No sea/touring pedal kayaks?

Like I said, I’ve never done that rowdy stuff, but I watch a video comparing Greenland and Euro paddles as a group rode a tidal bore; both camps were on their game. Same thing with sea kayakers doing the ocean surfing, or the Deception Pass Challenge, November 16, 2010 video. Nobody has to tell me that takes talent. If somebody believes a pedal boat can follow where they go, I’m sure they’re welcome to tag along or take the lead. All I can add is posts some videos. It’s not the same as doing it, but it sure is beautiful to watch.

Back in the early '90’s I watched the sea trials of a Triak, a pedal drive and sailing kayak with outriggers. It was way ahead of its time and priced out of the kayak market of the time. However, it was an amazing boat that handled the conditions of Washington’s north coast with ease. It was a sit inside kayak with pedals and a flip down “outboard” style drive with a propeller. It worked. It was beautiful. I’ve never seen one since. I’m a paddle guy, but I understand the need for pedals when fishing.

Agree, so am I. The paddle boat just needs someone to set the example.

I wish people would quit saying pedal boats are fast. It takes a lot of hard work for a long time to get any speed out of them. I tried a couple of types at demos. The fin style used by Hobie has very narrow blades that don’t move much water. The Native Watercraft propeller type has a smaller propeller than a trolling motor.

On top of that, their hulls are, basically, tugboats.

A pair of young bucks showed up with a tandem at a Rainbow River race. When we were on our return leg, I saw them. They were laid out on the bank, at less than the halfway point of the first leg.

We had a potluck lunch at the park after the race. We never saw them come back by. They, apparently, called someone to come and pick them up.

Brilliant design. Nothing against pedal power, but I love paddling. I’m soon to figure out how it feels using a stick. That has my attention

Some pedal boats are relatively fast, just as some kayaks are slow.

I’ve had a couple of occasions where people with pedal boat wanted to join a group with 16-18’ sea kayaks on a day trip. We explained the potential problem of them being able to keep up, but they insisted that they could. These were a 14 and 16 mile day trip. I was skeptical but we decided to give them a chance. It was calm weather on a nice day, but open water. They kept up just fine and everyone enjoyed themselves.

I’m not saying that a pedal boat could keep up with a surf ski, but they were what I consider relatively fast. I’ve also been impressed by how fast some SUPs are. I wouldn’t have suspected it.

I don’t recall the make and model of the pedal boats.

How are when sea weed or kelp are involved? curious.

@roym Dense seaweed or kelp that close to the surface are a bane to the Hobie pedal fins. Sometime you can loosen in a back and forth (allowed by the newer “Mirage Fins”) direction. If it is really wrapped, got to pull the fins out from the center thru-hull console to clear the plants out. On windy days, the Hobie would get pushed quickly downwind while the fins are getting cleared. However, dense seaweed close to surface is usually not an issue, except in shallow warm bays. Only time I have encounter close-to-the-surface kelp in deeper water is in Monterey Bay. I was not in a Hobie but in surf kayak that have tri fins. When the fin(s) hit the kelp, it as felt as one would when downshift gears in a steep incline. There is perceptible slowing that can be felt. A pedal drive would likely catch and wrap the kelp rather than cutting through as would surf fins.


@rstevens15 I say that because I don’t want some newb with a pedal powered fishing barge to get into an untenable situation because someone here said it was fast.

All of the sea kayaks I have paddled were capable of getting out of their own way. Three strong strokes and you can pull it out of a valley and onto the crest of a wave. That isn’t going to happen with a pedal boat. Partially because of the design and how rudder dependent most are, the propulsion mechanism is also not powerful enough to move enough water without a lot more work.

It is not really the speed of the Hobie Mirage hull that is an issue. For a strong pedaler, the Hobie can probably match the speed of most touring paddlers in comparable length hull. Again, it is a matter of the “horse power” of the peddler or paddler.

What I think is of greater concern, as voiced by a few others, is that the Hobie hull is optimized for flatter water (primary) stability (it’s a fishing “platform” mostly). I think it would be challenging in really textured water that comes at it from beam. That’s why I said that I would likely be holding my paddle while paddling in rough water. As some in PCom know, I LOVE rough water, but only when paddling with the right craft design. I am not convinced the Hobie is that. And, I have yet to see a pedal boat hull design that is truly rough water capable. I read kayak fisherman flipping their pedal kayaks each year in waves (some of which I consider benign in the right craft). The issue is they that overestimated the ability of their craft (and of course their own abilities) to deal with textured water. Generally, these are fisherman on “pedal kayaks” and not (skilled) “kayakers” on pedal fishing platforms.


And if you want to explore Lake Superior, 70° is just a dream. More like 60° Surface temperature at the max, I think.