Well – here we are. Summer has come and gone – way too quickly! Cool nights are upon us, leaves are starting to change color and soon we (northerners!) will be shoveling and plowing snow!
With all of that ahead – you may be wondering what you need to do to winterize your Nauticraft boat.
First of all, if you live in a climate that is going to freeze, you will want to take your boat out of the water. Ice can cause damage to the pedal drive system and moving ice flows may also cause the hull to become misshapen.
You will then need to drain any water which may have entered the boat during the year and accumulated between the hulls. This step is especially critical for boats that are stored in freezing weather conditions.
Drain holes for both the Encore & the Sprite can be found at the rear of the boat on the keels. These drain plugs should be removed to allow any water (this should be very minimal) to drain out. MAKE SURE TO REPLACE THE DRAIN PLUGS AFTER THIS PROCESS!
Water in the Escapade should first be pumped out via the bilge pump. A sponge can then be used to clean out any excess water in the Escapade’s bilge.
If you have an electric boat, we suggest disconnecting the battery after charging it fully and then attaching a trickle charger to protect it from becoming too depleted. If storing the battery on a concrete floor, you may want to set it on a piece of wood. This will prevent it from getting too cold and reducing storage capacity.
We highly recommend storing your boat inside. If it is necessary to store it outside, you will want to cover it tightly to keep dirt, moisture and squirrels out. Make sure that the cover is heavy enough so it won’t rip and let water inside. You will also need a support to keep the cover well above the windshield to protect it from the weight of snow accumulation.
You might want to check out the videos on our website which further describe winterizing your pedal, pedal/electric or electric boat. We think that you will find these very helpful!
Nauticraft is looking forward to hearing how well our Escapade Pedal boat and its owner perform at the upcoming Seventy48 race. Yep – a 70 mile race with a time frame of 48 hours. Did we mention that it is a race of Human Power Only – i.e. pedal, paddle, row?! It is taking place starting June 11, 2018 and starts in Tacoma, Washington and ends up in Port Townsend, Washington. Check out the below video and see “The AquaVan” in action!! (Note that Nauticraft does not condone the use of our boats in rough waterways or extreme conditions. It is solely the boat owner’s choice as to how/when they use our boats.)
It looks like spring has finally arrived! The snow is melting and thoughts are headed in the direction of getting out on the water and doing some pedaling in our boats! We thought this might be a good time to give you some cleaning tips so you are ready to hit the water when it finally thaws out!
Nauticraft boats may be cleaned with ordinary household or marine cleaners. For more stubborn stains and ground-in dirt a power washer may be used. Removal of Seats and Cushions is recommended when using a power washer. Use of abrasive cleaners is not recommended as they will scratch the surface and eventually accumulate more dirt.
For cleaning the Windshield it is recommended using mild soap and a soft cloth, and particular care, as this clear plastic will scratch easily.
The Seats are a marine grade vinyl, and it is recommended cleaning with only a mild soap and water. Household cleaners and commercial cleaning products may have potential chemical incompatibility that may affect the service life of the vinyl.
We hope this information is helpful to you!
Nauticraft Corporation, a leader in manufacturing of pedal and electric boats, is excited to be celebrating the birthday of their premier Escapade Pedal Boat. It was 1996 when Nauticraft first began building the rotomolded version (It had previously been built by Hoyt-Harken as the Mallard).
A look back at the long success of the Escapade:
- Early 1980’s – Garry Hoyt, renowned yacht designer from Newport, Rhode Island, designed a pair of pedal boats.
- The first of these boats was the “Waterbug” of which the Harken Brothers (makers of yacht hardware) then built. And while the performance of the Waterbug was outstanding, there were some shortcomings to this boat (i.e. the small, tight cockpit made it unbearably warm in the summer, it was very heavy, it was expensive to manufacture).
- Hoyt addressed these shortcomings of the Waterbug by designing the “Mallard”. This was a larger and more open boat with a stunning avant-garde design, but the fiberglass process was still costly.
- Unfortunately, both of these boats were ahead of their time and Harken pulled the boats out of production.
- 1994 – Curt Chambers, a custom injection molder from Michigan, became aware of the Waterbug-Mallard project and the tooling and inventory for the two boats, along with a license to build, was purchased by Chambers and transferred to Muskegon, Michigan. The Waterbug project was set aside and focus on making the Mallard more cost effective began. The drive unit was replaced by an entirely new one which was developed around the rotational molded housing.
- At that time the rotational molding manufacturing process for small boats was evolving, and it was determined that this could be viable for the Mallard. Molds and manufacturing equipment were contracted for and a new and simplified pedal drive system was developed. The Mallard name was then changed to “Escapade” to reflect this evolution.
- 1996 – The rotomolded Escapade goes into production.
- 2002 – The Escapade Pedal boat earns a Guinness World Record for the fastest pedaled-powered English-channel crossing!
- 2005 – The low windshield Escapade is offered.
- 2016 – Nauticraft has molded and manufactured over 350 Escapade Pedal boats since their inception. We continue to receive rave reviews from happy boat owners. Pictures of the fun adaptations individuals have made to their Escapade can be seen at the end of this post.
In regards to developments made to the Escapade over the years….it really is basically the same boat. The same mold is used & therefore the design is the same. The material is similar though in recent years black specs have been molded in with the white material – which in turn helps to hide dirt/smudges. And the windshield arch is now removable for a more open feeling.
Escapade Customers’ Customizations:
We have been asked if it is possible for an Encore Pedal boat owner to add an electric motor after they have already purchased a pedal boat. And though all of our Encore boats are built with the same hull, the installation of an electric motor requires special tooling and installation skills. It is something that is built into the boats at the factory and is not something that we would recommend being done in the field.
The electric motor should therefore be considered as a built-in option – not an add-on option.