I’m betting you’ve never heard of the Corcl before. In fact, I’d bet a lot—because this is a brand-new type of boat, which was just introduced to the world this past summer. In fact, it’s so new that you’ll have trouble finding it in stores and if you decide to buy one, you’ll probably have to do it through the Corcl web site. Why should you care? Because these things are pure, unadulterated fun.
Kayaks and canoes have become so popular these last few years, it’s no wonder someone finally came up with a different kind of self-propelled boat. The idea originated in Asia, where people have been floating around in “basket boats” for years. Now, someone’s taken the concept and applied it to recreational boating with a little help from modern roto-molding techniques. The Corcl has a deck and hull, weighs in at 31 pounds (so it’s easy to carry around) and has molded-in handles. Maximum capacity is 275 pounds, and accessories are available for things like cupholder mounts, roof-rack straps, and even LED lights. Most importantly, the Corcl also has a dense but soft foam pad built onto the deck. I paddled around on one and was grateful they took this extra manufacturing step, because personally I found paddling from a kneeling position the most comfortable. Without that pad it would have been a whole lot tougher on the knees.
More about paddling these things: you can use either a double-ended paddle like for kayaks, or use a single paddle with a figure-eight stroke. Either moves the Corcl along surprisingly quickly. You can do it kneeling, sitting, or standing. And going full-tilt I was able to paddle at about jogging speed.
Things really got interesting when I tossed four of them into the creek, and turned the kids loose. They had a ball racing each other, spinning around in circles, and even playing bumper-boats with them. In fact, when it was time to give the Corcls back (the manufacturer had brought them to me to test for articles and blogs just like this one,) the kids didn’t want to give them up.
You could fish a small pond or creek with a Corcl (it’s thoroughly stable, and I never really felt like I was in danger of falling out or flipping over), but my guess is that most folks will get a couple of Corcls to entertain the kids or grand-kids, while on outings on the boat or vacations at the lake-house. And there’s one thing I can say for sure: their kids WILL find these entertaining.