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Nova Craft Trapper - impressions?
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Author:  kolgrimr [ March 20th, 2013, 10:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Nova Craft Trapper - impressions?

I'm looking for a solo boat and I'm curious about the Trapper. Has anybody paddled one? Can it handle more than the day dripping/fishing duties that it seems to have been designed for?

I'm thinking trips of up to a week that don't involve very large lakes or any serious white water. I pack relatively light when I go solo - a 60L pack holds all my food and gear for 6-7 days. I do realize that as a short, stubby boat the Trapper will not be particularly fast, but it should be large enough to hold my stuff. Plus my inner indie kid wants something a bit different from the usual bevy of solo Swifts, Bells, Wenonahs, and the rest. ;)

Author:  Sam82 [ March 21st, 2013, 4:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Trapper - impressions?

I had an Old Town Pack canoe...very similar. As long as its just you and the barrel it should work ok for what you have planned. It is no good in any sort of whitewater other then swifts, and you will need to watch crossing large bodies of water...would not take much of a wave to splash over the bow. But for small lakes/streams it would be great. My Pack canoe was extremely light...portaging it was nothing! They are neat little canoes for solo flatwater (lightweight packers) tripping) ;)

Author:  rblturtle [ March 21st, 2013, 5:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Trapper - impressions?

i rarley comment when i have no personal experience-just an opinon,but this seems clear. i own a nova pal and haver paddled a nova bob. they build good boats.the boat you are considering should be like th bob only more so due to it's length/width ratio. admittly i am spoiled by owning high performance solos. i also am a weak paddler so need all the help i can get.for my tastes,the bob was too beamy to permit easy proper strokes and had a poor glide. there are other lite solos with better performance for tripping than the one you are considering. it would be good for putting around,but for me would get old on a long trip.if you are a strong patient paddler this wouldn't matter. take this as a biased opinion.

Author:  Charlie Wilson [ March 26th, 2013, 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Trapper - impressions?

First we need height and weight. We can assume additional burden for a week will be under 70 lbs/32KG.

Secondly, what will your stance be in the boat? Sitting low with a double blade, sitting with a bent, kneeling with a straight blade?

The Trapper's width/depth is a little much for a pack canoe unless the OP is very tall. As a sit & switch, it will wag it's tail quite a bit, in part because it's so wide that a vertical paddle shaft placement will be difficult. For kneelers, the hull width needs long thighs to place both knees in the chines. Only Nova and Hellman make solo boats 32" or more in width. Canadian Style, both knees in one chine and the hull at a standing heel will be interesting, in the Chinese sense.

The length to width ratio, estimated ~4.4 indicates Trapper will track poorly but maneuver nicely when a fish is on the line in weeds. [Most canoes run 6.0- 7.0 L/W] Trapper has more lemon shape than a cucumber; cool for fruit used in cocktails, but all in all, more a pond floater than a compelling bottom for solo trippers.

Author:  kolgrimr [ March 27th, 2013, 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Trapper - impressions?

I'm 5'9"/185lbs; I kneel/sit with a straight paddle.

I figured this was probably just a day tripper, but since it's cheap - and kinda cute - I thought I'd ask around. I happen to like "old-timey" lines on canoes, even though I realize they don't translate into the most efficient hulls. My tripping rarely involves just calm little streams/lakes, though, so I guess I'll keep looking.

Author:  Canoehead123 [ April 7th, 2013, 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Trapper - impressions?

I'm still trying to get use to my Trapper..I lowered the seat to make it more stable. It's better but I'm still not sure if I like it. It paddles much better using Kayak paddle instead of a canoe paddle. I found it very scary in the wind and would not ever paddle it in rough water. I feel that I would rather carry my 17 foot Blue steel Nova Craft on a solo then be held back with the Trapper waiting for a calmer day to push ahead on the waters !!

Author:  erich [ April 5th, 2015, 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Trapper - impressions?

Although this is an old post, an update might be appropriate. I have had my Trapper 12 for several years now. It was the first Royalex out of the mold and I got it as a demo and wrote a couple of reviews on it. My reviews were based on having it a year. Since I have now had more time in the boat, I can add some things to what was said above.

First, it is not a canoe for long trips with a heavy load. That of course, is obvious. But it still has a fair capacity for a trip of several days, if one packs light. This also depends on body weight. I generally kneel, but sometimes sit. The boat may feel a bit tender, especially compared to something like the OT Pack which has a flat bottom. I don't paddle with a double blade. Although it is beamy, I can get good vertical strokes with a touch of lean, Canadian style. Here is where I disagree with Charlie's comments. There is no need to put both knees in the turn of the bilge. Just a slight weight shift to one does it all. I have also found it quite stable even when leaned all the way to the gunnel. One thing I noticed early on, is its speed. Slightly heeled, wetted surface is reduced and the boat is very fast. Of course, with the 12 foot length, the top speed is limited. But what impressed me is that top speed is easy to maintain and the boat has good carry with little effort. As far as the earlier comment about waiting for winds to die down, this is not a big lake boat. Nor is it a boat to take on any river with more than Class 1. Easy Class 2 would be OK, but I would be careful in waves of two feet or more. I have had it in waves of a foot and it does very well, staying dry. It is easy to Omer a bit upwind. Overall, I like the boat, its compactness and light weight. Paddling small streams and lakes is its forte. Tracking is good with a vertical stroke.

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