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PostPosted: September 20th, 2023, 9:51 am 
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I'm hoping some experienced people can offer suggestions on what canoes I should consider.

We camp at provincial parks and are not doing any backcountry camping. Maybe in the future, but I'm buying a canoe for what I do now. I can always sell and buy something better suited if we switch camping styles.

I am 5'6 150lbs and often go out alone on small lakes while my husband is in his kayak. We may also go on some safe rivers together. I also take the kids out exploring the lakes/islands and to go fishing. Kids are 12 and 9. I have taken a semi-private lesson with my 12 year old so we sort of have the basics. I will continue a couple lessons next summer. I think I am set on a 16' canoe

The canoe needs to be
-Ok solo (I sit in the bow seat and turn it around). I would prefer not to blow around in the wind
-Stable. The kids are kids and I often move around to help them with the fish
-Suitable for fishing
-I'm not sure how strong/tough it has to be. We will pull it up rocky shores onto islands
-Can withstand the kids using it. I want them to have fun in the boat, play games on it, drag it into the lake and back onto shore


Some that I am looking at:
Nova craft Pal 16' in tuffstuff. This seems like a family canoe but I worry the tuffstuff may be too heavy at 55lbs. Gently used

Swift prospector 16 in kevlar - previous rental. I don't know if we will wreck it and if I will blow around more because it's so light. I also don't know if a prospector is right for me.

Swift algonquin 16 kevlar. Previous rental 41 lbs but the person on the phone said they may have patches making them heavier

I would appreciate any guidance


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2023, 2:25 pm 
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Buy used. That way if it's not quite what you wanted you can sell at prob the same price and try again. I have had a Novacraft Tripper in Kevlar for many years. If you bash a hole in it you can repair it with a fiberglass kit from CTC if you are not too fussy about it. It sounds like your emphasis is on having fun---as, IMO, it should be---rather than worrying about the pristine condition of your canoe.

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PostPosted: September 20th, 2023, 6:10 pm 
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A pitfall of buying a new canoe is trying to get one that does everything you might want instead of focusing on the factors that might represent 90% of your time in it.

You said you're not doing backcountry so your cargo needs are likely small and you'll often be soloing it, so I think you'll end up with lots of unused space in the boat and worse handling if you go 16'.

A prospector is a good choice for stability and fishing, and for you and two kids to fish. But a 16' prospector is a lot of boat for your size and I really think you'll be happier with 15' overall.

I've paddled 15", 16' and 17' canoes extensively and find that 17' crosses a threshold and I don't like to solo it, so I definitely wouldn't go any bigger than 16'.

Tuffstuff has good hull strength but it's not a boat I like dragging up on rocks because I find the gel coat is prone to chipping, and ultralight Kevlar boats have obvious durability limitations. You may end up with more maintenance work than you'd like if you want to pull it up on rock.

So my recommendation is a 15' plastic canoe (something like nova craft's SP3 layup). You'll save a bundle and have great durability and won't have to worry about pulling it up on Canadian Shield shorelines. You said you we worried about the 55lb weight of the tuffstuff but you're not portaging right? So just two-person it on/off the car and the weight is only relevant for 10 seconds at a time while you flip it off the roof.

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PostPosted: September 20th, 2023, 6:32 pm 
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ya i agree with jon, plastic optimal option, for this application.
if lightness is a stiff requirement (40-50lbs), then i wouldn't do it, unless used. so that i don't care much about the damage ahead, eg, just regard the boat as a knock around boat acquiring some bandages over time (patches).

i also think that was a nice adjustment idea, to change it to 15, noticing that 16 was a bit big. that adjustment will shave 5+ lbs off the plastic (as well as paddle better), bringing it closer to weight of (the alternative ideal choice) some toughened composite boat.

ps, i know you will be dragging it around, knocking it up, game table, kids yanking it into the lake, etc. but (used or not) it's not good to step in a Light canoe when one end is teetering on those island rocks. i am all for abusing canoes, and feeling free that way on trip, but that's one kind of abuse which should stand in its own (try not to) category. just throwing that out there for your and the canoe's happiness out there.


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2023, 7:32 pm 
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actually i was (above) thinking tformex was the plastic. i now see it is sp3 plastic. the sp3 plastic, even if shortened to 15, will still be double the weight of a durable composite like swift expedition kevlar. whereas the tformex plastic would be much closer to that durable composite weight.

then again, NC doesn't make tformex boats.
so the pros15 plastic would have to be Esquif pros, which i wouldn't recommend (given the wanted initial stability, and wanted resistance to being spun by wind).

the NC pros sp3 15 is 90 lbs. so... going with the idea that it's too much weight (if not true, then excellent: you have a very cheap durable solution here), i would look at esquif recreational boats. maybe the esquif scout. https://www.esquif.com/en/canoe/scout/ or something else they got.

but generally, if you want to blow left-right less, and want to shuffle around in the canoe, giving stuff to kids while fishing, etc, while feeling stable doing so, as on a small square raft, then you want the bottom of the boat to be flatter, wider (like a raft). And less rocker (boat less looks like a banana from side profile) will help you keep on course, especially if boat is shorter than 16.

whatever you choose, a strong drybag 25L (becomes 50lbs, or less, if you require), can do so much to keep the boat on track, by filling it (the drybag) with water and placing it at front. it is my #1 choice when boating away from basecamp, just me bow reversed no packs (which is probably similar to you solo, as you're not in backcountry).


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2023, 9:47 pm 
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The Pal is a great canoe and checks all your boxes. I would recommend it for your needs over a Prospector or an Algonquin. For a tandem, the canoe is very good solo. Certainly more manageable than a NC Prospector. You might also consider a solo thwart. It has great initial stability and OK secondary. Tuff stuff is plenty durable for your needs.


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PostPosted: September 21st, 2023, 10:40 am 
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Ooh yes I somehow missed the word Pal and only saw prospector which is ironic since that's my primary solo boat. Pal does make more sense than prospector for you. Would be nice if they made it in 15' but 16' will be nice when you have the kids in there.

But you're paying a ton for the moderate weight and not portaging so I still say a 15' plastic prospector or similar model.

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PostPosted: September 21st, 2023, 5:08 pm 
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trix326 wrote:

-Can withstand the kids using it. I want them to have fun in the boat, play games on it, drag it into the lake and back onto shore
Some that I am looking at:
Nova craft Pal 16' in tuffstuff. This seems like a family canoe but I worry the tuffstuff may be too heavy at 55lbs. Gently used


Hey guys---I think those of you who are suggesting a plastic canoe missed this part. Too heavy.

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PostPosted: September 21st, 2023, 6:20 pm 
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no wasn't missed. if she got plastic tformex pros, that's 60lbs (and lighter if other tformex boats).
putting it pretty close to 55.
close enough that she may feel "well, durability supreme, cost supremely low, repairs supremely absent"
... maybe she'll feel that's worth the 55-60 lbs (close to her (unclear) limit).
but the sp3 plastic is likely TOO much a weight jump (though still possible she'll turn to it).


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PostPosted: September 21st, 2023, 6:37 pm 
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wotrock wrote:
trix326 wrote:

I worry the tuffstuff may be too heavy at 55lbs. .

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PostPosted: September 21st, 2023, 6:43 pm 
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remogami wrote:
no wasn't missed.


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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2023, 6:18 am 
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trix326 wrote:
I am 5'6 150lbs and often go out alone on small lakes while my husband is in his kayak. We may also go on some safe rivers together. I also take the kids out exploring the lakes/islands and to go fishing. Kids are 12 and 9. I have taken a semi-private lesson with my 12 year old so we sort of have the basics. I will continue a couple lessons next summer. I think I am set on a 16' canoe

The canoe needs to be
-Ok solo (I sit in the bow seat and turn it around). I would prefer not to blow around in the wind
-Stable. The kids are kids and I often move around to help them with the fish
-Suitable for fishing
-I'm not sure how strong/tough it has to be. We will pull it up rocky shores onto islands
-Can withstand the kids using it. I want them to have fun in the boat, play games on it, drag it into the lake and back onto shore


Jonathan Kelly wrote:
So my recommendation is a 15' plastic canoe.


I agree that a 15’ canoe is a good choice for smaller, lighter tandem day paddling.

Maybe a Nova Craft Bob Special? Per the above criteria the bow seat location makes the Bob a fine solo, the 35” beam and shallow arch bottom make it plenty stable, suitable for fishing. Maybe not the best for an adult and two kids who will only keep getting bigger. On the flip side a 12 year old may soon want an appropriately sized solo boat of their own.

Rocky shore and kid use can be managed with training and good practices.

https://www.novacraft.com/canoes/recrea ... pecial-15/


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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2023, 10:12 am 
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remogami wrote:
remogami wrote:
no wasn't missed.


You guys are hilarious. I am really happy that you care enough to help a stranger.

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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2023, 3:10 pm 
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Thank you so much for the suggestions. I think I will stay away from plastic just because of the weight. It is often just me and the kids camping. My 12 year old is helpful, but he is still lacking some height and strength to help get things on my pick-up. I would rather spend a bit more and have it under 55lbs. My husbands kayak is 50lbs and I know this is close to my limit with another person. The 30lb paddleboard is the only one I can put up on the truck alone. One store recommended an Esquif prospector in t-formex but it was around 70lbs. I guess 15' would be lighter. It was also new and almost the same price as a used Nova craft Pal

I may look into the Bob when I go to nova craft. I was sort of sold on the Pal when the person I spoke with told me if would give me less issues with wind compared to the prospector. She didn't mention the Bob but I see it may be better at that length. We have been renting 16' canoes and it's been fine, but I have stayed on small lakes and in calm conditions. I would only buy used since I imagine we may change our minds in couple years.

In all reality I could take the paddleboard when I go alone and only use the canoe when it's 2/3 of us or when I'm more experienced. We are spending $500+ on canoe rentals each summer which is silly so buying one still makes sense even if I dont use it alone.

Thanks again for the suggestions!


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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2023, 3:26 pm 
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eberlym wrote:
remogami wrote:
remogami wrote:
no wasn't missed.


You guys are hilarious.


lol i thought someone would get a chuckle out of that,


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