When we spoke recently with Sea Eagle PaddleSki owner, Joseph Ryglicki, he put it right out there. “I get bored easily,” he joked.
“I’m a gadget guy,” he said. And with his Kindle, iPad, iPhone, and various other wireless gadgets and wi-fi gizmos humming in the background, he went on to tell us why the PaddleSki suits him just fine.
“I like that I can use the same boat in different ways,” said Joseph. “I can do different kinds of boating with the same boat. I get bored easily — the PaddleSki gives me flexibility.” Unique among watercraft, the Sea Eagle PaddleSki can be outfitted five different ways: for paddling, rowing, sailing, motoring, or fishing
“Because it’s inflatable,” he continued, “it fits in the car trunk or our motor home storage compartment. You can take it anywhere you go.”
Floating & boating in the Northeast
Joseph and his wife, Fran Mansfield, are on the go a lot. Living in northern New Jersey in view of the Manhattan skyline, Joseph and Fran take frequent PaddleSki trips on the Hackensack and Hudson Rivers, both in easy reach of the New York/New Jersey metro area.
“We take two or three hour trips,” said Joseph. “My son drops us off upriver and we call him a couple hours later to come and pick us up downriver.” Fran added, “Or we could take a taxi home, or even carry it on the subway.”
“We visit the old waterside towns that are all coming back now,” says Joseph. “Athens, Catskill, Saugerties — you can go from town to town,” stopping at stores and restaurants. He notes, “The first 100 miles of the Hudson are a tidal estuary and you have to take the tides and currents into consideration.” Always the gadget guy, Joseph has an app on his iPhone that charts the tides and currents.
Kayaking and fishing in the Florida Keys
The couple goes adventuring farther afield, too. They drive their RV with car in tow, and their PaddleSki deflated and packed in the trunk, to the Florida Keys where they stay for most of the winter. That’s when Fran breaks out her fishing gear.
“We went on an eco tour with the kayak, says Fran, “and I learned to fish in the mangroves. The PaddleSki sits so high in the water you can get to shallow areas you can’t otherwise.” Joseph told us, “There are many different kinds of Snapper here — Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper,” and many more. Fran added, “If they’re big enough, they’re dinner.”
“But even if I don’t catch anything, fishing’s a good excuse to do nothing,” she said, then added, “You have to understand I’m in a 34-foot RV with my husband all winter. Getting out by myself in the kayak is a good thing! And I can handle the PaddleSki by myself.”
North or south, lots of fun in the sun
“We also go on PaddleSki trips in the lower Keys in the Marathon area,” said Joseph. “We took a beautiful trip from Sombrero Beach and followed the channel to Boot Key.” Fran and Joseph love to paddle to nearby restaurants, have lunch, and paddle back to their RV site.
Fran and Joseph left us with a final thought. Whether they’re paddling the rivers of northern New Jersey or through the mangroves in the Florida Keys, the PaddleSki gives them, “Lots of fun in the sun!”
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