Old Town Predator XL: FIRST LOOK E-mail
Written by John Oast   
Thursday, 24 July 2014 18:06

July 20, 2014

By John “Toast” Oast  fishyaker.com

I had the privilege of attending ICAST in Orlando this week, as my sponsor Johnson Outdoors was unveiling their new Old Town Predator XL.  This is a motorized version of the Predator 13, on steroids.  The boat won “Best Boat” and “Best of Show” at the event.  The new XL is an excellent option for those looking for truly hands-free operation, taking the previous Johnson Outdoors motorized kayak, the Ocean Kayak Torque, to the next level.

predBEST OF

The Predator XL platform is very similar to the Predator 13, but incorporates a bit more width and volume.  Side-by-side, the two look very similar, except for the console in front of the seat.  From a side view, you can see the hull is deeper on the Predator XL. Like the previous Torque, the boat steers with an oversized rudder blade, using one’s feet.  The forward/reverse control toggle is similarly placed immediately in front of the seat for easy access by either hand.

predoblique predator glamor shotjpg  

Useful features:

  • A 45-pound thrust Minn Kota Maximizer salt water grade motor, with infinite speed control.
  • Three interchangeable console options (Motor, Electronic, Exo-Ridge flat deck).
  • Motor console elevates, to allow access to shallow water.

icastpredControl icastpredflatdeck icastpredmodule

  • Element high/low seating system, like on the other Predators and the Ocean Kayak Big Game II.
  • Oversized rudder blade for hands free turning. The large blade makes the craft more responsive.
  • Removable and interchangeable mounting plates, so there is a “no drill” option)
  • Removable transducer mounting plates on the underside of the motor and electronics consoles.

icastpredprop icastpredrudder OKTEamiCast

Editors note:  I too had the good fortune to attend ICAST this year for Kayak Fishing Magazine, and of course voted the Predator XL as Best Boat.  I was bery pleased, but not surprised when it took "Best of Show." On day one I could not help but notice while there were 7 boats on display for voting, and 13 people looking at them, eight of those 13 were grouped around the Predator XL.  Definitely an attention getter, and I can’t wait to try one. Despite the opportunity, I never used a Torque.   It just didn’t feel right to be in a excellent paddling boat using the electric motor.

The Predator is a decent paddler on its own, but feels more like an all-around fishing platform than the speedier Tridents in the Johnson Products lineup.  I predict the Predator XL is going to make big waves in the kayak fishing community, and open up the sport for many who are intrigued by kayak fishing, but through physical or other barriers, have not yet been able to participate in our favorite pastime.

For more information:

http://predatorkayak.com/xl/

Look for the new Old Town Predator XL in a paddlesport retailer near you in October 2014.

 

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