Submitted: 05-01-2007 by barracuda
Ignore the rating. This boat is a perfect ten for some and a 4 for other. It all depends.
I finally got the Disco out on the water this weekend. I agree with the rave reviews. This boat really is different than the typical American SOT fishing platform. It would be perfect for a smaller, athletic, paddler in demanding conditions. I think SantaCruzMidwife would love this boat! Its been all the rage for the SOT crowd. It had rave reviews from Capít Jimbo in South Florida.
They are made in France by RTM and shipped via container to the Port of Miami. They are selling so fast in South Florida that they are hard to get elsewhere in the country. I think there are only a couple on the West Coast, so far, but I expect to see lots more! I paid $190 to ship a $580 boat from Florida via FedEx.
I do have a basis from comparison. I have years of experience in different SOTs from my 18' Kevlar Shearwater to my 9' Ocean Kayak Frenzy.
It is honestly around 50#. Its significantly lighter than most plastic SOTs. I do not think it will overtake a Tarpon, Prowler, or even a Scupper that is paddled by a guy strong enough to propel one of these boats at hull speed, but not very many guys can really do that for any distance. If speed is that important to you, you probably arenít paddling a plastic SOT, anyway.
It is more efficient than any of the above mentioned boats. That is, it takes less effort to maintain a nice easy 3-4 MPH cruising speed. Depending on the group, the boater in the Disco might easily find himself at the head of a pack of longer SOTs after a couple hours on the water. At 26' wide it is narrower that most plastic SOTs. It has a finer entry and exit. The ďVĒ hull is faster than the typical flat hull on most America SOTs. It really does handle well. Comparing it to the typical fishing yak is like comparing a sports car to a pickup truck.
I will add some Caveats. I think its important because many will be in a position to buy this boat sight unseen, or not at all: I will admit to being well over 200#. I think the initial concerns that this might not be the best boat for someone over 200# may be justified. I tested it without scuppers. One plug was lost in transit, and besides I never use scupper plugs on the ocean anyway, so I wanted to see what it was like without them. There was a lot of water in the footwells, and it slopped up into the seat. The seat also took on water if I was not careful getting into the boat, and even in small 1-2 swells.
Once water gets into the seat, it does not drain out. There are no scuppers in the seat. A good sponge is going to be required equipment. I think even paddlers under 200# may have a problem with this. The seat is so snug that its not going to hold a lot of water, but enough to keep your butt wet. I admit to be overweight, but its mostly beer belly (Well, Jack Daniels, actually) I do not have a wide butt. Some people are just not going to fit into the seat. A wet seat is not really a problem on the Pacific off NORCAL because you will probably be wearing a wet suit anyway, and its often not calm enough to sit still for very long. It does get very uncomfortable to sit still for long period if you are fishing wearing just trucks.
It may not be the new "follow the Pungo around the lake" boat just because it is so wet, but I will try again with scupper plugs. I was concerned the boat might be too overloaded to perform, but once I got into 20-25 MPH head winds with 1-2 swells and chop it handled like a dream! It felt really solid. I will need to try it in bigger conditions to really know if itís a safe ride for a 200# Plus boater. It lacks the total stability of the flat bottomed 28" wide SOT fishing platform. It may make some people a little nervous at first. Some minor details. Keep in mind this boat retails for only $580:
The color scheme makes me want to take a can of spray paint to it. I might really do that. Deck rigging needs to be replaced with bungees. Not so crazy about the fittings. On the other hand I really do like the recessed grab handles. Very good idea.. I donít know about the hatch. I had the dealer send a hatch cover, but I didnít have it installed. Hatches make me nervous.