Submitted: 01-26-2007 by Pete
Review of Explorer 16 RX. I purchased a 2002 16' royalex explorer new from a dealer. Since then I have used it on local lakes and done 2 multi-day trips on the New River (28 miles) and James River (43 miles) in Virginia. Everything from multiple Class II and III rapids while loaded down with camping gear, to very windy conditions on the lakes were done with this boat. I don't consider myself "Mr. Canoer," but I have never tipped in this boat. This a testament to its stability. It is not quick, and does not track well, but there are other boats that are designed more for that. This boat is designed to be durable- On the James I once hit a boulder squarely with the bow at around 5mph with it loaded with around 700lbs including paddlers and gear. It stopped the boat cold, and the only damage was some rock flakes embedded in the bow. No dent, no wrinkling, nothing. A speedier, better-tracking canoe would have been severely damaged or at the bottom, so there's your trade-off. This boat is a tank, and a stable one at that.