Any Nova Craft Pal paddlers here?

Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
405
Location
Wyoming
I'm thinking of picking up one of the tandems in RX for recreational use. Sometimes I'll have a bow paddler but she's a novice and prefers riding to paddling :) Also will occasionally haul a couple mutts, 1-40# and 1-50#. Won't be doin' any rough stuff with this crew, mostly lake cruisin' and easy river cruises. Inclement weather will see us of the water. Nothing more than occasional easy C-1 on the river. Day paddles only with the dogs and friend.

I'd be installing a kneeling thwart just behind the bow seat so I can paddle her backwards solo when I want. I'll add some knee pads and wedges to fill the bilge out a bit but I've got a 35.5" inseam so contact shouldn't be hard to achieve.

The Pal looks to be a nice medium size tandem that should perform nicely in the wind. - we have our fair share of that here :) I'm alternate between kneeling and sitting. Mostly a straight shaft J-stroker, hit 'n switch with a bent occasionally to avoid fatigue. Might be a fun tripper , too, when I want to haul the kitchen sink!

Any input regarding the NC Pal would be of interest and appreciated.

Thanks.
 
W

Willis

Guest
The Pal seems to be a favorite of Canadian solo paddlers. I haven't tried one myself. From what I have heard you would be making a good decision. I hope someone chimes in on materials for the hull.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
3,460
I've built a couple of cedarstrip pals for my school club. The 16 footer is a nice solo if you don't have a solo boat. I also stretched it out to 17 feet. We use both of these canoes for serious tripping. Although not as beamy or full as a prospector, they are quite fine on lakes. They aren't as robust in white water, but they get the job done.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
1,189
Location
Alburnett Iowa
I have a Pal and a Bob and love them both. The Pal (in spectra / Kevlar) is my solo tripping in the BWCA boat. And my Bob in Rx is my solo day trip / river boat. I don't do more then class 2 WW. I have tripped in the Pal tandem as well. Dave
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
98
Location
Northern Wisconsin
I have the same Pal as you and Bob B and love it for tripping. I am on the lookout for a good used Bob Rx for other options as well. I may have to buy new.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
405
Location
Wyoming
Thanks for the comments, folks, and thank you Bob for the PM.

Shortly after I posted my original inquiry I came across a nice deal on a demo RX Pal and went for it. My world was still frozen at the time but I figured the Pal would make a nice occasional boat for when I was taking a non-paddler for a ride or hauling a dog or two out for an adventurous picnic. Didn't expect it to really see regular use.

I also own a Wilderness, an Odyssey 14 and a sweet little Old Town Pack which are my primary boats.... at least they were. Once the ice broke up last year and I got the Pal in the water we quickly became friends. I was very pleased at how well it handled on a slow river and it behaves quite nicely on easy active water. Class I and short easy Class II stretches were fun. My dog is a canoe mutt (a 40# Husky/coyote mix) and she loves the Pal, too. The low sides make it easy in and out for her and its a very stable platform for the two of us. The Pal hull seems to have just the right combination of stability and looseness for a wide variety of applications which is undoubtedly why the classic design lives on with such a following.

Wind is our constant companion here in Wyoming and the Pal truly surprised in this regard. With a 30# day pack lashed up front and my dog wandering about I can lightly edge the boat and off we go. I removed the stern seat as I seldom take a human passenger but its easily re-installed when needed. And those Nova Craft seats are sweet! Love the width and the lacing.

The Pal ended up seeing more use last summer than the rest of my canoes combined - the closest contender was the little Pack which I use for wildlife photography on small backcountry ponds and such. I've decided to sell my Wilderness to a friend as its just not as fun for me as the Pal even for dedicated solo use. While a canoe has a distinct job to do, the fun factor cannot be underestimated. The Wilderness is a very good solo tripper but it doesn't give me near the personal pleasure as compared to the Pal. Hard to explain but the Pal just seems right when we're out on the water.

I'll be taking the Pal with me this year into the backcountry legs of Yellowstone lake for a couple weeks in the hope of getting some good grizzly photography. I've always used sea kayaks for these trips as they can burn the miles and I can cover a lot of ground even in rough weather. I'm getting older and slower now, and I like a more comfy bedroll and a well stocked kitchen thus getting back to canoes. I think the Pal will be a great vessel for this adventure.

Thanks again for your replies and pleasant waters to ya.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
459
Location
Dodgeville, Wi
Holmes,

I am glad you are enjoying your boat ... I guess that is why it is called the Pal. I ahve tripped in mine a LOT of miles and tripped with Hogan when he used his. We love ours for many of the reasons you mentioned. Dave (Rippy) uses his a lot as well and loves it. Heck we should start a Pal appreciation thread eh?!

Anyway, it is a real dependable canoe that I find very predictable when things get nasty and as mentioned before is very good in the wind. I find it to be a great fishing platform as it is very stable, yet nimble enough to manover with ease - just ask Hogan about our trip through the Nile ... Ugh!

Long live the Pal!!

Bob.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
1,189
Location
Alburnett Iowa
Hogan, I looked for a used Rx Bob for over a year and didn't find one at any distance from home. I get the feeling that while there are many used Bob's, none of them are for sale. I know mine won't be. Hope you get lucky. If not you might have to make a trip to Madison to get a new one. Dave
 
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