Help: Advise on canoe purchase

It sounds like you have the skills (or can quickly acquire them) to keep a straight line on lakes, even with some wind. If so, having a canoe with modest rocker might be a worthwhile trade-off for better maneuverability on your river runs. Northstar’s B-16 or B-17, depending on desired capacity, could be worth a look. They offer three lay-up options so you can choose your preferred balance between weight versus durability.

Thanks so much for that idea. I’ve been admiring the Nova Craft Prospector (2.5" rocker), and I’ll look more closely at the Northstar.

Yes. That’s the boat I’ve been admiring. I saw one this week that was new and had cracks inside and out from transport, so I passed on it. I’m still debating between 16’ and 17’, and awaiting a call back from Nova Craft on structural integrity with those cracks. I’m including pictures here some cracks, so if anyone can lend wisdom on that, I’d love it. Not excited about having to patch fiberglass on a brand new boat…

The clear gelcoat version looks cool. Looks like she was abused during transport. I would consider it at a steep discount …

The Northstar B16 in IXP looks interesting.

I like the idea of Resin instead of gelcoat.

Resin-coated is basically a different way of saying skin-coated. Skin-coated boats do save weight by eliminating the polyester gel-coat layer.

But if you plan on using the canoe on shallow streams, a skin-coat will not provide the same degree of protection to the structural layers that gel-coat will. Gel-coat will certainly get scratched up and may in time wear through to the fabric. But skin-coat will wear through much more quickly.

Skin-coated boats are great for lighter weight hulls intended for flat water use or paddling on easy and reasonably deep streams but I still prefer a gel-coated boat if the intended use includes paddling on shallow, rocky, or gravel-bottomed streams.

1 Like

Here is a video from Northstar:

I agree, gelcoat does give more protection, but Northstar’s IXP looks to be pretty durable.

I havd no experience with these new layups. Heck, my main canoe is a 47 year old Tripper.

I do not have any personal experience with Innegra as a structural material. But good impact resistance does not necessarily equate with good abrasion resistance.

Northstar claims that Innegra fabric has excellent resistance to abrasion and I do not have any information that would cast doubt on that claim. But I do know from personal experience that sharp rocks can abrade and cut the fibers of aramid, fiberglass, and carbon fiber fabrics.

I consider gel-coat to be a sacrificial layer in preventing abrasion damage to the structural fabrics of a composite canoe. Before a sharp rock can slice through the fibers of the outer layer of structural fabric of a canoe it must first knife through the polyester gel-coat layer.

A thin layer of resin that covers the outer structural layers of a skin-coated composite canoe cannot provide as much of a defensive barrier against sharp rocks as a layer of polyester gel-coat can.

1 Like

This is an excellent video.