Length: 16' 0" - Width: 37.0" - Starting at: $829.00See More Details about this Canoe
First time out was with my daughter, who is in good shape. From the moment we launched it was a joy. I was nervous from the few reviews saying this was an unstable canoe, but we had no problem whatsoever. I wouldn't want to try to stand up in it, but never once did I feel it was overly unstable while sitting and paddling, or getting a stuff from a bag on the floor of the canoe. We were hit multiple times by wakes from passing powerboats from the front and side and at worst we just rocked gently.
As far as comfort this canoe rocked! The seats and adjustable seatbacks are just plain luxurious compared to any canoe or kayak I've been in. And as far as paddling, the canoe just moved right along. The lake was filled with Kayaker's and not a single one was moving faster than us and we weren't trying to go fast.
Our first day out I spend about 3 hours paddling with my wife and daughter and have absolutely no regrets about our choice. They both love it as well.
The only cons would be that the Canoe is on the heavy side, and that that the rim does trap a little water from draining when tipped upside down. Both of these are minor issues for us.
It lacks a strong sense of initial stability. While a section of the hull bottom is flattened and grooved the ends of the boat are veed. The result is a boat with great secondary stability but only so so initial stability. This is somewhat surprising for an entry level boat. My wife, who is a novice paddler, complains that the canoe feels tippy to her compared to some other canoes we have paddled. It is precisely this quality that makes the boat a joy to paddle. No, not because I like terrorizing my wife, but because the boat can be heeled and turned at will, which experienced paddlers will enjoy.
The plastic is quite durable but heavy. The molded in seats and cupholders make it difficult to kneel in the boat or paddle comfortably solo from the bow seat. The boat has no thwarts for portaging. This is best done with wheels or not at all. It will take two healthy adults to load the canoe onto the roof of a car. The seat backs are nice but I think the seats are too high to instill confidence for novice paddlers or for paddling in rough conditions such as whitecaps.
So what you get is a canoe designed for intermediate paddlers but that is marketed and made with materials that you would expect in an entry level boat. Overall its a good performer if you're looking to do tandem day trips. Overnights are possible but there are better suited canoes for that endeavor since the freeboard and handling is greatly reduced.
I've paddled this canoe on section one of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in NY and on the New, Greenbrier, and Coal Rivers located in WV. In GA I've paddled it in the Okefenokee swamp. It has done admirably in all of these venues considering I picked it up on clearance (it had a ding in it) from Dicks Sporting Goods for $350.00 Expect to pay a bit more than that for a newer unblemished model.
The seats are comfortable. The cup holders are usable. The mesh pouches are great for ziploc bagged camera and cellphone storage. The boat looks ok and is holding up well to getting dragged over brush and submerged logs here in my coastal marsh area.
I think it is every bit as capable as any other boat of it's general type...and for less money. I believe it is a good deal for the money.
First, it is basically a plastic canoe with a few molded cup holders,etc...nothing fancy or elegant. But, for an entry-level canoe it is fantastic as far as I'm concerned. Yes, it's little heavy, but hey, no one is going to manufacture a 50 pound kevlar "entry-level" canoe for 2 grand, it just wouldn't make sense or sell, and that's fine.
Second, I was able to take it for a test drive at a local lake before buying it and I have to say it is extremely stable in my opinion. The initial stability is just fine, and the secondary stability is definitely there...if the paddler just relaxes a little and let's it happen, instead of over reacting and panicking.
Anyway, very happy with it and I plan on taking it out very soon on some slow bayous and lakes in the area and I'll update my post.
Oh! And the back-rests are a very nice touch!
Went on the lake yesterday with the kids and it was wonderful. We used both canoe and kayak paddles and with the kayak paddle in action, it almost glided as a kayak. Those of you who have not tried it with a kayak paddle should. You may shelve your current paddle! The kids loved riding the waves from the speed boat wakes. Next, we will practice some re-entry as my sons do want to use the canoe as a swimming platform that they were used to with the kayak.
The only negative bit is the weight.
This thing is like a tank. The low water meant a congregation of alligators. Counted up to 60 a day, some very large. We felt quite safe in this canoe. It carried all our gear comfortably and and was very stable. My wife and I are long time kayakers and the initial stability issue that some speak of made us feel right at home. The old swivel hip technique becomes a right brain thing very quickly.
The hull design provides great forward speed, from 6 to 10 miles a day in a swamp with very little effort except when we had to break out the push pole.
By the way, for you fishermen, I mounted a Hummingbird fish finder in the boat with an in hull transducer. A little marine goop on the floor under the middle seat and 24 hrs later its there to stay. The wires and the personal water craft 12 volt battery cannot be seen. It also provides about 14 lbs of ballast. I fish out of it by myself quite a bit and I like to paddle from the stern seat. I put a collapsible 5 gal water container in the bow and it makes solo paddling in the wind a non issue. Great boat!
As for the handling of the boat, if the person in the front will steer the boat in the right direction by paddling forwards on the opposite side of the direction you want to turn, followed by the person in the back using the paddle like a rudder to help the boat make the turn faster followed by the person in the back paddling on the opposite side to speed up, the handling is fantastic. I have gone on a trip, where the person in the front of the boat was trying to control the boat like they were the person in the back and the boat handled awfully! DO NOT USE THE PADDLE IN THE FRONT LIKE A RUDDER, THE BOAT ONLY STOPS!!! Good communication helps!!!
Overall, this is a great boat and I have enjoyed the 20+ trips I have made in the 5 weeks that I have owned the boat!
It handles great solo with a 250 lb person in the center seat; very stable. With 2 on board (180lb front, 250lb rear) it started out tippy, but we soon found our center and have had no problems with it at all. With 3 on board (180lb front, 150lb center, 250lb rear) it was a wreck, literally. We didn't make it 30 seconds before we tipped it. I don't think it was necessarily the weight, but the high center of gravity; all 3 of us are 6'+ and those seats are pretty high (the center seat is lower). We finally got as much of our mass as low as possible, but it just wasn't a pleasant experience. Maybe we'll try it again with some heavy gear on board to see if that will lower the center of gravity.
I like the poly construction better than I thought I might. I've bounced and banged it over rocks and stumps without any negative effects. It also seems to hold up well to being drug through the grass and dirt to the river's edge.
Overall, I like the canoe and still give it a good 8 out of 10 since we never really planned on using it with 3 people in it.
If you want a canoe that may take a little skill development to get used to, this canoe is for you. If you are looking for a "canoe for dummies," you may want to keep looking.
Another problem with this canoe is the poor placement of the plastic supports for the seats/floor. These get in the way and limit the potential space on the canoe. You could not kneel in in this canoe because there is no way to get your feet under the seat. Spread out, kayak style, and there is no room for any gear.
This has been fun on flat water and Class I-II rivers. Solo paddling is actually fun with a kayak paddle from the center seat. It's not really a flat bottom boat, so it may feel like it rolls a bit to each side, but it's not going over unless you want it to. With a load (3 people) it sits well in the water.
It's a great beater that can take going over rocks and being dragged onto a rocky shore with no worries. Down side is that the molded cup holders take up the room that you would need to kneel or store extra gear.
We took the A16 out on its maiden voyage yesterday with just me and my wife...it was miserable. We were on the backwaters of the Wisconsin river...nice and calm with no current. After 5 minutes I told my wife to stop paddling and just sit still because I was constantly fighting to keep this thing upright. There were many times that I stopped paddling and just sat there as still as can be and for no reason at all the boat would come extremely close to tipping us out. Once when my wife bent down gently to adjust her sandal, it was enough to just about put us in the water. I spent the entire time we were out miserably countering the tipping of this boat. When we loaded it back on the car, we drove 2 hours back to where we bought it and we got our money back!
The word stable has no business being with this boat. There is no way I could put my son or my dog in the middle of this boat and feel safe that they would not tip me out.
The seats were extremely comfortable but that was all I liked about it. We went out and bought an Old Town Guide 147 for the rave reviews about its stability. I will report on that one when we get back tonight.
The only drawbacks about this canoe seem to be weight and lack of accessories. That being said, I had spinal fusion surgery 10 weeks ago, and can still get this boat on and off the roof of my Honda Odyssey by myself, and I'm short only 5'7". It's probably too heavy for one person to portage, so not having a center portage yoke makes sense. Everyone likes the cup holders. It has a drain plug so all the water comes out when it is upside down. It has a lipped gunwale like a kayak. I have been looking for a spray skirt for this. If anyone has an idea where to get one I'm interested.
It is basically maintenance free, relatively inexpensive, and has some nice comfort features. I don't care about weight in my situation. Only issue was that we were paddling in some narrow bayous so we were not so good with the sharp turns (I'm sure at least to some degree our poor technique). I could easily recommend as a fun, versatile, and easy to own canoe.
The seats are very comfortable for hours at a time, and there's plenty of room for fishing gear, etc. I got it at Dick's for $419, but I think it's still a great deal at the normal $599. Great first, and possibly only canoe we'll ever need. If there are any negatives, I suggest you eat your Wheaties if you've got to carry it far or load it yourself. At 80lbs, it's a task to roof top it, but I have managed to do so on my own a couple of times. It's also not the best for solo paddling, but I've got my kayak for that.
We paddle mostly on a large nearby lake that allows unlimited horsepower, so we've been tossed around by some large wakes. Stays upright and dry, aside from spray of course. Runs over logs & rocks in the shallow alcoves... It's a comfortable seaworthy beater.
Many knock it for being heavy, but it's only ten pounds heavier than the highest rated all-purpose tandems. The problem is not its weight as much as it's awkward -- There is no yoke.
The carry handles are simply web-strap material through a rubber sleeve. They'll break. You can buy fifteen feet of this strap material for $5 at sporting shops & repair easy enough.
**Comfort - This thing is shockingly comfortable to sit in, even long distances - The center seat leaves much to be desired, but when paddling in tandem, the seats are excellent - Surprising as they're plastic and not padded.
**Price - At just over $400.00 you come away with a canoe with a capacity of 900 lbs, yet relatively nimble enough to be used in a variety of situations.
**Stability - Overall the stability of this boat is impressive, it's a wee bit tippy/wobbly like any canoe, but it feels solid when paddling, even in rougher waters.
**Construction - Excellent choice with the material, however the center seat is a bit awkward in its design and doesn’t easily lend itself to adding a typical canoe seat for back support - This is really not a big issue, but worth noting (also, it should be noted that due to the material the boat is made of it would take little effort to add eyelets to secure a seat like you would on a kayak) - One issue with the construction I have is with the carrying handle, after a month of solid use, the bow handle broke - This is more of an annoyance than a complaint, but it did help keep me from giving the 16 a "ten"
**Weight - Eat your Wheaties...You'll get a workout moving this beast about, but it's no worse than any other canoe on the market and actually lighter than SEVERAL tandem kayaks - This is the second area that kept me from giving the MR16 a "ten" - Perhaps I'm being too picky, but my thought it that the easier a boat is to top/portage the more it'll get used...
**Agility - Let's not lose sight of the fact that it's a canoe, being the most nimble creation on water it ain’t, but it's not bad either - In fact, it tracks very well, turns easily and can handle unexpected changes to water conditions easily.
All in all, if you're looking for a canoe that is going to be used for recreational purposes and easy on the wallet you ABSOLUTELY should consider the Mad River Adv 16.
100,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!