Anyone who grew up on the water playing with paddles has tied two canoes or kayaks together to build a party raft. The kids at Diablo Paddlesports have taken the fun to a new level. The El Gato (name is still in the works) catamaran is a party barge with power. The prototype aluminum frame clips into gear tracks on each kayak.

A small platform between the kayaks holds gear and a 10 horsepower Torqueedo motor that can be charged with a solar panel. Thomas Flemons, Diablo Paddlesport’s owner cooked up the idea with fun and function in mind. “Anglers can motor to a distant destination or prefish a tournament then separate the kayaks and paddle-fish once on the scene,” he explains. Flemons promised further design tweaks before this summer’s Outdoor Retailer show. We’ll look forward to checking out the final product.

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Ric Burnley
“Thank God my dad wasn’t a podiatrist,” jokes Ric about following in the footsteps of a famous outdoor writer. After graduating from Radford University and serving two years in Russia with the Peace Corps, Ric returned to Virginia Beach and started writing for The Fisherman magazine, where his dad was editor. When the kayak fishing scene exploded, Ric was among the first to get onboard. His 2007 book, The Complete Kayak Fisherman is one of the first tomes to introduce anglers to paddle fishing and hundreds of articles and seminars have brought countless anglers into the fold. When he’s not chasing every fish that swims, Ric teaches English at a school for at-risk teens.

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