> 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 each. 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 (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), 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 email@example.com