I added another canoe to my fleet a few weeks back—the new Nova Craft Fox 14-foot solo.
I wish I’d ordered it sooner. This is one incredible solo canoe, whether I’m heading out on a lengthy trip or just paddling through the early morning mist on the lake across from my house.
Nova Craft has always been my canoe company of choice and I’ve grown accustomed to solo-paddling their 16-foot Prospector or a 15-foot Bob Special (backwards, sitting in the bow seat). The Fox is Nova Craft’s first dedicated solo-boat and it does a great job replacing the other two designs for solo tripping.
As the design goes, to me it’s like a shorter version of Nova Craft’s 17-foot Cronje—a slick, asymmetrical, low-profit touring canoe. The Fox has a bountiful 32-inch beam and a notable weight carrying capacity of 250 kilograms (550 pounds). That adds up to a canoe that can deal with wind and waves, as well as haul plenty of gear for extended trips.
The position of the seat allows canoeists to use a double-blade to propel yourself—if you’re looking into this new trend. Personally, I still use a single blade. Of course, that also means you have to take the yoke in and out on every portage. Nova Craft has a quick nut-and-bolt removable system, but I strongly suggest swapping in an easier-to-use version.
The Fox has incredible second stability. Once you get moving across the water, it keeps a good line and moves fast. However, newbies may find its initial stability a little tricky and tippy.
I chose Nova Craft’s durable composite material Tuff Stuff—weighing in at 19.5 kilograms (43 pounds). Some paddlers may wish to go with the lighter version, Aramid Lite. It’s also available in fibreglass or Blue Steel. The Fox isn’t a whitewater boat, which make the lighter material a good choice. Mind you, I took my boat on two river trips this fall, both not exceeding class II rapids, and it was fine. And to me, 43 pounds is pretty darn light for a boat that can take a beating.
Check out the video of notable German paddler instructor Klaus Mumm test paddling my Fox. He’s one picky paddler—and he loved the Fox.