The Boat Flotilla

16 ft Mad River Explorer (2008 Model)

  • Purchased used in June 2016, prompted by a trip down the Milk River. I’m glad I didn’t take the Grumman on that run!
  • Royalex hull
  • 33″ or 84.5 cm width at waterline
  • Weight 72 lbs (32.5 kg)
  • Max Capacity: 1100 lbs (499 kg)
  • Shallow vee hull
  • Vinyl gunwales
  • Moderate rocker
  • Considered an ideal rugged, multi-purpose (flat water/moving water), down-river, family boat
  • Serial No.: WEMPZHYWD707

Mad River 2008 Catalogue

Forum Discussion



14.5 ft Mad River Freedom Solo

  • Purchased used in June 2013
  • Solo down river/open water hybrid canoe
  • Info from Mad River website:
444 cm
77 cm
74 cm
77 cm
36 cm
51 cm
50 cm
6.4 cm
6.4 cm
750 lbs
340 kg
  • Weight: 55 pounds/25 kg
  • Vinyl gunwales


Royalex® by Spartech® is a vacuum-formed sheet laminate consisting of external vinyl layers enclosing multiple ABS plastic layers and a foam core. Each sheet is designed specifically for the intended use of that canoe. All combinations are durable and moderately light-weight. It is resistant to impact, yet has “memory” that allows it to absorb impact and return to original form. Royalex® by Spartech® is repairable should the worst-case scenario ever occur.

Moderate Rocker


  • Good balance between maneuverability and speed
  • Most versatile keel line


  • Reduced tracking than straight keel
  • Reduced speed than straight keel
  • Less maneuverable than highly rockered

Asymmetrical Hull 

  • Pros: better forward speed/glide,
  • Cons: Can be wet paddling in waves, loss of  speed/glide if paddling backwards

Shallow Arch Hull


  • Paddling efficiency and speed in calm conditions
  • Higher final stability than flat bottom
  • Maneuverable when combined with moderate to extreme rocker


  • Performance degrades in rough waters
  • Lower final stability than shallow vee

  • Serial #: WEMSRA5DD808 (in case I lose it down the river!)

17 foot Grumman

  • Purchased used in Fall 2012
  • Family tripping canoe
  • 3 thwarts
  • 75 lbs?
  • 30+ years old
  • Slight rocker
  • Pros: Stable, volumous, no maintenance, somewhat repairable, good lake canoe
  • Cons: Can dent and stick on rocks, noisy, somewhat heavy
  • Serial #: GBYD4572M83D-7C

Specs on a 17 ft model are at link below and may or may not match my current boat — I haven’t verified them.

===Former Boats====

11 ft Probe 11

Purchased May 2015, SOLD in Fall of 2015 (for the same price).

I determined I don’t have the time or physiology to enjoy using this boat. This boat requires a certain minimum hours per year to be reasonably competent at, which is more than I can dedicate to it at this stage in life (maybe after the kids are moved out??). And it’s not clear if my physiology could ever adapt to the low, kneeling position. It’s really, really hard on my legs and especially knees — I can’t last more than 5 minutes in the boat. Plus I really enjoy being able to stretch out my legs from a bench seat. I’m told yoga could help my knee issues, but I’m already maxed on out time for daily exercises. I’d like to keep my physical fitness well-rounded and not hyper-focused on a single activity.

So for now I’m sticking with my focus on touring and easy whitewater that I can manage with my existing general-purpose boats. My main enjoyment of paddling is getting out in nature and exploring new places rather than the thrill of whitewater, although I enjoy a Class 1 to 1+ rapid here and there for a change of pace.

Specs for reference:

  • Length 11’8”, Beam @ gunwale 28”, Beam @ 4” waterline 27.75”
    Approx weight 45lbs, Rocker 4.5”

The Mohawk Probe 11 is our shortest version of the Probe series. It has all of the characteristics of the longer Probes such as lots of flare in the sides for great secondary stability, rounded chines for easy side surfing and high volume ends. Smaller paddlers will like the low weight of the Mohawk Probe 11. Larger paddlers will find the Mohawk Probe 11 takes more skill to paddle, but they will enjoy the Mohawk Probe 11’s added responsiveness, small-size and added challenge.

Mohawk whitewater canoe cross-sections

Mohawk whitewater canoe cross-sections




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