Nova Craft Prospector 17' for family

it would be covered when not in use and with a canoe like this, I would invest in a canoe storage tarp (or something) for long term storage (winters etc).

thanks for the info

size & investement
thanks. I was thinkig much of what you stated.

at this price, even if it doesn’t work out after a season or two, I could likely recoup most of the initial investement.

It will not be our first boat, and my wife is used to me selling, trade, swapping. we are already on our 2nd canoe, this would be our third. we also have 2 kids sit on tops and 2 Juunto’s Sit On tops for us.

BUY it

– Last Updated: Dec-19-13 1:31 PM EST –

Thanks for the info. and I'm not too concerned with squeazing us all in there, but when the couple times we want to try, we'll make it work one way or antoher (or my wife or I will be beside in a kayak). For the most part, it's 1 adult and a kid or 2, which appears this boat will handle (they will be 7 & 9 in summer), so they take the seats and I'll be in the middle.

I knew the guys and gals at would help reaffirm my stance on it and it gives me some ammo when I break it to my wife, that I'm driving to get it on my day off tomorrow (hopefully).

As for scooping it on me, it's why I decided to put an official hold on it as I knew the next avid adventurer who saw it on the roof, would snap it up.

Often these deals sound "too good to be true" and are, but it appears I may have stumbled on to a legit, end of season, no longer carrying this brand or similar type of score. I haven't asked if it's a demo or used yet, as we were in a rush but by the looks of it, it had not seen water or perhaps just an MEC demo day outting.

If I end up purchasing (fingers crossed), I'll be sure to report back and give the full details and maybe a pic on top of the van, driving home in -40 weather.

Who knows, MEC might even agree to store it for a couple months for me, as they will know the boat is paid for and will be out. One huge selling feature and one my wife will like, is the weight of this canoe will be almost 30lbs lighter then our Osagian at 80lbs. She is not a fan of roofing it and taking it off etc. Most times we just park it where we camp and leave it there, but a canoe at 55lbs, will be one I can do myself when need be and be able to venture out at surrounding lakes where we camp, which is a huge plus for me and the kids.

Again, thanks to you and everone else for the quick responses.

Asking this group if it is a good idea to buy a canoe is somewhat akin to asking a bartender if it is a good idea to have a drink.

Pal is very popular . . .
. . . both as a tandem canoe and as a solo canoe for wilderness trippers, who paddle it “backwards” from the bow seat. You can do this in a Pal as it is a symmetrical waterline canoe.

The Chestnut Pal was the canoe featured in most of Bill Mason’s videos.

The seller may very well agree to store the canoe over the winter if a sufficient portion of the purchase price is paid. It’s worth a try.

You’re too kind with the metaphor
I’d analogize many of us, not to a bartender, but to end-stage drunks.

. . . hic

For your boys
As the young lads get a bit bigger, the Pal is going to be a good tandem for them till they both are teenagers. Your idea of them in the ends and you in the middle is good. I friend of mine did the same thing several years ago when his boys were the same age. He had a center seat mounted in an 18’Sundowner and the yoke made removable. The boys were seated where the canoe is narrow and they could reach the water. His weight was in the middle and the trim was good.

The thing for you to add to the Pal in the spring is a sliding bow seat to get the bow paddler farther front to where the canoe is just wider than they are. Gives them an easy reach to the water and helps trim the canoe a bit.

When they graduate to paddling tandem together, you and the wife can get another light tandem a bit bigger, a bit lighter and a bit faster. Most of us have multiple canoes, many of us have a dozen or so. You have much room to expand your collection.



– Last Updated: Dec-20-13 12:49 PM EST –

talked to MEC and he offered to extended the hold until I can swing by and take another serious look at it.

After speaking to the MEC boat guy, he assured me it would be no issue on how I plan to store (covered from elements in summer and winter, when not in use) that was good.

I found this while researching Aramid, and thought you may find it interesting, but I'm guessing most of you have seen it or something like it before:

These hulls are infused with high impact vinylester resin, sandwiched with fiberglass cloth between an outer layer of Cap (Chemically Activated Polyester) cloth and an inner layer of Aramid.

nice video
That was a good demonstration of the construction of an infused, composite hull. Thanks for sharing it.

Twaron is a variety of aramid made in the Netherlands.

A lot of manufacturers no longer make all aramid canoes. I have a couple of all Kevlar Mad River Canoes but most so-called aramid or Kevlar composite boats have exterior layers of fiberglass with or without additional fabrics. Polyester is very commonly used and is said to reduce the brittleness of a canoe primarily made of fiberglass.

The external layers of polyester and fiberglass on the boat you are considering buying will reduce the tendency for the aramid to abrade and fuzz up and will make it easier to repair the external aspect of the hull should it ever sustain a crack.

Nice Boat
Had a Pal in royalex and really liked the boat. I sold it when I found a different classic tandem canoe in expedition Kevlar and didn’t need nor have room for two tandems.

The Pal is a great all around boat. The woman I sold it to has been delighted with it and emailed several photos of the canoe in use on her fishing trips. I would think that the one you are buying is an even sweeter craft in almost every way. The deal sounds outstanding. But more outstanding will be your enjoyment of a fine canoe of timeless design and quality construction (NC’s are built solidly). Wishing you lots of great time on the water with your family in a craft you’ll all take pleasure and pride in.

Go get that jewel!


– Last Updated: Dec-23-13 1:25 PM EST –

Well, it's been purchased. They can store it for a while, until the new canoes come in for the 2014 season.

Dark Green, turns out it's even better then I thought too.

It's actually the KEVLAR/SPECTRA composite, so stronger and lighter. Listed at 49-51 lbs and 900lb-1000 lbs capacity, depending on where you look. The Nova Craft site only lists it as SPECTRA for this model, so it's a bit confusing but am sure it will be a good fit for us.

Now I have to research a bit about storage and upkeep/maintenance of the wood trim and kevlar, a we hope this will be a long term boat.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

I guess it's similar to these specs:

We combine Aramid and Spectra with a high impact-resistant vinylester resin in these infused hulls for expedition quality, lightweight canoes that resist tearing and punctures far better than an all Aramid canoe.

good decision
It is a great boat and will serve you well, I’m sure.

Spectra is a material only a few builders have used. It consists of polypropylene fibers which are very strong, stronger in tensile strength than aramid or fiberglass.

The problem with Spectra, as with all polypropylene, is getting resin, or anything else, to bond to it. Apparently, Nova Craft has figured this out as they have been using it for some time. I have an old Mad River Twister canoe made of Spectra (interior) and S 'glass (exterior).

I think you’ll be pleased with your new boat. Merry Christmas and may you make a bunch of new paddling memories in 2014 with the new boat!

New Paddles
The canoe is almost ready to hit the water, still ice on parts of the rivers and lakes up here in Canada.

In the meantime, I have upgrade my paddle to include 2 new ones.



I got sized up by the regular canoe/paddle guy in store and think these will do a good job of getting me around the lakes and rivers this year. I was also looking for a bit of variety, so went with two different styles to try out this year.

Looking forward to our best year and most paddling ever, this year.

Wood trim maintenance

– Last Updated: Aug-09-14 6:28 PM EST –

I know this topic comes up a lot, but is Miniwax 209 a pretty commonly used product on gunwales, thwarts and wood areas of a canoe?

The other options is Danish Tung Oil and am guessing either will be OK, but don't want to do any damage to this new canoe.