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Submitted: 12-31-2002 by JJM
I cherish this boat. Purchased in 1990, the fiberglass hulled boat with ash trim, has been in constant use throughout the year(s). I ran this boat in the 16.5 mi Kenduskeag race in Maine for 11 years fitted with a pair of air bags. The water is a mix of class 1,2,3 and quickwater. The shallow hull is not designed for big waves but an experienced paddler can finesse the boat through head high waves. Wind is not a problem for this low profile hull. I would shy away from using it on big windy lakes with high waves because of the shallow depth of the hull. I've never flipped over when it counted, but have been swamped. Manuverability is excellent for it's intended purposes. Ferried some fast water directly above a 2 foot drop after loosing commitment to a line. It will do what you ask. Stability is excellent in both quiet and fast water. I pole this boat while standing to complete some upriver return trips and in a kneeling position can ascend some mild rapids. It's relatively light wieght of 46lbs(?) makes this boat very desirable for frequent use. With an ice hook it can enter and exit across ice shelves when the rivers begin to close down for the winter. The hull design allows a shallow draft which translates into summer time paddling on rivers that others abandon for being too bony. Weighing about 220, I need about 5 or six inches of water to float.
For what it's worth, this hull gets a lot of compliments for it's looks.
Like golf clubs, guns or cars there a multitude of designs intended for every subtle nuance of use. There are hull designs for whitewater, big lakes, small lakes, big rivers, small rivers, overnight trips, day trips, tandem, solo, solo/tandem. It's all personality dependent. Make yourself crazy or take comfort in the broad selection. The 'Indy' does it all, to a point, and does it well and looks good doing it. It is relatively fast and more than adequately responsive. The kevlar hull, at 36lbs, would be a better choice as weight is a large factor in how often a boat is used. The contoured cane seat is very comfortable but really needs to be adjustable for trim. A sliding pedestal saddle would be nice. I added a home brewed foot brace which I pop in for trips where time and distance are important.
The placement of the inner to outer gunnel attaching screw and rear seat mount bolts are too close and will eventually weaken the inner gunnel. Suggest plugging the screw hole moving it a few inches rearward and adding another screw a few inches forward of the rear mounting bolt.
A drawback for me, is that Mad River has not at all been responsive to my phone or email questions. This is a concern as I own three of their hulls. I wanted to put a pedestal sliding saddle in my Mad River Traveller, ended up speaking to a friendly guy at Wenonah who took the dimensions and had one in the mail within days.
Great boat..... size, weight, speed, stability, construction, appearance and responsiveness makes this boat a winner.