New Nova Craft Rob Roy 3.9 decked canoe

How to car top?
Right side up? Upside down?

Deck is peaked, so not on gunwales like an undecked canoe, unless load bars are very close together.

Foam kayak saddles? A little wide for most of them. Most are 16" wide or less.

Thule or Yakima kayak saddles? they’d probably work.

Foam padded load bars?

Build your own
Compared to spending the money on a new boat, a few hours spent building custom support blocks is cheap and painless. Make them out of wood, shaped to exactly match the profile of the hull at the location of each crossbar, cover them in carpet, and you are done! Piece of cake.

I did not mean to denigrate
the new boat - It actually looks like a fun river runner.

I was hoping for a picture fron the C-Boat site, but there is only a description. And I was off by five years.

The Nova Craft interpretation looks like a great day boat, maybe even packable for 2-3 day trips. But my knees wouldn’t hold up.


Pretty … but practical?
Cut off the deck and it might be a practical boat. Literature describes great load capacity. But do you need to have great load capacity in a 13 foot boat? And how about the access clearance behind the seat? And if the deck has a peak on it (hard to see in the product literature), then carrying it deck down on canoe racks might be a little problem.

Guess, I just can’t see it. A 13 foot open canoe seems to be a much more practical option. But then again, I ain’t out harpooning seals.

It looks like a rec kayak.
And I agree, the bow and stern are way too high.

When I answered your post above…
… about this, I was not assuming that you had said anything negative. I just had some initial thoughts about “old versus new”, which then I needed to modify once I thought of another perspective.

Just so ya know.

Getting Closer!
Now add a foot on either end cut down the shear a little and give her a coaming so’s my skirt will stay tight.

If I need to bail I’ll use a pump same as a WW canoe or touring kayak (But Gary knew that. He was just be argumentative.).

String, there was a time
when all of us C-1 boaters (As Charlie Walbridge said, “C-1s, like Marines, build men.”) were all runing rivers in boats of similar designs. Yugos, Bene’s and such. As such, we have warm spots in our collective hearts for these hulls, even though they were shortly to be outclassed by 10 cm narrower boats (Hahns first) and then lost their high ends.

Maybe we are aging to a point where the concept of a super-short, square-bottomed playboat gives our aging joints conniptions just looking at the outfitting.

If my knees would hold up, I would bet that I could have a fun day in this boat. But I would not use my Norse or Illiad paddle!


Too short
I too would like another foot at each end of the boat. Everything else looks good.

I can see the size of the cockpit in the
linked photo. It looks too small for effective bailing. Remember, we’re not talking about bailing while sitting on a smooth little eddy. We’re talking about bailing while still out in the conditions that caused the need for bailing. And bailing behind the seat isn’t going to be easy. Maybe a hand pump? But how is that to be permanently or temporarily affixed? Or is one going to try to paddle toward calmer conditions while also trying to pump out some water?

I do not credit your claim that there will be enough room to bail in the front of the cockpit.

I can’t believe I’m doing this

– Last Updated: Feb-08-10 11:24 PM EST –

First off, if it's too rough to stop two-handed paddling, I'm not bailing. I won't be bailing until I can hold my paddle in one hand. I figure that pretty-much dictates "no bailing" while running the rough stuff. That said, I can bail my guide-boat when in waves that are up to eye-level on our big lake, and I actually crawl toward one end of the boat and reach beyond or beneath the rear seat with the bailer when doing so, and that's a lot more dicey than kneeling in the center of a canoe. Even in a canoe, it takes one hand to bail, so if paddling is needed, bailing just has to wait until I reach a calmer spot, and that's a completely different issue than having room to reach the floor of the boat with the bailer.

Second, here's what I see in those photos.

1. In the first three photos, the coaming is farther forward than the paddler's grip hand. Granted, he's not reaching really far forward, but he's reaching farther forward than the space I'd be bailing from. I can even see a good portion of the top of his thighs. You can't reach straight down between your legs to bail? I can. You can't reach under directly under the seat with your bailer, or even your whole hand, when you are kneeling without even thinking about it? I can. Like I said before, I don't have a belly that sticks out.

2. In the third photo from the top, the front of the coaming is flush with the wrist of the paddler's lower hand (late update: I intended to say "wrist"), and he is reaching fairly far forward at that moment. Now, in your mind's eye, turn the boat so you are viewing it 90 degrees from the side and perceive how the coaming is now just as far forward as the paddler's lower hand. Would you be unable to reach down between your legs to bail within the space between your legs, but behind the coaming as shown by this photo? If no, why not? I wouldn't, and don't, need that much space in front of me.

3. In the main product photo, the view into the cockpit shows that there is a little more space in front of the seat than the width of the seat itself. My perspective of things like this has always been good, but to attempt to quantify it, consider that a Nova Craft bench seat is 10.5 inches wide, so that means there's probably 12 inches or so, maybe even more, available between the front edge of the seat and the edge of the cockpit. I just kneeled on a six-pack cooler minus the lid to duplicate kneeling on a canoe seat that is exactly 8 inches high (top of front edge to floor), and measured 12 inches forward from what would be the front edge of the seat when I kneel that way. The location of the front edge of the cockpit, measured that way, ends up being a couple inches farther forward than my knees (for what it's worth, I sometime wear pants with a 36-inch inseam). I don't know about you, but that provides a space that's as large as what I ever bail from when bailing on the fly. If you need more than that, consider that when reaching a little bit forward you can push your hand beneath the deck without your arm contacting it.

Here's a wacky idea. If Nova Craft brings an example of this boat to Canoecopia, maybe I can check this out. It's a long shot because only the kayak companies put carpet on the floor to allow people to actually get into the boats (I've yet to see anybody sitting in a canoe on the showroom floor before deciding whether to buy it, but EVERY kayak buyer does that), but if there's a way, I'd be happy to get photos of myself in the cockpit, bailer in hand.

Have you ever had to really bail,
seriously? You have to be able to swipe the bailer across a substantial distance on the bottom of the canoe to bail. That’s why I’ve had to switch to a pump. My canoes are so full of triple saddles and thigh wedges and knee cups that, with me in the boat, there is no way to work a bailer properly.

Now, if you mean dipping water, delicately, off the bottom, then that’s appropriate. Because it’s a dippy boat design. A canoe with a small cockpit aperture should have a sprayskirt, like my c-1s.

Another issue. Presumably this boat can be used for canoe camping. But how does one get the gear in and out of the boat? How does one tie it down so it does not shift? If the boat does swamp in easy rapids, where will one have tied in float bags?

What is the deck for, anyway? It’s not much of a design for wavy lakes, and it’s surely not designed for serious whitewater. The old Rushton boats didn’t have such extensive decks.

It’s sort of a George Carlin Hippy Dippy Weatherman canoe.

Yeah, let’s really streeeetch thing,.
My comments have been in regard to the use of this boat in accordance with its design. I wasn’t talking about emergency, big-time bailing, and with a half-gallon milk just or bleach bottle I can scoop up plenty of water in about a 14-inch swipe. The Rob Roy is not a whitewater boat - never was and never will be.

Tying in gear has nothing to do with bailing, but even in big lake waves, your gear doesn’t get knocked around (big lake waves are my favorite thing, I do it every chance I get and I’ve never had a pack move from where I put it). You and your gear just rise and fall with the waves, there is never any big impact that would cause stuff to move. Stuffing gear bags under the deck would work just fine, but again, the Rob Roy isn’t a rough-water boat or a big gear-hauler to begin with. I imagine if you wanted to tie in gear bags or float bags, you’d install tie-down points, just like in an open canoe, but since it’s not a rough-water boat to begin with, having tie-downs within arm’s reach would probably be sufficient, but I think you are just reaching for additional stuff to complain about now that the bailing issue has gone nowhere.

Why does the deck cover so much more of the boat than a traditional Rob Roy? I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with reducing wind resistance and providing a little extra splash protection. In my opinon, that’s not enough to (once again, as always) use your extensive Class-13 whitewater experience as the measure for how other paddlers will be using this boat.

“It’s not much of a design for wavy lakes, and it’s surely not designed for serious whitewater.”

I wasn’t aware that those were the only two paddling conditions that existed.

If I fit this boat, I think it’d be great for large, slow moving rivers (or just slow moving rivers), and small to medium sized lakes where wind can be a problem for canoes.

There is a significant niche for this boat, I don’t see the point in denying it.

It’s to be expected
All canoes are to be judged according to how one prepares to paddle the biggest whitewater in the southeast. There is no other means of evaluating them. Further, all rowboats designed for a wide variety of general gear-hauling purposes in semi-rough water or twisting channels MUST be outfitted exactly like a racing scull, and believe it or not, doing so will have nothing but positive results in regard to how the boat performs.

That’s all fine though. I’m certain of that, because by the same token, a 12-yard 6x6 off-road dump truck can’t be expected to perform optimally unless it has something equivalent to Pirelli racing tires. Hey, I’m dead serious about this! A friend of mine had Pirelli tires on his Corvette and they were the cat’s meow.

The deck allows a smaller skirt.

Nova Craft Rob Roy update:

– Last Updated: Feb-20-10 2:33 PM EST –

I just talked with them today:

1. There will be three at Canoecopia to drool over. Only the prototype exists now.

2. The actual weights should be VERY close to the CAD estimates listed on the website.

3. There is a foot brace in the prototype and will probably be standard in the production boats.

4. They didn't have the cockpit specs handy, but will get back to me with them.

5. Because of the relatively small cockpit opening for a decked canoe, they have discussed the possibility of bulkheads &/or deck hatches for gear access.

6. A spray skirt will be available.

U.S. Pricing:
- $1695 Fiberglass
- $2195 Kevlar
- $2495 Kevlar / Spectra
- $2995 Blue Steel

Wow, that Blue Steel price is no steal!
Think I’d like a modernized version at 14’L - 26" beam, meself…Original Rob Roy was 15’-28" The cockpit was 54"x20".

–And at those prices, I wouldn’t take it on all but the lightest whitewater if I could help it.

Cockpit size is 47.25" x 25.75"
according to the phone message that Nova Craft left for me today.

That just might be too long to keep paddle drips out if using a double bladed paddle.

Oak Orchard - Waterport has one.

Somebody go check it out.