Newbie - Canoe Identification (mine)

I found a link to historical MR canoes

– Last Updated: Apr-19-12 12:51 PM EST –

Fingerling was a one year run so it seems.

This has been an interesting thread as I know relatively little about old MR boats.

From what CEW has written elsewhere Fingerling was a cut down Traveller which was a cut down Screamer.

Still waiting to hear from Mad River
Thanks for all the great replies so far. I agree with some of the posters as it looks there has been some work done to this boat. Every instance I can see of the slipper online shows wood gunwales and a wood deck. It these were replaced by the more modern aluminum that is out now, I guess I’m okay with that.

Can anyone tell for sure from the pictures if this is just fiberglass or if there is kevlar in this also??

Kinda wondering if I paid too much for it. I was looking at one of the Mad River catalog’s from 1990 or 91 and if this does turn out to be a lady slipper, looks like they were only costin $800 new back in the early 90’s.

If I have a good boat that works and doesn’t take much to fix up, I think I will be fine with what I paid for it. I don’t know why, but it always seems like here in the Twin Cities and in Minnesota in general solo canoes always seem to be a premium price, even on the used market. I have looked on craigslist off and on for several years now half heartedly, but never wanted or had the money to spend $1,000 on a used solo canoe. I still don’t which is why I got this boat, because it seemed to my untrained eye like it was in good condition for the price.

I’m still waiting to hear back from Mad River to see if they can find anything related to the HIN number I gave them.

Again, if anyone can verify from the close up pictures of the hull if this is just fiberglass or fiberglass and kevlar I would appreciate it. I’m thinking now it’s fiberglass cloth.

Will continue to look for peopl’s posts today…


Contact Rob. You won’t be sorry.
Grey painted interior usually means glass.

Or, you can weigh it.

40 lbs.= fiberglass.

< 40 lbs. = Kevlar or Kevlar/'glass hybrid.

And Liberty was a cut-down Indy.

Painted interiors
Mad River painted the interior of some Kevlar hulls. At least the floor of my Kevlar Mad River Explorer is painted gray.

Approximate weight of canoe
So… I just went out and weighed it, like how you do when you are going to the airport and you check before you go there to see if your bag is overweight.

Added the extra weight of the canoe on top of my weight and came up with an approximate weight of 50-51Lbs. I thought it was light, at least it feels light to me, but I grew up with grunman’s.

So guessing this is not Kevlar… darn, got all excited there for a minute…

I’m going to try giving Vermont Canoe a call like suggested and see what they have to say. Still waiting to here back from Mad River about the HIN number and what model this may be…

Stay tuned…


I suspect the boat was rerailed
If memory serves, back in the 1980s I think all MRC composite canoes had ash gunwales and thwarts. Ash trim was an option on Royalex boats.

The end caps on the boat partially overlap the grab loop eyes, HIN, and the place where the “smoking rabbit” MRC logo was. Surely original end caps would not have done so.

I suspect a prior owner also painted the interior when the aluminum gunwales were put on, and decided he or she could do without thwarts.

Look up under the deck cap. See if there is a little unpainted hull interior right up in the stem above the float tank. If there is and the color of the cloth is gold then it is a Kevlar hull. I am thinking it might be. If you look at the long “racing stripe” decal on the side you will note that there is a sizable gap toward the bow. Back at the time that boat was built, MRC put a big “Kevlar 49” decal in exactly that location on their Kevlar hulls.

A Kevlar Slipper was cataloged at 39 lbs by MRC.

Think it’s Kevlar now…
Thanks for the great info pblanc… I looked under the deck at the top part of the stem where the point meets and sure enough, there was a decent portion that is not grey and it is the golden color that Kevlar boats are…

Going on the theory that this boat might be painted on top as well, I looked in the corner outside the air chamber right near the inner gunwhale and I noticed that if you look real close you can see gold underneath the gray color where the grey didn’t seem to cover very well. I didn’t look elsewhere on the boat to see if I could confirm that in other spots, but I will later.

I live in a townhome and the canoe is sitting in my SMALL garage and I have to re-drag it out everytime to check something:-D

Keep it coming though, this is really great and everyone is being so helpful…just wanna know I got a good purchase.

So if there is the gold color up there near the stem, are we now positive that there is at least SOME Kevlar in this boat?? I will take a picture of the gold underneath the deck and post if on my flickr page and sumbit the link in a little bit here… getting excited again…


P.S. Mad River said they probably won’t get back to me with a more defintive answer at least until tomorrow or maybe the next day, so I’ll have to wait on that. When I told the guy about the specs on the boat like the length, width of the boat, and approximate weight, he wasn’t sure what I had either because the specs are kinda conflicting.

It’s a Slipper
JX equals Slipper. Jen, just got you voice mail. I’ll call you in a bit.


A Slipper for comparison…

Not mine. I’m thinking about it, but I just bought a boat for the wife and the price might be high anyway…

Notice the photo with the HIN. JX means it’s a Slipper?

That is a nice-lookin’ canoe.
And appears exactly the way it should, to my eye, anyway.

Yeah, nice.
But it isn’t what I really want. The price is probably fair, but I’m accustomed to prices more resembling theft. :wink: Especially if it isn’t the exact boat I’m looking for. What makes it tempting is my complete lack of a solo canoe.

Hey Rob, would you mind cluing
the restuvus in as to layup now that our curiosity is piqued?

I came close to buying a KH Slipper
a few years back, but got outbid when I got cold feet at $900. Ended up with a KH Indy instead for $700 and I’m happy. The Slipper was really too small for my 200 lbs.

If I remeber correctly back then
Mad River made their hulls all Kevlar cloth or all fiberglass. Later, in the 1990s they introduced “hybrid” hulls with a foam core, made of a composite of Kevlar, Spectra and S 'glass. Perhaps Rob can correct me if I am wrong.

Mad River’s all cloth, all Kevlar hulls were not the lightest, but they were tough as nails.

Here are a few things to consider. First, manufacturer’s cataloged weights were often overly optimistic a given hull could weigh 10% more than it was “supposed to”. So a “39 lb canoe” might actually turn out to be closer to 43 lbs. Second, I don’t think that boat is stock. The Kevlar felt skid plates that were put on it can add considerable weight. And painting the interior can add a couple of lbs or more. Third, the replacement rails and deck plates could weigh more than the originals. On the other side of the equation, the boat is shy a couple of thwarts.

Indy envy.
The Indy is what I’m looking for also - or something more in that class. I’m 165 or so, so the Slipper might be okay, but I think the Indy would be better. The guy wants $600 - which is probably fair enough (I haven’t seen it in person). But at that price, I should probably hold out.

I got lucky.
I had been looking for a while and had pretty much given up on craigslist, but I hit it one morning when I got in early for work and there it was five listings from the top! E-mailed the poster my phone and she called me right away. Turned out she was 15 minutes away and had taken the day off from work, so I drove right over. The boat looked better in person than it did in her pic. It was on my car that afternoon. It was meant to be. I luuurve my red Indy. Weighs in right around 36 stock w/ 7/16X16’ painter and Ed’s webbed contour seat.

Talked to rob on the phone…
Steve, that boat looks really nice, better than mine. I’m kinda jealous… I wish my boat had the wood gunwales and deck, but I didn’t know enough to know that they should have been on there.

Talked to rob and he is going to get back to me about the golden color I see underneath the deck near the stem. He believe this is a fiberglass canoe, but I am going to send him some pictures of the gold I see.

Consensus is this is indeed a slipper. Gunwales and decks are replacements and probably from Wenonah as well as the mounting brackets for the seat. Just to clear up, I knew the skid plates were not original. The outiftter I bought the canoe from told me they install those on every canoe they take in automatically. Kinda ugly looking but will help the conoe up here in Minnesota waters.

I’m still holding out hope there might be Kevlar in this baby, but will be happy either way as Rob said it looks like the repairs done to the canoe were a good job and the person doing them knew what they were doing.

Was also told that the hull dimensions are probably wider because of the different gunwales as well as the seat is probably wider. (or something like that. don’t remember exactly what he said)

I am uploading the pictures of the golden brown color to my flickr account in case anyone cares to take a gander at them…

If you notice in the picture, there is the paint color, a white color underneath, and then the light brown color which is what I think the boat is made of



– Last Updated: Apr-20-12 9:00 AM EST –

That does look like aramid cloth to me. And I thought that the deck plates and rails looked like Wenonah's.

That's not all bad because Wenonah makes some pretty light aluminum gunwales. I kind of suspect that someone just painted the interior with gray deck paint, which can be kind of heavy.

I don't know what Rob said, but I would still strongly consider adding two thwarts to that boat. You could also possibly pull the boat back into specified width by shortening the seat frame a little bit.

The missing thwarts could account
for the boat being wider than most Slippers.

I would certainly put some back in.