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Reviews for Nova 17 Canoe by Mohawk Canoes


Rated: 9.55/10 Based On: 11 Reviews

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03-20-2013
Submitted by: Gary LoucksSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently purchased a Mohawk Nova 17 footer and have been paddling it extensively. I also have the Esquif Mistral 17.5 Twin Tex, Attikamek 16 in kevlar and the Champlain 16 in kevlar so, I sort of use those boats as a reference to judge the performance of the Nova 17.

The dimensions of the Nova 17 are found on the Makers Write-up so I won't repeat. My impressions to the Nova 17 are as follows:
The primary and secondary stability are great. I can switch ends in the boat while out on the water and not feel any discomfort about doing so. The boat will lean to a precarious angle and still feel very solid. I am a flat water paddler so have no data on fast water.

This boat has an extraordinary cargo capacity and is dog friendly. It is an easy boat to paddle solo and there is no problem switching paddle sides with the 35" beam. I have tested the boat without bow ballast and it's great as long as the wind is still. With wind I find that the addition of 50 pounds in the bow really helps control wind drift although, it isn't really necessary. The seat height is perfect for me. I'm 6' with a 32" inseam. No seat adjustment was necessary. There are no air bags but I'm told by the factory that the boat will definitely float if capsized. I'd expect it would float very low in the water though making it impossible to empty and re-enter while on the water.

Weight is 72 pounds and that is the only downside I see with this boat. The build is royalex and that is just the way it is. I'm 67 years old with a less than adequate back. I use canoe wheels with this boat. I pull the boat to the water and simply unhook the wheels from the boat, fold them and tuck them under the seat out of the way. When beaching I slip them over the back of the boat, step out and pull "roll" the boat up onto the shore. It's easy and eliminates damage. A canoe trailer eliminates need to lift the boat onto truck racks. I noticed that when the wind hits the side of the bow that not only does one have to correct for the wind push but, the movement of the heavy boat creates the additional issue of momentum that must be overcome. Again, it's not a big deal.

It's a mental comparison I'm making while comparing this boat to kevlar boats, which I am more familiar with. The biggest feature I gained with the Nova is stability. Kevlar boats lack both primary and secondary stability. I'd not buy a kevlar as a first boat even though I did. Glide on the Nova is adequate and even surprised me. Duration of glide is not as good as a kevlar boat but, it is really good.

The paddling experience in the Nova is wonderful. There are no surprises and the boat moves wonderfully through the water with little effort and I'd rate it as a fast boat. There are no slots in the gunnels for strapping. I do hate that. Also, there is no place to attach a bow line on the front or rear decks. I have done so, however, and in a very neat fashion. The grab ropes front and back are of high quality. Fit and finish are superb for a boat of this price range. The biggest downfall is the heavy weight but, that is royalex. It comes with the turf.

I keep all my boats in the living room of my house on saw horses. Yes, the living room. No wife, no kids and have three dogs for mates. That's the way I like it. It's a bit of a chore getting the Nova up the porch steps, through the front door and bending it around the walls to sit her on the saw horses. The old back feels it.

As an added note I'm told by the factory that they are deleting the Nova and Intrepid models from their line up due to low sales on those models. A shame. Both boats are sensational rides. They are currently out of stock on the Intrepid 17 and have a few Nova's left in stock.

Hope this write-up may help someone. Some more notes about my experience can be found at my blog:
http://garysoutdoorwanderings2.blogspot.com

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06-29-2010
Submitted by: KenSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     We have had our R84 Nova17 for about 14 years now. Bought it for the Boundary Waters, and have probably spent 3 months total up there in it. We have the webbing seats.

The R84 (Royalite) is significantly lighter than Royalex, but the boat itself has proved indestructible in hard usage. Tracks and cruises OK, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, very good in rough water. We also canoe on the Wisconsin river, and bounce over a lot of logs and such (we're always trying to get down little side channels). We love how the Nova just slides off and over every obstruction we throw at it.
Great boat.

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05-30-2006
Submitted by: JAKSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my 16' Mohawk Royalex canoe used,from a rental, in 1991. I have used it on local shallow rivers which means logs,sand and gravel pullovers. My paddling buddies have fiberglass canoes, these canoes are lighter, but I would not even consider fiberglass for any use, given the price is about the same. If you are uncertain about fiberglass or royalex, take it from me go with the royalex.
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08-02-2004
Submitted by: SteveSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I actually have the Nova 16, but I wanted to add my thoughts. Several of you have commented on the R-84 vs. royalex. 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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03-15-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     "Tis canoe is to move! It be a canoe that does increases greatly in brightness as long as sun & moon be lit. Wife & I canoe in rugged remote northwoods wilderness areas. Follow Indian path trails by-way of portagen pack sacks, paddles & royalex canoe to rivers linked to pristine lake water-routes. Canoe make-up is as rough as the material, tha terrain, we use & abuse it in. Loaded with all expedition gear stuff, "tis 17' double ender is at its best in inclement changen weather conditions. It always cums thru in tha clutch on big wind blown white-caped solitude rock out-cropped lakes. Tha Nova 17' is an all-in-1, multi-purpose canoe. $ fer $, lb. fer lb.. canoe holds it weight in salt, fer sur tha real deal.
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10-20-2003
Submitted by: GRSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my 17 foot baby for 8 years. Sits in the rain and gets roughed up quite a bit. I use it weekly for lake fishing in Central Florida and at times for some scenic floats down local rivers and creeks. Color has faded....but is old reliable. Worth every penny.
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07-19-2003
Submitted by: DPSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had a Mohawk Nova 17 Royalex model for 7 years. It is a great general-purpose canoe, suitable for class I-II whitewater and wildnerness tripping. I love the ash and nylon web seats. It's tough as nails. I added one flotation bag to it.
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02-04-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     We just got a Mohawk 17' on Friday Feb. 1st 2002 and we've already done 8 hours on it within 24 hours! My wife and I took it out to Everglades National Park just south west of Miami and did two trails, one was winding turns and S curves and took a lot of time to cover but we managed well for a 17 foot vessel. The other excursion was a wide open lake with tons of gators and other wildlife. Wouldn't trade it for another!
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08-12-2000
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had mine several years now, and am very pleased with the selection. The folks are Mohawk are super on customer service. There is a substantial savings buying factory direct. The Nova 17 (is Royalex) is very well made. I especially like the came seats and wood yolk and thwart. They are nicely sculpted and show good attention to detail. The decks and vinyl gunnels are excellent with no rough edges. I would classify this an a good "all around boat". It does not have the hull speed of some others, but has the stability, load capacity, and comfort to handle most jobs, short of class 3 whitewater ( which I have also run it thru). The royalex is very durable. It does not have a high buoyancy however, but will float at the surface when not loaded and completely filled with water. If you anticipate rough conditions away from shore or are carrying lots of gear I would recommend some small ammount of added flotation to facilitate a self rescue. I do not hestitate to recommend Mohawk products and in particular the Nova 17 for someone looking for an "all round" boat.
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02-07-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Our Mohawk Nova 17 is made out of R-84, which is lighter than the royalex models, and a lot easier to carry. It was told to me that R-84(Royalite) is not as durable as royalex, but it seems to do just fine on the Greenbrier and New Rivers here in WV. It really shined, 4JUL99, in the big blow at the BWCAW. When all those so called super tripping canoes were beached, it just kept on gettin' it, and it was still able to keep up, speed wise, with the other kevlar boats. The only dis advantage was it was one of the heaviest boats on the trip. 68 lbs. It still was not hard to portage. When we wear this one out, we will just get another like it.
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04-27-1999
Submitted by: GK
Rating: 10 of 10

     Our Nova-17 is very stable,fairly fast and has a generous carrying capacity. It is very well crafted and the Royalex hull seems very durable. A good tripping canoe for the family.
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