Come check out our Escapade Pedal boat at the 7th annual Earth Fair Expo. This event is taking place on Saturday, April 27th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market, 242 W. Western Ave., Muskegon, MI 49440. It’s sure to be a great time! These pictures are from the Earth Fair Expo we attended previously with the Escapade Pedal boat.
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!
NOTE: We regret to say that we will no longer be at the Tampa Boat show. We will certainly keep you notified of future shows where we will be in attendance. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you! The boat shows in Florida are starting to ramp up! Check out one of our 4-person Encore Pedal/Electric boats at the Tampa Boat Show, taking place in less than two weeks. Details are as follows:
Tampa Boat Show
September 7–9, 2018
Tampa Convention Center Friday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
333 S. Franklin St. Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Tampa FL 33602 Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
We’re excited to be at another boat show in Florida! Come check out our Encore Pedal/Electric boat at the Big Boy Toyz Expo:
February 23 – 25, 2018
Charlotte Harbor Event & Convention Center
75th Taylor St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
NOTE: Were sorry to say that we will no longer be at this boat show. We will, though, be at the upcoming Big Boys Toy Show coming up in Florida. More details to follow!! We’re starting off the 2018 New Year with yet another boat show! Come check out the Encore Pedal/Electric boat at the Charlotte County Boat Show in Florida. Specifics are as follows:
17th Charlotte County Boat Show
Date: January 11-14, 2018
Venue: Charlotte County Fairgrounds
Admission: Free admission to the public and $5 parking.
Address: 2333 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte, FL, 33948
Hope to see you there!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are asked from time to time by prospective new customers just what our drive units are like and what is meant by the term “Quadritwist”.
As far as what our drive units are like, the first impression on seeing one in a Nauticraft boat is that it “belongs there”. This visual impression comes from the drive unit housing being made from the same material as the boat – a white plastic with black specks (we had the black specks incorporated into the material a few years ago).
On our original drive unit (which we now also call our “inboard unit”) the driving belt twists four times going through its path, from the pedaling sprocket to the driven sprocket, over the idlers, and then back around to the start – hence the term “Quadritwist”. We have a very positive regard for this system because it gives us the required directional change as well as the required speed increase (a 1:4 increase) with no energy robbing torsional or axial side effects; with this type of layout the twists of the belt are actually “natural” ones.
Looking further at the drive unit it is obvious that the pedal cranks come from the bicycle industry, and this is so, as we purchase these cranks as well as its axle assembly (known in the industry by the unlikely term “bottom bracket”) from a bicycle parts supply house. The pedals also come from there and, because they are often used that way, are of the “barefoot” type (some sophisticated customers, familiar with upscale bicycling, sometimes change these pedals for their own particular choice).
An even closer inspection of the drive unit shows that the mechanical aspects (all of the moving parts) are located on the outside of the drive housing. Our drive unit is designed this way because the mechanical parts (particularly the belt and sprockets – being of plastic materials) do not need oil or grease lubrication as do metal parts (the plastic materials also are not susceptible to water corrosion as are metals). Also, because all mechanical assemblies need care and maintenance from time to time, it is far easier to service an assembly that is out in the open. For instance, although it will serve for a long time, the drive belt can be changed for a new one without removing the drive unit from the boat – and without requiring any tools.
We designed this system ourselves (using the quadritwist philosophy originally proposed to us by Phil Thiel, a marine engineer from Seattle) and have been happily using it in our boats for over 15 years now, with only incidental changes. We manufacture it right here in our own shop – from rotational molding the housing through all of the subsequent assembly steps.
Next time I’ll talk about the “swing down” drive unit used in our Sprite model – why it doesn’t use the quadritwist system, but how it is similar to it as well as how it is different.
I bought my Escapade in the spring of 2001 as a 50th birthday present to myself. I named my pedal boat RiverSong, and now—as my 12th boating season begins—I still love it as much as ever.
I lease a slip near the Pentagon from April through October and pedal the Potomac within view of the Washington Monument and Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. I usually take my first ride of the year while the cherry trees are still in bloom and my last as flocks of geese are migrating south overhead. Sometimes I pedal past the Kennedy Center and ride as far as Georgetown.
Because I have a demanding job in DC, I don’t get out on the river every day, but I try to take at least one evening ride and one weekend ride each week. People are always commenting on my boat, and tourists ask where they can rent one. The cleverest remark from a passerby was: “Oh, a two-stroke engine!”
Like most boaters, I appreciate the beauty of the water and sky at least as much as what’s on shore. The scenery is perpetually changing, as is the play of sunlight on water. Occasionally I have trailered my boat to state parks and enjoyed pedaling on gorgeous lakes. As my husband Don likes to say, “The purpose of a boat is to take all the water up there… and put it back there.”
Sometimes Don comes along for a ride, but usually our dog is my only passenger. Our cairn terrier Boscoe accompanied me to Michigan when I bought the boat to give it his “paw of approval.” Boscoe passed away six years ago, but our young dog Skruffy enjoys boating even more than Boscoe did. He thinks we own the Potomac.