Do I need a trailer for Nauticraft Boats?

If you need to transport your boat away from your dock, then a trailer is needed, especially if you travel any distance. The Encore has optional launching wheels that attach at the bottom of the keels and allow for launching and retrieval.

How difficult is it to remove the launching wheels?

Once the boat is in the water, it isn’t too difficult. You will need to wade into the water to remove the retainer pin that holds the wheel on. Make sure to hold onto the spacers (located between keel and wheel; these are there to avoid having the wheel rub on the boat) so they don’t fall into the water, as they will sink.

NOTE: the launching wheel set is not attached to the boat at time of shipment. Rather, we place these inside the boat. These will need to be installed at time of delivery. Refer to owner’s manual for instructions of.

How fast will your pedal boats go?

Our boats may have the potential to reach over 5 mph, but typical speed is more like 3.5 mph. If a motor is used, and run on high, it still only has the potential to reach just over 5 mph.

How do I steer the boat?

There is a “steering handle” on the starboard side of each boat, next to the pilot’s seat. Steering is affected through moving the handle forward (turns left) or rearward(turns right); this becomes intuitive almost immediately when using the boat.

Can I beach the boats?

Yes, but with the deep keels and weight of the boat, you will likely not be able to pull the boat up on the beach, but can leave it partially in and tied off so it doesn’t float off to sea.

How stable are the boats? Are they tippy?

Our boats are ultimately very stable in their design. All light weight, small boats will rock a bit on entry and from wave action- ours are no exception, but they are are quite seaworthy. We do, however recommend that our boats be used in generally sheltered waters.

How heavy are the boats? Isn't a heavy boat hard to pedal?

Our pedal boats range in weight from 170 lbs for the Sprite, 325 lbs for the Escapade and 475 lbs for the Encore P/E. Even though they weigh more then other pedal boats, our design is so efficient that they are nearly effortless to pedal.

Are your boats self bailing?

The Encore and Sprite are self bailing. The Tribute will drain when unoccupied, but the drain plug needs to be in place while sailing.

The Escapade has a bilge pump to pump rain water from the cockpit.

What does recumbent style seating mean?

This is the semi-reclined position of the peddler seat; a very comfortable and low stress position for peddling.

What does twisted belt mean?

The twisted belt is the cogged, Kevlar reinforced timing belt on the pedal drive-unit that twists 90 degrees to turn the drive-shaft/propeller.

Does the windshield remove from the high arch Escapade?

Yes, with a twist of the T-screws holding it to the arch.

What is the black lever inside the Escapade below the windshield arch?

The bilge pump; this allows the pumping of water from the inside of the boat (rainwater, waves, melting ice).

Are the boats Coast Guard approved or tested?

Coast Guard testing is completely voluntary and limited to flotation. We have traveled to their testing facility in Maryland and passed their tests for flotation. This testing assures you that our boats will not sink. All boats less than 20′ in length are required to meet the guidelines for flotation, but it is not a requirement to be tested! We
have taken that extra step of testing- your assurance of our commitment to your safety on the water.

Do I need an operator's license?

No.

Do I need a boat license?

It depends on where you live. Check with your local government office.

Do I need to register my boat?

It depends on where you live. Check with your local government office.

Why can't I fit my cockpit cover on my boat?

You need to adjust your seat(s) to the foremost position. The cockpit cover, when fitted at the factory, is stretched as tightly as possible; it will then loosen slightly after being used a few times.

Do I need to remove the Bimini in order to secure the cockpit cover on my Escapade?

No. The Bimini folds down over the top of the cockpit cover.

How should I store my boat when out of the water?

On a trailer (such as a modified PWC carrier – add 16″ bunk risers), storage cradle (Escapade) or a boat lift. The Encore and Escapade may be placed on a hard surface, but the Escapade will have to lean against a wall.

Can I use my own trailer to tow the boat?

We modify a personal watercraft trailer for the Encore and Escapade to accommodate their keels. The Sprite fits on a personal watercraft trailer with no modifications.

What size ball and electrical component do I need for my trailer?

You will need a 2″ ball and 3+1 prong flat plug.

How would I remove barnacles from my boat?

First of all, we recommend that you store your boat out of the water – just for this exact reason. We do not have any set procedure for removing these. Most likely you are going to have to scrape them off.

Do I need to winterize my boat?

First of all, we highly recommend storing your boat inside. We would also suggest that you drain the keels or bilge and cover the boat to keep the debris out. If you have an electric boat, we suggest disconnecting the battery after charging it fully and attaching a trickle charger.

Drain the bilge water from the keels (Encore and Escapade) or fully pump the water from the Escapade; and sponge out the balance of the water from the Escapade’s bilge. Cover the boat tightly to keep dirt, moisture and small squirrels out.

Will my boat come with cleats for tying it off?

We do not recommend the use of cleats as they could rip off the boat and leave gouges. Instead, there are holes molded into the bow and the transom to insert ropes to tie off your boat.

What should I use to clean my boat?

The interior and exterior plastic surfaces can be cleaned with a household cleaner such as Fantastic or 409 Cleaner. You may also use a power washer for mud and more ground-in dirt and debris, though you must avoid the drive unit. It is a good idea to remove the seats and cushions prior to power washing.

We have also used a non-abrasive cleanser with bleach, such as Soft Scrub, to get at those really grungy spots.

We recommend using water or window cleaner and a very soft cloth to clean the windshield. Use particular care, as being plastic, it scratches fairly easily. If it does get scratched, you might try a clear plastic scratch remover such as Meguiar’s Plast-X.

The seat covers are a marine grade vinyl, and the manufacturer recommends using a mild soap (like Ivory) and water for cleaning. Harsh household cleaners like those listed above are not recommended for marine grade vinyl.

Commercial cleaning products short of soap and water are not recommended due to potential chemical incompatibility that may alter the service life of the vinyl.

Should I keep the launching wheel set attached to my boat at all times?

It should stay attached while out of the water and trailering the boat, as it will help with holding the boat onto the trailer. The launching wheel set, though, should be removed after you have put the boat in the water.

Can my boat get towed by another boat?

We do not recommend that our boats be towed, though if you find it necessary to do so, you will need to be extremely careful. The propellers can tear a hole in the boat and certain precautions must be made. You will need to lock the pedals and tie a rope onto each one of the pedals & from one to the other. This will keep the pedals from moving and in turn keep the prop from going around in the water. The boats should travel no more than 5 MPH. If going down the road on a trailer, there is no reason to lock the pedals.

Do I need to be concerned about weeds?

Yes. Weeds can get wrapped around the propeller and affect the operation of the boat. On the Encore P, you will find a built-in weed clean-out hole (located under the rear seat) that you can simply reach through and clean weeds off the propellers. On all other boats, we recommend a pole with a hook to be used in reaching over the side to remove weeds. We would also recommend that you use your emergency paddle (it is good practice in any boat to carry an emergency paddle) when approaching and navigating through a weedy section.

Are your pedal boats ok for use in the bays and intercoastal waterways? How well do they go against the wind?

he Escapade boat is fairly seaworthy as it has ballast in the keel and the windshield is designed to “cheat the wind”. As with any small boat, it is better to be cautious in any inclement weather.

At what depth of water will my boat's functionality be impeded?

Our boats draw (have a draft) of 22 inches. Therefore lake levels in excess of 2 feet would be advisable.

How wide is the bench on the back seat of the Escapade?

It is just over 34 inches. Although we market our Escapade as a 3-person boat the rear seat is really too tight for more than one adult and would better accommodate two children. For more than two adults we recommend the Encore.

The Sprite appears to have a bench seat in the back. Will this accommodate another person?

This bench seat is not meant for a person to sit on, rather it is
more of a spot to place things on s.a. towels or a cooler.

What is the maximum speed on the boats?

Speeds up to 5.7 mph (5 knots) depending on the model.

Are there any other models available with electric power besides the Encore?

No – at this time there are not.