Submitted: 07-05-2006 by Eric
This spring I purchased a Madriver Explorer 16' Royalex with IQ2 gunwale. This is a great family boat as mentioned by many reviewers. The shallow "V" makes this boat extremely stable and flared hull design makes the boat very dry; however, there are few things I do not like about this canoe.
Firstly, the boat is extremely slow on flat water. With a heavier bow partner, the boat feels more like a snow plow. My friend compained that he can probably paddle a house faster than my boat. There is a reason why some call this boat, "The Madriver Cow!"
Secondly, I found the hull of this boat flexes too much. Especially for a stern paddler. Every time you make a stroke, it make a squeek sound and the seat moves side to side. My friends and I found this very annoying not to mention lost forward energy. If you get this boat, I would recommend getting rear thwart installed to make the hull more rigid.
Thirdly, I do not recomment the IQ2 gunwale. The reason is they are prone to more damages than the traditional vinyl gunwales. I had the plastic tie downs for the IQ2 but they ended up being pulled out from the gunwale and stretched out the IQ2 channels making them unsightly. Unfortunately IQ2 now comes standard for all vinyl gunwales.
Lastly, I would not recommend this boat for running technical rapids. The shallow V hull make this boat stable and allows it to track well, but it does not turn as well as it should on fast rapids.
My findings for this boat are from 10 day river excursion in northern Ontario and large lake paddling in southern Ontario in both quite and rough waters.
If you are an intermediate paddler and not concerned about primary stability, skip this boat and try a prospector design.