PREDA­TOR PDL

Outdoor Life - - GEAR -

old town has been build­ing ca­noes and kayaks in Maine for more than 100 years, but this is its first model with ped­als. Old Town took its sport-util­ity Preda­tor and re­designed the cock­pit, seat, and hull to ac­com­mo­date a bi­cy­cle-style pedal sys­tem that it calls PDL Drive. Old Town worked with its pro team to con­fig­ure the seat, ped­als, and drive for com­fort and ef­fi­ciency. Tip the ped­als up, and the lower unit fits into a re­cess in the deck so it’s out of the way when you’re launch­ing the boat or fish­ing in skinny wa­ter. With the ped­als down, a gear pod fills the re­cess to cre­ate a re­in­forced deck for standup fish­ing. Be­low the wa­ter­line, the tri-hull de­sign moves wa­ter away from the keel for rock-solid sta­bil­ity while main­tain­ing ef­fi­ciency to cover long dis­tances. On the ocean, the Preda­tor rolled and sliced through big seas. In the shal­lows, the PDL Drive quickly re­tracted, and could be pad­dled with ease. Since each angler has unique rig­ging needs, the Preda­tor doesn’t come with rod hold­ers. In­stead, the boat is out­fit­ted with six re­mov­able ac­ces­sory plates, which makes it easy to in­stall af­ter­mar­ket rod hold­ers, elec­tron­ics, and other gad­gets without drilling into the hull. We all liked the over­size knobs that con­trol the rud­der. The Preda­tor is one of the best all-around pedal boats on the mar­ket.

score: 90.2 website: preda­torkayak.com price: $2,799

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