The first two ultralites weigh in at 45 lbs and 43lbs for the Explorer 16 KX Ultralite and the Malecite KX Ultralite, respectively. They range in price from $2,749 to $3,089 depending on the options, like wood gunwales. Both feature resin-infusion w/ something called custom MRC core system. If the MRC core system features a molded-in bunny, like shown in the picture, we hope it doesn’t make it into production boats. Resin-infusion results in a layup with a high fiber/resin ration, which means lighter and stronger. It’s also healthier for the canoe builders. The builders seal the laminate in a vacuum bag and pull the vacuum. Then the resin comes in via feeder tubes and runners. It evenly impregnates the laminate delivering a controlled amount of resin.
Jim Henry designed two triple layer plastic canoes for Mad River. The new Journey 158 and 169 models will put you on the water in something backbreaking for under $950. If that’s all you can afford, then these look like good options.
For canoeists looking for something longer, the Expedition 176 looks promising. When compared to the BWCA standards, like the We-no-nah Minnesota II, the Bell Canoe Works Northwind and the Souris River Quetico II, it’s a bit weighty at 57 lbs. But for the extra weight you get curvy seats, a shaped yoke (hopefully, yoke pads will work on it), and a molded in Mad River rabbit on the floor. I love the Bell-like shouldered tumblehome.
More info on the Confluence Watersports OR Blog.
The Explorer Ultralight looks to be a nice BWCA canoe.