I recently decided to wash and wax my canoe. In retrospect I read that you really don’t have to wax canoes with a polyethylene hull since the wax won’t stick anyway, so in one aspect it was unnecessary.
But waxing the canoe exposed what seems to be an issue with the mold. The hull was covered with small air bubbles and holes, most of them in the aft and stern, and less in the middle. The holes got filled with wax, and thus easy to see with the naked eye, and with a closer look I saw that there where air bubbles inside the plastic. Some of the holes where also fairly large.
I took a couple of photos and asked about it in Reddits caone forum and got the answer that it should definitely not look like that, and that I should contact Mad River about a replacement. I’ve read before about issues with the hull on these models but I thought it had been sorted out.
I’ve contacted the retailer and Mad River, and now I hope for the best. I haven’t heard back from the retailer yet, but Mad River was forwarding the info to the fabric.
Since I was considering selling it I guess the best case scenario would be to get the money back, especially since the shipping alone of a new canoe costs 150€ (should be covered by the warranty but I don’t know). If the manufacturer doesn’t come through, selling it with these issues would mean loosing a lot of money, if it’s even possible.
Now I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out with Mad River and the retailer as fast as possible. With the never ending heat stroke we have here in Europe I’m more and more leaning towards canoe camping in Femundsmarka rather than hiking in Hardangervidda, to have constant access to the lakes for cooling off. But with a potentially weakened hull I’m not too keen on taking it on a week long trip far out in the wilderness. I hope everything works out before I leave.
Update 31 July
I got in contact with the retailer again, who said that according to Mad River the issue was just a cosmetic one, that doesn’t affect durability or function, and nothing they will return it for. I’ve also emailed their European contact, who forwarded the images to the factory, but said he thought it looked like a cosmetic issue.
If this is accurate it’s nice to not having to hassle with shipping it back to the retailer. My wife and I have been out on more short canoe trips, and now she has started to like canoeing and wants me to keep the canoe as a family canoe. I’ll save up for a more lightweight canoe for solo use in the future though. I’m not all too pleased about having paid full price though, as this probably affects second hand value. I do think that Mad River should offer a partial refund.