Nova Craft Bob Special - Was my Solo Canoe
Length 15' (457cm) Beam 35'' (90cm) Weight (Royalex Lite) 26kg Capacity: 360kg
Solo Avg continuous comfortable cruise 2.3mph - sprint 4mph. Tandem - yet to be tested, but will be faster
Light, stiff Royalex Lite hull with black anodized aluminium gunwales. Solo or Tandem, reasonably fast and straight tracking but turns quickly and easily (I can perform a reasonably stylish looking canoe ballet in this one and actually look like I know what I am doing!). Symmetrical, shallow arch hull (slightly v'eed) with slight rocker. Responsive to trim, lower windage than some designs with higher ends. Manufacturers state best suited to flat or gentle white water (others have reported success in up to Grade 3 White Water). The laced seats are both pretty and comfortable and stand out from the crowd of normal webbing seats giving it a very stylish look. An absolute joy to paddle and my paddling technique has hugely improved since I started using this canoe as it is so responsive to every nuance of the paddle. Due to it's light weight also the first boat I have been able to comfortably carry solo on my shoulders using the beautifully sculpted yoke (which has a thoughtfully placed little notch in it to avoid pressing on the bones in the back of your neck). If it wasn't for the fact that I also need to carry a family of four at times then this would probably be the only canoe I need.
Intermediate Paddler Review Update: A lovely all-round canoe for solo or tandem use and I still miss it but for my primarily flat Norfolk Broads use I might consider a Nova Craft Pal (slightly longer and narrower) instead next time for a little extra speed. I'd also probably go for the new TuffStuff construction for it's even lighter weight and beautiful shiny finish (hoping to test one shortly courtesy of Norfolk Canoes so watch this space!)