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Thread: Mad River Explorer 14

  1. #1
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    Default Mad River Explorer 14

    Maker's Spec

    Last edited by Chrish; 17th-March-2008 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Brought one of these second hand as my first and only (so far) open boat.
    Love it great on moving water and the big Lochs, knew not a thing about what I was buying but would buy again but in Rolyax as the TT heavy for its size. Also use this boat tandem with my wife on multi day expeditions with no problem, just leave the sink at home.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi,

    I have just ordered one of these as a first intro to solo type craft, I am
    bursting for it to come

    hoping to use it mainly on rivers for day trips and the odd tandem session.

    thats the plan anyhoo

  4. Default nice

    Hi
    I had a 14 for a while, loved it. I part exed it for the 15 which is all most the same boat.

  5. #5
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    Default

    thats the royalex one right ?

  6. Default

    hi,
    yes its the royalex, didn't find it any lighter then the 14tt. Nice canoes.

  7. #7
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    Default

    The 14TT is 14 foot 6" and weighs 32.5kg. The Explorer 15 RX is 14 foot 9" and weighs 28kg.

    Mark

  8. #8
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    Default

    Is weight the only thing that seperates the 2 materials or is the royalex more durable also?

  9. #9
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    Default

    Hi Kirkwood,

    Interesting question...the triple tough is more durable than Royalex for abrasive damage. The hull doesn't mark up when beaching on gravel or bumping and scraping in shallower water. However, the Royalex comes into its own in faster moving water where the likelyhood of larger imacts is inevitable. As a rule of thumb, RX can withstand impacts upto 8 times better than triple tough or other polyethylene hulls. It absorbs and spreads out the load. I have seen PE hulls that have over stressed and this is characteristically shown by cracks on the inside. I would normally recommend a triple tough boat for flat water cruising and slow moving rivers and RX for white water. This is a general recommendation and will depend on the skill of the paddler, water conditions etc. I hope this has helped?

    Happy paddling

    Mark

  10. #10
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    Smile

    Mark

    Thanks for the info its the 14tt I have ordered so hoping I'll like it and I guess the next one will have to be rx.

    My paddling is a mixture between Flat and moving I-II max and normally tandem so hoping it will be a good solo learning boat and a comprimise in the waterstyles.

    Ordered It from perth so I guess it may be with you guys waiting for a lift..lol

    Thanks Again.

    Darren.

  11. #11
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    Default

    FYI this boat was formerly known as the St. Croix, which is identical in every way that I can tell except the name.

  12. #12

    Default

    The only difference between the st scroix and the 14TT is the IQ2 gunwale now found on all Madriver boats with a gunwale.
    Out of the frying pan, into the fire. But at least it's warm!
    http://www.paddleworks.co.uk
    http://www.inflatable-canoes.co.uk

  13. #13
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    Default Mad River Explorer 14 tt Tweed Test Paddle

    I took my mates MR Explorer 14tt out for a paddle on the Tweed between Galashiels and Dryburgh Yesterday and thought I would share with everyone what I thought about the boat.

    Other factors worth consideration are my skills and ability in relation to the boat.

    Please note I have tried to be constructive and have no intention of offending anyone as we all love our boats!.

    Good Points:
    • Excellent at breaking in and out
    • Good secondary stability
    • Good solo boat
    • Appears to ferry really well especially when paddled on the downstream side
    • Reacts very well to bow orientated strokes
    • Reacts very well to hanging draws and draw strokes
    • Easy to empty out and re-enter on the water
    • Built to last
    Bad Points:
    • Very heavy for the size of boat
    • It is quite a bit of a struggle for large people to get comfortable with the low seating position and I would highly recommend a kneeling thwart.
    • Quite an uncomfortable yolk to use
    • It is very difficult to put your feet under the seats for getting into the kneeling position (risk of entrapment)
    • Reacts very quickly to waves and turbulence which makes it needy with the corrective strokes
    • It does not handle well in the wind
    • Feels quite sluggish when trying to maintain speed faster than the current.
    Summary: I found the MR Explorer 14 tt a boat that overall handled very well on the river and has a lot to offer but requires some experience and skill to get the best out of the boat.

    The boat does react well to the paddle and is easy to manoeuvre on the river and handled the challenging weir at Melrose with ease.

    In my opinion, I would not recommend this boat to someone who is new to canoeing but this is an excellent boat to progress into.
    Mitch

  14. #14
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    Default First paddle in my MR Exploer 14TT

    After paddling my very stable Pelican for over two years i was a little cautious when first entering my recently purchase MR Explorer 14TT.
    As Mitch pointed out above, the slightly "v" shaped hull does make for a slight tippy feeling at first but with good secondry stability i soon got used to it.
    After five or ten minutes on the water i found that the solo position ,slightlty off centre, made for excellent paddling, well trimmed and a lot easier to turn than my Pelican.
    In the wind it handle very well and did not "spin" like my other boat.

    Car topping onto the high roof of my Ford galaxy proved difficult as its not much lighter than my pelican but i guess once i get the technique i 'll be ok. I may change the carrying Yoke for a more comfortable one some time soon.

    Roy

  15. #15

    Default explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark at WWC View Post
    The 14TT is 14 foot 6" and weighs 32.5kg. The Explorer 15 RX is 14 foot 9" and weighs 28kg.

    Mark
    Hi mark my explorer is about 14foot 9 and is aTT what do think , is it a reject ?

    Miketi

  16. #16
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    Default

    Hi Miketi,

    No need to worry...we use the printed info sent by Mad River Canoes on all of our websites/catalogues etc. This info in quite often not quite spot on. We've checked all of our 14TT's and they all measure 14'9". You could not have a reject boat that is bigger than a standard boat as they all come out of the same mould. There can be small variations in weight due to very small variations in the thickness of the TT or Royalex sheet. Hope this puts your mind at rest?

    Happy paddling

    Mark

  17. #17
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    Default

    I have got an Explorer 14TT, and after looking at the spec photos?, mine has no rocker to it, ? and it possibly has a negative rocker (slight bow) to the hull.
    Is this normal for this canoe?,
    Does the spec photo show the actual 14TT,?
    It hardly been used with no damages,
    Any info please,, Thanks....

  18. #18
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    Default Outfitting my explorer

    Picked a used explorer up last weekend and spent yesterday refitting her in my living room (my wife was out for the day ). I took out the two seats as I'll be paddling solo and replaced these with a kneeling thwart and two strengthening thwarts, didn't think much of the Mad River seats or yoke anyway (bit flimsy unlike the rest of the canoe which is built like a tank). I also put in some proper floatation to replace the previous owner's laced in beach balls!

    I bought a proper kneeling thwart (more on this later) but decided that I wasn't going to fork out 15 a go for plain ash thwarts so went on a tour of local timber yards determind to make my own. Didn't have any luck finding ash so I settled for hemlock stair rods at 1.75 and gave these 8 coats of danish oil for protection.

    Everything was going great until I fitted the kneeling thwart... Got a bit confused by having to cut the end at angles, drill the fitting holes at angles and work out the difference in width between the bolts at the gunnels and the natural taper of the hull several inches lower. OK excuse over, I sawed off an inch too much rendering the 40 thwart usless! There may have been a few bad words at this point but only the dog would have heard these (and she's naturally forgiving). However one short drive to a local supplier (won't mention the name but Worcester people will know him, his farm and his chickens ) and he took pity on me and sold me two ash planks for a fiver, they were seconds but had no serious flaws, just required a little extra sanding to tidy.

    The finished article is shown below. Only one more job but I'm waiting for my mystery supplier to get a deep dish yoke into stock first.




    As for the above query re rocker I only noticed this when putting the boat onto a perfectly flat floor. It's not so easy to spot when the boat is resting on grass.

    Now ready to rock
    Andy
    ______________________
    So deep, so wide, will you take me on your back for a ride ?

  19. #19
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    Default Got a red one

    Mine arrived today - bright red & with the IQ2 vinyl gunwhales. Wonder what the wife will say when she comes back from the states . If I don't post after wednesday next week then she wasn't happy & a widow is selling a canoe...

    Anyways - time to put teets on a chicken & make some flotation bags as I can't paddle for a while [ discectomy recently - up the spine epiduaral on Monday ]

    The IQ2 system looks quite robust & a quick inspection shows that it's the same profile as caravan awning rail. My thunking is that I can utilise this and fit a strip gunwhale mount rather than at points and the strip won't pull out.

    Does anyone have real experience of the IQ2 system failing to hold? Or is it simply a matter of preferences?

  20. #20
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    Default Iq2

    Used the P type (cheap as chips !!) with the locking nut to put some air bags in as I,m just tooooo scared to drill the hull.
    My experience as little as it counts, it doesn,t matter how hard you try they will pull out. Out with the drill!!
    Last edited by RJWales; 9th-October-2009 at 06:21 PM. Reason: cant spell!!
    Rich

  21. #21
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    Default

    I use caravan awning strips in my gunwhales, available from camping shops has strips or wheel skirting sheets.
    I ran strip down the whales and riveted eyelets at 4" intervals to attach airbags and straps for add on etc.
    They will only pull out if you pull on the strip where they run through the IQ opening sections, If you tie down the strip ahead and at the end with twine ,they are ok.
    I hope this helps.
    There are many roads of freedom, One of them wet.

  22. #22
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    Default Iq2

    Best idea yet off to the camping shop!!
    Rich

  23. #23

    Smile Worries about the Triple Tough

    Hi everybody...

    I've got my heart set on a mad river explorer 14 TT, I've decided to go for the Triple Tough over the royalex as I will be running some rivers in the Alps and with some novice paddlers so she will take some bumps and I have heard that the royalex dos not react so well to the shocks.

    However, my one concern is some reports that the Triple Tough can 'oil barrel' or loose its form on the bottom.

    Heeeeeellllp!

  24. #24
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    You would be better off with the Explorer 15 Rx as it will absorb the knocks and bumbs better than the Triple tough. You will also find the Royalex lighter and make those long walks / climbs easier.

    As for the oil canning, only seemed to be a problem with the TT's - the Royalex doesn't flex as much as the triple tough and mishapen.
    Last edited by Jody wwc; 25th-March-2010 at 03:43 PM.


  25. #25
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bread View Post
    Hi everybody...


    However, my one concern is some reports that the Triple Tough can 'oil barrel' or loose its form on the bottom.

    Heeeeeellllp!
    Think that's more likley to be an issue on longer TT canoes. Can't say I had any problems with mine
    Andy
    ______________________
    So deep, so wide, will you take me on your back for a ride ?

  26. #26
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    Default

    I had a 14 TT and it NEVER oilcanned on me in any water,
    Triple tough means also triple layer, so very stiff and tough !and its a V hull , so even stiffer.
    You can bank on the toughness,
    There are many roads of freedom, One of them wet.

  27. #27
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    Default

    Sorry to say this, but whatever they call it, that rather wide 14+ Mad River Explorer/ TT is a pig.

    The only really great 14' 6" boat Mad River offers is the Guide/solo, now known as the Freedom Solo.

    It is not possible to design a decent 14 foot tandem canoe for general purpose use. Name one.

    Whitewater is another matter. There are some 14 foot tandem whitewater boats that are more than respectable, though if you're going to carry camping gear, get a 17' Old Town Tripper.

  28. #28

    Default

    After much deliberation , and reading every single review on here , i bought one of these back in November , i LOVE LOVE LOVE it , we use it as a tandem , and take my dog out in it (and sometimes a third person in a sling seat). So far it has performed well , great tracking , great in small ish waves , really stable - even when jack (the dog) decides to move from one side to the other . Pretty much it is great for what we use it for and i cant see us wanting to change it ..... well.... ever

    So just wanted to say thank you , as im not that experienced with different canoes , and would never have picked this one if it wasn't for your review section on here

  29. #29

    Default

    Had a TT for a while now. This boat needs someone with experiance to get the most out of it especialy in the wind. So even if is designed to be it is not a good entry level boat and most people (me included) will find it difficult to carry it by themselvels. But it can take a few knocks which is a plus .
    "The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.... (and trains)"

  30. #30
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    Default Just bought one, pleased

    I have just bought one of these second hand and am really pleased with it. I have been a white water kayaker for some 20 years paddling open boats from time to time and got into this more this year.

    A friend has a Explorer 16 and I have paddled this on short, long and over night trips and this motivated me to buy a boat and when I tried other boats I found myself always coming back to the Explorer, and the 14 foot one.

    I am now planning some trips on a variety of rivers upto grade 3, and some of them as over night trips.
    Just want to do more paddling

  31. #31
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    Default

    Owning a 16tt for a while and having the chance to paddle a 14tt at Ullswater at the big meet, it was suprising how responsive it was compared to the huge thing I normally paddle. Will consider a 14tt as my next craft of choice. (if I can bring myself to sell the 16tt).
    The older you get, the older you get, the older you get. Damn! Where was I?........ Where`s my glasses? Who the hell are you?

  32. #32
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    Default

    One canoe is never enough. Keep the 16 and get a 14.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  33. #33

    Default

    I'm a newbie and am thinking of the MR 14tt at the moment.

    I need a versatile (and cheap) starter canoe for me and my 10 year old daughter, but not too unwieldy that it can't be soloed easily (and "soloed" with the 10 year old on-board some times). The weight could be an issue but we will only be on big lakes with no need to do any portage.

    Whatever we get needs to be bullet proof as the lakes we intend to use vary significantly in level and there are always a lot of submerged rocks (I have found most of the "local" ones near where we take our summer holidays with our old fishing boat and the outboard's propeller(s) etc. ). Landing also very rocky.

    We will also be hauling quite a bit of kit sometimes for camping on islands etc.

    Does the IQ2 system allow airbags to be inserted into the slot system (we may go down some very short small low grade white water between lakes (koski) so that would be good to have).

    Any help greatly appreciated.

  34. #34
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    Default

    Great choice for a bombproof hull. (Can you get 'Venture Canoes' in Finland? I don't know what the import duty would be but in the UK, they're lower in price than many hulls and are also bombproof.)

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  35. #35

    Default

    no airbags can be attaches to de iq, they had some lash system. If your shop has still some in stock you could use it. But I think drill..

  36. #36
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oravasaari View Post
    I'm a newbie and am thinking of the MR 14tt at the moment.

    I need a versatile (and cheap) starter canoe for me and my 10 year old daughter, but not too unwieldy that it can't be soloed easily (and "soloed" with the 10 year old on-board some times). The weight could be an issue but we will only be on big lakes with no need to do any portage.

    Whatever we get needs to be bullet proof as the lakes we intend to use vary significantly in level and there are always a lot of submerged rocks (I have found most of the "local" ones near where we take our summer holidays with our old fishing boat and the outboard's propeller(s) etc. ). Landing also very rocky.

    We will also be hauling quite a bit of kit sometimes for camping on islands etc.

    Does the IQ2 system allow airbags to be inserted into the slot system (we may go down some very short small low grade white water between lakes (koski) so that would be good to have).

    Any help greatly appreciated.
    MR14TT is just great, take a look at the thread about the river Till from last Sunday, you'll see me and my 7year old daughter. Best boat I had so far! Just order a 20 air bag and lash it in, no hassle! Hope you get what you want!
    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...063#post313063
    Last edited by Sundowner; 18th-January-2011 at 04:27 PM.

    "Der Hirsch springt hoch,
    Der Hirsch springt weit.
    Es macht ja nichts........
    Er hat ja Zeit"

  37. #37

    Default explorer 14 tt

    I have had my explorer 14 tt for about 5 or 6 years, i use it in estuaries for paddling and fishing, alone and with various friends and family members
    Pros
    just light enough to load on my own
    As tough as old boots, i had to drag it 1/4 mile along the foreshore last week! no damage
    zero maintenance in the time i have owned it
    it can live outside (upside down of course)
    the simple seating allows you to paddle it alone by turning it the wrong way round (some of the fancier seats preclude this)

    Cons
    I dont know if this is a one off but the original one i bought "oil canned" like hell the shop swapped it for a new one with no hassle, the problem was that rather than a shallow vee, my hull is more like half a barrel! and is very tippy the variation in two "identical" hulls suggests that you should carefully inspect these to make sure you are getting what you are paying for....dodgy QC at mad river?

    overall though a great canoe

  38. #38

    Default

    Well, I will be going for the bullet proof MR Explorer 14 in the next few weeks. Seems like the best compromise for my needs.

    Many thanks for all the advice people.

    The snow is melting here now; and soon after the lake ice will be going; so I'm getting jumpy!

    I will post a blog entry of exploits in the Lake Keitele Region of Central Finland in due course.

    Oravasaari, Finland.

  39. #39
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    Default

    The Explorer 14 is gone from Mad River's line ! Praise the Lord, it shouldn't have been in the line to begin with. To those of you praising it as a solo, what can you be thinking? Wide! Too wide for its length! And its weight !

    Now, if you wanted a tandem that is short, and slow, and heavy, it is at least adequate, but as a solo canoe? I hope to meet you on the river in my Mad River Guide/Freedom Solo, so that I can run rings around you under all conditions.

    Please try to avoid selecting canoes based on low cost. If my Freedom Solo displeases because it won't work as a tandem, get an Explorer 15, or a Legend 15.

  40. #40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ezwater View Post
    The Explorer 14 is gone from Mad River's line ! Praise the Lord, it shouldn't have been in the line to begin with. To those of you praising it as a solo, what can you be thinking? Wide! Too wide for its length! And its weight !

    Now, if you wanted a tandem that is short, and slow, and heavy, it is at least adequate, but as a solo canoe? I hope to meet you on the river in my Mad River Guide/Freedom Solo, so that I can run rings around you under all conditions.

    Please try to avoid selecting canoes based on low cost. If my Freedom Solo displeases because it won't work as a tandem, get an Explorer 15, or a Legend 15.
    Interesting to get a contrarian opinion. I am still thinking to go cheap as chips as a first 1.5 person canoe with the MR14TT. It will spend the winter (minus 30ish) on the lake shore (chance of being pinched) and weight is not an issue (no/limited portage etc). I need cheap and bullet proof to begin with. I suppose it is like any other newbie experience ( in any sport or pastime) i.e., get a cheapie and then upgrade to the equipment that suits your eventual/developing preferences. I can see a second (Daddy's) canoe appearing later! A cheap and robust (permanently resident) canoe will always be a useful utility up where we take our summer holidays.

    Worryingly (for my wallet), I have just noticed that it's possible to paddle from Helsinki (Home), along the coast and then 500km north through the Finnish lakes into Central Finland and Lake Keitele. I feel a second canoe order and an extended (1 month) holiday trip coming on.

    Will still go for the 14tt though as a first 1,5 person canoe (me 80kg daughter 30kg) my local shop has them piled to the ceiling and they are doing a good cheap package deal.

  41. #41
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    Default

    Did someone say "tippy"? Just recently another guy suggested that it was tippy! I can't understand that as I feel it is the most stable boat I've been in!!!
    Only reason I'd ever sell it is size, need one with 15'8"

    "Der Hirsch springt hoch,
    Der Hirsch springt weit.
    Es macht ja nichts........
    Er hat ja Zeit"

  42. #42
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    Default

    Thing is that length contributes to stability, as well as width. A longer canoe can be narrower, and can be shaped more for speed. A short canoe, especially a short tandem canoe, may have to be wide for stability, and there goes the speed, and some aspects of handling.

  43. #43

    Default

    I have had the 14 TT for more years than i remember now probably since 2006 ish i have some experience of these so thought i would post
    I originally bought a green one which was good and stable, until i added my other half at the front at which point it oil canned horribly i took it back and the dealer swapped it out with no quibbles for a red one which i have to this day. on the positive side it is utterly indestructible, lives outside in all weathers, gets dragged up and down the beach, used as a tender for my boat fully loaded with masts outboard etc, i have had 4 people in it back from the pub etc etc, it is truly tupperware.
    On the bad side the hull shape is completely the opposite of the original green one, the red one is almost half round, ie there is no shallow Vee going on here whatsoever. I have grown in to this canoe and am used to it now, but it is SERIOUSLY unstable.
    I understand these are made in the UK now, and hope they have sorted out there quality control, but when i bought mine the variation in the hull shape of two "identical" canoes was massive. Had i known what i know now about canoes i would have returned the second one as well, but at least it saved me getting a different boat as my paddling improved :-) I would watch out for this if buying an older second hand one .

  44. #44

    Default

    oops just realised i posted the same thing 2 years ago......still the same though and still going LOL

  45. #45
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    Default

    Excellent thread, thanks for all the info... Seriously considering the Explorer or an OT Charles River.

  46. #46
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    Default

    Decided to buy one of these... Can't wait to get it out on the water tomorrow.

  47. #47
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    Default 'Proudly made in the UK'

    Well I never....

    http://www.madrivercanoe.co.uk/produ...le/explorer_tt

    "EXPLORER TRIPLE TOUGH SERIES

    Manufactured Triple Tough for years of rugged, maintenance-free reliability, the Explorer TTs also offer versatility and stability for tandem paddlers or the whole family. Now proudly made in the UK.

    Paul

  48. #48
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    Exclamation

    Made in the UK?


    Now paddling Either a Gumotex Palava 400 Or a Gumotex Solar Pro 410c and LOVING IT!

  49. #49
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    Default

    If you set it up for solo, get your sitting/kneeling position up close to the center thwart, so that you can reach forward, past that 36" beam.

    I admit that I don't like this particular example of Mad River output, but for practical reasons, a lot of UK folks seem to be happy with them.

  50. #50
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    Would some of those who have the 14 TT care to measure the width at the boat center? The Mad River specs say 36", but when the initial version (the "St. Croix") was independently tested, the beam was 37.5". Even 36" is wide for a solo.

    Comparing catalog and independent photos and illustrations of the 14TT and the Royalex Explorer 15, they are not the same hull. The Explorer 15 appears to have somewhat less rocker, and the conformation of the ends is different. Mad River could *not* have used the same mold for the two boats, because of differences in the molding process, and given that the Explorer 15 appeared later, we can assume that Mad River re-thought the design, probably drawing on all the v-bottomed predecessors, the Explorer 16, the 14TT, and the Guide Solo.

  51. #51

    Default

    Hello......... I've done some kayaking in the past, but am new to canoeing. I have done some research and decided that I would like to buy a used explorer 14. I have a few queries. What are the differences (if any?) between the 14 and the 14tt? when did they stop making the 14? When did they start making the 14tt? Do I need buoyancy bags for taking it on the Thames? Do prices of used Canoes drop in Winter? Hope someone can answer my queries. Many thanks, Phil

  52. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ulverston, Cumbria
    Posts
    1,173

    Default

    Prices vary at any point. It depends how lucky you are. A 14ft will be harder to come by than 16ft which might also affect the price.

    Buoyancy is an interesting issue. If there's space adding it will aid a rescue. Some people will happily say don't use it on flat water. Personally I'd use some.

  53. Default Air bubbles in mold

    I bought a 14TT this spring, I just now noticed that there are small dots all over the outside of the canoe. It looks like small air bubbles. Is this normal, or cause for concern?

  54. Default

    Beautiful

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