View topic - How reliable is a light composite boat, without whitewater?

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PostPosted: October 28th, 2020, 8:22 am 
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Late to this discussion...

Once upon a time I had a 16ft Nova Craft prospector in Royalex. It was bright blue. It went everywhere. we bought it cheap from the plant in London as a factory second because it was delaminating. It was heavy, but paddled nicely. After about 10 years of abuse in river trips, stored uncovered outside, etc. it was oil-canning badly enough that I wanted to replace it. So we did.

The replacement boat was another Nova Craft - but with a growing family we upsized to the 17' Tuff Stuff Prospector, once again brand new from the factory, and once a gain a second - this time because the gel coat hadn't gone on right. They said it was put on too thin, but I'm not sure.

We decided that with growing boys, tow canoes were better than one on a family trip, so we started watching for a second boat. Being a cheapskate, I jumped on a deal for a used Kevlar 16' Scott (Mid-Canada Fiberglass) that was very, very used, but also stored indoors, and treated well. The Scott had a shoe keel that had been re-glassed twice, and had heavy scuffing and scratching on it's underbelly, but it still stayed dry and paddled well.

The Scott is a dream. I think I like it even better than the Nova. I'm glad we bought it well-used so I didn't have to baby it (we don't baby much of anything around here). It paddles nicely, I can hold it in a blow, and portaging is a dream. It has a Teal yoke, and that makes a difference.

In the choice between materials, I'm a big fan of all of them for the right job, but for lakes and flatwater, go for the lighter boat if you can get one. As for reliability, the kevlar boat has been stored indoors, and is at least 20 yrs old, and still going strong.


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PostPosted: October 28th, 2020, 8:57 am 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
tanaphar,

Coloured gelcoat provides more protection than a clear gelcoat and darker gelcoats will provide even more protection than a lighter gelcoat.

Skip the colour preference, you'll learn to love you much lighter boat no matter what colour.


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PostPosted: October 28th, 2020, 9:56 am 
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Joined: August 30th, 2020, 11:42 pm
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Location: Toronto
@Potvin
thanks for your comment. How much did that Scott Kevlar weigh? In what way did you find it better than the NC?

So, I'm going with Nova Craft pros16 in aramid. 45lbs.

@canoehead
thanks for that,
i won't be doing gelcoat. Just clear. Not sure if that means 2-3lbs off the 45, or the avoidance of 47-48. Either way, it will be lighter. And just simpler. Which i like.
Just a straight up, simple, light boat.
That will hold. Can't baby boats. Interferes with trip.

Thanks again everyone for your advice & thoughts,


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PostPosted: October 28th, 2020, 1:26 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Scott versus Nova...

I bought the 17' Nova Prospector in Tuff stuff expecting it to match my experience with the 16' Nova Prospector in Royalex, but it is a very different boat. The higher volume means it rides higher in the water, and the longer length means it's more difficult to hold in a blow. It still tracks and handles beautifully in calm weather, but with a kid in the bow, you better be sure you've got it trimmed right or the wind will have it weathervaning. At least in my experience. Of course, the longer waterline length means that it should be a faster boat to paddle if your energy is directed forward as opposed to trying to hold a course. Unfortunately, I'm cursed with headwinds wherever I go and whatever I do, so I haven't got much to report on there. It is lighter than the Royalex boat was.

The Scott is closer in design and handling to what the old 16' Prospector was, so it matches my expectations more closely. No, it doesn't hold a family of four and gear for a week in the woods like the 17' boat can be made to do in a pinch, but it is lighter on the portages - and the teal yoke is way nicer than Nova's stock yoke - and it paddles sufficiently well that I can make headway without as much correction from windage.

I am not saying that the Scott is de-facto the better boat. If I were going on a long river trip where I needed both volume and assurance that I wasn't going to end up wrapped on a rock, the Nova would be the best choice, but for lake paddling, heavy weather, and long portages, the Scott shines nicely

I do not have weights for the boats. they are in the garage at our "other place". Best I can do is to say that lifting the Nova Craft is a 2-grunt process, and lifting the Scott is a half-grunt.


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PostPosted: October 28th, 2020, 2:24 pm 
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Joined: August 30th, 2020, 11:42 pm
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Location: Toronto
oh, yes for sure. the 17 makes the difference. i missed that 17 detail for some reason. yes i really like the 17 for solo but can be brutal in wind. Headwind wherever you go? Sounds like a curse. I'm always getting tail winds. Also, I keep running into the same Scott canoe on all my trips. lol. Ya, head winds are no fun. But part of the package. Like portages.

So, do you like the teal yoke more than NC deep dish? Ironically I used to like straight bars over yokes. Back when, I used to paddle Grummans a lot and with just that aluminum bar, it worked out better than some yokes. Because it was painful enough that i would rotate the boat about 30 degrees several times during portages, so it sat on different shoulders (one at a time). This was enough to give the opposite one a sufficient break.

What would you say is so special about Teal? Just less painful?
I like your method of measuring weight. Reminds me of this
https://www.history.com/news/why-is-a-s ... d-in-knots


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PostPosted: October 29th, 2020, 2:12 pm 
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I really do like the teal yoke - and it's not the first teal I've ever had. I've put another one on my Christmas list.

I like the countour of it and the vertebrae notch. not sure what else there is to say about them, except that they are a worthwhile upgrade, but not a critical piece of gear.

Thanks for the link to the way knots were developed. If you've ever used a nautical chart, you may already know that one nautical mile is equal to one minute of the earth's curvature at the equator (one degree is divided into 60 minutes). Loads of fun stuff with naval navigation, and much of it goes far beyond the dead reckoning we've all done in a canoe.


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PostPosted: October 29th, 2020, 10:30 pm 
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Joined: August 30th, 2020, 11:42 pm
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Location: Toronto
no i didn't know that. cool stuff,
thanks for the teal recommendation. i might end up installing one on this new light boat (i.e., scrap the deep dish upgrade).
i wonder if ill teal the difference.


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