1. How big of a canoe do I need?
Selecting a length for your new canoe should be based on two factors: the amount of paddlers and gear you’ll need the boat to carry, and the body of water that you’re planning to paddle. Shorter canoes are better suited to smaller bodies of water: rivers, creeks, ponds and small inland lakes. Longer canoes track well and are better performers on large lakes and coastal tours. For short leisure paddles and day trips, you likely won’t be bringing much along, and won’t need the carrying capacity afforded by large canoes – check out our 15’ or 16’ tandem models. On the other hand, if you’re planning for a week or longer in a remote backcountry park, ensure you’ve got room for all of the gear you need – for the average tandem paddler, 16’ or 17’ canoes will suffice. For families or expedition paddlers, 17’ or 18’ feet are most popular.
2. Where can I use my canoe?
Just about anywhere there’s enough water to float it. We offer a broad catalog with canoe designs suitable for nearly any body of water – from fishing on small ponds and winding creeks, to tackling challenging whitewater rivers, or crossing the windswept lakes of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior – there’s a Nova Craft Canoe that will take you there. While the majority of our distribution network is in North America, our canoes are paddled worldwide. If you are unsure of where to paddle, contact your local paddling club or conservation authority.
3. What are the different canoe materials?
Material selection is important as it determines the price, weight and durability of the canoe. Nova Craft offers six material options in total. For a comprehensive breakdown of the options, check out our Buyer’s Guide Materials Explained page.
4. What to take on a daytrip with my canoe?
- Boat safety kit
- Weather appropriate clothing (always dress for the possibility of immersion)
- Water appropriate footwear
- Change of clothes in a waterproof bag (in case of immersion)
- Sun protection
- Map (if you’re unfamiliar with the area)
- Water and a snack or picnic lunch
- A waterproof case for any electronics like your phone or car keys
5. What to pack for a portage canoeing trip?
There are diverging opinions on this list to be sure. Maybe you’re an ultra-minimalist that brings only the bare essentials, maybe you want some creature comforts and luxury items to make your trip more comfortable. If you’re portaging, you’ll need to carry everything you bring, so tend towards packing sparingly. Download our canoe camping checklist here.
6. What safety tips should I know before my canoeing trip?
- Always wear a PFD and keep a boat safety kit in your canoe that is equipped with a sound and light signaling device (usually a whistle and flashlight).
- Don’t paddle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Hang all garbage, food, and cosmetic items (such as toothpaste, sunscreen) from a tree and away from your tents at night.
- Have a field repair kit for your canoe with you, just in case.
- Have an exit strategy and a communication device should you need to evacuate.
- Leave a trip plan with a friend or family member before you go.
7. Is canoeing safe for non-swimmers?
No matter how confident you may feel in your paddling abilities, mistakes and accidents happen and some of them may cause for your canoe to flip in the water. You should be able to swim in order to navigate these scenarios and make it to shore with your gear safely.
8. Is it safe to canoe alone?
Yes. But, we recommend taking a course and practicing solo paddling in calm and safe conditions before you head out anywhere remote on your own.
9. Can I buy a canoe direct from Nova Craft?
We recommend purchasing through an authorized dealer. It will save you loads on shipping and gives you a chance to connect with your local independent outdoors and paddle shop. View the full list of Nova Craft Canoe dealers here. If you are interested in purchasing a canoe but there is no dealer in your area, contact us.
10. Can I customize my canoe/what options are there?
If you are placing a special order for a Nova Craft Canoe you will have access to a range of upgrade and customization options. For the full list of upgrade options, see Our Options in the Buyer’s Guide
11. How can I purchase replacement parts or repair supplies for my canoe?
Replacement parts and repair supplies are available through your nearest authorized dealer or through our factory retail outlet London’s Paddle Shop. Shop repair and parts here.
12. Is there a warranty on canoes?
Our canoes are covered by a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner of the canoe. Full warranty details can be found in your Owner’s Manual or here.
13. Do you make kayaks?
We do manufacture a small line of rotomolded plastic kayaks under the brand name AquaFusion. For more information about AquaFusion kayaks visit their website here.