Need feedback on MR Explorer Kevlar

Howdy all!

I have a Curtis Nomad for a solo and am in the market for a light sturdy tandem and found a local 16’ MR Explorer in Kevlar 49. Don’t know the manufacturer date, but the current owner has owned it for 12 years and bought it from the original owner.

From what I understand the hull is not as rounded as the RX models. I plan on doing mostly river paddling while fishing with enough gear for a weekend trip here and there. So stability, tracking, and maneuverability are key. Will go on lakes occasionally.

Any feedback on this specific explorer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!

Yo Han

Call Mad River

rather not
rather have feedback from owners than a vendor… keeps it honest

Try searching the archives
Seems to me I’ve seen some discusion of that boat here in the not too distant past.

IIRC it’s 6" longer than the royalex version with finer ends. Reportedly faster because of that. Also it’s a good deal lighter than the royalex boat.

The ROYALEX boat is a great down river weekend tripper, hauls a load, stays dry and is steady as they come. Mine has saved my bacon a few times when I got into bigger conditions than I was ready for. I use mine mainly for poling these days so I’m quite comfortable standing in it. I’d guess its as good a fishing canoe as any.

The shallow V hull means it does not turn as easily as some but it’s no strong tracker either. There are many faster more efficient boats out there.

Solo unloaded it’s at the mercy of any breeze that cares to push you around. With around 300 lbs in it the wind is not a problem. Me and a weeks worth of camping gear have been quite happy driving into the wind and waves on several occasions.

That’s the royalex boat but I’d expect the kevlar boat to be similar if a bit faster and easier to portage.

Good luck!

MRC KV Explorer
Designed to do many things well, I feel makes it one of the best “do all” canoes. It is fine to paddle on flat water. Want to make it turn…lean it over, give a draw and some sweep stokes and you’re turning just fine.

This canoe is also very seaworthy. As conditions deteriorate, she just gets better. She’ll stay out in conditions longer than many of the “best” caneos will be able too. Vee = very versitle

There are lots of great canoes you could end up with, but it’s hard not to like the Explorer when used in all types of conditions.

Happy paddlin’,


great hull
The MRE Kev Explorer is a fine all around hull - not a cruising performer, not a class 4 WW hull, but a competent freighter that does almost everything pretty well. For a guy known as fishslayer, it should be a dream boat.

The model year, and year of manufacture, which are pretty insignificant in paddlecraft, [it’s the mileage, not the model year], will be the final three letters in the serial number, high on the right hand stern. For example, 898 would be model year [9]8 manufactured in 98.

Thank you!
Thank you for the feedback all! Sounds like she will fit the bill for my needs, just good to hear it from fellow paddlers who own or have used the same boat. Checked her out today after work and the gelcoat is mint for a 13+ yo boat. The price is right so I’m picking her up tommorrow. Thank again all! Happy paddling and tight lines to those to fish;)