ca n o e a n at o m y
Legend of t he Mad Riv er R abbit
or 40 years, the name Mad River Canoe has been
Every great symbol has a legend. Sitting at the bow of every
synonymous with quality and innovation. Our canoes provide
Mad River Canoe is ours. The story of the Confident Rabbit is
the highest level of owner satisfaction in the industry.
rooted in eastern Native American lore. As the tale is told, the
We sincerely thank you for choosing Mad River Canoe as the
s t ern s eat
gun wa le
cen t e rli ne
bow seat
st e rn deck
pl at e
bow deck
pl at e
his pipe, even though his mortal enemy, the Lynx, prowls
that special spot on the calm water or trekking to the edges of
nearby. The Confident Rabbit is not concerned, for he relies
the unknown, our canoes will provide you the performance
on his wisdom and own strengths and will escape the Lynx as
and confidence to get you there for years to come.
he has time and time again.
The symbol of the rabbit represents Mad River Canoe’s
Canoe Anatomy
Getting Started
y oke
Confident Rabbit sits comfortably amidst the ferns enjoying
means to your adventure. W hether you’re daydreaming of
T hwa rt
a mi ds hi p
pledge that our canoes are built to the highest standards of
7 Storage
8 Gunwales & Hull
Care & Maintenance
10 Warranty Information
st em
reliability and performance in the industry to give you the
wat e rli ne
same confidence as the rabbit. It’s that confidence in your
canoe that allows you to focus on the environments and
fr eeboa rd
dr a f t
adventures that await of you, trusting your boat will get you
there, and safely home again.
This owner’s manual and additional information
is available at
get t ing sta rt ed
I mp ortant: Chec k Hardwar e
In sta l l in g Gra b Loo p s
It is possible for fittings to work loose during shipping
and handling. Check each seat, yoke, thwart, etc. to
ensure it is firmly attached to the gunwales. Tighten
any loose fittings with a Phillips head screwdriver
and a 7/16" wrench.
Included with your canoe is a packet containing two
lengths of cord to be used for grab loops at the ends
of your canoe.
Thread one cord through the hole under your deck at each
end of the canoe and tie off into a loop. A fisherman’s
or Flemish knot is strongly recommended for
strength. It is also recommended that you set up
3/16" – 1/4" diameter “painter” lines approximately
8-10' in length at bow and stern of the canoe for
added security when landing or tying off the boat
to shore. They can be tied off to the carry handle
behind each deck or to the grab loops. Keep lines
coiled when not in use and out of the way.
Note: Adventure 14 and 16 are equipped with grab
safet y
Notic e : Stat e R eg u l ation s
Some states require that all canoes be registered.
To register your canoe you will need your
Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO). This
serves as the title to your canoe and should have
been provided when you took delivery. If not, check
with your retailer. If it has been lost, have your dealer
contact Mad River Canoe and we will provide a
• Wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation
device (PFD).
• Never exceed your ability and assess how far
and how long you can paddle and swim.
• Wear a helmet when paddling whitewater or in
the ocean.
• Never paddle alone.
• Get paddlesports instruction from a licensed or
certified instructor.
Note: Make sure the serial number on your MSO
matches that on your hull.
Any person using Mad River Canoes assumes all
risks and takes complete responsibility for any
and all damages, or injuries, including death,
which may result from use or participation of Mad
River Canoes.
F inding Y o u r Se ria l N um b e r
Consult your physician prior to beginning your
paddlesport training.
• Check your equipment prior to each use for signs
of wear or failure.
Your canoe’s serial number is stamped on a brass
plate or inscribed on the right side of the stern under
the gunwale. You should record the serial number in
the space provided on the last page of this manual
for future reference. Your serial number is essential
to reclaim a lost or stolen canoe, or to register and
obtain warranty service.
• Dress appropriately for weather conditions; cold
water and/or weather can result in hypothermia.
• Scout unfamiliar waters. If necessary, paddle to
shore and carry your boat past uncertain areas.
• Stay aware of appropriate river water levels,tidal
changes, dangerous currents, and weather changes.
• Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for use
and outfitting of your canoe.
• Leave your paddling location and agenda with
someone at home before departing.
• Abide by all precautions placed on hull by
• Obtain certified first aid and rescue training and
carry first aid and rescue equipment.
Any person using canoes built and/or sold by
Mad River Canoe is personally responsible for
determining that their abilities are equal or superior
to the conditions encountered and exercising proper
judgment in choice of where and when to paddle.
• Never consume alcohol, drugs, or any other
substance that may affect your coordination,
judgment or ability when paddling.
• Never paddle in flood conditions
• Never allow minors to use the boat without adult
• Avoid bracing yourself in the canoe in such a
way that you have to release any outfitting to
• Do not use electric or gas motors without
determining if motor power is appropriate for
your model of canoe. Do not exceed weight or
power limitations where stated.
st or age
t r a n s p o rtat i o n
S port R acks
Ot her T ran s portation M et h ods
Sec u ring and Pos itioning
The sport rack systems consist of two rigid steel
crossbars supported by feet or towers that are clipped
into your vehicle’s rain gutters or doorframes. The
canoe rests on the crossbars and must be tied off
bow and stern to the vehicle and at each crossbar.
These racks are very secure and function well for
long distance hauling at high speeds. It is important
to ensure that the rack is rated adequately for the
weight of your canoe.
If you plan to carry your canoe in the bed of a pick-up
truck, be aware that the canoe will be considerably
longer than your bed and may extend far enough
out behind your vehicle to require a red warning
flag. Tie your canoe snugly into the bed and run it
parallel to the vehicle; do not angle it to one side or
the other as this can result in the canoe extending
into neighboring traffic lanes.
Canoe should always be carried gunwales-down to
avoid the chance it could fill with rainwater. A canoe
full of water will weigh in excess of a 1000 lbs. and
no vehicle is able to support that much weight safely.
Make sure your ropes or straps are snug and tight
but not so tight that they deform the hull in any way.
Be careful tensioning the bow and stern tie downs
as it’s easy to overstress the hull by over tightening
these lines. Periodically check that straps remain
at proper tension and are not chafing or wearing
themselves, the vehicle, or the boat.
F oam Block R acks
Foam block systems are the least expensive and
also less secure than sport racks. They consist of
four foam blocks with milled slots to fit over the
canoe gunwales. The canoe rests on the roof on
these blocks and is secured at either end by ropes or
straps running to the car and by a single or multiple
over center straps or rope. Foam block systems
are fine if you’re hauling your canoe locally and
are handy when making a shuttle run, but are not
recommended for long trips at highway speeds.
T ips
On hot sunny days, relieve the tension in
your tie downs if you’ll be leaving the canoe
on a stationary vehicle for any length of time.
Rainy weather will often result in ropes or straps
stretching and becoming loose so check them
periodically in the event of inclement weather.
If using a bar rack overhead straps or ropes
should be routed inside of the rack towers.
Canoes are best stored hull up/gunwales down
on evenly spaced supports, such as sawhorses or
beams securely attached to a wall or via web slings.
Supports should be positioned approximately 1/3rd
of the canoe length from each end.
If possible, store the canoe indoors in a heated area,
but do not place near a direct source of heat or
chemical vapors, such as a furnace or car exhaust.
Take caution if the canoe must be stored outdoors
that it is securely tied down and not exposed to
elements such as falling tree branches or snow loads.
Before storing for winter, also be sure to treat the hull
with a UV protectant such as 303 Aerospace Protectant
(found at If your canoe has wood
gunwales, apply a fresh coat of Gunwale Guard (found
at before storing as well.
Royalex is susceptible to shrinkage when exposed
to freezing temperatures. A sheering fracture
(“cold crack”) is a potential hazard if you live
in areas with rapid temperature fluctuation or
freezing temperatures. Cold cracks appear as most
commonly as vertical cracks in the sides of the hull.
Cold cracking is not covered under the canoe’s
warranty as they are related to material limitations
not material defects. Cold cracks are repairable
and assistance can be obtained by contacting
your local dealer or Mad River Canoe.
S p ort R acks
F oa m Blo c k R ac ks
Roya l ex Cano e s
w it h Wood Gun wa l e s
Royalex canoes with wood gunwales are the most
susceptible to cold cracks. It is critical that the
wood gunwales be kept well oiled to help minimize
the likelihood of cold cracks. Mad River Canoe
recommends the following procedure to properly
store your Royalex canoe with wood gunwales for
winter if heated storage is not available:
1) Apply 303 Protectant to interior and exterior of hull.
2) Back out all gunwale screws except for the middle three in each gunwale with Phillips head screwdriver.
3) Lift gunwales and deck off canoe at each end and slide a piece of 1” thick wood between gunwales and top of hull.
4)Oil gunwales thoroughly with Gunwale Guard, paying particular attention to the inside surface of the gunwale that rests against exterior of hull.
Also apply oil to underside of decks at each end of canoe.
5)Do not move or bump canoe if temperatures are below freezing. If snow is piled up on hull, remove with a broom. Do not lift and tilt canoe to free snow load.
6) In spring, apply coat of Gunwale Guard to gunwales.
7) Remove wood spacer and set gunwales in place on hull. Clamp gunwales in proper alignment with top of hull.
8) Reseat screws starting at center and working
towards ends. Start all screws before tightening fully.
Roya l e x Canoe s
w it h Viny l Gu n wa l e s
1)Apply 303 Protectant to gunwales as well as hull. Be aware that gunwales will be slippery immediately after application.
2) If rapid decrease in temperature is forecast, covering the hull with an insulating blanket will lessen the likelihood of any cold cracks. Do not leave blanket in place if not needed.
Roya l e x Canoe s
w it h A l umin u m G u n wa l e s
1) Inspect gunwales for any scratches penetrating the black finish. Lightly sand the scratch and cover with flat black enamel paint.
2) If rapid decrease in temperature is forecast, covering the hull with an insulating blanket will lessen the likelihood of any cold cracks. Do not leave blanket in place if not needed.
Av oid t he fo ll ow ing:
• Do not store the canoe leaning on its side or flat on the ground as this can deform the hull or flatten the hull over time.
• Do not suspend the canoe right side up by hanging from the grabloops as this can increase the rocker (curvature of keel) of the hull.
• Do not place any objects on top of the canoe as this can also deform the hull.
Cau tion: U sing Cov er s – A cover will provide some protection from the elements but do not let the cover rest directly on the hull as the cover
will trap condensation and this can discolor the hull. Set wood or foam blocks on top of hull and drape cover over these risers to create an air space between hull and
cover. Make sure cover is secured so it will not blow off.
Each gunwale is treated to multiple coats of
Gunwale Guard before shipping from the factory.
It is necessary to reapply Gunwale Guard to your
gunwales periodically for maximum longevity. The
actual frequency will be determined by amount of
use and type of storage. Frequently used canoes
that are stored out of doors will need the most
frequent applications. Plan on a minimum of 4
applications annually: when you remove canoe
from winter storage, twice during the paddling
season, and again when you prepare the canoe for
winter storage. Application of Gunwale Guard is
not complicated or time-consuming:
Roya l ex canoe
w it h w ood Gun wa l es
Remove the top deck plates at least once a year and
treat exposed gunwales with Gunwale Guard. Use
Mad River’s Gunwale Guard Stain if your canoe
has dark stained gunwales to restore color. Canoes
stored outdoors will naturally grey as they weather.
You can restore the blonde finish of the gunwales by
sanding them or by rubbing them down with a weak
bleach solution.
1)Clean Gunwales with a mild cleanser and sand with medium grit (120+) sandpaper until dry.
2)Apply liberal coat of Gunwale Guard with bristle brush, foam brush or rag.
3) Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and wipe off excess
with clean rag. Check to make sure oil has not
dripped onto hull.
4) Flip canoe over onto gunwales and repeat process
on bottom side of gunwales.
5) Repeat process to apply oil to decks, carry handles, and seat trusses (and footbrace if canoe is so equipped.) Do not oil varnished seats, yokes, or thwarts.
If your canoe has dark stained gunwales, apply coat
of Gunwale Guard Dark Stain to gunwales following
procedure as described above.
Periodic application of 303 Protectant is
recommended to prevent gunwale from becoming
brittle or fading in color. Apply according to
manufacturer’s instructions. Be aware gunwales
will be slippery immediately after application. Use
caution in handling canoe.
The black surface finish can be scratched or
abraded over time exposing aluminum surface.
Lightly sand scratches or abrasion with fine grit
sandpaper. Wipe surface clean with denatured
alcohol and apply coat(s) of flat black enamel paint.
Aluminum gunwales should be rinsed with
fresh water after exposure to salt water to reduce
possibility of corrosion.
Hull s
Modern hull materials require very little
maintenance other than periodic cleaning and UV
protection. 303 Protectant works very well with all
hull materials. Waxing your hull is not recommended
because it does not adhere well to Royalex or
Polyethelyne hulls and inhibits more effective
protectants such as 303 Protectant.
T ri pl e T o ugh ™ ( T T ) H u l l
(Rotomo lded 3 Lay e r Po ly et h y l en e )
Most dents or depressions will often work themselves
out if left exposed to bright sunlight. Heating the
hull with a hair dryer or hot air gun can restore more
serious dents. Be careful to keep heating moving
and do not bring heat source directly into contact
with the hull. Heat on side of the hull with dent
and press against the other side of hull with hand
to push back into position. Be careful of excessive
heat, which can melt the Triple ToughTM skin.
Over time, outer layers of the hull can abrade,
exposing the core. If this occurs, the hull exterior can
be welded. Contact your local authorized Mad River
Canoe dealer for information.
Poly et h y l ene H ull s
Periodic treatment with 303 Protectant will help
maintain factory color intensity. These hulls are
exceptionally durable, but extensive damage or
numerous cracks must be welded to repair. Eventually
the integrity of the hull could be lost after many
repairs and should be retired, recycled, and replaced.
C omp o s it e H u l l s
Roya l ex ® by Spart ech ® H u l l s
S eat s, T h wart s, Y o kes
If the hull is damaged, identify whether it is cosmetic
or structural. Test for increased flexibility in the area
around the damage. Compare side of canoe with
damage to like area on the other side for lessened
rigidity or broken fabric feathers or strands which
indicate structural damage.
Most dents or abrasions need no attention as
Royalex® by Spartech® is a very durable material.
If dents are significant, you can often re-expand
the hull in the damaged area by heating with a
hair dryer or heat gun. Keep heat moving at
all times and do not bring source of heat into
contact with the hull. Heat on the side of hull with
the dent and press against other side to bring back
into position.
Any nicks or cuts in the marine spar varnish should
be recoated as soon as possible. Lightly sand with
fine grit sandpaper, wipe clean, and apply several
thin coats of varnish, allowing each coat to dry
before the next application.
Most superficial scratches can be removed by wet
sanding with 200 or 400 grit sand paper followed
by rubbing and/or polishing compound. Shallow
scratches are generally best left as-is or color
matched using aerosol spray paint.
If gel coat is cracked or chipped it will be necessary to
remove loosened or lifted gel coat and fill repair area
with color-matched gel available from your local Mad
River Canoe dealer.
If structural damage occurs, Kevlar and Fiberglass
Repair Kits are available from your Mad River
Canoe dealer. Professional assistance may be
required from your dealer or someone with
experience repairing canoes.
Periodically inspect the bottom of your hull to
determine if scratches have penetrated the interior
layers of the hull. If you can see the fabric-like weave
of the fiberglass cloth, then you should repair the
area to prevent further damage.
If outer skin reveals the next layer of differing color,
protect hull from UV degradation by spray painting
exposed area. Cut away lifted portions of skin
with a sharp knife before painting exposed layers.
If the underlying layer is cracked or flexible when
pushed, it will require repair. Harmony offers a
Royalex patching resin. If the foam core is flexible,
addition of multiple layers of fiberglass or Kevlar
cloth on the interior hull may be necessary.
Materials can be obtained through your local
Mad River Canoe dealer.
For whitewater or shallow rivers, Kevlar skid plates
should be considered on the ends of the boat. These
reinforcements protect the end of the boat from
impact of abrasion.
An annual application of varnish to the cane in the
seats will extend their longevity. Do not sand the
cane; simply apply several light coats of varnish.
Also, do not sand or varnish the webbing in the
webbed seats.
li m i t e d lif e t i m e w a rr a n t y
T e rms and C ondition s
Ob taining Warranty S erv ice
For the original retail purchaser (“Consumer”),
Mad River Canoes by Confluence Watersports
provides a lifetime warranty against material or
manufacturing defects in the hull.
Parts, accessories, and outfitting (including gunwales)
are warranted for a period of one (1) year against
material or manufacturing defects from the date
of purchase.
For Mad River Canoes sold as “2nd quality” as
indicated on the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin
(MSO), Confluence Watersports provides this limited
warranty for five (5) years for the hull and one (1)
year for parts, accessories and outfitting.
This limited warranty is only valid with the purchase
of a Mad River Canoe from an Authorized Mad River
Canoe Dealer. This warranty is non-transferable.
If you have a problem with your canoe and you
suspect that it may be due to defective materials
or workmanship, contact the nearest authorized
Mad River Canoe dealer and arrange to have the
problem inspected. Consumer is responsible for
delivery to, and pickup from, the closest authorized
If the authorized Mad River Canoe dealer’s inspection
indicates a defect that is attributable to materials or
workmanship, Confluence Watersports will repair or
replace your Mad River Canoe canoe free of charge
at the company’s option. Proof of purchase such as a
sales receipt may be required. If repairs or evaluation
are required by Mad River Canoe at its manufacturing
facility, the Consumer will be responsible for a
$50.00 shipping and handling fee.
If service is required in a country that is not the
country of purchase, Consumer will comply with
all applicable export laws and regulations and be
responsible for all customs duties, value add tax
(VAT), and other associated taxes and charges. For
international service, the Mad River Canoe Distributor
may repair or exchange defective products and parts
with comparable products and parts that comply with
local standards.
Confluence Watersports retains the right to satisfy
warranty via repair or replacement of products or of
components deemed defective. In addition, Mad River
Canoe reserves the right to replace original canoes or
equipment with comparable current products.
How to R egis t er Y o u r Boat
The warranty registration form should be
completed online at to be
activated. It is suggested that you keep your sales
receipt should it be required in the future for proof
of purchase. 10
Limitation s and Exc l u sions
This limited warranty does not apply to:
• Normal wear and tear and aging of product.
• Canoes damaged by extreme weather or
environmental conditions.
• Canoes damaged while in possession of a freight
carrier, a dealer, Consumer, or any party other
than Mad River Canoe.
• Canoes damaged by accident, neglect, improper
use or handling.
• Canoes that have been towed by power or sail boats.
• Canoes designated as Prototypes.
• Canoes sold as “demos” or in “as is” condition.
• Canoes determined to have been used for any
activity other than an activity which is customary
for the product.
• Canoes that have been structurally or dimensionally
altered or modified.
• Canoes used for commercial or rental purposes.
This limited warranty excludes all other warranties,
expressed or implied, including implied warranties of
merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose,
with regard to Mad River Canoe. Some state, country,
or provincial laws do not allow the exclusion of
certain implied warranties, so the above exclusion
may not apply to you.
This limited warranty excludes any incidental or
consequential damages or expenses resulting from
any defects. Confluence Watersport’s aggregate
liability shall be limited to an amount equal to
Consumer’s original purchase price paid for the
defective product. Some state, country, or provincial
laws do not allow the exclusion or limitation of
incidental or consequential damages, so the above
exclusion may not apply to you.
To the extent any limitation or exclusion contained
herein is contrary to any country, state, or provincial
law, such limitation or exclusion shall be severable
and all other terms herein shall remain in full force
and effect and are valid and enforceable.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you
may also have other rights. For Consumers who are
covered by state, country or provincial consumer
protection laws or regulations, the benefits from this
warranty are in addition to all rights conveyed by
such consumer protection laws and regulations.
F inding Y o u r S e ria l N um b e r
Your canoe’s serial number is stamped on a brass
plate or inscribed on the right side of the stern under
the gunwale. You should record the serial number in
the space provided on the last page of this manual
for future reference. Your serial number is essential
to reclaim a lost or stolen canoe, or to register and
obtain warranty service.
Im portant Information
Boat Model:
Seria l Number:
Dat e o f Purcha se:
Dea ler Na me:
Reg ist r at ion Number:
Prov i nce/Stat e:
S erv ice & Su p port
If you have a problem with your canoe that you
believe is covered under warranty, contact the
nearest Authorized Mad River Canoe Dealer.
You can find a listing of all dealers on our website.
If you have additional questions about your
canoe or accessories, please visit our online
support webpage at
for resources or to find information on contacting a
customer service representative.
C ontact us
Phone: 888-52-KAYAK (888) 525-2925
Fax: (888) 373-1220
Service and support hours are Monday through
Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST.
Confluence Watersports
111 Kayaker Way
Easley, SC 29642
©2011 Confluence Watersports
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