In late 2014 I had been fishing some local lakes here in Salem Oregon and decided to get a float tube. I purchased a Creek Company ODC 420 for about $200. I worked okay but I want a bit more flexibility and ended up with a North Fork Outdoors (NFO) Outlaw Escape.
I wanted something that would fit in the back of my Sprinter Van and was limited to something around 6 feet in length. I did not want to have to setup something each time I wanted to go fishing. Also the NFO Outlaw Escape price fit my budget.
The NFO Outlaw Escape has some limitations especially given my 6 foot height.
I soon discovered that the normal seat position was too far forward, so I made some adjustments to the seat so it sits as far back as possible. I added an additional strap that pulls the seat back and hold its position.
I also discovered that the footrest that comes with the NFO Outlaw Escape gets in the way if you are using fins. If I am using fins I remove the foot rest bar. Speaking of fins, I have a pair of Omega Amphibian Navigator Float Tube Flip Fins I purchase from LeisurePro. Great price at the time.
The NFO Outlaw Escape comes with oars that work okay but given my height the handles were always banging into my knees if I have the footrest in place. I solved this problem by reversing the section of the oars that have the oar lock mount. See Oar Modifications page.
I then decided to add a trolling motor to my NFO Outlaw Escape. This project ended up being a bit more complicated then I first anticipated but turned out to be an interesting project. I first purchased the trolling motor bracket from NFO. Dave Scadden the owner of NFO assured me his trolling motor bracket would work with the NFO Outlaw Escape. The bracket did work with a friend’s 35 lb thrust trolling motor but ultimately the tiller was way to close to my head and made steering very difficult.
I then decided to mount the trolling motor to the front of my NFO Outlaw Escape. This required me to design a bracket assembly that rests on the pontoons in front. I prototyped my first bracket out of 1″ schedule 40 PVC tubing and some aluminum plates and rectangular aluminum stock. I then replaced the PVC tubing with 1″ schedule 40 aluminum tubing.
See Front Mount Trolling Motor Bracket page.
I purchased a Minn Kota Endura Max with 40 lb thrust and a 36″ shaft. The Endura Max is an excellent trolling motor and the “Digital Maximizer” is a great feature that really does “provide up to five times longer run time on a single charge by drawing only as much power as you need, so they don’t waste any energy.” The Digital Maximizer is a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) system.
See Minn Kota Trolling Motor & Battery page for more details.
I added a LOWRANCE Elite 4x CHIRP fish finder to the trolling motor mounting bracket.
See Fish Finder page for more details.
I also added my old GARMIN Quest 2 GPS to the trolling motor mounting bracket. The primary purpose of the GPS is to give me an idea of my speed. LOWRANCE and other fish finder manufactures have systems with built in GPS system but I decided to use what I had on hand. I also have a “clamp-on” DC current meter that tells me what I am drawing from my battery that is an approximation of my speed BUT the current draw to speed relationship will vary depending on the prevailing wind.
See Global Positioning System (GPS) page for more details.