What model of Mad River Canoe is this?




What model of Mad River Canoe is this? And what is it worth?


I can’t tell what model it is
But it’s fiberglass and looks in good shape from the bad pics. In very good shape it’s probably worth $700+

The ad reads ~

“Sixteen foot white fiberglass Mad River Canoe. Canoe has wood gunnels and wicker seats. Owned by older couple who can’t use it anymore. Great overall condition -”


– Last Updated: Sep-19-12 4:48 PM EST –

A measured over all length and molded beam width would help. Mad River made the Explorer, 16'4" X 34.5' and the Malecite, 16'6"X 33" but no 16 footer in composite. It's likely one or the other of those two as they were the most common MRC tandems.

I will ask for exact measurements and

– Last Updated: Sep-19-12 6:15 PM EST –

she also said the inside was light grey in color, I'm guessing this is an explorer model. If so can I assume it's Royalex? Or are these older Mad Rivers fiberglass? I would go look at it but its half a days drive away, I don't want to over due it with bugging her because I'm not sure she knows what she has and I may get a good deal.

No you cant assume it is Royalex
Sometimes the inside of hulls are painted gray or sand.

Mad R
Malecites and Explorers are good boats. I would pay $600 for it.

Mad R
Malecites and Explorers are good boats. I would pay $600 for it.

Mad R
Malecites and Explorers are good boats. I would pay $600 for it.

Pretty certain it’s an FG Explorer
Square gunwales indicate pre 1984 model. Not a Malecite.

Pre-84 FG Explorer
is this a desirable canoe and is it worth $600?

Plus a day’s drive?
Maybe, if it really is in “great overall shape” and just what you want. Even then, 600 beans for a Explorer that old isn’t what I would call a steal. You would know your local market best, though.

that’s what I thought.
I think I will hold out. Thanks for the info.

Don’t get me wrong.

– Last Updated: Sep-19-12 8:29 PM EST –

Those Explorers were top-quality boats and to buy a comparable canoe new would put you in the 1500-2K range. $600 for that boat may be a fair price.

I was happy to pay $700 for my '91 MRC Kevlar Independence that needed new trim. If it hadn't needed a re-rail, I would have gladly paid a grand, which is probably $200 less than the seller paid for it new.

ok, this would be my first canoe so…
I will keep my eye on it. Everything freezes here so I really have all winter to look. I’d like to get a good fall or winter deal.

It freezes here, too.
Spring and fall are the seasons for good canoes on CL around here and the best get snapped up right quick if they’re priced right. Even Grummans and Discoveries seem to move. It’s mostly the beat no-name chopper-gun boats and Colemans that you’re apt to see re-posted over and over in winter around these parts. Good luck.

Mad River painted the interior of their FG canoes grey, and this looks like a Composite not an RX hull.

How about a fair price instead of cheating an older paddler into a “Good Deal”?

What’s a fair price for this
Pre-84 FG Explorer?

Take a look at it first

– Last Updated: Sep-20-12 10:07 AM EST –

Also, decide whether or not it is the right canoe for you.

The photos suggest that the boat is in good shape and the way it is stored suggests it has been cared for. But you can't see the bottom of the boat at all. You will want to examine the wood for dry rot (especially since it is an older boat). You also want to check it for "cold cracks" which are cracks through the hull originating at a point at which one of the stainless steel screws securing the gunwales penetrates the boat, extending a variable distance down the hull.

Also, if the cane seats are original, anticipate that the cane might not last too long when you start to use it, and you will either have to replace the seats, recane them, or convert the cane seats to webbed ones.

Any of the above can be dealt with (especially the bit about the seats) but would detract from the value of the boat.

The fiberglass Explorer weights about 70 lbs, so it is not extremely heavy, but no lightweight either. The Explorer is and was a very popular boat for MRC and is sort of a jack of all trades design. It is pleasant to paddle on flat water but no speed demon. It is maneuverable enough to paddle on moving water and some folks have used Explorers on easy whitewater. It is a very good tripping canoe with good carrying capacity and easy to load and unload with its single center thwart. And being 16 1/2 feet long it is just a little easier to maneuver between trees when portaging than 17+ foot long boats.

Some folks claim they have had older fiberglass boats become brittle with age. I have no doubt that happens all the time with "chopper gun" FG boats, which are pretty much junk from the get go. I have a 1979 Kevlar MRC Explorer that is not showing any signs of becoming brittle for what it is worth. I have a number of other old, good quality composite boats which likewise show no signs of hull deterioration.

Assuming the boat fits your needs and looks good in the flesh, I think the asking price is fair. You might offer $500 and see what happens. It really is rather immaterial what the owners paid for it new. It might have cost $800 in the early 1980s but $800 was worth a lot more then and if they bought it new they probably paid sales tax and maybe a delivery fee. Also, if the boat is in good shape, you pay $600 for it and decide it is not for you, you could almost certainly sell it and recoup most if not all of your money. With the rising cost of oil, the price of good composite boats has been going up steeply and will likely continue to do so.

The other considerations are what would other quality used tandem boats in your vicinity cost, and how close is this boat to where you live. At today's gas prices you can easily add a couple of hundred dollars to a used boat's cost with a round trip drive of a few hours.

Wouldn’t interest me
No one can say what the right price is for anything even if they have perfect knowledge not only of the product but of the precise goals of the buyer and seller.

All I can say is that I wouldn’t be interested in paying anything close to $800 for a 30 year old, heavy, fiberglass Explorer. Used Explorers are very common because it has been such a popular boat. Fiberglass, because of its weight, would probably be the least desirable material to me. And $800 is probably more than the cost new 30 years ago. I paid $650 for my Royalex Explorer in 1980.

If it were a 15 year old, light weight Kevlar Explorer in tip-top condition, I might think about $800.

Your interests and goals may vary.