Shallow Water Jump
For the shallow water jump we timed how long it took for the pedal systems to go from fully deployed to zero draft and back to fully deployed.
Real world scenario is you come into a shallow sand bar or weedy section where you must lift the drive, float over the obstruction, reach deep water again and drop the drive.
The Hobie MirageDrive, Wilderness Systems Helix PD and Jackson FD were the winners averaging just over one second.
To go shallow, the MirageDrive operator simply pushes one pedal lever forward to spread the fins flat against the hull.
When the Jackson FlexDrive driver goes shallow, he pulls a lever and the propeller and lower unit lift into a well in the hull. Further aiding the FD’s shallow-water performance, the dagger board and propeller will bend towards the stern on direct impact if the contact is from the front.
The Radar’s spring-loaded system only requires the angler to push a button and the pedal unit pops up through the mounting base. To redeploy, simply push the pedal mast back down through the scupper.
The PDL system on the Predator and Malibu only take a few seconds to turn a knob allowing the lower unit and propeller to pop up through the deck.
Native’s slightly slower 15-second result could be attributed to Tyler Wallaces’ inexperience with the system. Still, removing the propeller well cover and lifting the pedals forward is going to take more time than all the systems above.
Perception’s Pilot drive requires the operator to pull a tight-fitting pin and lift the lower unit through the scupper. Redeploying the system requires the pin to be reinstalled.
Only Hobie’s MD180 and Jackson’s FD go shallow without pulling the lower unit into the cockpit and reducing fishing and paddling space. For many pedal anglers, shallow water operation is one of the most important considerations. Some anglers could potentially lift and lower the unit dozens of times over the course of their usual fishing trips.
For this test, we started with the kayaks on the beach and the pedal drives lying beside the boats on the sand.
The competitors had to install the pedal units, push the boats into the water, take at least one pedal stroke in deep enough water, return to the beach and jump out of the boats.