By Bob Bramlett:
I wanted to send a sincere letter of appreciation to Nova Craft Canoe for making such a wonderful product. I own a Pal canoe, in Kev/Spec, with ash gunnels and two tone color scheme – olive over a sand bottom. It looks gorgeous and everywhere I go people comment on what a sexy looking boat it is. I chose Nova Craft because you build a very robust tripping boat that is not ridiculously heavy. I paddle solo, am 6’4″ @ 220 pounds. I yearly travel solo in true wilderness for 10 to 30 day trips. I have had this boat on many of my trips. It has been in rocky twisty creeks, to big wind swept water. It seems every trip is fraught with strong head winds and big waves. Incredibly, when trimmed correctly, this boat paddled as a solo has handled up to 3 foot waves with aplomb. It takes big water but is still very manageable in the wind.
I find it to be a fantastic fishing platform and is stable, fast and very maneuverable. My Pal has been all over the Wisconsin River, many lakes in Northern Wisconsin, the BWCA as well as several trips to Wood Land Caribou Provincial Park. In fact I am just coming back from a 32 day trip that covered much of the Gammon river system as well as a bit of the Bloodvein water shed. I find this boat only looks better with the battle scars of wilderness tripping. The ash gunnels do not take much in the way of maintenance to remain beautiful and durable.
I do not believe I have ever written a letter espousing the merits of a product I am so in love with. However, this boat is all you said it would be and more. I feel a deep connection with my boat and all the adventures we have shared together … and the adventures that await.
Thank you for making such a marvelous boat. I love my Pal canoe.
By rblturtle – www.paddling.net:
I have a royalite Pal. I previously had a 16′ Novacraft Prospector. For my use, the Pal fits me much better. I don’t do heavy whitewater, and for everything else I like the Pal better. It’s noticeably lighter, narrower which makes faster and easier tandem and solo paddling, less freeboard to be caught by the wind. It has less rocker and has a flatter bottom, so it’s not quite as good at extreme heals and spins.
I installed a slanted kneeling seat behind the front seat facing backwards and paddle it Canadian style a lot that way. Paddled that way it could be a good high capacity solo tripper. It also poles well. I think it is an excellent choice for an all around canoe, particularly if you want to solo a lot.
By De3 – www.paddling.net:
I own a Pal Kev/Spectra – bought new last year. I paddle the canoe solo on flat water with 3 large dogs each weighing in the 70-90 lb range each. The canoe is extremely stable, primary stability excellent. My dog managed to put the canoe practically on its side getting out without tipping the boat. I had the bow seat removed for space, at 48 lb the Kev/Spec is not ultralight and that would be the only downside in my view.
The low-profile and low free-board is a dream in the wind -its an all round great boat and as a relative novice, I am very confident in this boat. It’s sturdy and well made. If it were available one day in Super ultra-light (under 40 lbs) that for me would be the perfect boat…as a woman solo paddler I’d like something around 35lbs.
By Ken Drouillard. August 2016
You may remember us as we bought a Nova Craft Pal in regular weight TuffStuff from you last year and had taken it on a few smaller trips, one of them (Nunakani Lake Loop) was featured on your website.
In the last two weeks we took our canoe on a 13 day trip to Wabakimi Provincial Park. We ran into an incident on Day 2 where we wrapped the boat on a rock in rapids trying to line them. In any event, TuffStuff far exceeded my expectations. Even being wrapped and warping under the onslaught of moving water for 10 minutes, the boat, after being released, was serviceable and held its own for the next 11 days of our trip. The gel coat was scored quite deeply, through to the hull near the bow and there is one place where the haul might have been weakened. I will bring the boat to Nova Craft this winter for your inspection and see if you can fix it. At the time we bought it, John indicated that the gel-coat could be resurfaced after a few years of hard wear. It didn’t take us many years, but I would like to have this done after the season has ended. I know that my other kevlar canoe would not have survived this event in the same circumstance.
I captured most of the event with two go-pro cameras that were clamped to the back thwart of the canoe at the time and produced a smaller excerpt of the incident as a stand alone video to the series I’m making of our trip. I have attached the video for your interest. Accidents do happen, and this was an unanticipated test of the canoe’s fortitude.
As I said, I am extremely happy with the performance of this canoe. Not only is TuffStuff worthy of its namesake, but the PAL is perhaps the most versatile canoe I’ve ever had the pleasure to paddle. It is the perfect vessel for us!