Nova Craft SP3 hulls on our Outfitters Series are always trimmed with vinyl gunwales – no other gunwale option is available on SP3 hulls. Vinyl gunwales are the most flexible option and are therefore less likely to be damaged by hard impacts. Our Outfitter Series canoes are designed for maximum durability as they need to stand up to heavy use and abuse in rental outfits and summer camps. Vinyl gunwales are also less expensive and help keep the cost of these boats low. The downside? Weight. Vinyl is heavy, and so is the SP3 material we use in the hulls. These are the heaviest boats we produce.
On our Fiberglass, TuffStuff, TuffStuff Expedition composite hulls, aircraft grade black anodized aluminum gunwales come standard. Sleek looking, lightweight and tough. An additional benefit of the aluminum gunwales is that they are virtually maintenance free and can last forever.
Introducing Aluminum Lite gunwales, standard on our Aramid Lite and Blue Steel composite hulls. An anodized aluminum gunwale system with a slimmer profile than the regular aluminum gunwales to maximize weight savings. If you enjoy canoe tripping off of the beaten path, you’re likely no stranger to portaging. Shaving pounds off the total weight of the boat is usually very important to portagers; our new Aluminum Lite gunwales help keep this number as low as possible.
There are many benefits to upgrading to our ash gunwales. The most obvious reason is aesthetic. Wood gunwales have a classic and traditional look that is tough to beat. But there are also some practical reasons why one may opt for ash over aluminum. Wood trim is quieter on the water. If you are interested in hunting, nature photography, or simply observing wild animals in their natural habitat, travelling very quietly is important. Animals are less likely to be scared away when paddles knock against wooden gunwales. Ash is also very comfortable to handle and carry because it is a non-conductive material. Aluminum, on the other hand, will heat up in the sun and get quite cold in low temperatures.
Our ash gunwales are oiled but not varnished. There is some upkeep required in order to keep oiled wood healthy and beautiful looking. Properly maintaining ash gunwales requires sanding and oiling them a couple of times a year. Also, canoes with wooden gunwales should be stored indoors over the off-season in order to prevent rotting.
We put a lot of time and careful effort into installing ash trim on our canoes. Because of the extra time and craftsmanship required by this process, there is a considerable upgrade fee which reflects the extra labour costs.
Visit Our Options to discover more ways to customize your Nova Craft Canoe.