I am brand new to the forum and my father and I are both extremely interested in getting a PA12. I have a few questions, and I am hoping you guys can help. I want to say first that I have never owned any kind of boat and do not know much about them at all (Please be patient). We are planning on taking these out on bigger lakes and large ponds. We will be fishing for mainly largemouth, crappie, and a variety of catfish.
1. Does anybody recommend getting the Sidekick outriggers for the PA, or do they even fit? I want to ensure that this thing never flips on me.
2. This may sound dumb, but do you get very wet while using these (ie. water standing in cockpit, splashing over the sides)? We plan to take them out in some of the colder months here in Kansas and possibly Missouri and Oklahoma.
3. Is the eVolve motor worth forking out $2k for? Or would it be more cost beneficial to design a rig to mount a tolling motor? I am a mechanical engineer so the designing/building portion does not bother me at all. The reason I ask is because I have a bum leg and I am worried about peddeling for a long period of time.
4. As I have never owned a boat before, I do not have much experience with trolling motors. What kind of range/run-time can expect with a good battery.
5. Any suggestions for starter add-ons/mods would be appreciated.
I should probably also mention that we have found a place that will demo these at a lake about 2 hours away. Not sure what models they have tho. I plan to make a trip up there soon.
Any comments or advice would be appreciated!
Thanks and sorry for the giant post!!!
I'll try and answer some of your questions. If you've never owned or used any kind of boat, then there are several areas to consider. Let's start with your list of items.
1. Outriggers: I can't vouch for the PA12 since I have a PA 14, but you should never need outriggers for a PA. It is a very stable platform. I would think that you would go in the water by leaning over the side too far before the PA would flip over. I have the PA14 and cast while standing and have caught a few hefty fish that have pulled me around or gone under the boat where you are working one side hard to keep the fish under control. I never worried about flipping over. You mentioned freshwater fishing, so unless you have huge wind blown waves (if you get caught on big water by a storm)...flipping over should not be a concern.
2. Getting wet: I've never gotten wet per say in my PA due to just being on the water or peddling around. If you use the paddle, you might get dripped on when paddling from one side to another. Again...bad weather can get you wet regardless.
3. Trolling Motor: Sorry to hear you have a bum leg and are concerned about a lot of peddling. I have peddled for extended periods as the peddling is so much easier than paddling. There are many ways to attached a trolling motor to the PA and you can find a lot of those solutions in the forum and on the web. I originally wanted to motorize my PA, but after using it for several months now, I'm not ready to go down that path. Unless you have a really large lake and your launch point is a long distance from your fishing spot, the peddles will get you there fine. But if you can't peddle, then a trolling motor setup might be required. Keep in mind that most states require motorized boats (even the PA) to be registered and display a registration number.
I can't speak about the Evolve motor. It was more than I wanted to spend to motorize my PA.
4. Battery Usage/Distance: In regards to your battery question, I would think that a good fully charged Deep Cycle battery would let you go all weekend in a PA depending on how much trolling you were doing and the general usage of the trolling motor. You distance should be quite a ways with a good trolling motor setup.
5. Starter Addons/Mods: Keep in mind that the PAs are basically a cross between a kayak and a small boat. If you've never owned a boat before, there are different aspects to consider depending on the boat type, size, etc.
a. Always carry a personal flotation device and something to get attention with (small whistle will work). Depending on where you fish those items are usually required.
b. If you night fish, lights will need to be added if you're on public water that gets boat traffic.
c. It's a plastic boat, so you will need to determine what storage, transport, loading/unloading method works for you to minimize the wear on the PA. It is an investment, so think about how and where you're going to use it.
d. Mods and addons can be many. It all boils down to what you need for the style of fishing you do. The best advice here is to look at what others have done to their PAs as far as mods, etc.. If you decide to make the plunge and purchase a PA12 or PA14, then take it out fishing before you make any mods or buy a lot of addons.
If you just take a basic bell shaped anchor (Walmart sells then) and some rope, you can tie off to the side rails to anchor.
Fishfinders are used by a lot of folks. If you're in water that is murky and you can't see the bottom, the fishfiner is helpful for watching the bottom to ensure you know when you're getting shallow (below 2 feet in depth). In skinny water you might have to feather peddle or use the paddle that comes with the PA.
The key is to just fish from it and then visualize where you might need to add or mount an item (i.e. rod holders, etc) to make your use of the PA the way you want.
I've rambled on enough. I hope some of this helps.