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Wanted: Mad River Flashback repair help

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:03 pm
by in_a_silent_way
I am rehabbing an older green Mad River Flashback. I am not sure if it is an original Flashback or a Flashback II, how to tell the difference, or if it even makes any difference. Regardless, it needs new thwarts and gunwales. I need to know how many thwarts, how long, and the location of the thwarts along the gunwales. If anyone has a Flashback that they know has original thwarts and would be willing to do some measuring, I would appreciate the assistance. Thanks in advance.

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:56 pm
by Carol
The Mad River Flashback was my absolute favorite solo boat. I paddled that green boat for seven years before I finally replaced it with with a Dagger Encore. If I were to do it over again, I would have kept the Flashback! Believe it or not, the Flashback is also a great big water boat, as I could easily do a wet entrance, which I was never able to do with the Encore.

As to dating your boat. On either the bow or stern, there is a serial number stamped, if I remember correctly, the last three digits month and year of manufacture. Mine was a 1989 model, I believe the Flashback II was released around 1994.

I passed the Flashback on to friends for their son. I started my son in the Flashback at age 12, Next week I should be able to get exact measurements for you.

I'm going to try and attach a photo of the boat that will give you an idea of thwart placement. The stern thwart was placed directly behind the mini cell saddle. ... d=IMGP5275

If that link doesn't work try:
using the www. in the address is a's the top album, only one picture in it

If you have anyother questions, ask!

Happy paddling


Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:45 pm
by ezwater
You needn't worry about "authenticity" in thwart placement. Most owners move thwarts, and there is no one "best" thwart placement. I've moved thwarts on all three of the Mad River boats I've owned.

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:58 pm
by in_a_silent_way
Thanks for the response so far. I have been lurking for a long time and have learned lots here.

I figured there might be a serial number but unfortunately, not on this one - someone must have fallen asleep at the switch. Maybe it doesn't really matter, but I was never clear if there was a difference between the two Flashbacks - I thought there was.

The three thwart configuration is what this had, roughly. However, some of the thwarts were definitely not original (dowels!!) and I thought it would be best to get it back to something resembling stock. Carol, I appreciate the offer to measure. I will wait to see what you find. If anyone else has one and wants to measure to confirm any other measurements, that would be most welcome.

I would agree that in general, thwarts don't have to stay put. Certainly there are thousands of hulls out there that would support that. However, I lean towards leaving them close to stock. Most designers put an awful lot more time into designing the boat than I have, and I always assume thwarts are put where they are put for a reason (or maybe I am just compulsively paraniod/anal?). This particular Flashback is a good example I think. As a relatively narrow hull, without much flare (I think?) I am guessing it isn't the driest ride. It looks like the previous owner moved the bow thwart forward to give the hull a bit of flare. It bulged the hull out some, perhaps imparting a drier ride. However, it also eventually bulged and cracked the hull where the thwarts are attached. Certainly, there are lots of hulls with thwarts all over the place that aren't cracked, so YMMV. Just a thought.

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:14 pm
by Alden
Just as a side note to the original poster: great user name! Love that album.


Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:17 pm
by sbroam
If you can get some measurements and locations, you can verify the profile then put the thwarts where you need them with the widths required to achieve the profile. I put an ME back together a while ago - before I took it apart I measured the width where the original thwarts were, but didn't put the new ones back in the original positions. I was able to achieve the original profile, then tweaked it (narrowed it). I figured that kept me in the ball park of the original design.

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:32 pm
by in_a_silent_way
Thanks for the tip Scott - that sounds like what I was trying to say but didn't manage quite so clearly or succinctly. I have gleaned lots of ideas from your website in the past... probably also not executed as clearly or succinctly but it got me going. Thanks!

IASW electric played acoustic - a strangled scream
too bad no one working for a record label today ever listened to it

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:08 pm
by Carol
Back in the days when I was an aggressive solo paddler, in the Flashback, I did paddle what I considered big water in it, and didn't consider it a wet boat. A lot of it had to do with "high strap action". It is very, very technique sensitive, though. My husband never could get it to go on a straight-line.

Unfortunately, I only paddled the Encore for two years before I came down with wrist tendinitis issues, so was never able to perfect technique for that hull design. But I do feel that I could be a much sloppier paddler with the Encore.

When I first acquire the Flashback, it came with one of those molded Perception saddles in it, which I promptly removed. The thwart I installed behind the mini cell saddle, with adjustable foot pegs attached (what a project that was), is made from a 1 x 4 as I used it to sit on in flat stretches.

You have no idea of all the wonderful memories that I have associated with that boat that are coming back.... thanks!


Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:46 pm
by Carol
oops, should have proofed before hitting "submit" :lol:

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:03 am
by ezwater
If you order a Flashback from Kaz, he'll put one thwart in for shipping and bundle the others for you to locate yourself. And he knew the designer personally.

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:38 am
by Roger
Not sure but I think the Flashback II is a bit deeper than the original model that debuted in 1979.

Info page on Flashback gives a boat depth of 14". That might be the key to determining if you have a second generation design.

Bought one for my wife just after they came out. Got divorced and I got all the boats. Took awhile to get used to that bowling ball hull.

One of the original Short Open Boats (SOB'S).

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:57 pm
by in_a_silent_way
Again, thanks for all the response. The collective knowledge here is a great resource.

This hull is Royalex and it has no thwarts or gunwales. I thought it would be easier to get the hull a bit out of shape (like the previous owner did) relative to a more ridgid glass boat. If I has a glass version of this hull, I would just cut some thwarts using the shape of the hull, but I would prefer some parameters with floppy Royalex. It maybe splitting hairs a bit, but I don't see that the extra info will hurt.

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:16 pm
by craig
I got a glass one hanging in the garage. I can post measurements tomorrow

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:57 pm
by craig
The Flashback is a Kaz boat, I think from the early 90's. At 30" from the bow is a thwart to give the hull a width of 15.75". Then at 53" is another to give a hull width of 23". Then one at 77"(just forward of the center of the boat) to give a width of 26". There is one 30" from the stern, to give a hull width of 15", and one at 53" from the stern to give a width of 22.5" This boat has not had any modification to my knowledge, I got it from a school teacher that only paddled it on rare occasions.

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:36 am
by Carol
Left a message asking for measurements off of my old Flashback. Hopefully I'll have the information for you in a couple of days.