Mad River Lamoille 18'4"?

Discussion in 'Paddling' started by Boreal Boy, May 15, 2018.

  1. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Guide

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    I was just wondering if anyone has or has paddled the Mad River Lamoille? and if so how did it do?
    Judging by the specs it seems to have a narrow beam for its size at 33". The write up indicates its a great flat, rough and moving water tripper, I am just wondering hoe the width effects stability.

    Since missing out on an OT Tripper and then an a Tripper XL, I put out a "Big Canoe Wanted" ad on local classifieds and was offered a Lamoille, Kevlar, ash for the equivalent of $700 USD. I am still waiting for pics and more details of condition, all I know is it is in "good condition and always stored in the garage".

    I am looking for a family tripper suitable for river tripping with short sections of lite to moderate white water. I hear this hull is great on rivers but, just cant get past that beam! may be too good of a deal to pass up on but also may not be ideal for my needs. I can see it being a fast flat water tripper, not sure about the rivers.

    oh, and how would it be for poling? looking for feedback fellas! thanks.
    MR Lamoille.jpg MR Lamoille 1.jpg

    Manufacturer's Description:
    The canoe for big loads in varied conditions at top speed. Outstanding seaworthiness, loaded or unloaded, and renowned for it`s ability to keep going in the worst conditions quickly and comfortably, thanks to its modest Shallow-V hull. Superb for camping and ambitious expeditions. A great boat for larger families. Kevlar® Expedition The Kevlar® Expedition construction for this canoe is a hybrid of Kevlar® cloth and Airex foam. This canoe and construction have been running expeditions and downriver races for more than 15 years, and they make an exceptionally stiff, strong, resilient team. Ideal for river and mixed water expeditions and touring. Kevlar® Lite The ultralight Airex™ construction is ideal for deepwater paddling and portages.

    Specifications:
    Length: 18`-4:
    Width: 33"
    Centre Depth: 14.5"
    Weight: 58 lb. (Kevlar Expedition)
    Weight: 50 lb. (Kevlar Lite)
    Capacity: 1,200 lb. (6" freeboard)
    Price: $2,499 US (Kevlar Exped / wood trim)
    Price: $2,299 US (Kevlar Lite / alum trim)
     

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    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  2. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Can’t help with actual experience. But the price seems pretty good for Kevlar depending on age and condition.

    Is that a pic of the actual boat (white in someone’s backyard)?

    Love the look of white paint schemes on a canoe. Just looks plain classy.

    That’s a big’un too at 18’4”. Let us know how you like it if you happen to buy.
     
  3. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Guide

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    @HeadyBrew that is not the actual canoe, I am awaiting on pics. I agree with you, I like that cream color with ash, very classy. Yup, she's a big girl, that's what I am looking for.
     
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  4. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I'll add to what I answered in the PM.

    I wouldn't be at all concerned about the narrow beam. The longer length is going to add stability, and will at least make up for the inch or two less beam than, say, a Malecite. And it will contribute to better tracking.

    I have been under the impression that the Lamoille would handle rough water much the same as, if not better than, the Malecite. That being a standard I can measure by, the Malecite will handle straightforward smaller class 2 wave trains quite well, and stays pretty dry. Does very well in wind waves too. The Lamoille being longer, it will be more of a challenge to keep the bow pointed upstream while poling in heavy current, but will reward with better efficiency. The Mad River shallow vee hulls have a different feel to them, but respond with gusto to off-side edging for turns. It's a little unnerving if you aren't used to it, but you come up to the secondary stability relatively suddenly, right about the time the chine carves towards the on-side. It's a sportier feel and takes more finesse, IME, but works well when poling.
     
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  5. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog In the Forest Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    I've got the mad river explorer 16'6" in kevlar and love it for lakes and mellow rivers. Haven't tried it on any swift water above class 2.
    Seems like a great price if condition is good. My only concern would be the length..just a lot of boat to store and a lot of space if you simply want to putz around on a local water.
     
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  6. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Guide

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    @GreenFrog its not just to "putz around on local water", I have a Wenonah for that. it is for trips with two kids that, while they can contribute to paddling they aren't quite ready to man the bow of a canoe for the whole trip.
     
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  7. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I had one for a couple of years. It is really a purpose built boat, great for distance/hauling not a general purpose canoe at all.
     
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  8. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog In the Forest Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    Right on, I didn't mean for it to sound like that is all you would do. I think you may have found a great choice.
     
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  9. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Guide

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    It sounds like it would fit the bill as a troop/freight hauler on trips although doesn't seem like it was the moving water capability I was hoping it would have. Trade of of the great tracking I guess.
    If it's in good shape I will most likely get it and if it's not for me I know the resale on a canoe like that here would be great!
     
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  10. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Guide

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    No worries bud!
     
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  11. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    WW, what would you say are its drawbacks? (In case one turns up here ;) )
     
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  12. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    18’-4” and 33” are very close to racing canoe measurements and the very plumb stem is typical of racers which always made me wonder if the boat came off an older model race boat’s mold that was just deepened a little and built with a heavier layup. As a loaded freight hauler it was great. Empty it rode high in the water and being so tall it was a bear in any cross wind. Having such a straight hull it wanted to track which is nice in a hauler and racer, but for pleasure canoeing or gunk holing that is not a desirable feature. It definitely like to be paddled with a hit and switch style, again making me think it’s roots were from racing. At almost 60 pounds it was no lightweight either.

    At the price this one is going for, unless it’s been poorly maintained, it seems like a steal!
     
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  13. Bcelect

    Bcelect Tracker

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    I guess the only drawbacks are that it will not turn easily when you want it, and the wind will turn it when if it is not trimmed properly for the wind direction. Otherwise it is a great boat. How did you make out? Lets see some pictures. :)
     
  14. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    So, I'm just making an educated guess here that when empty, the Lamoille might turn easier with aggressive off-side edging that is fairly easy to do when poling and typical of the shallow vee - but put a load in it, and it's going to resist that and track like an arrow. Sound about right?
     
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  15. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    To the best of my recollection, it’s been a long time since I owned one and it did not stay around long. I did two back to back unsupported three week trips in Northern Maine in consecutive years. I did not expect to do anymore trips like that locally so I sold the boat off. A Mad River Explorer is a better all around canoe if I had to stay with that brand. I have not kept up with the latest and greatest boats out there but Mad River never struck me as on the cutting edge of designs.
     
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  16. ANFwoodsman

    ANFwoodsman Supporter Supporter

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    @Boreal Boy , did they ever send you pics of the canoe?

    I'm hoping it's in great shape and works out for you.
     
  17. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I'd have to agree with that. But I am a fan of the shallow vee at times, even though I know it isn't as efficient as a shallow arch, all else being equal. I find it a little friendlier in the wind. Definitely a different feel to it though.
     
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  18. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Guide

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    No, not yet. I am hoping tonight and I will post them when I get them.
     
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  19. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Guide

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    Interesting info, thank you.
    Seems a common consensus, it's a long, sleek and quick design. Someone mentioned about it in the wind, I can't imagine a better canoe for wind, low profile and a straight shooter.

    I spoke with the gentleman selling it for quite a while, after over 50 years of canoeing he has accumulated quite a collection of canoe's and his family is on his case to "reduce his inventory ".

    He said the Lamoille is at home loaded, on flat water and is not phased by wind or chop. He said he had it down the upper Miramichi a number of times in up to class III and it did find, pointed her down stream and she went. I know this is not a river runner, nor do I plan on using it as one. I like trips on all kinds of water, I especially like lake hopping so lite weight be nice for portaging and easy river runs with short sections of class II so for that I think this boat will do well. Keep in mind I have a 17' tripper and am on the hunt for a 16' river runner or prospector.

    It's tuff to judge the condition from the pics but from our conversation, ash is good, he has looked after it and oiled it, replaced a few screws and it just need to be oiled. Hull is in good shape, no damage just shows signs of lite wear/use.

    Here are some pics, let me know what you think. I think you will like it @FreeMe
    IMG_0379-2.JPG IMG_0380-1.JPG IMG_0381-1.JPG
     
  20. ANFwoodsman

    ANFwoodsman Supporter Supporter

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    Nice!!!!!

    I like that one. Looks in good shape from the photos, including the wood.

    You going to go for it?
     
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  21. Boreal Boy

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    Yes, I am going to grab it. Can't afford not to buy it at that price. It's a private sale and I f I don't like it the resale would be great here. My buddy is picking it up for me next weekend as it's close to him and he is bringing it here later in the spring .
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  22. Walking Crow

    Walking Crow Supporter Supporter

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    Mad River Canoe in the early days, Jim Henry at the helm, had its roots in down river racing. The Malecite and TW Special were both quite competitive around 40 years ago. If memory serves me correctly, the Lamoille was derived from the TW Special...I'm thinking it is not quite as deep as the TW.

    There was a miniature version in that series, the 13' solo Compatriot. I've had mine since the 1970's. The shallow V hull "wiggles" so the impression of "instability" can grab your attention. But once underway, the shallow arches and the slightly flared ends provide increased stability as the hull leans into turns etc. I've never paddled the canoe in question, but with my Compatriot and the Malecite (which I've paddled some but never owned) they can be leaned over pretty aggressively which lifts the stems and makes turning very quick.

    If you are going to be essentially solo paddling with a couple of younger "assistants", consider putting them on the seats and placing yourself kneeling behind the center thwart. Position your gear to control your trim. Maybe even build yourself a foam saddle. That narrow beam will be a blessing if you are using a single blade, but, if you can stand the teasing, a double blade would make it fly. I used to do that in my Sawyer X-17 with the kids. It had a slightly broader beam but it would move!
     
  23. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Guide

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    Great post @Walking Crow thanks.

    When paddling the Lamoille I would have my wife with me, so paddling positions is all sorted out. If i would go without her and just the kids I would take the 17' I imagine.
    This boat might not be exactly what I was looking for in a big canoe but, I can and definitely will use it for its intended use and most importantly it will get my growing family tripping comfortably in one canoe. While I was looking for something a bit more river friendly, I will still see what she can do! Considering the price, I can't afford not to buy it. Think it works out to just over $700 USD
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  24. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I don't think you can go wrong with that price, BB. I have to wonder about the class 3 claim, but that class really does cover a wide range of water. Short class 3 drops, I can probably see. Sustained class 3, not so much. But that pretty much describes the difference between eastern and western rivers, I hear, with the shorter stuff being in the east.

    Man, I like to try poling one of those on one of our bigger rivers!
     
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  25. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Guide

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    And if you go way East, our class 3 is only in the spring flush otherwise it drops easily to class 1 bones. Which I do like to maneuver through. In Downeast Maine our river drainage systems don't have a lot of source, they tend to dry down easily.
     
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  26. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That confirms my feelings that it was a retired racer :D Thanks!
     
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  27. Dennis McLeroy

    Dennis McLeroy Tinder Gatherer

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    Yes I have.
    My wife and I have done several week+ long river trips in ours.
    Carried tons of gear and lived like royalty.
    Made 20 miles a day with no great deal of exertion.
     
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