|Initial Drawings of the Slayer Propel 13|
|Native Watercraft Pro Staffer Philip Ruckart Slayin'em.|
We started initial conversations about the new Propel design with Native Watercraft guides and pro staff. It was agreed across the board that the traditional paddled Slayer kayak would be a good place to start. We even had folks on the Native Watercraft Facebook page asking for a propel driven Slayer before we were even really sure we were gonna do it! Everyone thought that the open floor plan, 360 degree accessory track coverage, superior stability, and efficient paddling hull of the Slayer would make for an ideal platform to install our Propel System. What we came to realize over time was that it wasn't just a fishing kayak we now understand that it's a great boat for cruising out on the water for any reason at all.
|Another view of the Slayer Propel 13 and the seat slider attachment.|
|Welding in new hull curves.|
The rest of the hull design balances traits of efficiency and stability. Too wide and you start to really hinder speed and make more noise by having to push a wider hull through the water. Too narrow and the boat will become unstable when it loses buoyancy on either side of the paddler. So it is important to prioritize the desired performance characteristics. In the Slayer Propel, we wanted to create a boat stable enough to stand in easily, but that would still move through the water as smoothly and quietly as possible to take advantage of the speed of the Propel System and maintain the ability to paddle the boat as well. The Slayer Propel is 33" wide, so by no means a sea kayak (which are sub 24 inches), but it is much more stealthy than other fishing-specific pedal-driven boats. We started at the bow with as sharp an entry as we could while still maintaining the large front storage tank. Smoothly curved, large pontoons drop down into the water through the mid section of the boat to provide a ton of stability and a quieter ride. Without the pedal-drive system, we have found that this hull paddles well with a kayak paddle. We feel as though we have come up with a confidence-inspiring hull design that complements the Propel system.
|Testing the stability of the very first Slayer Propel prototype.|
|Hips slightly above the crank spindle.|
|Testing different crank arms, pedals, and seat heights.|
|Propel Testing Tank|
|5 mile pedal in the first Slayer Propel proto|
|Stats from the 5 mile pedal.|
The longer the testing went on the more excited we all got. The Native pro staff and endorsed guides did a great job advising us on features they wanted to see. What I found during the time I was on the water experimenting with this boat was that I wanted it not only for fishing but to just get out and enjoy the water. During my longer pedals the feeling I was getting was that of going on a bike ride, or a cruise in one of our touring kayaks. Everyone who takes it out for a test pedal falls in love with the way the speed and ease of pedaling lets you explore a huge territory and maybe get a little exercise.
|Out for a sunset cruise with Betsy.|
Here is a link to a bunch of photos from the Development of the Slayer Propel
See you on the water.