The name of this blog is canoelover's blog. It stands to reason that an actual canoe shows up here from time to time. So I got a new boat. Today I took a short paddle behind the shop and my ballast Gracie came along.
Anyway...the new boat is a Nova Craft Pal. It has a history and a good story.
The Pal is an old Chestnut Canoe design, not surprising given Nova Craft's tendency to build Chestnuts (like the Prospector and the Cronje). It is, I feel, one of the most versatile light tandems around. Not for expedition tripping for two, but can certainly handle two people and two packs for a BWCA trip. What I find is that it is the perfect canoe for soloing with a dog.
Gracie is a phenomenal canoe dog. No restlessness, just in when I say "in" and out when I say "out." If she wants a drink, she politely leans over and takes a few licks between paddle strokes. When she is tired, she lies at my knees and goes to sleep.
Anyway, I once had a wood/canvas Pal. Lovely boat, but it was 80 pounds if it was an ounce, and while I love the aesthetics of wood, I sure don't like the weight. It was for somewhat selfish reasons that I suggested to Nova Craft three years ago that they start making the Pal. It fit into their line-up, gave a little more user-friendly boat for lighter loads, and of course, was gorgeous. It also has a good pedigree, and anyone who paddles one wants one.
Roch from Nova was here last weekend for a Nova Craft Rendezvous. He brought along a special order Pal but that boat was somehow damaged in shipping. The customer is getting a new one, but in the meantime—here was a cosmetically damaged canoe. So Roch made me a sweet deal, I get some gelcoat and make a small repair, and voila, Canoelover has a Pal again.
Needless to say, I'm stoked. 45 pounds is a long way from 80, and none of us are getting any younger. Now I can go on solo trips with my dog again. She will also be pleased about this, I believe.
The best news...the lakes are all no-wake. This means it will be very quiet. A nice change.
P.S. Watch this space, I am getting two new boats next week. It has been quite a dry spell. :-)
3 weeks ago