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.
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.
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.
Nauticraft Corporation is thrilled to see that one of our Escapade boat owners has developed a forum for those persons owning or anticipating ownership of an Escapade.
Persons can share their stories, adventures and any adaptations they may have made to their boat and look for feedback from others.
Just click on the above link and you will be taken directly to the forum.
(Note however that while Nauticraft Corporation is interested in being privy to the things that owners do to enhance the enjoyment of their Escapade, we do not necessarily endorse any modifications that would compromise the integrity and safe use of our Nauticraft products.)
Sorry for the delay but been running around quite a bit. I successfully have had two very nice excursions in my new Escapade. I really love it and I’m quite impressed on several fronts. The overall quality, fit and finish etc. is shall I say, “top drawer”. The rotational molding approach really seems to work out well. Comfortable motion and everything functions reliably and predictably. The quadritwist works brilliantly. The storages areas are simple and work ok. I was worried about the “built-in” flexibility of the rudder and prop but that seems unfounded as they work perfect. The bilge pump works great. After washing the boat with fresh water it’s amazing how much water hides somewhere down there!
The design is outstanding. Pedals effortlessly and moves through chop and 2-3 foot waves with ease. Dry and seems to not lose any momentum through swells and the directional tracking is nothing short of phenomenal. The seat is quite comfortable and the steering is nicely responsive and easily controlled. Ok, I’m sure you’ve already heard all the accolades from other customers.
Let me tell you about my first two outings. My primary home is in Sri Racha which is a seaside community. Quaint and at the same time a bit busy with nearby fishing and mussel farms. The later should give some indication of the coastal depths. Very shallow. Launching and retrieving really is only feasible at fairly near high tide. After about an hour of just getting familiar with the boat we anchored and visited a friend for lunch. I didn’t calculate very well the tide movements and as you can see by the photo we were left literally high and dry! Drank a few beers and waited about 4 hours until the tide returned. No damage to the boat but just a bit longer visit than we’d planned. The coast there is like knee-deep for hundreds of yards. But once well enough offshore we really got a chance to learn the boat. Fun but not the ideal coast.
Yesterday I took the boat to our beach property in Rayong, Oriental Beach Village, which is only about 1:20 minute drive. We live there about half time. In the picture it’s a few houses back from the beach. Ironically the coast line there is perfect for the Escapade. The slope is angled so that launching and retrieving is a breeze and tides don’t make much difference. Many little seaside restaurants places to explore. It was/is delightful. We pedaled around for about 5-6 hours and really really enjoyed it. Granted a bit sore to be truthful, but that’s a nice pain if you know what I mean. Good exercise and badly needed. The only somewhat negative was the temperature! This is the hottest season in Thailand and now in excess of 100 degrees most days. It was pretty hot out there! (We have 3 seasons; hot, hotter, and hottest). J I think I might experiment next time with the windshield removed. But it looks so awesome with the windshield in place. The water is like bath water warm so getting in and out of the boat is not uncomfortable. You can see some small islands off the coast that are really nice for picnics and just goofing around. Only a few miles offshore but once there it seems like a million miles away! I’ll keep the boat stored near the beach house with a guy who will launch/retrieve as often as I like, clean, maintain and keep ready for about 30 bucks a month. I’ve had “boatboys” with my other sailboats and it still amazes me how inexpensive this service is. I just phone up and tell him I’m coming and everything will be all done and ready to jump in and pedal away when I get there. When I return I hand it over and he does the rest with clean-up, washing and storing etc. One of the nice benefits of living here. Good cheap labor that makes things really convenient. (Live-in maids, cooks, drivers, gardeners, etc its cheap to have a personal staff. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
I made a few additions that were simple and are working out well. I have two types of anchors and both function nicely. A sand anchor that screws into the bottom (you can see in one of the photos) and a standard small Danforth. Both very easy to use. On my anchor line I’ve added a Danik Hook. Nice little adjustable device that makes anchoring even easier. When not in use its attached to a small eye strap on the right side that you can also see in one of the photos. You can see my waterproof Bluetooth speaker (A33 from TDK) up in the bow for some music. Its mounted on a shelf made from one of my wifes cutting boards! Now instead of serving up tuna its serving up tunes! J I added two drink holders, an emergency paddle, a throw flotation cushion, whistle and horn. (Waterproof GPS on order). Fishing rod holder being considered. A small portable cooler holds the drinks we take such as Gatorades etc due to the heat. Now the escapade is truly customized and it feels like “mine”! Hmmm,,,,now just for a name??? My next ride this weekend will likely be with my little buddy Boston Terrier dog. He loves the water and he is so excited with the boat too.
All the boat hulls at Nauticraft are made using a polyethylene compound in a rotational molding process. Positive attributes include natural buoyancy due to it’s specific gravity being lower than water…it floats! There are UV stabilizers added by the resin manufacturer to ensure long life even when sitting in the hot sun. It is impact resistant in that it will withstand little bumps on the dock without cracking or crazing, and if it does get scratched the color is consistent throughout the wall thickness. It has natural resistance to salt water environments. The walls of the hull are thick enough to allow structural integrity without adding weight, thus allowing a larger boat that weighs less than a typical counterpart.Generate Samurai siege Diamond
Keep in mind that it is not indestructible! We’ve heard of scenarios of dragging the boats on rocky terrain and ramming them full speed into a rocky shore, and it didn’t bode well for the boat. Using the guidelines listed, you can have years of enjoyment with your Nauticraft Pedal boat.
Finding the right information is key when purchasing a battery for your electric boat. Take a look at the following explanations of deep cycle vs. dual purpose to see which is best for the application you are using it for. For the Encore Electric and Pedal/Electric models, there isn’t a need for a starting type battery at all as the motor is run by battery alone and doesn’t start any sort of gas powered motor.
Trolling motors and other accessories sip power at a slower rate for extended periods. Batteries that power them usually aren’t recharged until the end of the day. These deep discharges are hard on battery plates, so deep-cycle batteries have fewer yet thicker lead plates than cranking batteries and are built to withstand deep cycling.
A deep-cycle battery’s reserve capacity (RC) rating indicates how long it can carry a specific load before falling into the dead zone. The higher the RC number, the longer the battery will power your accessories. Remember this when choosing a battery. Typically, a deep-cycle battery will have two or three times the RC of a cranking battery. A deep-cycle battery also can withstand several hundred discharge/recharge cycles, while a cranking battery is not designed to be totally discharged.
It’s usually best to install separate cranking and deep-cycle batteries. If your boat is small, however, and there’s only room for one battery due to space or weight restrictions, consider buying a dual-purpose marine battery specially that handles starting and cycling. Bear in mind, however, most dual-purpose batteries won’t start an engine quite as well as a true cranking battery and won’t endure as many deep discharge/recharge cycles as a dedicated deep-cycle model.
One of the first questions a new Encore owner asks is “why is there water in the boat?”. Reassuringly we say, it is supposed to be there! Water comes through specifically designed holes in the bushing on the keels. This allows water into the drive shaft channels at all times while the boat is in the water. The level of water within the channels is dependent on weight within the boat. Unmanned, the water will stay at its natural water line; if it rains you may see accumulation for a bit but once it stops it will drop to the natural waterline level within minutes. The boat is self bailing in that sense and an advantage in areas that get rain more often. As weight is added in the cockpit the boat will float a bit lower and the water in the channels will rise a bit. If weight disbursement is uneven, you may notice a bit more water up and around the drive unit on the heavier side, this is completely normal and acceptable. When the weight is taken out, the waterline will adjust to its natural state. When the boat is taken out of the water, the channels will drain out the holes in the bushings.