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by Jan Dettmer

Revelation, click to enlarge! The Revelation is a high volume tripping Canoe made by Mad River Canoe. This canoe is a real workhorse, it takes gear and gear without hesitation, you could easily find yourself in serious trouble when the first portage comes up on a long trip and you will have to carry all that stuff that fits into the Revelation! The lenght of the canoe is 17' with a maximum width of 37.25''. Center depth is 14'' with a shallow V-bottom. So the effevtive depth is not that deep. The hull is symmetrical and shows lots of volume just after the bow and stern. The weight is 77 lbs. (35 kg) and the hull shows considerable rocker.

As you can see from the above mentioned dimensions, this canoe is big. The extreme width of 37.25'' adds lots of volume. You feel this when paddling. The boat is not very fast, especially on lakes you note that it is dramatically slowed in waves. This is due to the high Volume in the bow. On dead calm water you can build up good cruising speeds but have to paddle hard for good speed. All this is not a real misadvantage since the boat is an excellent rapid runner. For sure, it's not a playboat but you can run considerable white water, sometimes above grade III. The rocker and the high volume ends make this the dryest touring boat I ever paddled. I paddled white water on the Athabasca River at flood in this canoe and it ran through waves above 6'. The rocker also makes it excellent in technical white water. When doing backferries in class III white water, the boat takes water mostly in the middle part, due to the center depth, being not extreme. The role of a very dry running canoe also comes to play when you have to face extreme conditions on big lakes. The Revelation is very stable in high waves and will not take over to much water. When this canoe reaches its limit, you can be sure that you also do. To put it in another way, this boat will face everything but the most violent weather conditions. This can be an advantage when you want to do long trips in remote regions. You will not be able to go on very fast when strong winds come up but you are able to paddle. Other canoes reach the limit a good deal earlier than this one. Revelation, click to enlarge!

The boat has another major disadvantage, its weight. At 77 pounds it is one of the heaviest canoes on the marked. If you fit it with knee pads, yoke pads and flotation bags for a wilderness trip you can add another 10 pounds. So, portaging is definitely no fun. Small persons could have problems to get the paddle close to keeleline. Especially at the bow position you will find the boat very wide. It may be a good thing to move the bow seat slightly forward, depending on the size of the bow paddler. If you will encounter long portages and not to much white water, this boat is not the right choice, but for long trips, with white water and extreme weather conditions it is an excellent choice.

Prices of this canoe are in the range of $1200.- to $1500.-. It is only offered in Royalex. Wood trim is optional, however, I would recommend it because of the extra stability it offers and because of other well known advantages of wood.

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© copyright 2001 Jan Dettmer