Stoa Proa in Santa Cruz
by Gary Lepak
Just got back from Santa Cruz Monday night. I took a nice harbor
tour in Sausalito around the anchorage with the pedal proa on
the way there, and then Saturday my son and I took it out in
the Santa Cruz harbor. It was the first time I've had two people
in it. My son is 190 and I am 160 so we had it up over 350 anyway.
I figured it could carry 400 at 6" draft. The well for
the Mirage drive is 8" deep.
We tried something I hadn't thought of before. My son was sitting
in the bow facing backwards and he pedalled while I steered.
It worked really well, and we went like that over an hour. Unfortunately,
there was no one around to take pictures of both of us in the
boat but I got these of just my son. I had to put a 5 gallon
jug of water ballast in the front to level it out some. The
freeboard of the cockpit seemed ample, maybe even more than
Another thing we discovered was that if he pedalled
really fast (he is a mountain bike rider and in good shape)
the banana shaped ama would exceed hull speed and start pulling
itself down in the water. Also it seemed to go about as fast
with two of us as with one. We both felt that the Mirage drive
could use bigger fins to advantage for those who would like
more of a workout. It is so easy to pedal at cruising speed
it is almost no effort at all.
It was an enjoyable trip, and I am already looking forward to
the next one in about 6 or 7 weeks. I have to try to put together
some sort of sail rig now. I hope the weather cooperates while
am at your place. I always like to try out new boats and rigs.