Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbers?

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openboat
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Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbers?

Post by openboat » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:01 pm

I found an older mad river Kevlar 49 and I'm trying to figure out the actual model of the boat. The number is MAD1766M84B-KA. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbe

Post by Paddle Power » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:19 pm

the last three digits month and year of manufacture
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Re: Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbe

Post by pblanc » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:43 pm

Are you sure you are not missing a character in that HIN (hull identification number). Most all HINs of that vintage, and all of those used by MRC to my knowledge, used a 12 character HIN. The KA at the end does not count. That is an appendage. Mad River typically appended a "K" to the end of the HIN on their Kevlar boats. I do not know what the "A" represents. It might stand for an Airex foam core hybrid but that is only a guess.

This HIN follows a 12 character model year ("M") format. The "B" character indicates that the boat was constructed in September. The "M84" indicates the model year (1984) but model year changeovers typically occurred in August so this particular boat was probably built in September of 1983 for the 1984 model year. The boat HINs were registered on construction. Furthermore, this particular model year format was discontinued in August of 1984 so this format would not apply if the boat were built and registered in September of 1984.

The first three characters of the HIN are the manufacturers identification code (MIC) and "MAD" indicates it is a Mad River which you already knew. The next 5 characters of the HIN could be used by the manufacturers any way they wished. You have only 4 characters between the MIC and the model year, month of manufacture code so you are missing one.

As to what model it is, MRC usually used a letter character immediately following the "MAD" MIC to identify the model which is probably what you want to know. For example, the character "E" denoted an Explorer which was and is one of their most popular models. On the other hand, the model code for the Malecite (another very popular model) was the character "6" so they didn't always use a letter code for the model. Check the HIN again and see if there is a letter (or number) character that you missed. If so, post it and someone here might decipher it for you.

If not, describe the boat and post some measurements. Is it a solo or a tandem? Does the hull have a shallow V bottom? Does the hull look symmetrical front to back? What is the length overall stem to stem, and what is the maximum beam at the molded hull midline? This is typically 1-1.5 inches less than the maximum beam measured from the outside of one outwale to the outside of the other.

If you can provide this info, either I or someone else can probably identify the model. There is a free HIN decoder available online but it won't work for the HIN you gave because it is incomplete:

http://hindecoder.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbe

Post by openboat » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:25 am

There is an "E" after the "MAD", so it's an explorer. The boat is Kevlar for sure. The odd thing is the boat is camouflage from the factory. Has anybody ever seen a camo Kevlar boat? Does that make it a duck hunter?

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Re: Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbe

Post by pblanc » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:51 pm

Yes it is an Explorer. I am curious about the "A" appended to the end of the HIN. I suspect the "KA" denotes a Kevlar/Airex Explorer model which MRC produced 1983-1995. You should be able to tell if this is the case as there will be a visible roughly football-shaped raised area on the hull bottom where the Airex foam bottom core is and the raised contour of around 7 side ribs extending from that up to the gunwale line. The regular Kevlar Explorers of this vintage were all Kevlar, all cloth boats (except for the gel coat) so they would have no raised areas on the hull bottom or sides. The Kevlar/Airex Explorer also had an outer layer of S 'glass under the gel coat which was nice. Being a pre-1985 model, the gunwales should also be squared off rather than radiused if they are stock.

If it is in good shape it is a very nice boat. Weight should be around 50 lbs, length 16' 4", gunwale width 34 1/2". I have not seen a camo composite Explorer and wonder if someone didn't paint over the gel coat.

As far as I am aware, all of the Duck Hunter Explorers were Royalex.

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Re: Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbe

Post by openboat » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:05 pm

The gunwales are square. The camo seems to be too high quality and intricate for an individual to have done, and it appears to be under the gel coat inside and outside of the hull. I tried to add a picture but it says the file is too big. My next question is with this boat in pretty much like new paddling shape what is it worth?

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Re: Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbe

Post by sbroam » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:01 pm

I've got a Kevlar Explorer - there is a KA suffix on mine and it does have the Airex foam layers, which reinforces that idea.

Mine has some deformations in the outer hull, where there is Airex under, which I'm suspecting was due to a previous owner either storing it on its hull (right side up) or storing things on the hull (upside down)* - I missed them when I bought it, but they are readily evident when its in the right light and I think are why it pulls in one direction over another. So, that to say take a close look.

I've seen composite touring / traditional canoes go for nearly $2,000 on down to under $1,000. New is well north of $2,000.

[* i've been meaning to post about that to see if its normal, if there are remedies, or if its worth bothering about...]

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Re: Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbe

Post by pblanc » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:59 pm

It is a very high quality boat, built back in the day when Mad River Canoe was one of the premier composite canoe builders, if not the premier maker. The Explorer and the Malecite were their most popular and versatile tandem models.

I still don't know what to make of the camo pattern inside and out. MRC did not use gel coat on the interior of their boats, although they did paint a football shaped pattern on the hull bottom gray on some of their early Kevlar boats. It is possible that the boat was some sort of special order job.

I suspect the camo pattern might enhance the value for some and detract from it for others. If the wood trim is in good condition and there is no significant hull damage, I would say the very low ball value is $1000 and high end $2000 as Scott suggests. But ultimately, what it is worth is what you can get someone in your area to pay for it.

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Re: Does anybody know how to decipher mad river serial numbers?

Post by Kazooey » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:34 pm

I realize this thread is at least 4 years old, but I am a new comer to the forum who found this thread to be the closest thing to helping me decipher the serial number to a new/old canoe I just bought used. It is a Mad River Canoe with serial # MADE5021L485 (The badeg is aged and so a little hard to read, so that is the best I can guess at a few of the characters!). This thread mentions the HIN online directory which I went to and learned that my canoe is likely a 1985 production model Explorer 5021... My question for the experts on this forum is, what is a 5021?? Also, any other info you HIN geeks can provide would be awesome. BTW, I use the term geek quite fondly! Thank you for your consideration.

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