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?


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.

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. They work best on cement surfaces & moving the boat around on land.

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 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 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.

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.

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

The 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.

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

Our pedal boats range in weight from 225 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.

Can I pedal & use the Encore by myself? Will it go in circles?

Yes – one person can pedal the Encore on their own.  It is not affected by using only one pedal drive. Depending on the weight of that person, the boat may tip somewhat to the heavy side, but that can be offset with gear or even adding a bag of pea gravel to the other side of the boat.

I'm tall. Will your boats accommodate my height?

The seat in our boats allows for 12″ of travel – both forwards and backwards. They will easily accommodate a 6’5″ tall person.

How fast will your pedal boats go?

Our boats may have the “hull” potential to reach just over 5 mph, but typical speed is more like 3.5 mph – 4 mph. If a motor is used, and run on high, it still only has the potential to reach just over 5 mph.

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.

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.

Can I beach the boats?

Yes, but with the deep keels (Encore & Escapade) 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.

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 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 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).

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.

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 timing belt on the pedal drive-unit that twists 90 degrees to turn the drive-shaft/propeller.

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.

Does the windshield remove from the high arch Escapade?

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

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 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.

Can I use my boat in salt or brackish water?

Yes.  All parts are resistant to corrosion.

Note that though our boats are made for use in either saltwater or fresh water – leaving it/storing it in saltwater isn’t the best thing to do.  Besides the obvious fouling and your having to use much elbow grease to clean it – the saltwater would also leave deposits on the bushings and could adversely affect the mechanical workings of the boat…..  Ideally it would be taken out of the water and rinsed off after every use.

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.