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Thread: Nova Craft fibreglass canoes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Buckland, Gloucestershire
    Posts
    699

    Unhappy Nova Craft fibreglass canoes

    Has anyone encountered any of the Nova Craft glass boats? I've not seen them in glass in the UK before, but Norfolk Marine has the Bob Special and Muskoka in fibreglass, both at a reasonable price-to-weight ratio. My house refurbishment and ever dwindling budget for a new canoe, might necessitate the purchase of a glass Bob.

    Just wondered how glass - and in particular, gelcoat over glass - holds up on a canoe. I assume NC use their rigid foam insert in the floor of the hull, to prevent oil canning.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    S. Yorkshire
    Posts
    785

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    I had a glass Apache 15 as my first composite canoe, and have a mega outlander in glass too which is really quite old. I keep finding out about more previous owners...
    Both have been great boats, stiff with good glide. I have now moved on to an Apache 14 in carbon/innegra to get a lighter and more agile river boat, but wouldn't be parted from my outlander. I have collected a few chips and scratches over 5 years of regular use in various waters, but have only had to do one gel coat repair on the old Apache despite paddling rivers full of gritstone rocks and not enough water, and two on the outlander for deep chips on its quite fine stems. I don't worry too much about partial thickness scratches - just part of normal signs of use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    763

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    My guess is that the gelcoat will be the same as Tuffstuff, but the glass will be a bit more vulnerable to bigger hits, and a bit heavier. Smaller impacts won't flex the glass so the gelcoat won't know any different.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoydart
    Posts
    937

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck Feet View Post
    ... Just wondered how glass - and in particular, gelcoat over glass - holds up on a canoe. I assume NC use their rigid foam insert in the floor of the hull, to prevent oil canning.
    Gelcoat over glass holds up very well. I have used Swift 'Expedition' layup boats over the last 6 years or so and all have held up well in use as my commercial fleet. Incidently the three remaining Swifts are for sale (PM if interested in more info).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southwest Michigan
    Posts
    76

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    I think that Gordon and Chris are spot on. I've had several fiberglass boats and still have one. They will take plenty "normal" abuse like scraping rocky bottoms and bumping stuff but they are not meant for whitewater or slamming into rocks. They are also highly repairable if something bad happens. Seems like a fine option for a Bob. If you plan to drop it off a tall building or hit it with a large hammer like the Nova Craft youtube videos then TuffStuff is probably a better choice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Buckland, Gloucestershire
    Posts
    699

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    Just checking back in to say thanks chaps. Hope to make a decision this week - I need to get back onto the water before the summer disappears... due to lack of funds, was even thinking of a buying a kk!
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

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