Thoughts on Mad River Explorer for first canoe


Looking to buy my first canoe. Will be for my wife and small son. Mainly half day light river excursions. I am thinking about a Mad River Explorer 14 TT. There is one close by that is around $900. Either that or an Old Town Seranac 146 for slightly less. Any strong opinions ether way? Thanks

I have same family situation, and I would recommend going longer… around 16’ and ditch the TT. There are scads of Royalex and even Kevlar Explorers out there in good shape. It wouldn’t take long to find one… much more boat, better paddling, lighter, better resale, etc. Sons grow!

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A 16 foot Explorer would be a much better choice. I would consider going bigger for the whole family.
I like 18 foot canoes for 2 people and a dog.

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MR Explorer is a great canoe, but I’ll agree that a 16 or 17 foot canoe would be a better choice, with the family. 14 foot is great for paddling solo, but tandem? Not so much. Keep looking…

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Thanks for the advice. Glad I posted. I think getting at least a 16 would be best. Will keep searching for the right one in my area. They have been pretty popular lately and sell fast.

You could look for a MR Revelation as well, as they are very roomy and not too uncommon. They are however ‘a boat’ in every sense of the term… hefting one onto the roof solo gets old fast. But very roomy for the family, dog, kitchen sink…

I had a MR Revelation years ago it handled big water. Solid boats.

This thread has taken a thread toward Mad River. There are plenty of other 16 (or longer) boats from other manufactures that would be excellent choices. BTW, my first canoe was a 16’ Royalex MR Explorer and it was an excellent boat. It’s just that if you limit yourself to Mad River, you may end up wasting paddling opportunities during your search while unknowingly passing up other excellent canoes.

Quick update. We purchased an Old Town Camper 16 Royalex. Took it out yesterday for the first time and we could not be happier! Appreciate everyones advice.