Hook & Barrel
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Old Town Bigwater 132 ePDL
Photo courtesy of Old Town

The proprietary innovation of an e-pedaling kayak won Best Boat at ICAST 2023, and the Old Town Bigwater 132 ePDL is worth a deeper look.

It’s not often we see something entirely new in the boat space. But Old Town is no stranger to winning awards in this category. Previous award-winning innovations include the Predator PDL kayak and the brand’s Old Town Sportsman Autopilot.

Old Town’s latest innovation brings to mind the e-bike craze of the present and transitions it into a water-ready vessel. We saw it firsthand at ICAST 2023, the annual sport fishing trade show that takes place in Orlando, Florida. Suffice it to say, we expected the brand to win the Best Boat category. And it was no surprise to see the Old Town Bigwater 132 ePDL ($6000) take the prize spot.

Though we have yet to take the boat for a spin, here’s the breakdown of what the boat will offer when it hits the consumer market in January 2024.

The Old Town Bigwater 132 ePDL: A Breakdown

Old Town Bigwater 132 ePDL Kayak

The patented ePDL+ drive system integrates seamlessly into the renovated Sportsman BigWater 132 hull, enabling anglers to switch effortlessly between manual pedal, power-assisted pedal, or motorized cruise control. The user-friendly ePDL+ drive offers up to five power assistance levels, allowing for extended high-speed performance. Engaging cruise control lets the motor take over while anglers take a break from pedaling. Propulsion power settings are easily controlled with intuitive keys and a sunglass-friendly display. Anglers can monitor power-assisted pedal level or battery consumption as they pedal to their destination.

The Old Town Sportsman Line — manufactured in Maine — includes the BigWater ePDL+ 132 in Ember, Marsh, and the new Steel Camo colorways. EVA foam floor pads and upgraded breathable seats ensure angling comfort. Additionally, fishing convenience is provided by forward-facing rod holders and a branded tackle box. The watercraft offers customization options with full-length accessory tracks and versatile storage.

Further enhancements in the BigWater ePDL+ 132 include a wider stern tank well, larger cup holders, and an improved shallow water anchor mount. The watercraft includes a compact 36-volt lithium-ion battery. Per our questioning, the battery lasts through a couple trips to the water within reason. And it easily recharges at home. Finally, the ePDL+ drive has a standard 2-year warranty for peace of mind.

Currently, the Old Town Bigwater 132 ePDL is priced a cent shy of $6000, and it will be available for preorder to ship this January.

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