Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Bell Merlin II vs. Mad River Malecite Ultralite vs Bell Northwind

  1. Default Bell Merlin II vs. Mad River Malecite Ultralite vs Bell Northwind

    I know these boats are very different, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me what their opinions on the boats are pros and cons etc. And where they would advise getting any of these canoes.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,296

    Default

    Different, yes, and the first difference is the Merlin is a solo canoe *only* while the other two are tandems. The Malecite is small enough to paddle solo. I'm not sure about the Northwind.

    The Malecite is a V-bottomed design and I don't like those, but, along with the (also dated) Explorer, the Malecite is one of the most successful V-bottomed designs from Mad River. Moderately fast, adequately maneuverable. I wouldn't buy one, but lots of people still do.

    All of Bell's "North...." tandems are excellent cruisers, reasonably fast, tracking well, with just enough rocker to turn adequately. Not for whitewater, though.

    The Merlin is a solo boat for lakes and flattish rivers. Fast, easy paddling, adequately maneuverable. The Bell Magic has pulled some business away from the Merlin, but if a person prefers straight shaft to bent shaft, the Merlin may work better than the Magic.

    Maybe you need to tell us more about your needs....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    2,026

    Default

    Well you are looking in a lot of fruit bins.

    Not equal so I too await what you need..secondarily what you expect from the boat.

    I used to have a Merlin II.Fine design and it can be paddled sit and switch. It can do some very mild whitewater as long as you just want to ride out the main current. Hitting eddies requires some edging. And the UL layup isn't meant to meet with rocks.

    I have heard from some that the Merlin II is squirrely when paddled sitting and empty. I didn't experience that but come from a background of paddling squirrely boats.

    Rember Bell canoe is in mothballs so some models can be hard to find for a while. Of course the Malecite is an old goody that is not produced anymore either.
    "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing." WS-prophecy about internet postings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Tasmania, Australia
    Posts
    1,103

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post
    Of course the Malecite is an old goody that is not produced anymore either.
    The Malecite is back, according to the madriver website, in two composite layups. See here
    Last edited by sohojacques; 3rd-May-2011 at 01:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,296

    Default

    yellowcanoe has had to much to drink for lack of a canoe drinkholder to put the can down for a while.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    2,026

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sohojacques View Post
    The Malecite is back, according to the madriver website, in two composite layups. See here
    gotcha..I was looking at Vermont Canoe which has brought back the Indy.

    My mind is preoccupied with a Colden DragonFly.
    "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing." WS-prophecy about internet postings.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,296

    Wink More on apples and oranges

    The Bell Northwind is 17' 6", so it's strictly a tandem.

    So you're asking about a tandem cruiser, a pocket cruiser (the Malecite) that can be soloed, and a solo cruiser, the Merlin.

    Shopping used boats? There isn't much reason to compare these three boats, as the three taken together have no common purpose.

    I don't know that any of us can discuss pros and cons of each unless we base our comments on a specific purpose.

  8. Default

    I didn't realize the northwind was solely a tandem canoe I thought it was similar to the malecite in that respect. Thanks for the info, if anyone has any suggestions of other good canoes for flat water to grade 1-2 streams any help is appreciated.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •