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Submitted: 03-28-2007 by jackaroo

I recently purchased the Explorer 16' in Royalex with IQ2 and cane seats from REI. The purchase was made easy through REI and the shipping company was a pleasure to work with (Yellow Freight). The boat had to be shipped from WA to NC and it arrived with very minimal damage (I actually expected more). I was a little upset that the boat had so many factory blemishes. While I know it is still considered "1st Quality" it has more blemishes than I would like out of a boat. But what the hey, if I wanted this boat I had to order REI without seeing it first. Regardless the boat is a pleasure to paddle so far and I can't imagine ever growing out of it. While it's not the fastest boat on flat water it is very stable. My first time in it was with my wife and she is very ancy about tipping in a canoe. Her remark was that the boat is much more stable than she ever expected. My second trip out in the boat was with my 80lb 2 year old lab. He had never been in a canoe before but he enjoyed the heck out of it!!! The boat did amazingly well with just the two of us.

So far I enjoy the IQ2 system very much. I use to outfit OT, MR, and Wenonah boats back in the day. I have to say... the IQ2 system is just as strong for what I will need to lash in! Besides Mad River won me over with the 2 complimentary cup holders! They work great too!

I am giving this boat an overall 8 for now as I it is handling exactly like advertised. If it was advertised as a fast ride I would give it a 7. If Mad River would have been more careful in pulling the mold I would give it a 9. If Mad River would have taken their time building the boat I would give it a 10. Regardless of blems I love the ride and expect to keep this one around for a long long time!

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