I don't have the boat I thought I had.

I’ve really been enjoying my 17’ prospector, but after a few comment of it looking a little small I went and measured it. 16’5". Considering the tape measure had some sag to it, it’s probably more like 16’. This won’t make me enjoy the canoe any less, and honestly, I don’t think I would want an extra foot of canoe anyways since I have a hard enough time avoiding rocks now.

But I do have 2 questions:

  1. To measure the canoe to you go along the gunwale, thus measuring the curve, or straight from bow to stern pulling it taut?

  2. I love the canoe, but it does bother me that I may have got something other that what I paid for. (I’ll check the serial tomorrow and send to nova craft). If this happened to you, what would you do?

Usually length is measured from the
far point of one stem to the far point of the opposite stem and NOT along the rail. There is a little recurve in the stems and I am betting that you did not include that.Along the gunwale is going to net you more like 18 feet.

LOA is a meaningless measurement. The only length that matters is what is in the water. And few manufacturers go by that.

For example Wenonah touts their Argosy as a 14’6’ long boat. Its sub fourteen feet in the waterline length. Who cares about overhang?

Before venting at Nova Craft take note of the overall length and measure below the gunwales. That’s where you will find the longest part of the boat.

yeah its the recurve in the stems
The overall length would be the length of the box that you could just drop the canoe down into if that box were just wide enough to accommodate the maximum beam of the canoe.

The Prospectors have a good bit of recurve in both stems, so a measurement taken from the tip of one deck plate or end plate to the opposite one is not the LOA because it doesn’t take into account that recurved stem that sticks out several inches beyond each deck plate.

If your not happy let me know
I’ll take it off your hands.

So that’s how you measure.
And measuring it the right way brings it to 17’. Again I wasn’t any less happy with the canoe, I just like to get what I buy. Plus, if it had been a 16’ canoe, it woul affect how i perceive other canoes I buy in the future. Thanks for all the help with this.


You don’t say whether you have the
SP3 poly version or the Royalex or whatever. But I have seen reports that the poly versions will contract a bit more even after being made in essentially the same mold. Shouldn’t amount to that much of a difference.

Curious - is it
a Nova Craft?

SP3 16
Not relevant in this case, but the Novacraft SP3 16 actually is only 15’6".

I think Royalex contracts a bit, too, but not a whole foot.

It is
It’s a nova craft 17’ royalex prospector. After measuring it correctly and in the daylight, it was much closer to 17’. Probably a lesson to be learned about measuring a big boat with a short tape in the dark.

For what its worth
I paddled this boat once on a long river trip and I liked it a lot. Personally this is one of my favorite tripping boats. It has many good qualities one of which is excellent handling in rough water. Great boat. Enjoy.