I purchased my royalex 18' Nova Craft Prospector in the spring of…
I purchased my royalex 18' Nova Craft Prospector in the spring of 2000 and have paddled it on lakes and whitewater rivers in Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan every year since then. The 1400 lb capacity and tracking of the Prospector shape make it an outstanding long-trip canoe, and the bonus is that, because it has no keel, it also handles with huge stability and surprising agility in white water. (In a following wind on big water, likeGeorgian Bay, the lack of a keel causes a certain slippage, but it's easy to compensate for.) I've fitted my canoe with skid plates and d-rings for centre & bow/stern flotation bags, so it works as a (big!) tandem playboat, and this year I purchased & installed a NorthWater spraydeck to make it a go-anywhere tripper. With the spraydeck, I've already run CIII - CIV rapids this year (for example, the Rollway Rapid on the Petawawa, run with a full load in medium high water without eddying) - result: minimum water taken in and phenomenal control throughout. The canoe's weight (84lb sans spraydeck) is an issue for a person accustomed to a lighter load, but I've carried mine nonstop for 2km with no need to set it down. The yoke (I chose the black cherry trim option) is exceptionally well-designed and supremely comfortable; much more so than the ash yoke in a friend's 17' Nova Craft Prospector. The only improvement I could imagine would be to own the same model in Nova Craft's Blue Steel option, for much less weight - though then I'd be worried about hull brittleness as opposed to the forgiving flexibility of royalex. Overall, an outstanding canoe.
I bought this canoe to replace my Dagger Venture. I use…
I bought this canoe to replace my Dagger Venture. I use the canoe for tripping with my family of four on lakes and class 2 rivers. The venture worked well but I did not like the seats the yoke and the way the boat was sensitive to trim. My prospector 18 is faster turns easier not as trim sensitive and has excellent seats and ok yoke. I purchased a royalite hull since I wanted to be able to portage. I jam one of my canoe packs under the center thwart to stiffen the plastic hull and maintain the arched bottom. A third seat allows my kids a first class ride and loaded with our 750 pounds of payload we can cruise the flats at 6 km/hr and ride out whitecaps and standing waves. I am very pleased with this canoe and the only thing I would possibly change is the yoke.