Nova Craft Pal

I’m considering one of these canoes for tandem paddling on flatwater and occasionally rivers up to class 11; day trips and one/two day overnights. I like the classic lines of the Pal and the reviews seem favorable. I think the Roylex layup with vinyl gunwales would be best for my purpose, but I’m concerned about “oil canning” in midships, like what I recently experienced in a 16’ Mad River Roylex Explorer. Anyone out there with experience with one of these boats?

Your oil canning experience may have
been related to soft, flexy sheets of Royalex sent to various manufacturers by Spartech, the only supplier. I am surprised, though, that an Explorer showed oil canning, because their V-bottom tends to prevent that.

If you are bothered by the bottom pooching up on a Royalex boat, one thing you can do is stuff a minicell kneeling pedestal between the center thwart and the bottom of the boat. If that costs you use of the portage yoke in the thwart, it is possible to make a minicell saddle that has wings going forward to rest on your shoulders during portage.

The Pal
I own a Pal in Royalex and yes, there is some oil canning. I paddle it tandem with my wife and occasionally solo. I have just accepted the oil canning, although a little annoying, but the versatility and lines of the boat make up for it. For what I do and waters I paddle, it’s a great boat.

I got a great deal on the boat and I’ve not been sorry.


Mine too
My Royalite Pal oilcans in a little in rough water,but I love it for flat water and easy moving stuff.It also makes a sweet BIG solo with a more center mounted seat,paddling heeled due to it’s 34’width and low freeboard…

But it is much poorer class II boat than the Prospector I had before, it just doesn’t manover well enough with it’s minimal rocker.