The Fox 14 is the very latest canoe design to come out of Nova Craft and at first look it certainly gives the impression of a solo canoe that should deliver a great deal of fun and satisfaction on the water.
Up until now, the lightweight solo options from Nova Craft have really been limited to the Trapper 12, which is a really nice, stable canoe to paddle but for many paddlers it is a little short on storage space and speed. Also when you paddle it you do struggle at times to keep it heeled over and the width becomes very noticeable. Beyond that, your only other alternative is to go for a 15 or 16 foot tandem canoe that can be paddled solo. While this does give you great versatility if on occasion you need all that space or sometimes take a friend, the down side is that these boats are much bigger and can be harder to handle solo both on and off the water. The Fox, however is significantly narrower and also has a tumblehome design that makes this boat look extremely sleek while still having enough storage space for touring and day tripping. A little more rocker than on the Trapper and a smooth shallow arch hull also gives the Fox the look almost of a mini Prospector that has had a large chunk of the freeboard removed. That gives the upper section of the canoe, that is out of the water a very smooth, straight and fast appearance with the tease that what’s in the water should be highly manoeuvrable and capable of taking you on long distance journeys with very little effort. This also makes the Fox far less likely to be effected by cross winds, something that will make this little canoe an absolute dream when exploring The Norfolk Broads and other bodies of open water where it can get rather gusty. The reduced width and low freeboard also means that the Fox can be paddled with a double-bladed kayak paddle, if that’s more comfortable for the paddler than a traditional single blade.
The outfitting of the Fox is beautifully crafted and the canoe is extremely comfortable. The single ash wood bootlace seat is wide, comfortable and comes set at an angle that feels right as soon as you sit down. This puts you straight into a good paddling position and adds to the feeling that this is a canoe that wants to go places. There are 2 ash thwarts to give the canoe additional rigidity and the well placed bow and stern carry handles are also ash. There’s plenty of storage space for camping kit, fishing gear or a 4 legged friend to share your adventures while the built-in buoyancy tanks front and rear don’t take up much room at all. Naturally, being manufactured from Nova Craft’s superb TuffStuff material the 14 foot Fox is only 2kg’s heavier than the 12 foot Trapper coming in at just under 20kg’s. That makes this 14 footer a canoe that’s so very easy to portage and get on or off a car roofrack. This is especially useful if like me you have a high 4 x 4 and suffer from a slightly dodgy back.
All that adds up to a canoe that looks superb and we really can’t wait to get the Nova Craft Fox 14 on the water.
To find out more information on the Nova Craft Fox 14 please contact your nearest Canoe Shops Group Store from the links below: