NAUTICRAFT DEVELOPING NEW PEDAL BOATMonday 12th of January 2009
Nauticraft Corporation is designing and developing a new pedal boat, and will be introducing the Sprite II during the upcoming summer. The Sprite II has been designed by Tom Parker of Parker Design Services, who did the original Sprite as well as the Encore.
The original Sprite, a single seat pedal boat, was highly maneuverable due to its front molded fins. These fins, thought to be an attribute in steering and beaching, made shoring and launching the boat difficult in that they dug into a sandy bottom. The keel was abbreviated to make launching and beaching easier, but without regard to the length of the propeller which ended up digging into the bottom as well. The production of the Sprite was discontinued in 2005 due to these limitations.
The Sprite II is designed to eliminate these beaching difficulties. The molded in fin and prop are replaced with a removable all-in-one drive system including, propeller and fin. Upon beaching the Sprite II, the drive unit will fold up through molded-in holes in the boat hull.
The rudder on the original Sprite was mounted on the bottom of the hull, another impediment with the lake bottom. The Sprite II is different in that it will have a “kick up” rudder mounted on the transom, which will allow for raising the rudder in shallow water.
Another of the Sprite’s limitations was that only one person could enjoy it at a time. Although the Sprite II is only slightly wider than the original, Tom Parker’s new design enables two persons to sit side by side. Each peddler has their own drop in drive unit independent of the other. However the bonus of this design allows the use of a single drive system by relocating it and the seat into a central location. This combination gives more stability in the single pedal situation.
At 11 feet in length the new Sprite is significantly longer than the original 7’9”, but this added length give the buoyancy required to support two riders and allows room for a molded in storage self behind the seats. The boat is self bailing like original Sprite and the Encore.
The major design work on the Sprite II is finished and the mold for the hull is due to be completed in the spring. Developmental work will be carried out during the following season.