What is this Nova Craft? Worth?




Whatever you are willing to pay for it
Dear Ben,

I hate to be so short and smug but without a model, layout, and length all anyone can do is guess.

It looks to be about 16’ +/-, and it looks to be made of something other than Royalex, and that is about all that can be clearly seen from the pictures.

It has nice wood gunnels that need some attention but you can get them on just about any Novacraft.

Here is a link to Novacraft.


Here is a link to a local to me Novacraft dealer which gives pricing for some but not all of their models.


Personally, if I saw that in yard somewhere with a “For Sale” sign on it I’d start at $ 300.00 if the seller can’t give you number.

As a buyer you can always increase your offer depending on how the seller responds. They are trying, hoping, wishing, wondering if, they can sell the canoe.

As a buyer if you have cash you can dictate the terms.

That’s all I got.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

The boat looks like a 16’ Prospector. Probably in fiberglass lay-up. I have owned one for about 25 years. It is a great boat. If you can buy it for the right price you wont be dissappointed! I am in the same town as the Nova Craft Company and can tell you that around here, a boat like this in good condition would go for $750.00 - $1000.00, even as high as $1200.00 in kevlar, Keep in mind that this is based on this market area in Canadian $…Good luck.

it looks like Royalex to me
Fiberglass or Kevlar have mat patterns inside from the fabric.

Otherwise there is not much to go on.

Looks like Royalex to me
I see some slight creases near the “left end” of the boat in that middle photo, which is something pretty common with Royalex, and the nature of the “gloss” on the shot showing the inside really looks more like Royalex too.

It doesn’t look like the boat has been used much, but that MIGHT be a bad sign, considering the appearance of the gunwales. Maybe it was stored outside and MAYBE there’s some rotting in the wood. The gunwales don’t look bad, but it’s hard to be sure.

I’m not an expert on prices, but considering that it’s Royalex and that the gunwales needs some refinishing at best, I tend to agree with the first reply. If it turns out that it’s in really good shape (with gunwales only needing sanding/oiling), I myself might pay as much as 3/4 of the original price if it’s a model I really wanted to have. If you don’t have highly specific needs in mind (as far as the specifics of boat design), you probably don’t want to pay as much as that.

Don’t believe I ever saw a Royalex Nova Craft in the sand colour. I am betting on f.r.p…

Gunwale construction

– Last Updated: Oct-27-12 10:40 AM EST –

Sounds like you know more about Nova Craft that I do, so here's a question, the answer to which might explain things. Does Nova Craft use "closed-top" wood gunwales on the composite boats like most other makers do? These gunwales look "open-top", which as far as I've seen, is always the way it's done with Royalex, regardless of maker. See that thick "seam" sandwiched between the two wood pieces? That's probably the top of the Royalex sheet. On every composite boat I've ever seen, there's a fine rabbet on one of the two gunwale pieces which hides the hull material from view, and it also makes a very fine seam that probably couldn't be seen in such poor-quality photos as these.

If it IS fiberglass, those creases on the bow could be the joints where the float tank joins the hull, but why would there be two creases instead of one?

Of course, if the original poster wants to buy the boat, he'll ask the seller what the hull is made of. Heck, he could be the seller for all we know, in which case he already knows.


– Last Updated: Oct-27-12 11:05 AM EST –


I'm not especially crazy about the rails being screwed through the outwales full length.

There are also a couple of details in the third photo that might make me agree with papav. Way to the left it looks like there might be a tank, and that funny shadow in the middle could be the edge of the core.

FWIW, I would have said Royalex at first glance.

Nove Craft had a wood gunwale system where the outwale ovelapped the inwale. Not the most pleasing to the eye but easy to build. The ripples you see at the ends are where the floation chambers are bonded to the inside of the hull. It caused minor distortion. This condtion is typical in the older lay-ups and does not comprimise the integrity at all, that is it is in all likelyhood not delaminating in these areas.

Color, or colour?
Dear papav,

I think it is not Royalex for the same reason as you. For the past 10 to 15 years Novacraft Royalex canoes have been red, green, or burgundy.

Could they have made a one off color of sand, possibly but I don’t think it is likely.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

I finally got ahold of the guy selling it. He said it was made of Kevlar and that he had already sold it for $500.

Sweet deal! I wouldn’t even let my fiberglass copy go that cheap. In Canada it is colour. Happy paddling.