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Thread: Review wanted for nova craft fox 14???

  1. #1

    Default Review wanted for nova craft fox 14???

    Hi, I'm looking to buy my first boat! Exciting.
    Mainly solo weekends on flat water and gentle river trips but with option of occasionally taking small child with. I'm 6ft and weigh about 68kgs.
    My google-fu has led me to the nova craft fox 14, but this boat isn't listed in the review section....
    Anybody paddle one?? Or have any sage advice?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    959

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    My only comment would be that the Fox would appear to be ‘a child’. of the Pal, If that makes sense. IE, the ends look to be the same with only the middle being different (narrower).

    Pal is a very good canoe and highly regarded.

    I do have a lot of interest and experience of the Canoes that are available on the market,so not an expert opinion, but reasonably well informed.

    Hope this helps.
    I like canoes ......

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Somerset
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    3,475

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    As it's your first canoe, and as you're considering taking someone with you, and bearing in mind the Fox is a solo boat, I'd seriously suggest you get a test paddle before buying. If your dealer is worth his salt, they should be able to arrange one.
    If you can't get a test paddle I'd suggest you go for something a bit bigger and a bit more stable for your first foray into the paddling world. If you fancy an NC canoe, then consider the Bob Special or the Pal as mentioned above. The Pal is a great boat for your suggested usage and unless you're pushed for storage space it would be a good choice.
    Last edited by OLD MAN; 11th-January-2019 at 11:35 PM.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Hebrides
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    There's a review here which may be a help. https://www.explore-mag.com/The-Happ...ox-Solo-Review

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for your time and expertise guys.
    I have been thinking about the BS and Pal, but was erring away from them for the following reasons;
    about 80% of my use will probably be solo tripping, and I'm worried that paddling a BS or Pal solo might get annoying in the long run if I'm having to faff about with seats/thwarts/ballast to get the trim right. Is this a valid concern or not? I've spent a couple of long weeks slogging away solo in boats designed for tandem use and found it not that much fun! I just figured since my son weighs no more than my gear would for a solo week, then a more solo-oriented boat would be fine, but I'm sensing maybe you think this boat's too tippy/small?
    I like the idea of try-before-you-buy, although I'm very remote; it's forty minutes drive to a shop! Where would I go in Northern England/Southern Scotland to try out a Pal/BS/Fox?
    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2010
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    With regard to dealers in your area, I'm the wrong person to ask as I'm miles away, but here's a list of dealers as composed by members on here. It's a good list, but probably not extensive.
    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...of-Canoe-Shops

    Unfortunately for you, there doesn't seem to be much in your neck of the woods, so you're going to have to be prepared to travel for whatever you want.
    The main importer of NC canoes in the UK is Devon based, but they do have several shops, but again, unfortunately for you the nearest to you is Manchester.
    You may well be best served by asking here if any SOTP members in your area own any of the boats you've listed. You'll find most folks here are very accommodating with respect to test driving boats.
    To be honest, I think you'll struggle to get a paddle in a Fox. They haven't been around long, so they're not prolific and I think the importers mainly get them over here if they've been pre-ordered. The importer in Devon had one last time I was there, but they weren't prepared to offer a test paddle. At the time, I was looking for a solo boat, but from experience I know that some can be deemed tippy (for me- I'm tall and heavy), so I didn't get one as they wouldn't let me paddle one. I thought I'd come home with a BS, which would have been a good compromise for solo and tandem paddling, but I didn't get one because they have a shallow V hull, which is something I'm personally not keen on.

    Don't stress about paddling a tandem boat solo. I'd think I'm not far off the mark if I state that that's what the majority here do rather than buying a dedicated solo boat which can be limited in its usage. One advantage of a longer tandem as opposed to a short solo, is that generally, a longer boats track better.
    I have a Pal and whilst I'm not saying you should get one, it's a fine boat and will easily do the things you say you want from your boat. Once you get some more experience, you'll wonder why you were fixated on a solo boat. If you get a tandem boat you can quite easily fit a kneeling thwart or buy a moveable saddle, there are nearly always solutions for any problems you might encounter.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    959

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    If I can offer a couple of thoughts ....

    If you keep feeding your son (!) , he will get bigger, and fairly quickly! So a point in favour of a compact tandem.

    You have divulged that you are not new to paddling and also are not overweight. Two points in favour of the Fox in my opinion.

    I do find flat water oriented compact tandems dull to drive, also reassuring and extra margins of safety and flexibility.

    I have none of the three boats in your list which is remarkable - as I have fourteen other ones. I am not too far away from you geographically and enjoy helping people with these types of conundrums.


    Ian
    I like canoes ......

  8. #8
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    Nov 2008
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    Manchester Canoes supplied a NC Fox last year.

    Knowing Jim and Liam from the shop there is every chance they would put you in touch with the proud owner, who would likely be delighted to offer you a wee go in their pride and joy.

    You never know your luck - that canoe may even be available for re sale !
    I like canoes ......

  9. #9
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    Nov 2008
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    I also think Silverbirch’s Firefly 14 will be quite ‘Foxy’, there may be a composite hull out soon. IDK.

    There are other rather good UK supplied composite solo boats too.


    The Mega 16 seemed to hit the mark - I used to own one. There is a Mega 14 but I’ve never even seen one.


    Apache canoe will have something to offer also.
    I like canoes ......

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Bangor, Co Down.
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    Good advice from the guys. I've watched the video from Kevin again and I see they compare it to the Nova Craft Supernova in initial stability and secondary stability but with less rocker.

    I am a big fan of NC canoes, I've had a few of them in my stable. I currently own a Prospector P15 in Royalex and a Supernova in Royalex. So I'm in a good position to comment on this. If you were buying the Fox as a second canoe, the way I have with the supernova, I'd say go for it. But that's because I have the P15 to cover all my other bases.

    As Barlyafloat says, kids grow up at an alarming rate, ( mine is now 6ft 2" lol) so buying a solo boat doesn't future proof you in any way. Plus, I'm an experienced paddler and I'd hate to take even a small child out with me in the Supernova.

    I think a compact tandem is the way to go. Taking a pack with you on most trips is advisable, be it for extra clothing, a good lunch and shelter, or gear for the child. Either way, it becomes second nature to use it to adjust your trim in no time, so that wont be an issue.

    But nothing beats a test run, so Barlyafloat's idea for trying one out might put your mind at rest.

    Good luck with your search.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  11. #11
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    Sep 2014
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    Lancaster
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    Given your location and the type of boat you are wanting you might be wise to look at the Solway Dory Little Egret and Quetico - both beautiful, fast, light lake boats suited to solo tripping (the Quetico being a pocket tandem). They are based near Ullswater and they have demo boats of both. Speak to Mark - a thoroughly decent chap. I've been meaning to write up a review of the Quetico... just as soon as I can work out the new photo posting thing.

  12. #12

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    Thanks to you all for your input. I'm sensing the general consensus is that the NC fox 14 probably isn't the boat for me. I do like the look of the NC Pal, but maybe I'll look at a few compact tandems and try to test paddle a few. I was trying to find a stockist of a MR reflection to see if I could get a test paddle as that seems like a craft that would fit the bill but I can't find anybody localish with one in stock. Will also check out the Apache and Solway Quetico. Thanks for the advice.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2016
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    North Lancashire, South Lakes
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    Chucking my six pennorth in. I am a solo canoeist and have been paddling a Pal for 3 years now. I intitally ordered a Bob Special (from Manchester Canoes - highly recommended) then got cold feet about the size and changed the order to a Pal. Most of my canoeing is flat water (the Lakes) for long days and occasional overnighters and the Pal is ideal. I can manage it easily on my own, (I'm 67 and not built on the heavy side). I tend to take a lot of stuff with me as I do a lot of photography and Pal works very well for me. Tracks well, very stable. and will take two people and kit easily. If you have a growing lad, I think you may grow out of the Fox sooner than you might think. The guys at Manchester Canoes are very knowledgeable and helpful if you are based in the north west area. You mention faffing around with gear to get the trim right. From my experience this is the sort of thing that you mess about with a fair bit at the beginning but then you find what works, and as you get to know the canoe you develop an instinct about what to do and what not to do. I live in the Lancaster area. If you want to try out my Pal you're more than welcome but I go abroad on Feb 3rd and won't be back until March 3rd.
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!

  14. #14
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    Nov 2008
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    959

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverdog View Post
    Thanks to you all for your input. I'm sensing the general consensus is that the NC fox 14 probably isn't the boat for me. I do like the look of the NC Pal, but maybe I'll look at a few compact tandems and try to test paddle a few. I was trying to find a stockist of a MR reflection to see if I could get a test paddle as that seems like a craft that would fit the bill but I can't find anybody localish with one in stock. Will also check out the Apache and Solway Quetico. Thanks for the advice.
    Go on then, tell us where you are based a bit more specifically! I have a MR Reflection 15 sat here doing nuffink. It is even set up as a solo with one seat and no yoke. Same as NC Fox.
    I like canoes ......

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