping but would also result in some loss of speed and increase in freeboard and shallower draft. My wife and I are now at a point where we are starting to consider both an ultralite canoe and a grandchild/grandma canoe.

So I am looking for info.

You might look at Millbrook, the AC/DC
and the Coho and Souhegan. The latter two are straight hulled poling canoes, about 15.5 feet. The AC/DC was designed by John Berry to win the Nationals combined slalom and downriver. A recent report said that it is both nicely stable and easy paddling. Millbrook weights are very low and prices are also.

Actually this is the ORIGINAL not MadR
Here is the original Malacites Mad River followed.

Not so much like the MR Malecite
The Souhegan that I pole and paddle is a VERY different hull than my Malecite.

I am less familiar with the Coho and AC/DC. But I am confidant that they are more like the Souhegan than they are like the Malecite.

The Souhegan, Coho, and AC/DC are relatively high sided to keep the waves out and intended to turn rather than track.

IMO the Malecite is faster than any of those others.

Here’s another

– Last Updated: Dec-06-14 11:22 PM EST –

Not that I'm all that informed on the subject, but in any case, of all the paddle craft that I've seen which were invented by a stone-age culture, none are remotely as sophisticated and refined as the original Malecite canoe (Maliseet seems to be an earlier spelling). What an amazing boat!

I would say the AC/DC is the fastest,
and certainly far better than the Malecite at slalom and downriver, because that is what the AC/DC was designed to do.

As a v-bottomed boat, the malecite has an unnecessary amount of wetted hull area, and it is not a very fast hull design. Easy paddling, yes. Fast, no.

You cite the Coho and Souhegan as high sided, but the Millbrook catalog cites center depth as only one foot. Want to go out and measure? I’d like a Souhegan, but as a pocket tandem it is shallow. My 17 foot Bluewater is a whopping 16" deep at the center, and my Millbrook Big Boy is 17" deep.

thanks for the info, guys.
I talked to the factory and the nice lady checked her catalog file and found the change took place in 1999. So let me ask, have any of you paddled both a pre-99 and a post-99 model and did you notice any difference?

Pocket Tandem?
I might consider the Coho as a tandem.

From my experience the Souhegan is a solo boat. For reference I’d say the ME is a solo boat as well. If the paddlers are small enough I guess any boat could be a tandem?

I’d love to see a race between an AC/DC and a Malecite. If the paddlers were equal I’d put my money on the Malecite. But as I said I’ve limited experience with the AC/DC.

Kaz has both listed as tandems, but
if the Souhegan has a beam of 31", it may not carry tandem load without handling kind of soggy. The Coho is a little broader. The AC/DC was designed and raced as a real tandem, but is reportedly tolerable as a solo.

I would like to find a canoe that is light and narrow, and can handle both flatwater cruising and easy whitewater, that we can just car-top around the nation and use solo or tandem where opportunity arises. The Coho and AC/DC are a tad wide at 33", but might be pulled in an inch or so for solo comfort.

Souhegan beam
The Souhegan is wider than listed. Mine has a beam of 34". It carries the beam well into the ends and probably has enough buoyancy to serve as a small tandem. I use mine as a solo.

Thanks, I needed that.
34" is tolerable for a solo, but as I would use the boat mostly as a solo, besides poling, I really would like the beam down to 32 or so. Will have to ask Kaz and the Haydens whether the Souhegan can be pulled in without distortion.

The Malecite and the Coho are similar…

– Last Updated: Dec-10-14 2:59 PM EST –

...only in the respect that both are canoes. They are two very different boats with different missions.

Both my '97 glass and '98 kevlar Malecites are ~33.5" hull width at the gunwales. Depth at center is 12" in both. And measuring from the gunwale at it's widest point to the middle of the chine is ~9" for both. Their ends are relatively fine and slightly flared at the bow. I have yet to see a post '99 Malecite - but I suspect that the differences may be in who is reading the measuring tape.

My Coho measures ~35" hull width at the gunwales. Depth at center is indeed ~12.5", but measuring similarly from gunwale to center of chine is ~10". The ends are much fuller, but I see little or no flair - and the stems are blunt by comparison to the Malecite - although not as blunt as my RX Prospector.

Of course, the Malecite is about a foot longer than the Coho.

Given the shallow vee of the Malecite in contrast with the very shallow arch of the Coho, the Coho appears to sit higher on the water - making it essentially a deeper hull in effect, if not in measurement - especially if you are edging it for a turn. The Coho exhibits more linear and progressive secondary stability than the Malecite. The Malecite is most definitely faster than the Coho.

I too would like to see a direct comparison of the AC-DC to a Malecite and also to something like a NC Prospector. I suspect that it may bridge the gap nicely - but haven't yet been in a position to risk the cash to find out.

Good points. Sounds like the Coho is
a pocket tandem, and a solo poling craft, but not a solo paddling craft unless the paddler can tolerate the width.

My Bluewater is like a big Souhegan, is 34.5" wide, but while the Bluewater is a good poling craft, it’s just too wide for solo paddling. I’m very tall with a lot of reach, but a beam over 30" begins to stretch my patience.

Souhegan Beam
Mine measures 32" beam. Same as what is listed on Millbrooks website.

I like it for poling and paddling on downriver stretches. I’ve paddled it through rapids approaching class III with no complaints. (my Outrage is more fun in those).

I have other boats I prefer for long distances with no current.

The beam
I bought my Souhegan without “furniture”. Having read the specs on the Millbrook website, I was surprised to find it measured 34" and not 32". I wanted to be sure that was right before I locked it in by installing the furniture. I asked Kaz what it was supposed to be and he said 34" was right. So, that’s what I know about that issue.

The boat is very maneuverable. If you pulled it in a couple of inches, and that reduced the rocker a bit, I think most people would be OK with the remaining maneuverability.