Super nova

Anyone here within a Saturday road trip from central KY that would be willing to let me paddle a supernova or similar solo? We will be needing a solo canoe soon to complement 2 OT trippers.


Sloopsailor has one
He’s in southern Indiana. “Nice of me to volunteer him”, I know, but he’s a super nice guy and I expect it would be okay. He doesn’t post much, so you might search his name and send an email. I’d offer to let you try mine, but getting here and back in one day would be quite the marathon.

Not anymore
Rob H. has that boat now. I don’t believe it is ready for the water, however.

Thanks for the offer but you’re right- it would be quite the road trip. Have you fished from your boat or is it for play only? I honestly think I could stand on the tripper gunnels and pee so I’m thinking a Supernova is going to be at the opposite end of the spectrum. I’ve never paddled anything with such a rounded hull and just trying to imagine what it would be like.

Where do you live in central KY?
What purposes are you looking for a solo canoe for? Is this for a specific trip or would it be a permanent addition?

Do you anticipate using it for tripping, primarily flat water use, primarily moving water use, or a combination?

What would be the paddler size?

The Supernova is generally thought of as a river boat, either a day tripper for large paddlers or a river tripping canoe. It would not be the first hull that came to mind for fishing.


– Last Updated: Sep-13-15 2:55 PM EST –

Well, I COULD fish out of it, but it wouldn't be my first choice for that. Yes, the hull has a very rounded profile, but though you'll feel the ease with which it leans away from center, that doesn't mean you are at greater risk of falling out than with a more typical canoe, especially if you are a kneeler. For fishing, I'd prefer a boat that can be moved short distances with strokes that are a lot less than perfect, but the Supernova requires you to pay a fair bit of attention and be in control. That's not such a bad thing when traveling, but not so fun when fishing. The bottom line is that I could do perfectly well fishing out of it if it were my only boat, but if I needed one more boat, and that boat was for fishing, it's not the one I'd buy.

As Pete mentioned above, the Supernova is mainly used as a river-tripping boat. For some kinds of rivers I'd say it's excellent. You could use it for trips on rivers having some rapids, and go fishing along the way. Stability for fishing wouldn't be much of an issue if you are happy kneeling. If you don't like kneeling, you probably won't like the boat no matter what.


– Last Updated: Sep-13-15 3:34 PM EST –

Wow- had to write down everything to make sure to address all. First off, we live about half way between Lexington and Somerset. We being my family of five. Why a solo? With five people in the two trippers, someone is in a snap in center seat. Until recently it has been my youngest age 11. He is now able to contribute quite a bit so with a solo canoe to compliment the trippers, we could do away with the center seat. I weigh about 165, my wife about 120, my 13 year old son about 120, my 12 year old daughter about 100, and my 11 year old son about 75. I chose the trippers as a do it all boat. Any new boat would be a permanent addition as well. Our longest camping trip so far has been 4 days. Just about all our paddling involves bringing along fishing gear except just recently when we've been trying some mild moving water on the Elkhorn. For that I insisted we keep it simple and just concentrate on canoe control.
I think right now we would like to be able to feel comfortable in class 2. As for hull shape, I thought something different from the station wagons we currently paddle but not a dedicated WW boat nor flat water speedster. We pack light and are able to fit all our gear in two boats now so I wouldn't need the extra volume of the supernova but was thinking it would provide a little spice to our paddling. I would like to be able to make a cast with one hand without bracing with the other hand. I don't know if I would even be able to make that determination by paddling the SN once. My question about fishing from the boat was if someone with a lot of seat time felt stable enough to fish. It's just my pure ignorance of a boat of that nature.

I just reviewed this message. Please don't take the statement about having to write down the questions as me being bothered. I appreciate all your posts and can and have learned volumes from you in the time I've spent here. Sometimes written words can come across different than a person intended. Didn't want that to be the case here. Thanks

Thanks for the info. As I said in the epic novel I typed above, I don’t think I would be able to determine about fishing from just one time paddling the boat. The fact that you feel you could speaks volumes to me. Looking for another do it all boat with more zip than the trippers but not so much to exclude making a cast every now and again. Thanks for the input

Some other boats
Well if you are looking for a solo canoe that can be used for tripping and some easier whitewater, the Supernova is not a bad choice. If you want to paddle whitewater, you are better off with a canoe with some depth, and the Supernova has that. I am assuming when you speak of the Elkhorn you are talking about the so-called Forks of the Elkhorn Creek Class II run that starts at the bridge in Frankfort, KY.

There are a number of Royalex canoes that could possibly work for that purpose as well, but since Royalex is no longer made, you would have to find one used. The Wenonah Rendezvous, Mohawk Odyssey 14, and Mad River Guide/Freedom Solo come to mind.

If you are shopping for a new boat at this time you are pretty much looking at a composite boat, any of which are going to be more expensive than Royalex was. Some other boats that you might possibly consider are the Swift Osprey and the Hemlock SRT. I have used the very whitewater-capable Hemlock Shaman as a river tripping boat. The Colden Flashfire and Wildfire are also great all around canoes with plenty of maneuverability, but they are not particularly deep so they would get wet pretty quickly in any sustained whitewater of significance. The Colden Dragonfly is a pretty nifty river tripper and a skilled paddler can handle some significant whitewater in it.

I was asking where you live because I am currently located Evansville, Indiana across the Ohio from Henderson, KY. I have quite a few solo canoes but I don’t know that I currently have that I would be willing to part with at this time.

Do you ever do overnight trips on the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River?

Other boats
Thanks for the suggestion of other boats. I’ll try to research them and keep an open mind as to possibilities other than the supernova. I would like a boat that’s going to challenge our current skill and take us to the next level but still tame enough to enjoy in a variety of waters. I don’t see us becoming pure WW paddlers. I enjoy the other aspects of paddling as well. Full floatation for both trippers should be delivered this Friday. This will allow us to take on a little bigger water and lessen the chances of pinning the boats. Plus hopefully be able to self rescue in deep water.

We have done the lower BSF once. Blue Heron to Alum Ford. Class 1+ for the first few miles and lake pool in the last few miles. Kids still talk about it and want to do it again. I want us to have a little more boat control before considering any of the upper sections. I think we’re getting close. Not many canoe around here. We belong to two groups and most all kayak. There is one guy with a C-1 that has taken time to nurse us along. My point is trying out different boats is difficult. You are spot on the type of paddling and water that I want to feel comfortable in. BSF is beautiful.