Local fishermen Jason King, left, and Sam Guo have built pedal-powered fishing boats at Rabbit Island. Photo: Simon Bloomberg.

Fishermen design their own pedal powered boat

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A Stoke marine engineer Sam Guo has found a novel way to combine two of his favourite hobbies, fishing and biking.

Sam and his workmate at Reliance Engineering in Port Nelson, Jason King, have designed and built two pedal-powered fishing boats and they are proving to be incredibly successful. Not only are the boats super-stable and cheap to run, they are quiet and that means they are perfect for catching wary snapper.

“We go all over the place with them,” Jason says. “We mostly fish here off Tahuna but we’ve also been to French Pass, Kaiteriteri and even the West Coast.

“When we were fishing on the West Coast it was so rough people were out surfing but we were fine which shows how stable the boats are. On a bad day we might get a wet backside but that’s all. “We’re catching heaps. I don’t know what it is but they are quiet which doesn’t scare the fish. “I’ve got a five metre fizz boat but I leave it behind and use this now. It’s cheaper to run and I’m catching more fish on it.”

Sam says the twin-hulled boats are made of aluminium and take about 100 hours to build. They only weigh 40 kilograms and include a seat, two rod holders, a fish finder and a mount for a small outboard motor which they sometimes use for longer fishing trips.

Sam says the pedals and chain drive are from old recycled bike parts and are connected to the propeller through a drive shaft from an old outboard motor. “You have to get the ratio right,’ Sam says. ”It takes one revolution of the pedals to spin the prop seven times – it can cruise at 7.5 kilometres an hour.”

Jason says the two boats are the mark three and four versions and they are thinking about marketing the design.

“We might put one on TradeMe and see what happens. There could be a market for them, who knows?”