I’m an Old Town Predator XL owner and would like to share my thoughts on the new Old Town Predator PDL.
At the 2015 ICAST the Old Town Production Manager or some big shot was asked whether they’ll be developing a pedal drive for the XL. Back then the XL was new and exciting and he didn’t say yes as such, but he said their engineers and clever people and anything is possible or something along those lines. A few months later I asked on the Old Town Predator Owners Group on Facebook what’s happening with the pedal drive and I was told to “be patient grasshopper” as if it was coming.
Now apparently the PDL has been in development for 3 years, but doesn’t look like they had any intentions of ever fitting it into the XL if the PDL has been in development for longer than the above statements. I don’t know, maybe when they say it’s been in development for 3 years, they mean the whole Predator series.
Anyhow, point is Old Town has decided to screw their existing customers once again and they expect us to buy a whole new kayak instead of making the console to fit into the XL.
Personally I have not had a great experience with my Old Town Predator XL kayak. Hoping to make the best of a bad buy, I thought maybe not lugging the massive battery required for the Minn Kota motor around would help, but thanks to Old Town’s greed I do not have that option.
Now I know the rudder system is a problem, but I can’t believe those “clever” engineers at Old Town can’t come up with a conversion kit that would make that possible. Without working out all the details, I can immediately think of 2 ways that you can relatively easily swap between a foot and hand controlled system.
So the short answer is: I’ll probably never buy Old Town again and at this stage my next kayak will be a Hobie. Might change my mind if the PDL turns out being way better than the Hobie, but whatever loyalty I had towards Old Town has just gone out the window.