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Thread: Nova Craft Supernova

  1. #1
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    Default Nova Craft Supernova


    SUPERNOVA, SOLO
    A fantastic whitewater solo canoe, the Supernova has a shallow arch bottom and moderate rocker for quick responsive action. The flared ends with the 15" depth and straight gunwale line keeps the inside dry in the roughest water. Secondary stability is outstanding. Extreme leaning will not flip it and it has been called a “surfing fool”. Although very responsive in whitewater, its sleek design makes it much faster and easier tracking than most solo boats for long stretches of flatwater especially when loaded. Perfect for solo wilderness trips.
    Specs:
    Length: 14” 10’
    Beam: 32”
    Center Depth: 15’
    Bow Depth: 23’
    Bow Rocker: 2.5’
    Stern Rocker: 2.5’
    Capacity: 850lbs

    Weight:
    Fiberglass: NA
    Kevlar Cap: NA
    Kevlar Spectra: 48lbs
    Blue Steel: NA
    Royalex lite: NA
    Royalex: 58lbs
    SP3 Poly: NA





  2. #2
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    Default

    Just a short time in this canoe.

    Was worried by tales of lack of initial stability and feeling tippy.

    I was on a loch with a bit of wind and small waves and found the tippiness not bad at all. Kneeling low felt fine from the start.

    Turns easily and tracks quite well with a bit of input at each stroke. I reckon once used to the canoe and more sensitive paddling I would feel quite relaxed.

    It's a bit sensitive to the wind mind and can catch you unawares. But then it is primarily a river boat and I was looking for a lake biased canoe.

    Q

  3. #3

    Default Supernova

    I have had one of these for about 3 years, bought it as a solo WW boat but dont tend to use it much now as I enjoy paddling my wenowah prospetor 15 more.

    The supernova has very little initial stability and feels vert tippy when seated, I paddle mine 95% of the time from a kneeling position as lower C of G, gives better satability.

    However the secondary stability of the boat is superb, you can put this thing right over on its side and it will sit there all day, dip a gunwale below the water and still bring it back.

    The reason I bought the supernova over other offerings such as the MR guide was the size / volume of the boat. At 17 stone the guide was too small with the Supernova having more displacement and carrying capacity.

    I find it tracks well and has good flat water speed for a boat of this size, I have been able to carry lightweight kit for an two night trip.

    On WW I use thigh straps and fully bagged out, I find the boat light and manoverable and surfs like a dream. I find with the shallow arch hull when carving over eddie lines with too much lean can catch you out at times.

    On the minus side, may be not as practical as an allround boat, I can not pole it (cant stand up too little inital sability for my skill level).

    As I said I paddle my Wenowah prospector 15, more these days, I can handle GR3 in it, sail it, pole it, recover a paddler into it, tandem paddle, solo exit and re-entry and pack a weeks worth of camping kit all skills I have not mastered in my Supernova.

    The Supernova is a great WW boat but for me more a focused tool and less versitile which is why it gets left at home as I am lucky to have a choise.

    then again Iam working towards 5* and Level 3 assesment, thus needed a more veristile boat. I am sure the Supernoval will get more WW thrashings once I have got the assesments out of the way.

    Andy

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've used a Supernova for a couple of months, used it for half a dozen whitewater trips and half a dozen flatwater trips. I've done a fair amount of tandem paddling before, but no solo before the Supernova so bear that in mind.
    My first trip was the Dart at high water levels, would have been a [wet] breeze in my kayak, but I took two swims, that really bashed my confidence. The boat is very tippy compared to a tank like a Scout or even a prospector. Getting in and out off a bank can be risky, and poling is out of the question. I actually found it was a good flatwater boat, it tracked ok for me, was fast and was relatively easy to handle in the wind. Kneeling is essential for white water, although the cord seat is comfy on the flat. The secondary stability, as the blurb says is awesome, the boat stays the right way up - after you have fallen out. The gunwales can be put underwater and it won't flip, but it definitely needs some form of outfitting to increase the paddlers retention in the boat.
    Having decided that for my needs a more stable boat would be better, I have changed to a Horizon. However I have to say that by the time I came to change the boat I was sorry to see it go. It's a really involving, fun boat to paddle when you get it right, light manouverable and fast. It surfs well, in fact a couple of times I panicked a little because it was drawing me up into a bigger wave than I wanted to be in. Other longer boats actually feel sluggish after the 'nova due to its narrow beam. I would definitely consider getting another if my paddling improves, and maybe even if it doesn't.
    If I got another I would fit full flotation [I hit several big holes and half filled the boat up], why have to empty all that water out when it's only got one seat anyway, and it will reduce the likelihood of a folded boat in the event of a pin. Also I would fit kneeling blocks to help keep me in the boat, or maybe even a quick release thwart and thigh straps a la Tenboats.
    Mike

  5. #5
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    When I first demoed this canoe on flat water it was horrible, very tippy (but with awesome secondary stability). However, I could see that it was well made and designed for moving water so I took the plunge and parted with my money. After adding minicel foam knee pads and thigh straps I took it down some class 3. Wow! It was a changed character, it never missed a beat all day and was a total joy to crank in and out of eddies, and was fast onto the waves and surfed really sweet.
    With lots of boats to choose from I reckon this will see more than its fair share of river time. It does what it says on the box, and with style. Only 9 out of 10 because the gunwales are not reinforced with an alloy strip and deform when bolts are tightened. I use Old Town over sized super big washers which help, but really if the gunwales were as good as Wenonah ones the build quality of Nova Craft would then be second to none.

    The standard Royalex seems to be bomb proof. There is no oil-canning at all, infact the hull is as ridgid as a glass hull. Nova Craft will supply gunwale inserts for the asking, and I guess fit them as standard now? Pity, as this is a poor solution to a bad bit of kit. The gunwale issue is really the only downside.

    I do not think there is a Trad. open canoe able to compete with this in the river running/play/tripping stakes. You would have to go the OC1 route for a more responsive canoe. The flip side of this is that is a poor boat for flatwater, but of course it will work on the flat, whereas a flatwater boat may well not work at all in Gd3+ WW.

    So far, my #1 choice for solo WW.

    UPDATE:

    I enjoyed this boat so much that I replaced it with a factory special in RX Lite with alloy gunwales, saving almost 10lb.
    This new boat was fitted with a QR kneeling thwart, 60" air bags, electric bilge pump and thigh straps. The weight reduction makes it even more nippy, and the alloy gunwales are much better than the vinyl ones.

    Still my number 1 WW tripping boat, but it is getting used less now because I am doing more poling.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Nova Craft Supernova

    Looking at the rounded shape of the hull my expectations about the primary stability of this boat were correct. I found the boat initially very unstable but I quickly got used to it and discovered the secondary stability really is exceptional!.

    When you hit a bit of white water this boat comes into a different league of its own. The overall handling and performance beats anything I have paddled on a river before. I find the boat very dry in white water and any additional weight does not really make any great difference to the performance.

    This boat is exceptional when it comes to ferrying, surfing and turning. On flat stretches of river it can travel at very good speed and can easily carry enough equipment for extended river trips. I have taken the boat out for a few trips on the local Loch but think this is a boat best at home on the river.

    I also need to comment on the overall build quality of this canoe and find it difficult to find fault.

    Summary

    I have paddled and owned many types of canoes through the years but can honestly say nothing comes close to this boat for solo river running. I would highly recommend it to any canoeist with some experience who needs a solo river boat with exceptional river running and WW capabilities. Rating 10/10


    Last edited by Mitch; 2nd-May-2008 at 04:28 PM. Reason: amend
    Mitch

  7. #7
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    I've just re read what I said a year ago.

    Perhaps I should have pointed out that I only weigh 10 stone and am 5ft 4in tall which means that when kneeling on my heels I can only just reach over the gunwales to paddle

  8. #8
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    Hi I have to agree with all the comments from mitch, I have had my boat for short time now and love it.

    I have to replace the seat with QR thwart as i have been caught out with the high C of G on the middle Firdhorn this week already but you could learn to live with it I think.

    It is just a great boat on all comments below are valid but in my opinion all the positives out shine the negatives by a long way

    And there really is only one colour!!!!



  9. #9
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    Default Supernova

    I decided to keep my seat as it nice addition to have on long river trips and its angle makes a good KT.

    But there only is one true colour

    Mitch

  10. #10
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    lololol, It could be worse it could be green and we all know how slow they are

    All the best,

    Daz

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkwood View Post
    lololol, It could be worse it could be green and we all know how slow they are

    All the best,

    Daz
    Yeah green are slow but red uns are even slower

  12. #12
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    Default Its no yolk

    Just bought one of these supernovas and had a small bit of trouble lifting it on to the car, as it has no yolk. How do people portage with these?

    Glad the green ones are not as slow as the red ones

    Pete
    We no nah fink

  13. #13
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    Make a removable portage yoke. However for just getting it on the car that seems unnecessary. A store bought one might not be long enough for the SN

    http://www.bellcanoe.com/Scripts/pro...?idproduct=185

    I can see how with the seat far back the boat would be off balance.

    I would just load it from the rear of the car.

  14. #14
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    Getting on the car is only a small problem its portage I'm worried about. Thanks for the clamp on yolk idea, I have an old yolk here I can use. Ta

    Pete
    We no nah fink

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    Quote Originally Posted by tisme View Post
    Getting on the car is only a small problem its portage I'm worried about. Thanks for the clamp on yolk idea, I have an old yolk here I can use. Ta

    Pete
    I would not bother with a yolk.

    I have attached bungee cord to a couple of areas on my supernova and use my paddles.

    Its very practical and comfortable using your paddles. I will get some pictures posted next time I have the camera out.
    Mitch

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch View Post
    I would not bother with a yolk.

    I have attached bungee cord to a couple of areas on my supernova and use my paddles.

    Its very practical and comfortable using your paddles. I will get some pictures posted next time I have the camera out.
    Works for Mitch, but I find my paddles aren't quite long enough to work well. But maybe I need to adjust things a bit, or get a stronger back - still looking at solutions.

  17. #17
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    Hi , I have a Freedom solo which I am very happy with, but it is always interesting to look around. You guys have obviously paddled different boats , what are your feelings Solo versus Supernova?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tisme View Post
    How do people portage with these?
    It does get pretty dark under there , but I just put my head on the bottom of the canoe and get on with it.

  19. #19
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    Default Portaging a Supernova

    Here is a picture of my Supernova with the paddles set up for a portage. I have just threaded bungee cord through holes in the back of the seat. I have also tied some round the middle thwart on each side so I can stick the paddle handles through.

    Mitch

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    Thanks for that I'l make up something similar. Had my first paddle in it today and your not wrong in saying it feels unstable. First off I thought I was going to fall out easy and I would never be able to lean it over to paddle. But as the boat rolls over it just stops and you have to use a lot of weight to keep it over. It feels safer than anything else I've paddled lent over. Can't wait to try it in some WW now.
    Pete
    We no nah fink

  21. #21

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    I tried out barelyafloats royalite one on sat and didnt find it tippy at all. Yes it doesnt have the tank feel of a 16ft prospector, but the secondary stability is incredible, al the way to the gunwale. It's quick too, much faster than a prospector, far more responsive, and great when hitting an eddy if you take a decent lean.

    No retailer seems to have one in royalite so I've emailed nova craft direct to ask them. If anyone's reading this who is looking to sell theirs then please drop me a PM.

  22. #22
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    The Supernova occasionally gets discussed elsewhere (currently, for example, here). Seems to me that it's a direct rival to the Raven: a canoe for extended river tripping on grade/class 3 (ish). That's certainly the impression I got when I tried one. Unladen, it is a bit barge-like: unless you are wanting a dry ride when running laden (or are 6'4 and 200+lbs), the flare, beam and huge freeboard all strike me as excessive. I got the impression it would be OK (though perhaps no match for a Raven) for 5+ days on a Canadian wilderness trip through big wavetrains... but not so hot for anything I've ever contemplated in the UK.

    Minor point: the seat position would seem to need explaining. I assume Novacraft had good reason to do as they did... but I don't (as yet) see it! I'd love to know what paddler build / profile they had in mind...

  23. #23

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    Isnt it billed as a boat for bigger paddlers? I'm 100kg and i found it to be really responsive. Mind you, I am an amazing paddler as well

    The nova craft website says its for solo wilderness trips, which suggests that its to be paddled with load. For a lighter paddler, I bet its a real handful to be honest.

    I dont understand your point about the seat? It can be used as a seat or a kneelinh thwart, and I tried it as a kneeling thwart, and it was really comfortable, and a nice position in the (unladen) boat.

    edited to add - just an aside, but mitch isnt a particularly heavy guy and he seems to love it, and performs admirably in it.
    Last edited by BigMike; 6th-December-2009 at 10:21 PM.

  24. #24
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    Sorry - thought the seating thing was widely enough reported on (hence Matt's opening line on the Paddling.Net thread I linked to: "Sorry to post another seat placement question...I ask this one because everyone complains about the seat placement in the Super Nova"). FWIW, here's a recent example from Solotripping:

    its tough to compare [the Supernova and the Raven] because the SuperNova seat is so far back. That accentuates turning and yaw. That might disappear under a load, but unloaded the bow wove back and forth.

    At Midwest FreeStyle Symposium a number of skilled paddlers who do know how to make a boat behave noticed this behavior..that the SuperNova demanded a lot of attention empty to keep it on line. We did not have the normal tripping load that the SN is designed for.

    You might have more neutral handling if the seat is pulled forward.

    The Raven has a slider and that helps. I dont know if the SN does; the test model didn't. At any rate the Raven seemed to me a better tracker. But there are so many other variables.
    In fairness, if you dig deep enough you can find picky folk arguing about the finer points of seat positioning on almost any canoe... but given that most solos (as far as I can tell) are fitted out for a more central station... the Supernova does (for better or worse) seem to buck the trend and invite comment.

  25. #25

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    I hadnt read the paddlingnet thread when i posted, I went on how I found it. I'm tall and have long arms, and I lean forward quite a bit when I paddle, particuarly on the rotation bit so perhaps that may be why I just didnt notice. I had no trouble paddling it in a straight line either.

    As with any canoe though, you change the outfitting to suit yourself if it isnt right, and it would be a rare manufacturer who could produce outfitting which suited every person. I mean it couldnt by definition do that. Again, the boat seems to be made to load, so in that case the seat position makes sense I'd say.

  26. #26
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    Hi Nick
    Like wise I'm 6'4" and 100kg and find the seat fine. I do sometimes paddle with the dog, as well but even without his weight I find it a great solo. Looking forward to doing some distance in it.
    We no nah fink

  27. #27

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    Hello Tenboats1, barelyafloat and Big Mike

    From these old posts I see that the three of you have experience with Super Novas in RX-lite. I might replace my SN in RX with the same model in lite.

    How stiff is the lite version? The RX type is pretty rigid. Is there a sacrifice to losing 10 lbs?

  28. #28
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    Raven on the left, Supernova on the right...

  29. #29
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    Big difference in hull profile, not much in seat position.........................
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  30. #30
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    I've had my Supernova for a good few months now and have covered a not inconsiderable distance with her in that time. A couple of weeks ago a friend (hi Bonehead) asked my opinion on the new boat. I thought it would be appropriate to share what I told him:

    "I love the Supernova. I bought her specifically to allow me to progress in my WW aspirations and so far she is doing that job admirably. I'm a big believer that it is important to be in the right boat at the right time to allow you to really progress. For me the Supernova is just that boat. She's a big solo and will carry my (not insignificant) weight and day kit happily. Novacraft's build quality is good and the royalex (mine is the standard version not the lite) is plenty tough to deal with scrapes and bashes yet the boat remains light enough for me with dodgy shoulder and back to handle solo off the water and car top with ease.

    First stepping into the Supernova after the Mega she did feel a bit more unstable (and the Mega is hardly a pontoon!) however, I very quickly got comfortable with her. What really impresses is the secondary which is absolutely bomber.

    I've done a bit of flat water criusing in her and she will push along nicely, although she doesn't compare with the Mega in terms of flat water cruising performance (but then my Mega has been pinched and flattened slightly to make it a very efficient solo tourer).

    The Supernova really comes alive on moving water. I've been doing mainly grade II stuff in her, and she really inspires confidence. She has a high freeboard, which provides a dry ride and/or large carry capacity. Plenty of rocker means she turns with ease and will carve into the eddies. The narrow beam (approx 30") makes cross-deck strokes easy. But the best thing, and why I love her (like a sister, obviously) is that she is SO forgiving. I've got a few moves wrong in some pretty heavy conditions, and the awesome secondary stability has just chucked me back upright and into the boat - I am sure that in other boats I've paddled I would have been taking a long uncomfortable swim.

    I'm struggling to find anything negative to say about this boat. The only real downside is that she is BIG for a solo - but that meets my needs so not an issue for me.

    I've paddled with a few other Supernova owners (who have considerably more experience and higher skill levels than me) and they seem to be equally in love with theirs."

    If I can add a quick comment regarding seat position: The seat is high (due to the large freeboard), I don't find this a problem at all - in fact I find it a very comfortable kneeling position and easy on the feet and ankles which have lots of space under the seat. I don't paddle seated very often in the Supernova as primary stability rapidly vanishes as soon as you put your bum fully on the seat. The seat is a little more offset to the stern than you might expect, but once again I don't find this a problem. I always paddle with a large kit bag which gets tightly secured under the front thwart. I'm happy with the boats trim like this.

    Horses for courses I guess. Or if I can put it another way, every bread has it's cheese.

    ...if only life was that simple...

  31. #31
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    Hi to you too Orange Dog!!

    Its a great review and it did convince me that I needed one but alas a fellow SOTPer beat me to the Supernova I was chasing (we both know who you are and I hope you enjoy it!! ).

    Anyway, the bottom line is I'm still convinced I need one!!

    .....or maybe something similar
    To Canoe is to be moved!!!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonehead59 View Post

    .....or maybe something similar
    Hi mate,

    Perhaps you should import a Raven? Please. I'd really like to try one

    ...if only life was that simple...

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Dog View Post

    Hi mate,

    Perhaps you should import a Raven? Please. I'd really like to try one
    Don't encourage me!!

    I keep looking at the Raven and the Osprey (& keewaydin 15) longingly: we all know where that leads!!

    Mmmmmm....Kevlar fusion with Kevlar trim!! That crafty Wolfgang from Canoe Base included a brochure with my Badger Paddle, as if I wasn't hooked enough!

    Nikki has already started packing my case!!
    To Canoe is to be moved!!!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonehead59 View Post
    ...Nikki has already started packing my case!!
    So thoughtful, getting you all ready for your trip to go and collect your new boat. You're a lucky lucky man.

    ...if only life was that simple...

  35. #35
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  37. #37
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    Bonehead if you are referring to altrolley's old boat. I plead guilty to poaching, but Kate kept borrowing mine, so I bought her that one as a valentine present (not that she knows yet)

  38. #38
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    Hi Folks, So....what with having a new baby and a new job where my work life balance was far in the direction of work & a moment of madness where I sold my beloved Blue Supernova I have given myself a stern talking to and replaced the canoe with a vow to get out as much as I used to...I have replaced her with a new one (in the new trendy colour).[IMG][/IMG] Just as good as it ever was!, Cheers Darren ( Return key not working for some strange reason)

  39. #39
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    Not that i'm bias you understand but that boat looks awesome.. Happy paddles..


    I used to think i was in love and then i bought a Supernova


  40. #40
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    theres one on ebay now

  41. #41
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    Thats one fine looking Supernova

  42. #42
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    Well, after much faffin about, I've finished the outfit! And what a pain in the butt moving that seat was. I decided to move it one seat width forward which seems about right, giving a slightly bow light trim. Secondly I dropped the seat height, this was the pain in the butt because I had to make up some longer bolts, make some ash hangers at the correct length and the correct rake of the seat, which turned out at 15°.

    I decided to cut the tops of hangers at 15°, about the same as my Argosy. NC don't do this, they just cut them straight and rely on the different rear and front height making the angle. Not the best idea?

    So, the top edge of the front of the seat is 200mm from the bottom of the hull, and the rear is 260mm. Why NC can't put an adjustable seat in really doesn't make sense? Also had to buy a new seat too as the original no longer fits when it gets moved (£70)!!!

    Drilled the hull and laced it with 4mm Beal, 54" bag in the stern and 42" in the bow, gives me a bit more room for gear.

    My woodwork skills ain't the best, and having the correct tools really does make the job oh so much easier! Whilst tidying away, I gathered up some off cuts and burnt them. One of my hangers was in there! I hope the neighbours had their doors and windows closed!

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by dirtydog; 7th-July-2014 at 11:38 PM.

  43. #43
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    Ha ha ha!

    Looks good but please don't let Sutchy see those camo bag covers!
    To Canoe is to be moved!!!

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    Too late, been meaning to sort out my bag covers for ages.

    Nice job on the outfitting.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutchy View Post
    Too late, been meaning to sort out my bag covers for ages.

    Nice job on the outfitting.
    Cheers mate!

    Bag covers are yoga mats I picked up from TK Maxx, 10 quid each

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Cheers mate!

    Bag covers are yoga mats I picked up from TK Maxx, 10 quid each
    No accounting for taste!
    To Canoe is to be moved!!!

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    Location
    'In The Vale'
    Posts
    2,263

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonehead59 View Post
    No accounting for taste!


    They'll come in handy when I'm running a bankside Pilate's session!
    Last edited by dirtydog; 8th-July-2014 at 08:44 AM.

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    22,487

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann View Post
    .
    Hi Ann,

    You have to be a contributing member to post a For Sale ad. http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...-a-thread-here!
    Last edited by Chainsaw; 1st-August-2014 at 06:28 PM.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  49. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Shortly to be found near The Wissey Norfolk
    Posts
    1,351

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    I have added a Supernova to my fleet as I wanted a Royalex canoe which can take the lumpy, bumpy stuff which I could not go near in my wooden or composite canoes; it will open up some more paddling trips to me which I have previously shied away from. This canoe is Royalex+. Having had a MR Freedom Solo before I thought I would try the Supernova. It is a nearly new which had not been used in anger. I read the reviews of it being "tippy" etc but having given it a good try out this weekend leading and tripping on the Norfolk Broads I was pleasantly surprised. It was stable, comfortable, turned easily and tracked well. Of course there is the bulk of me in it and a day bag up the front. I could kneel very comfortably or have alternate legs up or down which again all worked well and there was plenty of room to change position without the need to become a contortionist.



    Get Paddling!

    Blott

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