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Louise Reid

Catamaran Style "Kayak" BlueSky Boatworks 360

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For those who might not be familiar with a new offering now close to its first delivery date, BlueSky Boatworks has been working with Jackson Kayaks to build a slightly over 13 ft. long and 48" wide hybrid of sorts. It has the two hulls of a cat, a platform, big seat and the new pedal drive now found on some Jacksons. Too, it comes with built-in wheels that are mounted so they can be lifted and dropped to cart it around.

 

One of the interesting things is this "boat" can be broken down in a matter of a few minutes for easier and more available options to get from the garage to the water and back. The pedals should be enough for most anglers but it will soon have a snap in electric motor option or one could use a TM or small outboard to get around. I like the idea of having two means of "get home" power.

 

I generally like the idea and I think they will find a market for this vessel. No, I have no affiliation with the firm, just a possible buyer once I see more of it. I think this could be a good choice for a bit more deep lake fishing, still good for shallows, too, with its low draft.

 

Brad

 

 

Blue Sky Catamaran 2.JPG

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Uh oh, WaveWalk has competition!
 

http://wavewalk.com/blog/

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I have seen these!  And, there is a little bass boat with two TMs that act like bow thrusters to move it in all directions.

 

For the buck, the best might be a Meyers Sportspal S-13, square stern. I have the larger S-15 but the S-13 would be easier to haul around in a truck. It weighs 57 lbs. One can stand in it, add a TM or a small outboard. Such a lovely vessel!

 

Brad

 

 

Sportspal S13.JPG

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The fishing model of the Blue Sky (they are making a recreational version, too) shows a MSRP of $3499, so it is priced pretty much in line with the big Hobie PA 12s and 14s; and, the Native Titan 13.5. Pedal kayaks have the added cost for their drive units, usually accounting for about $900 to $1000 of their overall prices. It is not only the drive, itself, but they have to beef up the supporting areas to handle the drives. More HDPE, etc.

 

I'm glad to see that the builder realized that something this size needs built-in wheels to get it on and off the water. There is that "shock" that comes from buying a very expensive kayak, then finding out you need to make another purchase to get it on and off the water. Most are too heavy to lug around by hand.

 

And, what might make this Blue Sky sell as well as any other of its features is that it can be broken down into several pieces to be transported. For someone with a small car, a roof rack would likely get the job done. It literally snaps apart freeing up each of the two hulls and a few other pieces. I believe they said that no one piece weighs more than 31 lbs. or something close to that.

 

If this thing moves as fast as some have hinted, 6 or 7 mph, it'll sell very well. The Jackson drive has a 12 to 1 gear ratio and it might do the trick. Time will tell.

 

More to come, too, as we should continue to see more and more "hybrids" of this sort: not really kayaks and not really boats either.

 

Brad

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This is hardly a new concept. It is just a larger, version of the personal pontoons that have been around for a very long time. The pedal option is new, but the infatable pontoons can be transported inside a normal car and you can still use a trolling motor. There are hundreds of variations. One person, two persons, with floors for standing or without

 

2016FishCat9IR.jpg

2016FishCat9IR_Top_t.jpg

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They look cool, but I feel like they over complicate the idea of solo fishing.  I'll stick with my simple Commander 140.  65 lbs., unlimited configuration options with bow to stern gear track, two comfortable seating positions, can stand easily, huge amount of storage.

 

12112289_10206871353515532_7423932630675

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10 hours ago, Scott F said:

This is hardly a new concept. It is just a larger, version of the personal pontoons that have been around for a very long time. The pedal option is new, but the infatable pontoons can be transported inside a normal car and you can still use a trolling motor. There are hundreds of variations. One person, two persons, with floors for standing or without

 

2016FishCat9IR.jpg

2016FishCat9IR_Top_t.jpg

I tried a couple of those...complete PITA, for me.

 

Wind batted them around like a ping-pong ball in a hurricane, no room for gear, no way to stand up, cramps, sore back, had to pump up at the lake...

 

Way more work than they were worth, to this guy.  Other folks like them and that's great, but the Bluesky 360° look a like a much more buttoned up, complete solution.

9 hours ago, J Francho said:

They look cool, but I feel like they over complicate the idea of solo fishing.  I'll stick with my simple Commander 140.  65 lbs., unlimited configuration options with bow to stern gear track, two comfortable seating positions, can stand easily, huge amount of storage.

 

12112289_10206871353515532_7423932630675

That'll do it.

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I agree: the Blue Sky 360 is a bit more comprehensive. I could see this being used out in deeper water a bit easier than many light kayaks. I do love my kayaks, for sure.

 

But, yes, there really isn't even a single innovation on it: catamaran style hulls, wheels, pedal drive, seat, rudder, etc. are all old technologies.

 

I do like the idea that it snaps apart for easier transportation, that the maker was smart enough to integrate a pair of wheels for rolling it around, not forcing buyers to immediately have to solve it with after-market sources.

 

In-hull storage is unusual but then almost all kayaks have that.

 

I'd "dial" this vessel in as a really good option for someone who'd like a small boat, doesn't want to mess with oil and gasoline, maybe with limited storage capacity.

 

Brad

 

 

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