I am considering a purchase of one of these canoes. I already have a Minnesota II for my more serious paddling. I want a stable boat for my children and myself. Something for slow rivers / large ponds / lakes. Day tripping and fishing. I have narrowed it down to these two boats. Need help here. Thank you.
Well now, Festus, there’s other
horses in the corral. Why do you want to ride these two?
OTC Ojibway or Mad River Adventure 16
Price range is good. What I have read is that they are stable and durable. What other horse do you have in mind?
Look at used canoes.
I would choose something lighter that doesn't need to have the edges finished before you paddle it. There's a lot of sharp edges and snags on the gunwales of the Mad River. They're also very heavy.
Check the p-net classifieds or a livery for used boats. Old Town makes Discoveries, Campers, Penobscots that would work. Even a Grumman aluminum would work. Rent some different boats, go to a shop and try some. You could buy one of the 2 you mentioned, but make sure you sand the sharp edges before you use it. By the time you buy PFDs and paddles and other gear, you will be spending a bit of money. The Mad River boat is about $500 in the Chicago area, so you should be able to find a decent used boat for that price.
Just re-read your original post and see that you probably have gear and PFDs. I haven't paddled either of these beause when I saw them in the store, they had no appeal for me. Test paddle these things before you buy. I don't think you'll enjoy cartopping and paddling these after paddling your Wenonah.
You already have the best boat
Of the two you mention, the Mad River is the best paddling, ugly as it is, it does paddle well. But after a Minnesota II it will offer NOTHING, just a plastic hull that you will curse when you attempt to carry it, but can bang on the rocks and gravel without guilt.
Both of your choices have a permanent center seat that eliminates mounting a carry yoke, you can only double carry these hulls, or you just drag them on the ground. With young kids you won’t get any help carrying the canoe, and half of 80 pounds is more than most children can carry.
Of the two you mention
I like the Wildy. Here is a thought for you on the Ojibway. Take a good look at it. How do you carry it on a vehicle?? You have to have fairly tall racks. And you can’t put foam blocks on it there are no gunals. Or you have to ride it upright. Just something to think about
Recently joined the illustrious …
... Michael E. McCrea along with our friend Brian on a day paddle of the Gunpowder River, where we took turns soloing and tandeming in various combinations the two boats you're inquiring about. I believe Mike would have replied save for the fact that he is writing a review for Paddler Magazine regarding these 2 models. Mike and I have also paddled these boats on a large pond in Delaware, and Mike even had the pleasure of hauling one of these heavy beasts across 2 to 3 hundred fallen soldiers choking the Hitch Branch during his Strainer Festival From Hell last May.
Without stealing too much of his thunder, and since he took most of my rememberances with my review sheets, I'll only choke your mind with a few thoughts:
1. The OT Ojibway hull mold was taken from the Discovery 158. But now, with the gunwhales molded over, you best plan on having Ally McBeal as your sternpaddler if you're hoping to fully seat a set of human hips betwixt those rear rails.
2. The OT is easier to lean (more of a semi-rock, really) and turn than the Rio Loco when soloed. Also, the center seat in the OT is setback from actual boat center - thus, better positioning for solo paddling. The Wilderness center seat is molded at center.
3. The Wilderness wins the beverage holder count, somethin' like 8 to 4. Neither is that practical, even with a cozie around your bottle, can, or water container.
4. Watch those compressible gunwales on the MR. With a few years of rooftop tie-downs there may be cracking in the picture.
5. I liked the OT better on moving water, especially the rocky, twisty and narrow Gunpowder. I liked the Mad River better on pond/lake with my daughter in the stern seat and Doctor Bob pacing the forward deck.
6. OK, they are not the Hemlock or Bell or Swift we all ogle and some of us dream about. Shucks, they aren't even OT or MR at there best (from this boards posting I'm not sure what MR's best would be these days), but they are affordable, stable, family-(with small hips)friendly, and better than the Coleman Ram-X's or Sam's Club ceiling-hangers I've seen.
P.S. And as soon as I can find that cursed cannister of APS film I've misplaced twice now, once beneath me own tookas, I'll have a few pictures of these 2 hulls afloat developed. Curses! Me $5.95 kingdom for a 4 megapixel camera!