I have a chance to buy a royalex MR explorer 16 that appears in good shape except for gunwales and seat replacement. for 100.00 dollars. I mostly fly fish from SUP but want a canoe. Can someone tell me how stable this boat is to stand and fish. I know that is a subjective question, but in terms of comparison to a tunnel hull type or other more fishing type of canoes (wenonah fishmerman). Seems pretty deep and pretty flat on the bottom. Thoughts. Also, anyone ever replaces the gunwales with composite wood? I searched but can’t find any how to’s. thanks!
A little late here, but I would jump on a RX Explorer for $100 even if it is a bit of a project. It is a very good all around canoe. I prefer to sit and fish in mine but I could stand if I wanted to (I would stand in the middle , not at an end). It is a very stable boat and a good fishing platform.
I’m sure you can find a Youtube video about replacing canoe gunwales. Perhaps not specific to the Explorer, but the idea is the same.
A little late here as well… Sound & efficient boat. Getting nice gunwales on it would be nice, just take your time to drill new holes to match up with the new strips. Do you really need to stand? It’s a good canoe but it isn’t a barge. You’ll be much more stable in getting your casting stroke together when seated…imho, or maybe it’s just that BrianSnat has stood much more in the last 20yrs than I have…lol.
Everyone knows you can’t stand up in a Mad River Explorer:
Although I believe he generally favored composite models, the MRC Explorer was renowned poler Harry Rock’s favorite canoe. The shallow V hull design of the Explorer might feel a little unstable at first because it will probably want to tip over a bit onto one of the “flats” of the hull bottom, but you just need to stay loose and go with it.
Here is a pdf file on replacing gunwales on Mad River (and other) canoes:
As much as I like the MR Explorer, and consider it a great poling canoe, I don’t think it’s as easy to stand in and fish as the Wenonah Fisherman - or especially the Kingfisher. I’ve never tried the Native Watercraft boats, because they aren’t the kind of design I enjoy, but they are probably easier to stand in too.
Nevertheless - a $100 Explorer - even if it needs some work - is hard to pass up. Why not give it a try?