Submitted: 09-03-2002 by meat094
The first thing to know before buying the Revelation is to realize that it is designed for RIVER tripping. It will not track (or go in a straight line) well because it has 3" of rocker (raised bow and stern). This boat is designed to give the paddler a mix of quick maneuverability, stability, and tracking. What that means is that it will do all of these things well, it will not excel at any of them.
With that said, If you want a canoe with acceptable speed and tracking, and very good maneuverability, intial stability, and secondary stability, than this is the boat for you. This boat will gobble up gear, and never lose a bit of it's performance. However, do not plan on paddling this boat by yourself. With a freeboard capacity of 1200 lbs, its like a cork with only one person. I have owned this boat for year and have used it on many trips, both flatwater and moving. Although it is slow compared to my friends' flatwater boats, I can run rivers without the arm strain of trying to turn a boat with a keel.
The only thing I don't love about this boat was that it was only available with wooden or aluminum gunwales. I would have been much happier with vinyl because it is easier to care for and more indestructable than wood, and much better looking than aluminum. Mine is the color cherry, with ash gunwales, and it looks like a piece of art.
Below you will see this boat compared to a log, and a diving platform. If you want straight line tracking and speed, buy a composite boat with a full keel and slight to no rocker (From Mad River, look at the Lamoille, or the Malicite). But if you want to trip on moving water (I have had mine in class III whitewater), than definately look at this boat.
By all means, you should paddle every boat before you buy it. Buying a boat before you've paddled it, is like buying a car without driving it. Most companies do demos all over the country throughout the summer.
P.S. I am not a Mad River representative, I do however work in a store that sells boats (although not Mad River canoes), and love their products.