Submitted: 05-15-2012 by Joe
I went to retreive my Mad River Monarch at Scott Smith's shop, where he builds the Superior Expedition. Scott had done some repairs on my boat. I am a big fan of the decked expedition canoes. Verlen Kruger designed the Loon and had Sawyer build it for him. He made some changes, and called the new boat the Monarch and had Mad River build it. He then started building the Sea Wind himself, under the Kruger canoe label. I have each. Simply put, the evolution of these three boats is to a larger, more stable, more voluminous, drier, and better quality boat. The Superior Expedition is a boat of a similar design with changes and improvements built in according to how Scott Smith saw fit. Scott had Verlen's blessing to build the canoe.
I found the canoe to be OUTSTANDING quality. Just beautiful. Very well finished. Built extremely tough. Nice, smooth rudder. The boat has a good glide and turn of speed. It has an amazing load carrying capacity. I cannot comment on the attributes of the canoe that would make it great for a sail rig, as I'm not into that kind of thing. But if I was to take off with a full month's worth of provisions for an excursion down the Yukon River, I could then kill and quarter a bull Moose, put it in the canoe, and still have room to spare.
This boat fills a different niche than the Sea Wind--of a slightly larger boat. I'm impressed. If I need one, I would have no second thoughts of buying one. See my equally glowing reviews of the Sea Wind and its predecessors. All great canoes. I want them all.