Well I got the Torque and got it registered last week and have had two outings in it so far. This is not a thread to debate human vs. motors so if you want to comment on that go here:
http://www.newenglandkayakfishing.com/m ... ic&t=11409
I love to paddle as much as the next guy but am a bit of a geek and appreciate all forms of motion whether it be paddle, pedal or throttle. As I get older I see myself moving more toward a touring yak and fly rod rather giving in to modern conveniences but have always been fascinated by wind, electric or internal combustion type devices as well as those powered by yours truly.
Now that I have all that crap out of the way I felt I'd give a review on my recent experience in the new OK torques.
I got it last Tuesday evening and was down at Causway street the next day getting it registered. $40.00 was the fee:
The well behind the seat fits my standard semi dry box with rod holder. Plug with motor fits very nicely but I added a few small pieces of foam in the sides and also put one under the motor strap for extra security (not shown) to keep it in nice and tight. It wasn't really sloppy but as mentioned I'm a bit or a dork.
Battery box is easy to access and fuse is also inside and easy to access.
Motor plug fits snugly into the rear tank well, regular plug without motor does as well.
New Torque without and FF/Sonar or rod holders ready for trial:
The 1st test run at night during the week was fun and for about the 1st ten or fifteen minutes as I was cruising around Manchester Harbor all I could do was laugh. I was kind of like the first time I got on a mini bike after riding my bicycle for years. I had a small lawn mower type deep cycle which was OK but not what you need for the Torque.
On Saturday, after getting s decent deep cycle battery I decided to really put it to the test. I had a friend out in his boat as a back up in case I needed it since I planned on covering some distance on it and was out solo, My goal was to run the battery out but was not able to do so in the 5 hours on the water. I had previously tested paddling this rig with the motor installed but not running and was surprised at how good a pace I could keep up. No nothing like a yak without a motor but paddling without it running wasn't that bad. With the "no Motor" plug in the well this doesn't paddle much different from an OK Trident 13'
I stayed out from noon until 5:00 PM and went from Whites Beach over to Singing Beach and Lobster Cove. I did a non stop crossing at full power from the far end of singing back to Whites and then powered around Kettle Cove before heading to Coolidge Point and Kettle Island. No GPS installed yet but I would give it ten miles and that being conservative at best.
My main concern being a bit of a paddle bigot prior to getting one of these was how responsive would this setup be in the chop and on the face of a swell. I now have two favorite new moves; The handle grab power turn and the power surf ;-);-) Grab the outside handle and cut a turn to the inside while giving a lean to the max of the initial stability and the thing turns in a little more than it's length. Do a hole shot down the face of a swell to straighten her out to ride an angle down the face and it was a blast. I was pleasantly surprised at how responsive it actually was.
Slimed the Torque with about 7 or 8 fish and this 28" being the biggest of the day.
OK so now when I talk about hands free fishing all my Hobie buddies will say duuuhhhhh. Yes I have been a bit envious in the past and I will say that being able to really feel the subtle taps and adjust accordingly does increase the hookup rate. The added feature of reverse is awesome. Being able to toss a plug into the wash off my bow and hold position with rudder adjustments (by foot pedal) and dial motor control was pretty darn cool.
This is one of my favorite haunts and although the wash doesn't look to serious in this photo it can be a challenge to hold your positions here:
All in all I have to say this thing is an absolute blast! yes I missed the relaxed feeling you get after a day of paddling/pedaling but the ability to cover so much water in so little time was really cool. Reverse when fishing and fighting fish adds a whole new dimension IMHO but you do need to be cautious when backing out into oncoming swells.....er ah ...she take the waves over the stern quite well captain....;-o
Managing this thing at the beach with additional battery, motor etc, wasn't that bad, sealed deep cycle battery is recommended. For a bigger guy like me there was a little water in the foot well but not really standing water. I'll be asking for a 15' soon ;-)
I'm happy to give any north shore guys or those in the area a go at this if you like. I will be out competing with a bunch of boats this weekend :=). I'll also have it at the shootout for any one who wants to give it a go.