My wife’s arthritis has limited her enthusiasm for canoeing and I am trying to figure out how best to set up my Nova 16 for solo fishing, inland lakes and small rivers. I wish this thing weighed 25lbs less to grab it off the CRV and run it down a trail to river/lake bank, but its size and weight make it more of a boat ramp fishing canoe for me using a two-wheeled dolly. Can any members provide links where individuals set up this sort of canoe for solo fishing? This canoe weighs about 64lbs. Trying to figure out seat position, or ballast, but then beam width is an issue for paddling if seat position changes -right? How long a paddle? Then my own 64 yr old shoulder issues come into play. Maybe use a trolling motor.
Can’t remember if the Nova 16 is symmetrical. Anyway, lots of options. If you can’t paddle facing stern from the bow seat, you can add a kneeling thwart or a seat between the stern seat and the yoke. If you don’t want to learn to paddle from there with the boat heeled to one side, you might consider a rowing rig. I’ve seen a couple commercial versions, and there are examples of home-built rigs on the 'net (maybe even plans?).
Either way, you can cure a lot of ills with ballast. If you’re on lakes or any other open flat water, you can just paddle from the stern seat with however much ballast you need up front. I use cheap drybags filled mostly with water, laid on the floor. Move it to where it works for you. Leave a little air in the bag so it will float if you dump. Water in the bags won’t slosh or roll around. It’s almost like having another body up there - only it doesn’t help paddle and doesn’t lean over the gun’l.
I’m in similar position. Wife and I fished out of tiller boats for over 45 yrs. She got sick in 03 and has not fished, hiked or been outside since. Last boat was gone in 2010. Couldn’t stand not fishing, so I purchased an early 80’s Wenonah Eco 16’er. RA, tremors, poor balance, bad knees and shoulder
problems ruined my last summer. Being 73, I’m trying to get the most from my days.
This year I feel better and did the following; got sensible and decided to just use the canoe rather than trying to fill all gauges and cracked gelcoat. I found a senior bath seat with arms and a back. I fixed the seat to a 12.5 height so it could be placed just back a bit from amid ship. Placed each foot on a 4 X 6" 3mm plywood to spread weight. Installed an anchor reel with 8# anchor, it winds on my right.
Purchased a Wingman float system, ( wingmanoutfitter.com) which makes it easy and comfortable to stand and move around. Rod holders and tiedowns are next to make drifting and
row trolling easier. Am investigating a means of mounting a bow mount 24V trolling motor. Hobie has a 17’ “Pro fishing” kayak. The mount is really cool, but I’m interested in mounting directly center… There are pics of Hank Parker fishing bass out of one and also promo pictures of bow motor.
Enjoy your project and your canoe.