26 Sep 2017

Original Mallard & Waterbug Pedal Boats for Sale

Thank you, Nancy, for the pictures you sent of your most recent 8-mile excursion on the Mallard Pedal boat in St Petersburg, FL. The Mallard was the predecessor to our Escapade Pedal boat. What a great job she has done in keeping the Mallard looking so good!



Nauticraft has for sale an original Mallard – as well as some original WaterBugs – both designed by Garry Hoyt (renowned yacht designer from Newport, Rhode Island) and built by the Harken Brothers (makers of yacht hardware). (Please reference our blog posting of March 10 which gives a further description of these boats & their history.)



We also have two fiberglass Mallard boats available for sale which were built by Nauticraft in the early years.



The Mallards are all in good operating condition.  The Waterbugs will need some refurbishing and are being sold in “as is” condition.  Call or E-mail us if you are interested!  231-798-8440 or inquiry@nauticraft.com.

7 Sep 2017

End of Season Specials

Check out Nauticraft’s “End of Season” specials!  For a limited time only, we are offering a 10% discount off the price of a new boat.  Be sure to reference the special when you contact us!  We also have in stock several demo boats that have been discounted.  These boats all come with our full 2-year warranty.  You can contact us either via E-mail at: inquiry@nauticraft.com or via phone at 231-798-8440.  Note our business hours of 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., EST, Monday – Thursday. We look forward to hearing from you & selling you a boat!!

15 Mar 2017

Earth Fair Expo to Feature Escapade Pedal Boat

Nauticraft will have a display of the Escapade Pedal Boat at Muskegon’s 6th Annual Earth Fair Expo .  It will be located at Montague High School, and is scheduled for April 22nd from  11am to 3pm.  The Escapade is the boat which crossed the English Channel in record time & helped Paul Tucker make it into the Guinness Book of Records. Come check it out and visit all of the festivities!

Escapade Pedal Boat
Escapade – 3 persons
Escapade with Bimini
12 Mar 2016


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!

10 Mar 2016

Happy 20th Birthday to Nauticraft’s Escapade Pedal Boat!

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.
  • English Channel Crossing1996 – 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:

11 Feb 2016


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.

2 Dec 2014

Escapade Forum

Escapade Forum

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.)


30 Apr 2014

Escapade in Thailand

Hi Mary, Curt,

 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.

 I better stop here or I’ll just keep rambling on!

23 Apr 2014

The Polyethylene Advantage

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.