A friend of mine got a used Malecite and we are wondering what the hull is made out of. It appears to be either fiberglass or kevlar. Their web site seems to indicate that they are only making it in kevlar now, but did they make it in other materials in the past? Their web site had no contact info. We were hoping to email them with the serial number. Does anybody have an email address for MRC? Any impressions of this canoe would be appreciated too. Thanks.
Ahh… the Malecite - one of the very finest designs ever to grace the water! It’s fast, dry in the bouncy stuff, and has that classic MR firming as the gunwale leans toward the water. Oh yeah, they’re pretty too.
I’ve had 2 so I can speak from some experience. The Malecite was one of the very first boats to be available in Kevlar, although my first was in fiberglass. They were all cloth regardless, but you could easily tell the Kevlar craft by the color in the inside. After spending all that extra money most owners wanted that golden color to show! If you don’t see gold, or some faded remnat of that color you’re probably dealing with a FG canoe, not that there’s anything wromg with that! My current Malecite, one of the very last Vermont boats, is clearly Kevlar through and through.
If your inside doesn’t show any cloth print whatsoever you have one of the plastic versions from the latest owners. I don’t know anything about the quality of the molded boats but somehow the Vermont canoes seemed a lot nicer. IMHO the 21st century Mad River canoes are taking second priority to the manufacture of plastic kayaks.
No matter what the fiber, you have yourself a very fine canoe there. Enjoy it!
Right on! I also own a kevlar Malecite. Aside from the golden interior, the exterior of the hull should state that it is kevlar construction. My kevlar hull (VT built and with ash gunwales seats, thwarts and butternut decks) weighs about 50 lbs. and has a red gel goat exterior. It listed for about $2200 new, but I got it from R.E.I. at a demo day discount for about $1600 )including a mfgrs rebate)/
The lightest version of the Malecite was the “skin coat” which weighed about 42 lbs. and had no protective gel coat exterior. I paddled one once and it was a dream! It listed for a hundred dollars or so less, but I couldn’t find one in stock, and orders were not being discounted. Sooooo…!
There’s a lot of Malecite hype out there
… and after a year, it’s all been true.
I think it helps to be a little on the large side stature wise to appreciate it as a solo. Haven’t done any WW in it yet. I doubt I’ll ever do more than mild class II in it. I’ve got a plastic boat for the other stuff. In wind and waves it’s great.
I don’t think it is a canoe that you jump into and immediately say, “wow, this is great!” but the more you paddle it in highly varied conditions, the more you appreciate just how versatile it is.
I bought my Kevlar Malecite because
it was so pretty and a really good price. I find it great as a tandem, but have only paddled it solo once.
It has shown me enough that I still have it in spite of having a true solo canoe.
As my memory serves me the Malecite was build by Jim Henry as a solo downriver WW racer
And if memory serves me well
It won the Down River National Championship in the 70’s and I believe Henry paddled it.
Actually, the Malecite design won the downriver WW championships (solo class)in the mid 1970s paddled by Jim Henry. The same boat was paddled by Jim’s son Dana Henry in the late 1990s to a second championship, the day after busting the hull up pretty well in a mishap.
I’m a Malecite owner and fan. I love the Malecite and have used it to run rivers, wilderness trip in Canada, citizen races, and for the local jaunt on the pond. It’s really a wonderful hull, that paddles amazingly well both solo and tandem.
for all the input.