Native Watercraft's proto-type pedal


Pretty cool
I wonder how it stacks up against the hobie drive system as far as thrust goes? Looks like a great fishing boat.

website issues?
I hear it but can’t see the video.

Main page won’t go past flash intro. Anyone else having issues?

It doesn’t look as powerful as the Hobie but simpler with less moving parts. Hey it backs up, that may come in handy while fishing.

Fire Fox Solves Issue
Just ignore me as usual… I’m blathering. ;p

Think they have a problem.
Its going to be more difficult than the Mirage drive to keep others from designing a similar product.

Other than putting it in a kayak, there’s not a lot that hasn’t been done before with the system.

blah blah blah!
i had to fast forward to the pedaling/performance part of the video, those guys talked me to the point that i almost bailed. looks like a viable system though…

Doesn’t seem to solve shallow water
like the Hobie system. With Hobie’s, you can flatten out the blades by putting your pedals in the right position through a shallow spot, without having to pull the entire mechanism out entirely like Native’s seems to require . . . .

This is a very early proto-type.
The latest design has a kick up feature for shallow water. The prototype is clunky, sits up too high for fishing. They had not refined the peddle to seat positioning with the prototype. For all the bragging about how great the seat is, one would thing a seat that has more limited movement would work better.

I hope the
craftmenship is better on the drives than the video. Droped frames and bad compression for web use! If you have a slick product you better have good marketing and this is not close to acceptable!


Read bad promo

– Last Updated: Dec-12-07 8:44 PM EST –

Well bad may be a bit strong. Very weak would be better.

That being said hope you make a success out of your hard work.

Its not my hard work. I do not own,
nor I do plan on owning a Native Watercraft boat, nor do I work for them or a dealer. The video was not a promo intended for general public consumption. I’m guessing you didn’t listen to what was said. This is the second generation design, the prop is wood and not the final design, the trunk isn’t the final design. The video was directed at NW reps and some dealers, but as these things tend to do, got out on a forum or two. Prototype means exactly that, not the finished product.

Human powered boats
If any of you have an interest in this, google the above and you’ll see pedel boats that well developed, even for racing. Google SpinFin and you’ll find this kind of pedel drive which been developed for years.

In that case
I take it all back. I got the impression you were involved with the development.

Sorry about that


Waiting for 5th generation…
… with bow thruster!

Interesting to me that folks putting so much effort into something like this still think hull speed is an actual limit on a small narrow displacement hull. If I can get past it with a paddle…

Looks like nice work - but I too have seen a lot of very similar level of pedal drives.

The difference is these guys are going
to market it to compete with Hobie.

Niche Market
I realize this is a bit of a niche market and all, but in practice it looks like this thing is either going to be in the way constantly or be very cumbersome – maybe both. If you buy one, I see a lot more cursing in your future…

If this were on American Inventor, you could probably sell a dozen to George Foreman, but I think that’s about it.


Legend, owner of Native Watercraft,
Heritage, and Liquid Logic will not release the drive until those things are worked out. They’ve a big market, growing strong with the salt water fisherman, and that’s the one they are going after.

The unit needs to not sit up so high, the seat to peddle arrangement needs to be improved, they need to develop the drive unit so that it will kick up when run into shallow water. That said, it takes up too much room for me, the crank peddle system doesn’t look good for fly fishing, and its just another mechanical contrivance to go wrong. For some, its going to be great. Most of us would rather paddle. As designed to date, it sits right where I put my cooler and tackle bag in my canoe. Gets in the way.

Competing with Hobie?
If they are really targeting Hobie as you say - then their development efforts seem to be a bit myopic. They seem to be focused on out-engineering a niche market TOY. Interesting business case…

What IS the niche for this really? To what group(s) is it best targeted?

Fishermen and pond cruisers seem the best prospects on the surface. However, neither group tends to be in an hurry or do a lot of distance where the efficiency the Native drive offers is a major concern. However, complexity/gear space/shallow draft issues ARE major concerns. Both groups move in and out of shallow water a lot, do beach/shore landings, etc. A kickup feature only goes so far to address tehse things.

I see few fishermen using the Hobie system. Hands free operation seems like it would be useful, but it impacts other more important things. With a standard SOT without a pedal drive they can run up on the beach, they have more gear space, and there is less hardware to get lines fouled on (above AND below deck), etc.

That leaves the quiet water casual fun seekers - particularly those somewhat unfamiliar with small human powered water craft.

These sort of things sell better to first time buyers than to existing paddlers. Paddling can seem hard/awkward to newbies. People (of the sort out shopping for water toys) don’t do much arm/torso work anymore - and so that seems realatively hard to them - whereas most have ridden bikes - and that is easy - so this translates into a sales hook.

Folks I see on the Hobies with drive systems (and around Ft. Lauderdale with all it’s warm weather, quiet canals and disposable incomes I do see them regularly) don’t look too concerned about the differences this pedal drive would offer by being more efficient/slick/whatever. They’re just out poking around on quiet water having fun. They aren’t going very far or very fast - and I doubt most ever will.

Want a piece of Hobie’s niche? Make something more fun, and even simpler (and if it IS technologically superior that’s OK, just don’t rely on that for sales generation).

These Native guys may look at Hobie’s marketing - and key in on the performance aspects based on their back grounds/interests - and then think that’s the stuff to go after. The goal being to make something mechanically BETTER than the Hobie.

Problem is that’s not what a typical potential customer gets from the Hobie marketing. What they see are bright colors and swimsuits and sparkly blue water and bright beaming smiles from really happy people using the Hobie products (and see peddles as easier than paddles - so even more fun )… They want that FUN too.

The tech/performance stuff that is there is in Hobie’s marketing mostly it serves as filler. It is (sales) support material that helps a customer justify what is very often mostly an emotional/impulsive purchase. Hobie is a fun company.

Even tech oriented paddlesport companies don’t really sell on tech/features. Look at Epic. Lot’s of tech oriented info - high end design and construction - all targeted at more savvy customers - but even they aren’t selling the tech. They’re selling the speed, and for that market speed IS the FUN. Again, FUN sells and on the marketing side the tech is support material, offering more justification for the buyer.

The way to beat the Hobie drive in the marketplace is to offer something more FUN. Is that what they’re developing over at Native Watercraft? If not, then they’re NOT going to be competing well with Hobie and will need to carve out another niche for their product.