Ok, so for those that weren’t interested in, or didn’t buy into the behind the scenes story on how the Coosa FD came to be, this article is for you. I’m going to share the tentative specs and my first impressions on the kayak that has been all the talk lately.
Some of the main reasons I am excited about this kayak is the fact that it obviously has all the “musts” on a pedaling kayak and then some! Obviously it has forward (12:1 ratio) and reverse. Reverse is key for fighting back against large game fish in big open water or when bass fishing and you want to pull the bass out of a hole, rather than you getting pulled in where you could ruin the spot or get pulled into brush.
The Flex Drive unit is comprised of 3 main components – the head unit, middle unit and lower unit. One unique thing about the head unit is that it is removable so that the main weight of the drive can come off the kayak, plus once removed it can now be car topped easily because nothing is sticking up past the side walls. The entire head unit is also completely sealed, making it maintenance free. If you ever need to add grease there will be a grease fitting where you can simply pump some grease in and you’re good to go!
The lower unit and prop are also very exciting. The prop is actually on the back side of a dagger board, which helps with tracking and especially when fishing in shallow water. The daggar board will hit any rocks or trees and automatically
bump up the prop so the prop cannot be damaged by underwater structure that you may not see. Of course if you see any structure, our single lever operation to deploy and retract the lower unit makes it simple to avoid those obstacles and get the prop inside of the protected prop scupper (which will have a cover). Once the lower unit is retracted into the prop scupper there is nothing in front of the angler interrupting the free space. In other words, the deck of the kayak looks the same when
the prop is lowered or raised up and inside the prop scupper. The prop scupper is also great because if you do happen to get any vegetation on your prop it is very simple and easy to access it to clear the weeds. I know so many anglers will be excited to hear this, because we all know a lot of our favorite fish live in waters with vegetation. Plus, the ease that the prop can be retracted makes it simple to and safe to beach your kayak on any bank.
The prop is unique as well. It has 3 blades instead of 2, which allowed us to actually get away with using a smaller diameter prop, which is awesome because it allowed us to draft at only 11 inches below the hull! A 3 bladed prop is very efficient and it is the reason you see motor boat props with 3 blades! Our prop can also be adjusted, in terms of pitch to give anglers, for lack of a better term, essentially 3 “gears” to choose from – low, medium, high.
The new elite seat system will come standard on the FD, which includes adjustable seat trimming via Yak Attack Gear Tracks on the floor, theramrest lumbar support, hi/lo seating, line cutterz, Plano tackle box pockets (with Plano included), Sealine dry bag, and new for 2017 a Platypus hydration system.
I got a chance to pedal the prototype for the first time two days ago and it was super easy to control and it was everything I hoped it would be! I cannot wait to get out there and catch fish off the FD this next year!
Here are some of the awesome features that I’ve already mentioned, in list form.
1. 11″ distance from bottom of hull to bottom of propeller in the deployed position, 0″ when prop is retracted.
2. 1:12 drive ratio
3. 3 bladed adjustable pitch prop. Easy, medium, hard
4. Single lever operation to deploy and retract prop.
5. Removeable top pedal drive unit.
6. Lower unit stays in boat and designed for car topping.
7. Sealed drive unit. Rugged construction.
8. Prop can be retracted for shallow water or beaching boat.
9. Propeller drive allows for easy forward and reverse operation.
10. Advanced prop scupper design allows for easy prop cleaning.
11. Prop will automatically retract during accidental impact with underwater obstacle.
12. Weight still TBD, but likely in the 90lb range.
13. Length & width still being tweaked as well, but it will be “around” 13 ft and “around” 34 or 35 inches wide.
14. Anticipated purchase date: Spring 2017.