Malecite weight?

Purched a Mad River Malecite used and I think it’s fibre glass from the minor chips in the top coat. I have no idea how much it weighs and how it may handle in choppy water (not been wet yet, as still sanding and finishing the rails, seats and deep top coat chips). Intend to use it most of the time tandem for fishing and just paddling around. New to the sport and will appreciate any info on the Malecite (it’s 16.5 feet with 3 seats). Many thanks

Like this one?

Not mine, actually belongs to CWDH, I just picked it up for him and stored it for a few weeks.

Around 51 lbs according to Mad River


my Malecite experience
I had a Malecite for a few years. I found it to be a fun day boat for tandem and solo but not quite what I needed, so I sold it in favor of a dedicated solo.

As a tandem, it didn’t have the capacity for a week-long trip. (I packed heavy at that time.) It rode low, and it took water over the bow and sides in small waves. Lightly loaded, it was fast and pretty nimble.

As a solo, which is mainly how I used it (paddled from the center, heeled over, Canadian-style), it was pleasant on flat water but a lot of work in the wind. Heeled over, the ends were free to catch a lot of wind.

– Mark

Serial #
ought to tell you if it’s Kevlar (there would be a “K” in there somewhere) as well as year made. Weight is what it is and an easy way to get close is to use a bathroom scale on a still day. Weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding canoe.

The Malecite is a great all-round boat for what you intend as is well stated by solid entries in the “Product Reviews” section of this site. I’ve lusted after one for years and I know there’s one out there with my name on it.

Those pictures that Andy posted only serve to remind me that there are really pretty ones, well loved and cared for, that might end up on the classified ads!

86 malecite
My 1986 fiberglass malecite weighs in at 63#.

The 87 catalog lists the “average weight” as 66#s.

Malecite GREAT Canoe
If you’re NEW to the sport, you sure did a hell of a good job picking a canoe.

Personally, I feel the Malecite is one of the BEST canoes out there, especially as a tandem/solo.

I sold two I had because I have solo canoes for fishing (Bell Wildfire/Wasbash Valley Merlin) and a tandem canoe for tandeming (Mad River Explorer).

You picked a great canoe to get started with. About 60 pounds in kevlar, more in glass.


from around 2000 or so catalog


Our best canoe for combining solo and tandem paddling. For an afternoon on the lake or 2-3 days of light touring, this is the road bike of canoeing—fast, efficient, sleek, and sexy. Rock-solid secondary stability, a flared dry hull, and amazing composure in chop and waves make it an outstanding lake canoe. Paddled solo, the Malecite is a great touring canoe with huge capacity.

Kevlar® Expedition

The strength and durability of all-cloth Kevlar® construction. Ideal for solo trips or expeditions that feature occasional sections of moving water, or for the paddler who demands an outstanding combination of strength, light weight, and classic design. Available with wood or aluminum gunwales.


The same high performance and beautiful paddling, in the affordable, stiffer lay-up—a flatwater thoroughbred. Available with wood or aluminum gunwales.

Kevlar® Lite

A beautiful paddling boat, incredibly lightweight and stiff, perfect for deep flatwater and strenuous portages. Available with wood or aluminum gunwales.

Kevlar Expedition


Kevlar Lite

Specifications - K-Glass

Length 16’6"/503cm

Gunwale Width 33"/89cm

Depth at Center 13"/33cm

Weight 59lbs./26.8kg

6" Freeboard Capacity 850lbs./385kg

Specs - Kevlar® Expedition

Length 16’6"/503cm

Gunwale Width 33"/89cm

Depth at Center 13"/33cm

Weight 51lbs/23.1kg

6" Freeboard Capacity 850lbs./385kg

Specifications - Kevlar® Lite

Length 16’6"/503cm

Gunwale Width 33"/89cm

Depth at Center 13"/33cm

Weight 42lbs/19.1kg

6" Freeboard Capacity 850lbs./385kg

Kevlar Lite




K-Glass / Kevlar Expedition







My 1986 Kevlar Malecite weighs 47 Lbs
It’s a versatile, small capacity, canoe that’s maneuverable and good for “just paddling around”. I don’t consider it very fast, especially compared to more modern designs. It’s fairly stable and seaworthy; my mother in law wasn’t able to turn herself, my wife, and me over one fine day, although she did manage to get water pouring over the gunwales and create general panic. The Kevlar Malecite is easy to handle on shore and has been easy to maintain. Mine came with a kneeling solo seat that I’ve taken out and I’ve installed a sliding bow seat. We keep it for its good handling and general versatility.

S/N no K

thanks for the info. just checked the S/N and there is no K, however, there is an X and the last two digits are 91. could it be it was made in 1991? What do you think? thanks again.

Malecite weight

Thanks for the info on the weight. I think it must be around 60+ lbs. Was hoping it was lighter as I would like to move it by myself. now I think it would not be prudent. I’m a little old guy that thinks he’s still 60 yrs old and able to do anything. thanks again.

Yes, '91
would be year. Not sure about “X”. Openboater would know. Check out “Mad River Independence?” thread. Welome to the world of canoe obsession! -Tom

Malecite pictures

thanks for the pics. it seems the shots you took look very much like the canoe I have. there is no K in the S/N so I’m led to believe it’s not Kelvar but glass. thanks again.


solo cautions
Mark, thanks for the solo advice in the wind and general info you provided. personal experience is the best.


Tom, will check thread for more info and appreciate the good wishes. anxious to get it wet and play around some. got a cold snap in AZ right now so it may be a while before it gets wet.

thanks, Bill

Lucky pick
Glenn, thanks for your opinion re the Malecite and my lucky choice of a Malecite. to me it was just a canoe that was priced right and needed a little TLC. I did look at the shallow “V” and thought it might be a little “tippy” but was willing to take the chance…glad I did. sounds like a stable boat with a little speed and tracking ability.

thanks again, Bill

over all good boat
fwcruiser, you said: “We keep it for its good handling and general versatility.”

that’s good enough for me and just what I wanted. mom in law tried but it didn’t…that’s good news! to me that’s stable!

thanks, Bill

What is its S/N?
Or more correctly, its HIN (Hull Identification Number)?

The first three characters is the Manufacture Code. I believe your’s should be MAD for Mad River Canoe.

The next 5 charcters are the serial number. I suppose there could be a K in that series, though I don’t think so.

The next two characters is the manufacture certification. Generally this is a letter and a number. The letter is the month and the number the year. K is the letter code for November. If there is a K in the HIN, this is the likely spot and meaning.

The last two characters is the Model Year. So if your HIN ends with K191 It was a canoe manufactured in November of 1991 and is a 1991 model.

HIN vs S/N
Many thanks KenE, a very detailed explanation and I just checked the complete HIN again. It is 6X774B191; so the B191 would indicate Feb 1991, correct? (And I stand corrected on the HIN.)

Thanks again,


My Indy’s #

– Last Updated: Dec-15-07 2:52 PM EST –

is as follows: MADI(1?)D534L293-KH. Any guesses about the suffix, KenE? I'm not trying to be snarkey, just curious. Thanks. -Tom

k suffix
Have 3 mad rivers, 2 fiberglass and 1 kevlar, the kevlar boat has a suffix of “-K”. the fiberglass boats have no suffix after the date.

By the way pretty much all cast iron parts have dates cast into them…engine blocks, water pumps, cylinder heads, wheel cylinders, bathtubs, etc. All use the January = A system. Some parts are also ‘stamped’ with an assembly date as well as having a cast date. The letter code in this instance may be referenced to a month not aligned to Jan = A.