This Product Has Been Discontinued
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I have the Horizon 15;...
I have the Horizon 15; actually, it's the Dick's Sporting Goods "Woodsman" but made by Mad River being their Horizon in 15 feet of length. I love the quality of the canoe but there are some not-so-obvious shortcomings in it; that is, there is way too much rocker for its length to make it efficient and fun on lakes. Per stroke, the glide is delightful but you have to spend about 1/3rd of your paddling-energy, correcting the tendency to rotate.
On tracking, I would say bluntly that it sucks. I think Mad River should reclassify the boat as a river boat, not touring. But, like someone said to me, "the various manufacturers seem to take their mentality into their product line". Wenonah seems to take their racing background into their product line and Mad River with their whitewater background seem to not be able to get away from the excessive rocker and other river emphasis.
The boat is a delight on the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon but it's a pain on the Finger Lakes and Adirondacks. We have a cheap junk Pelican (formerly Coleman) and even that thing tracks better on lakes than the Horizon 15! So we keep the Horizon 15 for the river runs and for guests who want to go with us to the Adirondacks canoe-camping. Just remember: what Mad River calls "touring" is not what I think most people think.
This boat started out a...
This boat started out a five but, the royalex monster soon turned into a vessel for the whole family. It handles big waves like the titanic could'nt handle iceburgs, she carves out great lines through class two rapids (even surfs, if you can believe) and handles a lab, baby, mom and dad perfectly for multiple day trips. If your looking for a first canoe, look no further.
I purchased a new Horizon...
I purchased a new Horizon in lightweight Kevlar last spring and it has been on several day trips and and a week long trip in the BWCA. As a day tripper with no load, it is a fast ride but a bit nervous if there is any wind as the bow tends to get pushed around in gusty conditions. This was remedied somewhat by lowering the bow seat about 3/4 of an inch. Load it up with gear for a week in the wilderness however and this boat really excels. It is very fast, tracks well and turns better than expected. It handled the endless rough seas we encountered with ease and was a pleasure to carry on the portages. It seems like the harder we pushed it the more impressive its performance was. This boat is made for wilderness tripping and that is what it does best and like all Mad River canoes, it looks good doing it's job.