Frequently Asked Questions
> I've been looking for information on Nauticraft boats…

1. It looks like you've got lots of real world time with
   the Escapade.  I was wondering if you could give me some
   advice/input on the boat as a user?

   Sure, I'd be happy to.

2. Is the Escapade capable of extended trips and cruising?
   (It isn't uncommon for me to do 10 miles a day in my
   kayak on a lazy day, I often do that for multiple days
   making 1-3 week trips on my boat)

   Given my commitments and time available, the longest
   trip I have taken in my Escapade on open water (Puget
   Sound) was about 18 or 19 miles. No speed records were
   attempted, no racing other boats, just cruising between
   a couple of islands and the mainland. Actual pedaling
   time was about 4 to 4.5 hours.

   I have considered going on longer trips, carrying camping
   gear, etc., but those trips seem to be put off each year
   until the next year. :-(

3. Does the Escapade have a decent cruise speed (akin to a
   sea kayak would be fine)?

   If you are in shape, then you would have a higher cruise
   speed in a sea kayak. Typical long term cruise speed in
   an Escapade is 4 to 4.5 mph.

4. Can the Escapade carry at least myself and my daughter?
   Carrying my Wife, daughter and myself is preferred.

   Easily done, for the average sized wife and daughter.
   The seat at the rear is pretty comfortable, and can hold
   two small adults, or one large and one small person.

5. Can the Escapade carry a backpack with gear?

   How about a cooler, Coleman stove, and a couple of
   suitcases as well? No problem!

   I have carried a couple of kids (ages 5 and 7), a cooler,
   and a bunch of other stuff, with lots of room to spare on
   some of my Puget Sound trips.

6. I was wondering what you could tell me about the boat,
   cruising, wave handling, stability, etc...

   The boat is fairly massive, relative to a kayak. It has
   a ballasted sailboat like keel, so it is self righting.
   Given the rounded hull, however, you will cause the boat
   to tip (but not over) if you try to stand on one side of
   the deck to the side of the seat. So yes, the boat can
   and does rock. This is not a bad thing.

   That being said, I have had my Escapade out in 3 to 5 foot
   seas and winds that were measured at 30 knots. In such
   conditions I have felt perfectly safe, and have kept
   mostly dry as well. Only a little spray enters the boat
   under such conditions.

   Heading into the larger (4 foot) waves it is possible to
   have a fishbowl effect, where the windshield is partially
   submerged and you can see clearly under the water. Again,
   at most a trickle of water enters around the windshield.

   In all cases the provided bilge pump easily handles any
   and all water entry with at most a couple of strokes.

   Travel into the waves under such conditions is typically
   a little slower than 4 mph. Travel with the waves (surfing)
   can be up to 5 mph, long term.

   Generally, if you are into adrenaline rushes, these are the
   preferred conditions. :-)

   In addition, the large rudder provides excellent directional
   control under rough conditions, allowing one to zig over
   waves and zag through troughs if one desires.

7. How durable is the boat?

   It is also pretty durable, and will survive being rear ended
   on its trailer at low speeds by an SUV. I’ve had my boat for
   nearly 4 years, and have had to do only a minimal amount of
   bolt tightening, hull washing and windshield polishing. It
   is still in like new condition, but storing it in my garage
   probably helps a bit.

   The only issue that I think might exist for some folks with
   an Escapade have to do with beaching the craft in a tidal or
   high wave environment. I would not recommend this practice,
   as it most likely would cause premature wear and tear on its
   keel. You might have to investigate adding a rub bar over
   the keel in order to protect it from such abuse.

8. What depth of water is required for the boat?

   The depth required is about 18 to 20 inches.

9. What are your thoughts regarding the Escapade?

   I am pretty happy with my Escapade.

   Any other questions?


   Ok, ok - I know pretty much the pluses and minuses about all
   the pedal boats on the market, and have an opinion about

   The Escapade does a pretty good job of fulfilling most of my
   boating requirements. I like to take photos and videos, take
   along an adult or a kid or two once in a while, not worry much
   about the weather or about getting wet, take along extra stuff
   (cooler, stove, etc.) once in a while, be able to use it as
   a swimming platform, and be very low in maintenance.  I even
   use it sometimes to carry bikes and other stuff when I go
   camping, though I normally remove that stuff when I'm on the
   water. The padded seat is one of the most comfortable ones
   available, at least for me, working well for excursions of
   many hours.

   The places where, in a perfect world, the Escapade does not
   do as good a job is that it requires a trailer and a boat
   launch (or a bunch of strong people), it is not as fast as
   some other pedal boats, and it is not designed for beaching.

   If you look at some of my stories about my Escapade Cruises,
   you might be able to get a picture of some of the things
   I've done with my boat over the past several years.

10. Could an electric motor be installed on an Escapade, Encore
    or WaveWalker?

    All of these boats can be rigged to carry an electric
    trolling motor. Rusty Lane (,
    who runs Pedalcraft in Olympia, WA, has experience with
    some of his customers who have added electric trolling
    motors to their boats. He can offer his first hand
    experiences in that area.

11. I noticed on your site a photo of your Escapade's prop with
    some nasty looking weeds. I can't understand why Nauticraft
    has hatches on their other two models to remove the weeds
    but not on the Escapade!?  Do you find the weeds cause
    problems with the prop frequently? I suppose that one could
    avoid the weedy areas, but part of what I love about
    boating is the freedom to go where you want to....

    Weeds have not really been much of a problem, except in
    *really* weedy areas. Mercer Slough is something of a water
    garden, and I would not recommend having any propeller
    driven craft travel down it.

    Generally it seems that with the large diameter prop shaft
    the act of reversing the direction of the pedals normally
    is enough to loosen and remove the weeds. In cases where
    something has snagged the propeller or propeller shaft and
    won't come off by forward/reverse prop action the use of a
    hooked stick from the rear of the boat can do wonders.

    Yes, an access port would be preferable. Since this was
    learned after the Escapade design and molds were completed,
    it has been incorporated in the newer boats. Unfortunately,
    it would require some significant changes to the Escapade
    design for it to work there.

    Regardless, even with a big ball of weeds (much larger than
    the weeds remaining you see in the picture) the boat still
    travels reasonably fast through the water. There is more
    effort, certainly, but it is still within the acceptable
    (to me) range.

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Last updated December 6, 2002 by webmaster