Old Town Malecite

Would like some info and opinion on my possible purchase of a used Malecite.

The one for sale is in absolutely pristine condition, three seats (would likely remove middle seat).

As our first canoe, does this model make sense? We are both decent paddlers (wife and I) but primarily in kayaks.

Use would be lakes and mild rivers - primarily tandem but with occasional solo fishing, etc.


Mad River Malecite?
A great boat.Can really move with 2 paddlers. A little spooky in chop until you get accustomed to it.

Das what I thought.
My friends have a Malecite. It always feels a bit twitchy to me when I first start in it. They are fast canoes.

3rd seat
Would love to find a nice used Malecite myself. If it had the third seat, I’d probably leave it in for when I want to use it solo. My Penobscot has a third (solo) seat and it’s a little cramped when poling, but it makes the boat more versatile IMO.

Malecite Is Fiberglass??
I have not seen the Malecite in person yet. But, I just received a voice message from the owner who indicated that it is made of fiberglass. Is this possible?

Good or Bad?

Says it weighs about 65#


Good chance it would be the best canoe
… you’ll ever own.

I love the Malecite. Mine is fiberglass. It is very versatile, and solo’s pretty well for a bigger guy. I wouldn’t take the center seat out until you’ve spent plenty of time in the boat.

glass Malecite

– Last Updated: Aug-06-09 5:02 PM EST –

The fiberglass Malecite is listed in the 1994 MRC catalog at 64 lbs. Some other specs: length 16' 6", gunwale width 33", 4" waterline width 31", center depth 13", bow height 20", stern height 19".

It's a great boat, not as stable as the Explorer, but considerably faster, and it is an MRC classic. If it is in mint condition, and the price is reasonable, you should buy it. If you don't like it, you will be able to sell it in a heartbeat.

I too would leave the center seat in, but if you take it out, get a center thwart to replace the seat to maintain hull rigidity. Before you take the seat out, measure the length you need to cut the thwart down to so as to maintain the same gunwale width.

The only bad thing about fiberglass is that it is a bit heavier than Kevlar, or a Kevlar/fiberglass composite. The boat will be plenty strong.

Malecite is Spotless
The Malecite is spotless (almost looks as if never used). Seller says only ever used on lakes. I believe him as there are zero bottom scratches or hull damage.

All wood maintained perfectly.

Asking $1000; about 10 years old.

Seems high for a boat that old, but much less than a new canoe of any quality. So,…I’m torn what to do.

Help convince me! :slight_smile:

PS - I would not remove the center seat until I perhaps tried it solo, etc.

Can you handle 64-65 pounds easily? If so it may be perfect for you (offer $800 - it’s an older and heavy boat!). 64-65 pounds is not light and may not be effortless to pop onto your vehicle - unless you’re young and strong or have a pretty stout partner. I suggest that you go lift it a few times to make sure you’re comfy with it.

If fiberglass Malecite were still made
it would cost around $1700 new. If it’s in as good a shape as you say, $800-$900 would be a decent price. I personally wouldn’t sell something like that for less than $800.


as someone else mentioned

– Last Updated: Aug-07-09 7:35 AM EST –

... it really comes down to weight. If you're ok with 65 pounds (I am) I don't think you can do any better in terms of hull design, versatility and build quality. I would want to do better on price though.

I sold a FG one that came out of a showroom and was absolutely flawless for a bit less.

My friends is glass.
They were pricey.

good malecite
Have a 1986 fiberglass malecite purchased new. New price back then was about $780.

I’ve had two 8 yr old kids and a full grown coon hound in mine, the dog was standing up with two paws on the gunnel amidship and that boat felt STABLE. You can darn near walk around it like a bass boat. If that isn’t stable enough I don’t know what to say.

Weighs in about 63#s with wood gunnels. Interchange the thwart and middle caned seat to suit the situation. Would love to find a nice old kevlar version.

Unless you really set it up for solo with seat placement it is a chore if you want to go someplace in a hurry and are used to faster solo boats. Have tried a kneeling pedestal but didn’t enjoy it.

Poles nice. Don’t see too many for sale.


– Last Updated: Aug-07-09 11:34 PM EST –


That sounds like a great boat. I've only paddled one one time and paddled it back to back with a Mad River Explorer. It really made a great impression -- felt like a hot rod.

Let me compare it with the Camper of mine you paddled last weekend. It is probably about 5-8 lbs heavier. The fiberglass will not be as bomb proof as the royalex but ought to be plenty tough if you don't abuse it. The surface gelcoat will scratch and maybe chip if you bang or scrape a rock, but those are character marks and it is not that hard to fix up. It will feel a good bit more tender to you at first due to its narrower width and v-style hull. I really don't think you and your wife would have trouble adjusting to it. It won't haul quite the load maybe, but I don't think that is an issue for you.

On the up side, it will paddle like a dream compared to the Camper. I'm talking Mustang vs. Rambler Wagon. Are you with me on that?:-)
And it is going to track much better and be blown around much less. Yet it will still be plenty easy to turn as you guys learn the strokes. Come to think of it most of what I said comparing the Penobscot 16 to the Camper would hold here as well. The Malecite is just a bit sweeter than the Penobscot I think because the fiberglass layup will be stiffer.

I'd say 700-800 would be a fair price if its in really good shape. And you'll like the center seat for fishing solo or hauling a passenger I think.

Good luck!

Mustang vs. Rambler
Hey, I can really relate to that.

Had three American Motors Ramblers when in college and as a newlywed.

First new car I ever bought was a Rambler American (1968).

In 1989, I bought the only Mustang I have ever had. Wish I still had it!

Thanks, Rob, for the input. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. (Also, I have found a second Malecite also, and for a bit less $$)

Ramblers Rock
OK, well maybe they don’t really, but I probably owe my life to one. My buddy was driving his folk’s Rambler wagon when we got rear ended by a car going heaven knows how fast it accordianed the passanger side door and sent us onto two wheels as we plunged down an embankment. The old tank absorbed all the blow. My buddy and I were only bruised and could aid the other folks. A in a less solid car I’d have been mush.