Submitted: 08-25-2004 by AndyLee
I bought my Mad River Explorer 15 from Appomattox River Company in Farmville, Virginia based on their recommendation of a good all around river boat for up to Class II rivers I paddle here in Central Virginia. My Explorer is Royalex, with the IQ system and I couldn't be happier with the choice all the way around. The movable seats are a joy for getting just the right trim, it only takes seconds to move the seats, and can even be done while in the canoe and on the river. It is especially useful when I switch from tandem to solo at lunch break and go play in the rapids. I've added the front spray skirt to handle the bigger wave trains on Class II and Class III rapids, along with air bags and lacing system and padded carry yoke. The IQ system is very well thought out and performs flawlessly once you get the hang of hooking the attachments in the proper slots. I also added kevlar skid plates to bow and stern because of the sharp ledges I paddle in. At first I was surprised at the amount of oil canning in the floor in rapids, but others tell me that Royalex canoes are prone to do that, and it doesn't seem to interfere with performance at all. I bought the 15-foot instead of the 16-foot Explorer for ease of handling solo on the twisted little rivers I paddle and for car topping. I've had two 225# paddlers in this boat and still plenty of freeboard for gear. I rate it a 10 and the IQ system an 11. Well done to Mad River Canoe, they have done a really good job with this boat.