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Nova Craft's New Prospector 14' Solo and FAQ

Glenn MacGrady

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This is not a review, per se, but the online catalog pages for Nova Craft's new Prospector 14' Solo for 2024 and an associated FAQ.



Anyone who has seen, paddled or has opinions about this canoe is welcome to comment in this thread.
 
I was about to make a post asking about this boat, specifically in comparison to the Swift Prospector 14. Would be fun to test paddle both back to back!
 
Going by the numbers and layups the NC looks like a better river running boat.
I’d like to test the 14’ NC against the 15’ NC to see how much faster it is.
 
Going by the numbers and layups the NC looks like a better river running boat.
I’d like to test the 14’ NC against the 15’ NC to see how much faster it is.
Nova Craft doesn't list waterline width, but if we assume the the waterline widths are proportional, then the 15' L/W=5 while the 14' L/W is 5.25 - I do not know if I take that as gospel, but to me this means there should be a bit less resistance in the 14' and it'll be slightly faster. That being said, the 2.5" rocker I suspect will have a more pronounced impact on the 14' - so the speed difference may be a wash. Clearly the 15' will weigh more, and thus will take more effort to get moving, and I suspect this will have the biggest impact on performance differences between the two.

I think the most alluring aspect of the 14' is that you will be able to get a TSE boat weighing more than 10lbs less than a TS 15' Prospector. TSE seems about as indestructible as any layup one can get these days. It would be fun to go head-to-head with a Northstar Phoenix IXP, Nova Craft Prospector 14 in TSE, a Swift Prospector 14 in Expedition Kevlar, and an Esquif Prospector 15 or Echo (there's no close model sadly - wish Esquif made a T-Formex 14' Prospecteur) and beat the living daylights out of them on a good rocky river in Maine or Ontario.

I wonder if we can get sponsorship to perform such a test - intentionally bouncing off as many rocks as we can!
 
Certainly heavier than the Swift.

Those carbon gunwales on a Swift do save a ton of weight. If comparably equipped, the Swift is 3lbs lighter per their respective websites - the TS is listed as 44lbs while the Swift Expedition Kevlar Prospector 14 with aluminum trim is listed at 41; add the carbon gunwales and the same boat is 34 pounds! That's $500 to save 7 pounds... but that's a nice 7 pounds to lose!
 
Those carbon gunwales on a Swift do save a ton of weight. If comparably equipped, the Swift is 3lbs lighter per their respective websites - the TS is listed as 44lbs while the Swift Expedition Kevlar Prospector 14 with aluminum trim is listed at 41; add the carbon gunwales and the same boat is 34 pounds! That's $500 to save 7 pounds... but that's a nice 7 pounds to lose!
Compare the lightest and isn't it more like 6 pounds? I thought my swift was 29 pounds.
 
Compare the lightest and isn't it more like 6 pounds? I thought my swift was 29 pounds.
Oh I think if you get a carbon Swift with the carbon gunwales and tech packages, you could get the weight down to 25lbs or below - much lighter than the lightest option from Nova Craft for sure. The difference will be whether you want to take that mega-light Swift down rapids. I would be wet-footing and limiting myself to deeper water for sure in an ultralight, but the Expedition Kevlar Swift and the Tuff Stuff Nova Craft options will sustain considerable hits that would likely crack and wrap the lightweight boats.
 
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