Old Town Predator XL to Offer Hands-Free Operation – Venerable fishing kayak manufacturer to release details at ICAST this July

Venerable fishing kayak manufacturer to release details at ICAST this July

Old Town isn't saying much about the new Predator XL, to be introduced at ICAST this July. Teaser photos offer a few intriguing clues.
Old Town isn’t saying much about the new Predator XL, to be introduced at ICAST this July. Teaser photos offer a few intriguing clues. Photo courtesy Old Town.

Old Town Predator XL to Offer Hands-Free Operation
Venerable fishing kayak manufacturer to release details at ICAST this July
By Paul Lebowitz

Can you feel it? It’s that special time of year when new fishing kayaks finally see the light of day, and rumors give way to reality.

The latest new ‘yak news comes courtesy of trade journal Angling International. Old Town – maker of ICAST 2013 Best of Show: Boat winning Predator 13 and MX – is adding the Predator XL to the family.

Old Town staffers aren’t releasing many details at this point, but those escaping the venerable Maine factory are intriguing. The XL will join the short list of fishing kayaks that offer hands-free operation.

“All I can say at the moment is that it’s driven by a brilliant new system,” Marketing Communications Manager Luke Labree told AI.

A rudder? Most hands-free fishing kayaks have them. So will the XL.
A rudder? Most hands-free fishing kayaks have them. So will the XL.

There’s more: a new system for customization “within just a few seconds.”

I can’t guess what that could be – meticulously edited preview photos suggest the XL will have the same sacrificial rail mounting plates as its predecessors. Could the answer lie in the cockpit console? A tiny, intriguing slice is visible.

Old Town reps say the new XL will offer hands-free operation and a new ease of customization. Does this photo provide any clues?
Old Town reps say the new XL will offer hands-free operation and a new ease of customization. Does this photo provide any clues? Photo courtesy Old Town.

Whatever the truth, Old Town representatives are already talking up an integrated design, a system built specifically for and around the XL platform.

“Unlike a lot of systems that are add-ons to existing boats, we designed our system in tandem with the XL itself. We felt it was vital to design them at the same time and as one integral unit,” Bob McDonough, Old Town designer, further told AI.

There’s one last set of nuggets, the XL’s vital statistics: 13 feet long, 36 inches wide, and capable of carrying up to 600 pounds of angler, catch and gear.

ICAST kicks off at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on July 15.

An earlier version of this story referred to Old Town’s P3. The company has since renamed the boat the Predator XL.

From this shot, it's safe to say the XL will have a paddle park and sacrificial mounting plates along the gunwales.
From this shot, it’s safe to say the XL will have a paddle park and sacrificial mounting plates along the gunwales. From this shot, it’s safe to say the XL will have a paddle park and sacrificial mounting plates along the gunwales.