More MR 14TT quality issues

I hate to have to post about this issue again. I bought the MR 14TT in July and as of last weekend I have 2 broken seats, stern and bow, rivets, multiple bow and stern, pulled out, and subsequently loose deck plates.

Confluence was pretty good with the first seat issue. We’ll see if they want to continue that on the second one. Once again we went over a drop and landed pretty hard but, there seems to be a pattern here. I’m going to ask their customer service dept. if they have a better seat that I could install? I’ll let you know.

If I didn’t like the boat so much and the way that it handles solo I’d want my money back or I’d sell it. Hopefully they’ll want to solve this?

I should say that I’m not easy on this boat. We run some class II’s and one class III over the weekend. The boat has gone over numerous times. Is it normal for rivets to come out like this? Just a side note, we make through 99% of the rapids but, by the time we get out the boats so full of water that we end up rolling out and having to get it to a side to bail or flip it over.

For people considering a MR I’ll keep you abreast of progress.


If you went over a drop and landed so hard you broke the seat I see why you are having trouble keeping the rivets in. No canoe can take that kind of stress. Sounds like your river is a little on the boney (low water) side.

I too have a 14TT, had it for a year now, and I must say I treat mine rough too. But no canoe is a tank. I have not had the first thing go wrong with my boat, and from my experience and by reading the reviews I don’t think MR has quaility issues with the boat.

beatin’ your canoe
For comparison I have a 16’ roylex Explorer from around 1990. Cap’n John and I pretty much learned to paddle whitewater in this boat. It’s had many dumps and bumps including ramming a concrete bridge abutment hard enough to throw me out. I’m pretty sure they heard the thunk 100 miles away in Boston the time I pitoned into O.S. rock at Zoar Gap.

Sum total of damage, some dings in the bow, after 10 years the cane ripped out on one of the seats, and the bottom is pretty scarred up, more since I’ve started poling in shallow rocky streams.

Nope sounds like you are seeing more than your fair share of repairs.

As for swamping in rapids, that’s a fairly small boat to tandem. There’s some techniques that will help keep you dry to. You might look for lessons or just look for folks who seem to be staying dry and copy what they are doing (free lessons).

Have fun,


In mountain biking
we call this JRA syndrome (just riding along) as in “I was just riding along and my frame just broke in half”. When what they mean is “I was just riding along on my $300 recreational bike, and I saw this really cool 4 foot jump, but when I went over it I hit a tree and the frame just snapped in half.”

Reviewing Mad River’s web page the boat you purchased is listed under versatile boats (not the whitewater boats) and the description for the boat states “It’s a good choice for the family paddler or angler”.

You don’t talk about the type of Class II and III water you have had it in, but you do say the boat fills with water and you need to swim to shore and dump it. I would guess at that point you have between 500 and 1000 pounds of water in the boat and that unsupported sections of the boat on ledges or against boulders would place forces on the boat well beyound those it is designed for which could result in the failures you’re reporting.

IMHO it seems like you are expecting the dealer/manufacturer to be responsible for your mis-use of this particular boat and that just hurts the rest of us who will have to bear the burden of increased costs.

Sorry I don’t see it your way.


gotta agree
a TT is NOT made for numerous whitewater rapids that fill the boat, roll it over and require rolling out of her on shore or having to roll her over to dump. get a whitewwater boat and outfit it properly and learn to paddle whitewater.


I guess I should have anticipated some responses about reasonability of use. I used this board to get advice on which boat to buy. I got reaaly good feedback about this boat and its use. I bought the TT because it is supposedly Triple Tough. Actually, like I said I’m pleased with the performance of the hull. I was fully prepared for it to get scratched and dinged, it has. I was not prepared for seats to break and rivets to pop out of the deck plates. I am a bicycle mechanic and I understand the JRA syndrome. I’ll admit that I had th boat loaded with two guys that weigh about 210 a piece and a cooler that weighed about about 20 ponunds. I have no complaints about the water in the boat. The majority of it came in over the gunwales towards the middle of the boat. Clearly that was a result of it being a little heavy but, well within range of its design. I knew I wasn’t buying an extreme ww boat. I don’t need one. I generally run local rivers, Guadalupe, that in an 12 mile float have 5 - 6 rapids that range between class I & II. This last time we went due to an increase in flow there was one class III.

I understand that there are techniques that I’ll learn and get better at but, should a seat break because a 210 pound guy bounced off a two foot drop? Is it normal for rivets to pull out of deck plates under even these circumstances? My experience with other boats was like that of the other gentlemen that had mishaps with his boat and didn’t damage things like the seats or deck plates.

Are there options with regard to seats? How can I strengthen them so that I don’t have to worry about them snapping in the middle of a trip? I’ll take care of the rivets myself.

Thanks for the constructive criticism but, I’d like to know how to solve equipment issues that I’m having. Like I said I like the boat and the handling, especially when I paddle it solo.

That’s being pretty hard on the boat.
I own a 16’ Explorer TT and have done whitewater in it (solo only). MRC makes a fine, tough boat, but there are limits to the abuse it’ll take.

For one thing, while “TT” does stand for “Triple Tough,” it doesn’t mean it’s three times tougher than anything else. It’s simply a marketing name and doesn’t imply any particular performance. It is tough… but not indestructible.

The Explorer TT wasn’t intended to run Class III at all. It’s intended for all-around use, at which it’s pretty good. And I think MRC made it tough enough to withstand that for years – mine has done admirably – as long as the owner doesn’t abuse it.

Taking some whitewater lessons would help you avoid some of the stuff that’s destroying the boat and would teach you how to outfit the boat to do whitewater as well as the Explorer can do it. For example, I don’t see anywhere that you’ve installed flotation bags, which would help you and the boat.

As for the seats breaking, if you’re dropping your 210 pounds two feet onto the seats, yes, they’ll break. Wood is strong, but not indestructible. Try kneeling when you get into the heavy stuff, which will spread the forces a bit.

So I’m coming down on the side of those who are saying that you’ve abused the boat, Dwayne. It’s not an appropriate boat for that use and it’s not fair to MRC (or the rest of us who buy their boats) for you to expect it to be as indestructible as you seem to need the boat to be.

Ya mean people SIT on the seats?
When the water gets rough get on your knees with your butt against the seat. Spread those knees wide and try leaning the hull to block the waves. Keep your torso vertical and centered in the boat. With two of you you might want to try rocking the boat side to side on calm water to get the feel. If it’s warm see how far you can go without dumping.(you never know till you go over).

Somebody mentioned flotation. If you love your boat and you’re going to paddle whitewater, get as much flotation in there as you can. Nothing sadder than a canoe wrapped around a boulder. Might save on popped rivets?


Pushing The Limits
It is too bad that you’ve had problems with breakeage on your seats. It does sound like you are pushing the limits of what the boat was designed to handle. Are we talking the Guadalupe in central Texas? Its been flowing pretty good all summer. Two good size guys in that boat are probably just to much on the Guad if there is this kind of flow. Look at the livery boats – they’re 16 footers more volume (bouancy) and surface area to absorb impacts.

Where did you buy the boat? Would they have any help for sturdier seats. You might want to visit with Dwayne at TG Canoe Livery in San Marcos. He runs a good livery outfit where his boats take a beating. Plus he works with racers in the Texas Water Safari.

Good luck and enjoy the river (maybe only solo in the 14tt though, eh?)

hate to hear that dwayne
i ordered a new one the day before i broke my arm. to pick it up next week after the cast comes off. i hate to disagree with the others, but, here goes. class iii may be a bit heavy, but i have owned and extensively paddled this boat a few years ago (before i sold it to someone who was “boatless”). class ii with two guys your size is NOT beyond this boat’s capability. i would be comfortable in high class ii solo. I WAS ROUGH ON MINE ALSO, NO PROBLEMS! i’m more inclined to think you got a boat that came off the “line” at closing time on friday! sounds like a lemon to me. i don’t think those rivets should be popping out unless you wrapped it. i hope they take care of you. ww

btw, dwayne, this will remedy seats

– Last Updated: Aug-31-04 8:54 PM EST –

you might look at getting the arched WOOD hangers, and hang 1x2's from these (accross the canoe, from gunnel to gunnel)and mount the seats to the 1x2's. i did this in a homemade stripper that had weak seats. will raise your center of gravity 1", but not a problem in this boat. ww

Confluence Standing Behind Their Porduct

– Last Updated: Sep-02-04 10:38 AM EST –

There were quite a few different opinions with regard to this topic. I felt justifed in asking Confluence/Mad River to warranty issues that I thought were quality problems.

Anyone that was considering purchasing a Confluence made product I wanted to let you know that they immediately stood behind their product. The response to my concern about the seats and the deck plate was posed in a way that acknowledged that I use the boat and would even be willing to pay for an upgrade to solve the problem. The response was just give us your address and we will send you a new seat and a deck plate as soon as possible.

Thank you to Tony @ Confluence Customer Support!