MR Outrage questions

I am going to purchase a new MR Outrage, but before I pull the trigger I have some questions. My local dealer can’t answer my Qs and I can’t get a response from MR. won’t respond to my email and got returned. Could you help me out?

I want a boat with as much space taken up by float bags as possible. Based on the pictures that I have seen, the Outrage rx with the standard IQ overbags leaves more room for water than I desire. What size float bag are the overbags designed to cover? 60" or 54"? Will two 60" float bags fit in the Outrage rx? Will the overbags cover them? Are the IQ overbags for the Outrage X rx longer, and will they fit the Outrage rx? I am not concered with leaving space to bail because I will install a bilge pump or dump water out of the boat when needed.

Also, in looking at the 2007 catalog, it looks like the Outrage rx pictured has vinyl thwarts. Yet, the Features list suggests that the boat comes with ash thwarts. Are vinyl thwarts an option? In either case, are the thwarts moveable in the IQ2 system?

Thanks for your help.

I like Mad River Boats too
But you just touched on two reasons why I would not buy from them.

  1. Dealers that are not trained on product. If a dealer can’t answer your questions (not a discount store now, but a real dealer) that tells me that they are not educating their dealer network or supplying any product data through their reps. If they can’t answer questinons now, how will the support you after the sale? Probably poorly.

  2. No answers from Mad River HQ. The have not even updated their website for two years. It still says new website coming soon and touts the 2005 catalog.

    You normally cannot get anyone on the phone that can answer aquestion and forget trying to get parts. Some parts have been on perpetual backorder for months. If you have a Dagger canoe like I do and need stuff, its even worse. Two people I spoke to did not even know that they owned Dagger canoes now.

    I will probably look at Esquif or Mohawk, now that they are back up and running when I needed a new WW boat. Both seem to have knowledgable friendly people on the other side of the phone.

I can’t be encouraging either. When I
ordered my first MR in '73, I was talking to Jim Henry on the phone. When I bought my MR Synergy in '97, and demoed a MR Outrage X a year or so later, I was talking to real company reps on the phone or on the banks of the Nantahala. The same used to apply to Dagger too. I would run into Steve Scarborough on the riverbanks. I could drive up to the Dagger factory and borrow Andy Bridge’s personal Magnet c-1 without having to sign it out.

The Outrage X is a real fine boat, and if that is the hull you want, and if you are completely prepared to handle your own repairs (same as I have to do on my Synergy and Guide), then go ahead. I will say that I do not know if MR put the same care into their recent Royalex work. My Synergy shows evidence of systematic variances in Royalex blank thickness, and while the boat, like a lot of Royalex boats, was a bit “soft” in the first two years, the laminate has shown outstanding integrity. But to a first approximation, “Royalex is Royalex,” and their current Royalex blanks may be ordered to the same specs used when the first Outrage X hulls appeared.

I haven’t studied the IQ2 overbag issue. I gather that the standard gunwales are either vinyl like I have, or perhaps ash as an option. Either way, you can move the thwarts where you want them, but you will have to shorten them if you move them farther into the ends. I made spruce replacement thwarts, but it only cut a little over a pound off the weight of the stock ash thwarts. Leaving aside what MR might sell to you, the only limit on bag size is the length of your saddle.

There is a guy in Asheville NC advertising an already outfitted MR Outrage, supposedly in good shape. It is listed in Gearswap on You might have to go to older pages to find it. He wants $800 for it outfitted which might be reasonable if it is no more than dented.

I have a friend who is very happey with a Bell Prodigy X, and another who has a TwinTex Esquif Zephyr. I’d like a Zephyr, but I don’t know what to do if the chines wear through, as Twintes is not an easily repairable material.

MR is owned by a huge conglomerate that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about canoes. So, I’d prefer to buy from Esquif (Canadian, which I like) or Mohawk.

The Outrage is a fine boat (I paddle one), but don’t expect any customer service at all.

In addition to the above comments - the Outrage with wood gunwales is the true design of the Outrage, MR got lazy with the vinyl gunwales and used a stock deck plate, giving the Outrages with vinyl gunwales considerably less flare. Maybe not a huge deal, but thought I’d mention it. In fact, I thought the designer (Tom Foster?) pulled the mold from MR and had somebody else making it, but now called the “Outraged”.

Finally, I agree with you on air bags and pumping & dumping. I have a 72" bag in the front and a 60" bag behind. Two 60" bags are probably the norm, I wouldn’t use less. No idea about the overbag things, I just use string.

I have the 72" (bought from Mohawk) because I also have 14’ Vertige X that I may solo sometimes, but when the Vertige X is outfitted for tandem (with 2 60" bags), which is almost always, the 72" bag is in my Outrage.

I’ve got my bag cage set up to hold back the 72" bag a bit, and do have a little room to bail with a skinny little balier if I want (haven’t got around to installinf the pump yet).

Also, I’d say the Outrage is about the most common boat on the used market, so you may want to look around a bit.

Cheers, PY.

No, the thwarts cannot be moved in an IQ2 system like they can in the original IQ system built for touring canoes. The IQ2 is just an accessory track with the thwarts being bolted through the gunwale. Mad River’s original IQ system had the seats, thwarts and accessories hang from the track which led to a really floppy boat as there was nothing to stiffen it. The overbags are the only advantage I see in the IQ2 system.

Wow, not much love for MR
Thanks for all the heads up. I really like the idea of the overbags, especially when eddying out to dump water all the time. Maybe I will consider other manufacturers. I’m not a big fan of the Zephyr twintex, I think I would destroy it in about a week. But, Esquif makes lots of other designs that might work for me. Another local dealer has a Bell Prodigy with a blemish for a discounted price. However, there is not guaranty or warranty and if it breaks I’m screwed. There is some rippling in the royalex approximately underneath the front thwart. I looks like it will hold up, but who knows. Anyone with any experience with this situation?

Twintex would last you more than a
week, but if you’re hard on boats (I’m not), then it might not be the one to get.

Regarding the gunwale system, I believe you CAN move the thwarts, because I believe (and hope and pray) that MR would not be STUPID enough to put the IQ2 gunwales on a serious whitewater boat.

What they seem to have done is to apply their IQ2 moniker to their design for a float bag retainer. But I think you would get standard vinyl or ash gunwales.

Mad River used to be one of the premier canoe manufacturers in the US, particularly for river boats.

These days I have to wonder if if the folks running the operation down there know what a canoe is? Very sad.

Having said that

The older wood gunneled Outrages were truer to the original design than the ones with vinyl gunnels.

IMO the difference is subtle. I’ve been pretty happy with my old vinyl gunneled Outrage.

The only boat I’ve seen with the IQ2 gunnels (an Outrage X) seemed closer to the wood.

Personaly I would not use the IQ, or any other, bag bra. I’d drill the hull below the gunnels and lace the bag in. My 12’ Outrage has a 72" bag stuffed in the stern and a 60" in the bow.

The Outrage is a great design. If I could get one that I thought was well built I would not hesitate. These days I’d get the 13’ X though. At 190 lbs I could use the extra boyancy!


Outrage photos

– Last Updated: Jun-16-07 11:39 PM EST –

Here's two shots of my Outrage where you can kinda see the bags (not sure whether the bags were 60"&60" or 60"&72").

I also wouldn't worry about the bag bra-thing. Get an Outrage if you like the boat, but don't get it for the bag holder! Just string 'em in, either by drilling the hull or installing cable clamps.

Prodidgy is supposed to be a nice boat, but I don't know it. Whatever the blem/rip, it can be fixed if you feel like it (and don't expect much warranty support from MR anyway!).

By the way, from what I hear of the Twin Tex, durability is not an issue.

Good luck shopping!


…in my Zephyr(11’ x")…
I’ve loosened the front tie-down lanyard(new) a little for a little rise of the bag slightly above the gunwales, put a pseudo bulkhead under a thwart ~4" ahead of my knees, and get a 70" bag in without much problem. 60" in back. Bell bags…I could get a little larger bag(diff brand!?) in back.

*Due to thumb surgery/rehab…I’ve just been doing easy stuff with the Zephyr…have hit a few rather smooth/round rocks without any marks showing…guess time will tell.



Great boat…lousy company
I tried many times to get in contact with MR when I was outfiting…er… I mean REoutfitting my Outrage.

Back when i got my boat (2002?) the factory outfitting was junk, and poorly installed to boot. The PLASTIC footpegs broke the second time I had it out, and the D-rings started to come off not long after that.

I have heard a couple of similar stories from others with the factory outfitting.

I ultimately completely re-did the outfitting (with a Mohawk saddle).

I recommend you buy the boat unoutfitted, and outfit it yourself (it’s not hard, though it does take a little time). Get your airbags from NRS in whatever size you want, and get your saddle/straps from Mike Yee or Mohawk (if they are still making their saddles).

Also… cracks
My Outrage, and I’ve heard this from others too, seems really prone to cracking.

If you’re a heavy guy paddling over or into rocks very often, the inside of the boat develops hairline cracks. I’ve got tonnes of cracks around my knees and saddle, and I keep patching them, and they keep developing.

At my knees I’ve had to lay down a sheet of ABS plastic to support the hull - if I got a new Outrage, I’d lay down a big pad before I installed any saddle, pads or anchors.

It’s still cracking around the saddle - 2 new ones yesterday - and it may well still be cracking under my patch, and for sure under the saddle (the new cracks clearly extend under the saddle, perhaps it’s only big crack).

So far none the cracks have caused any delamination problem or anything, but I’d prefer a boat that didn’t crack every time I smashed over something. I’m getting tired of the repair jobs.