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Reviews for Nova 16 Canoe by Mohawk Canoes


Rated: 8.83/10 Based On: 12 Reviews

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05-24-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     We have had our Nova 16' in the water a half a dozen times before we needed to put it up for sale for medical reasons. no complaints on this model! Loved it! If we get to where we can paddle in the future, we would buy another Nova 16!

Overall, we've been exceptionally pleased. It is light, attractive, and on a small lake or twisty creek, it paddles great. It paddles great and sits stable in the water.
The Mohawk folks can't be beat! They are helpful, friendly, and easy to talk to. I'd highly recommend Mohawk. Canoe & Kayak did a great review of the Nova 16 which is on Mohawk's web page.

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10-03-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently purchased a Nova 16 in R-84. I requested two additional thwarts, one between the stern seat and the portage yoke and another just aft of the bow seat to provide attachment points for gear. Mohawk was happy to make the modifications at very reasonable prices. The helpful, can do, attitude of everyone at the factory made doing business with Mohawk a real pleasure. On the water there was negligible flex to the bottom, the shallow arch hull and slight flare above the waterline allow for a dry controllable ride with predictable primary stability and reassuring secondary stability in 1 to 2 foot waves. This is a good tracking canoe yet is still maneuverable in tight areas with out having to fight it to change direction. Id recommend the Nova 16 to anyone looking for a good general recreational canoe at an affordable price.
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12-27-2004
Submitted by: Greg-OSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Review for the Nova 16 Royalex. Purchased about 7 yrs ago. Have had it all over Florida, fishing the flats mostly and occasionally use it for an adventure race. It has proven to be a great fishing machine. I usually pole it. I can cast my bait net out of it easily. When I paddle solo I sit in the front and face in the opposite direction to keep the bow down a bit. It is scratched quite a bit and very faded, however this does not affect it structurally. After all it is meant to be used, and I have used it hard. I love it! Down side is that during adventure races when you are really paddling hard with a load quite a bit of flex is present in the hull. But if you are not buying it to race I would recommend it. Dont forget the 303 protectant. Fish hard!
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08-02-2004
Submitted by: SteveSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have a Nova 16, purchased in 98. It is a pretty good canoe, as is evidenced by the favorable reviews. I left mine in the side yard and didn't 303 it as much as I should have. The bow and stern sections are beginning to fade some. I've also noticed that it's fairly easy for a sharp rock or gravel to cut through the R-84 skin, exposing the foam. I think if weight is an issue, it's a good canoe. If you're paddling sandy rivers and lakes, no problem on the scratching. I fill in the larger scratches with J & B Weld. I paint the smaller scratches with enamel paint I bought at Wal Mart in the automotive section. I loved the bright red finish. I'm a bit disappointed I let it set in the yard so long. You live and learn... Steve
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03-17-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     'Tis Nova 16 been every-wher canoed. Been Upper Great Lake Region, thru tha Canadas & way-out-east to northwoods of Maine. Short & compact but efficient as hall. When canoe base encamped we take tha nova 17 at end of Autumn fall when wind pick up in 3rd week of October on big 1's. But in more rugged northlake portage water-routes, pond/lake hoppen, we do tha Nova 16. It be less weight fer me to carry, able to portage/paddle more miles & as reliable/or dependable as tha 17. Tha give & take of royalex material by batteren waves, springs back into action, with-out getten all beat-up. Canoe so durable & stable, had 150 lb. Black Bear moven about in it & kept him saftly afloat. On paper, facts added-up, but once put-in, once-over tru-facts became tha "Turtles Truth". I took a chance & risk paid-off hi dividends. These here Nova's be my extension to tha wilds of tha NE.
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10-02-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've only had my Nova 16 RX for a few months but I love it. I've had it out on lakes and on rivers but no whitewater, yet. I've paddled it with beginners in the bow seat and had no problem with keeping it going straight despite the bow paddler not knowing what they were doing. I've paddled it solo using a kayak paddle and seated on the middle seat which was an option I requested. It performed wonderfully. I paddled it across a wide expanse of open lake on a windy day and was very happy with the way I could handle it solo. I am anxious to try it out on some class II whitewater as I'm sure it will handle it easily. It picks up the normal scrapes and scratches from launching on rocky beaches but I've noticed no oilcanning or discoloration. I love it and I've owned many canoes prior to purchasing this one. It gets an A+ from me.
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04-15-2002
Submitted by: ezkeelSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had my Nova 16 for about 6 years. It is the best thing I have ever done. I have the 57 lb. version, I think that is the R84. I am not gentle with this canoe at all, and yet it is holding up great. I do a lot of Winter canoeing (more than Summer) and many times I have to break through the ice that has formed across the river. I just ram the bow into the ice and then push the whole canoe up on, and then jump up and down inside the canoe until I finally break through and the canoe splashes back into the water, only to back up and do it again. (don't try this at home). I have broken though up to 2 1/2 to 3 inches of ice. I have done about 40 of these trips and the Nova 16 is holding up great. I have not paddled a lot of other canoes, so I cannot do comparative stability, but I do not believe I have to. During all of my river trips I use a river pole for about 75% of the trip. This means I am standing in my canoe for 3/4 of the time with a river pole dodging rocks. I have never fallin in yet. This may be because I have very good balance, but I have stood in a few other canoes and could never do what I do in the Mohawk. In the Summer, we take it out on the lake and "swim" with it. We purposely sink it, flip it over, and then try and balance on it's bottom. Good luck to those who try this (you can try this at home). You can stay on it's bottom for a few seconds, and then like it's alive, it flips you off. Great fun with the kids. However, back to stability. During the sinking process, I wanted to know my limits. I was amazed at how stable this Mohawk is. I can actually scoop water in over the gunwales, a little at a time without tipping over. Just try and tip your canoe that far on some summer day. Then for kicks I wondered if I could balance on the Gunwales. No problem. Now when we go to the lake, I get up on the gunwales and use that to dive off of. I am having the time of my life. What an investment. When or if it dies, I will buy another Mohawk Nova 16
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03-26-2002
Submitted by: Steve in KentuckySend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I purchased a Nova 16 about four years ago. I've had mixed experiences with it, both great and not-so-great. I'll go with the not-so-great first: I got R84 on the recommendation of Mohawk. This was not so much to save the 6 lbs, although that is a nice feature @ 59#, but at the time it was about $65 cheaper to get R84. R84 scrapes up rather badly here in Kentucky. Mohawk made out like it was whitewater that damages it. I have gotten some major scratches through the outer skin to the foam in local creeks and class I rivers, and took a nail sized chunk of skin off lightly skimming over a rock in the cove of a lake. The lighter skin allows dents from tree branches or rocks to show more also. The recommend JB Weld. I've found that a piece of electrical tape works great and after a bit of time in the sun, the tape sort of glues down to the hull and you can't even scrape it off.

Paddling it, I sometimes find it a bit tippy. Not because it actually is; the stability is pretty good. I'm a bit top heavy and I find this boat easy to capsize in that it leans pretty far on the primary and by the time I get to the secondary, I've lost my balance and am falling over the side. I think losing some weight might solve a lot of this problem. I got the seats with the rod spacers that fit over the bolts. This causes the seats to wiggle just a little bit, but this is sometimes enough to cause me to lose my balance is I'm leaning a bit off center. Mohawk has since gone back to the metal L brackets they used to use, which work great.

Last year I got busy and didn't really 303 my hull like I should have. It seems the hull lightened a bit more than I expected it to. That is a characteristic of R84 skins if you don't continually 303 them. Royalex is a bit toughter to UV rays.

Paddling the boat gets high marks for the most part. It is very responsive and easy to turn. I had a buddy who went over a small homemade dam on a river in what was a healthy class II. The boat performed wonderful and didn't even hint at having a problem.

I've found that the bow seat is too close to the front of the boat. It's narrow and my 43 y/o knees aren't comfortable bunched up that close together. The result: I usually stern paddle and let my friends take the bow seat.

Paddling it solo has given me mixed reviews also. It is so light that it is easy for the bow to plane up if you don't throw a water bag or gear up front, even with the boat paddled backwards. I've found that the hull, as it is so light, tends to oilcan a bit without any gear to hold it down. This is a bit annoying. I can't say it has affected handling. Even though it has noteworthy tumblehome (Mohawk calls this "tucked in sides" to the novice), I am not that comfortable in solo paddling it. I tried to take it on a windy lake solo and without a load, and it weatherveined rather badly on me. However, I'm spoiled to my touring kayak a bit... I think some decent weight in the boat would solve this problem. The waves just picked up that light bow and slammed me back into shore.

A previous review noted it has no tiedown points. That's not true. Mohawk has excellent caps on the bow and stern. The front hole is for drainage, and the inside hole works well to tie a rope through. I use some prussik cord from rappelling that holds 1000# and is about the size of a pencil. Mohawk's gunwales are easy to maintain, and the finish on the yoke and seats is top quality and looks like oil, although it's actually polyurethane.

If I were choosing a canoe again, I might look at their 15' models for solo paddling. Overall, I've been exceptionally pleased with the Nova 16, small problems noted. It is light, attractive, and on a small lake or twisty creek, it paddles great. A buddy is on his second Blazer 16, the livery fiberglass Mohawk. It paddles a bit better than the Nova as it has a sharper bow and by being heavier, sits better in the water, particularly the bow plane.

The Mohawk folks can't be beat! They are helpful, friendly, and easy to talk to. I'd highly recommend a Mohawk to somebody. I'm looking forward to paddling more in mine, with some gear and a buddy who knows how to paddle. Canoe & Kayak did a great review of the Nova 16 which is on Mohawk's web page.

Email me if you want to discuss this any more.

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08-13-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my Nova 16 Royalex for about 3 years. It's been through almost everything imaginable that northern Indiana and southern Michigan has to offer in streams, rivers and lakes, over washed out dams and numerous downed trees. This boat is like the Humvee of canoes. I've mostly soloed it using both a Mohawk double paddle and a homemade clip on bass pro seat. The low stem height makes it easy to get under trees and low culverts and it maneuvers like a smaller boat but is stable on a windy lake. If you are alone it is still light enough to cartop or using wheels to travel. I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to get all the enjoyment they can for the money. Also the Mohawk people are great to deal with.
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11-30-2000
Submitted by: Steve HSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my Nova 16 R84 from Mohawk four years ago; trying to get the most bang for my buck. I have not been disappointed. The boat does the job in rivers, lakes and bays whether paddling alone, tandem or loaded with three and picnic stuff. The added center seat has been handy, as has the roll up nylon portage strap. The company did everything right during the purchase and with any subsequent contact. I have paddled nicer canoes, but they all cost twice as much or more.
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01-27-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've had my Nova 16 for about 2 1/2 years. I bought the R-84 Royalite chiefly because I'm too cheap to pay for the Royalex. I have really enjoyed the Nova 16, much more than a Wenonah Sundowner I used to have. Feels faster than it should be. I would also recommend buying the Royalex if I were planning on paddling anywhere you might drag over many rocks because it does gouge rather readily. The Royalex hull is repairable with stuff like JB Weld but the R-84 doesn't bond as well with repairs.

Overall, it's a great boat. It's very stable and has held up well. The factory direct ordering was a big plus. Mohawks overall are very attractive because you get a good boat at a reasonable price. You'll also want to add grabhandles in the bow and stern if you car top it. The endcaps that come from the factory have no place to tie on to.

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01-25-1999
Submitted by: Brian FluetSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     The Nova 16 meets my needs for an economical, all-purpose canoe. It's small and light enough to handle solo yet capable of comfortably handling my wife, daughter and a cooler for a day on the lake. It's easy to paddle over flat water yet is readily maneuverable on moving water. I chose the version made out of Royalite (a lighter version of Royalex) which shaved a few pounds off the weight. The reduced weight allows me to throw the canoe up on the roof rack of the car myself. Though after scraping bottom and bouncing off a few river rocks, I would recommend Royalex if you spend much time on a river. The seats are positioned for the sitting paddler. If you a kneeler, the seats are too low to get your feet under. I was able to get shorter spacers from Mohawk which allowed me to raise the seats. Purchasing directly through the factory was a pleasure. The sales people that I spoke with were very knowledgeable and helpful.
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