Buyer's Guide
Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Nova Craft Canoe

Six things to know before you buy a canoe
What type of paddling do you want to do?
Will the canoe be used on flatwater, whitewater, or both? A great flatwater canoe will not be the best in big river rapids. Conversely a great whitewater canoe will not be the best choice for crossing lakes. A flatwater canoe should be more straight keeled to assist in tracking. It should also be shallower to reduce the effects of wind, be narrower and have finer entry lines for speed. A good whitewater canoe needs to have some rocker to facilitate quick turns. They will also be deeper and will usually have fuller ends for a drier ride. If you are looking to paddle on both flatwater and whitewater you will need a canoe with good multi-purpose characteristics.
What will the typical trip duration be?
Will you only be out for an hour or two at the cottage or are you going to go downriver for two weeks? A typical cottage canoe can be small because it will probably only hold the paddlers and a small amount of gear. An expedition canoe will have to have a larger volume to hold all your food, tents, and packs for your entire time in the interior.
How many people will be using the canoe at one time?
You need to make sure there is enough room in the canoe for everyone. A family canoe that needs to carry four people will obviously need to be bigger than one used for solo paddling. Don’t forget to include pets into the equation. Big dogs that like to move around a lot can easily be equal to one human passenger.
How light does it need to be for portaging and car-topping?
If you plan on doing a lot of portaging you need to consider the weight of your canoe. You also need to remember that while you may not portage, you still may need to put your boat on top of your vehicle from time to time. Make sure you can lift it comfortably and safely.
What material is best for your needs?
Composite canoes are lighter and offer better glide through the water whereas plastic boats are tougher and are more appropriate where severe impacts may occur. Whitewater canoes will need to be made of more durable materials to cope with impacts. Flatwater canoes can be made of lighter materials for portaging from lake to lake.
What is your budget?
As a general rule, lighter canoes are more expensive. While you may have decided that you need a high end boat, the practical matter of expense must be considered.

Our Options
Trim Systems

White Ash Gunwales, Oil Finish
Ash Web Seat
Kneeling Thwart
Aramid Skid Plates Installed
Additional Centre Seat
Knee Pads
Custom Colour
Expedition Spray Deck
Spray Deck Installation

Trim Systems
Standard Trim
Low maintenance trim features include aircraft-grade black anodized aluminum gunwales with aluminum reinforced ABS end decks standard on composite canoes. Reinforced vinyl gunwales with oversized rotomolded decks standard on Outfitter Series canoes. Nylon laced ash seats, ash thwarts, carry handles and a balanced carrying yoke complete the package. Ash seats with black webbing are standard on Outfitter Series canoes.
Standard Trim System

Wood Trim
We use only straight grained white ash gunwales fastened with stainless steel screws. Ash grained seats, ash thwarts, custom cut decks, contoured carrying handles and a hand rubbed oil finish complete the look.

See Gunwale 101 for more
Wood Trim System

Materials Explained
Composite canoe construction involves combining different woven materials with resin in a mold. The benefits of composites are they result in lighter canoes with excellent durability. They also offer superior glide and much better long-term reparability. Our composite materials include fiberglass, TuffStuff, TuffStuff Expedition, Aramid Lite and Blue Steel.
  • Fiberglass is an affordable composite material with a proven track record of durability. Our fiberglass hulls are among the lightest and most rugged on the market today. We use woven fiberglass cloth to make a truly superior hull. Fiberglass canoes are great for recreational and cottage use and are a good choice for budget-minded individuals.
  • TuffStuff is a cutting edge composite made of basalt and Innegra fibers. Basalt fibre is made of melted basalt rock and Innegra is a fibre consisting mostly of polypropylene. When they are woven together into a cloth and infused with our high impact vinylester resin system, the result is simply amazing! TuffStuff canoes are a great choice for paddlers looking for a light canoe for extended flatwater tripping with more than enough strength to handle lots of abuse in the back country.
  • TuffStuff Expedition is a more robust heavier duty version of our standard TuffStuff construction. These canoes are an excellent choice for an expedition grade canoe for extended wilderness trips and some occasional lower-grade whitewater use. Stiff for great performance, incredible impact resistance and lightweight all in one canoe. You can see some of the abuse these canoes cantake on our YouTube channel here.
  • Aramid Lite canoes are the lightest boats we make and are intended for flatwater tripping. Built by infusing Aramid cloth with our high impact resistant vinylester resin these canoes have great strength to weight characteristics. While they are ideal for wilderness trips involving lots of long portages, it is also wonderful just to have a lightweight canoe to put on and off the car. We use Twaron fabrics to give you the power of Aramid.
  • Blue Steel is an aramid and carbon fibre hybrid material. These canoes are light like our Aramid Lite boats but are significantly stronger. Not only is the look of carbon fiber cloth very appealing but the carbon fibers add stiffness to the hull to increase paddling efficiency. Adding an inner layer Innegra and infusing these hulls with high impact resistant vinylester resin makes a very rugged canoe. Blue Steel canoes are most at home in flatwater scenarios but have been proven very reliable on long Arctic river expeditions as well.

Nova Craft builds plastic canoes using rotational molding. This technique results in very strong canoes that are much more affordable than their composite counterparts. Our plastic canoes are made of three layers of superlinear polyethylene which we refer to as SP3.
  • SP3 canoe hulls are made by roto-molding three layers of superlinear polyethylene powder. The two outer layers are solid and the middle layer is foam. These canoes are extremely strong and are an excellent choice for river use or general recreational use. These are the most affordable canoes we make. Our tough SP3 canoes are very popular for outfitters and rental stations.