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Escape Review

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Escape Review
Okay, I’ve had my NFO Escape “pontube” for a couple of months now. Here is my review, up to this point…after 4 “maiden voyages”. And, by the way, I have caught fish on every trip so it is a proven fishing machine. My main negatives are the result of being a multi tackle and multi species angler…fishing from a craft designed by and for fly fishing anglers.







I almost did not get the Escape…not because I did not want it but because of the poor communications and delivery and follow-up chain of errors and frustration.

1. I ordered it around the 1st of May, 2016. It was shipped 5/16/2016. When it arrived, the two side pockets were not in the box with the Escape and other accessories.

2. I figured I could go ahead and start setting up the tube and the motor mount anyway, so I aired it up. The right side started going flat very quickly. I found a large hole near the end of the right air chamber. Could have fixed it, but shouldn’t have to. After all, there is a “lifetime warranty”…theoretically beginning the day you take possession.

3. I couldn’t reach Dave by phone so I sent an email…then another…then another. No response.

4. The UPS guy showed up with a pickup order for the tube. I had received no communication or warning from Dave so I did not have the tube boxed up.

5. Still could not reach Dave by phone so sent another set of emails…saying I still needed the side pockets so be sure to send them with the replacement tube.

6. UPS delivered a box and picked up the defective tube box.

7. There was a new tube in the box…but still no side pockets.

8. Finally got Dave on the phone. He claimed he had never received any of my emails (but why did he send the replacement tube?). I repeated that I still did not have the pockets. He implied that he did not believe that and told me to recheck the items I had received. I told him I had done so almost daily…for over two weeks.

9. Finally got the two side pockets over a month after I first placed the order.

10. My maiden voyage revealed there was a leak in the seat air chamber that lost air soon after launching and had to be constantly refilled to keep me from sliding out of my seat.

11. It has been almost a month since advising Dave of this problem. No response. I have found and Aquasealed one small leak but the seat air chamber still loses air. So much for the lifetime warranty.



Overall, I like the Escape. It is larger than the Fat Cat but smaller than the Renegade I had before. Just right size-wise for my large girth and all the gear I carry. And the large pockets allow carrying more tackle, gear, snacks and hydration.



And it floats the battery and motor fine with no need for additional floatation. It is rated for 500#. It floats virtually level even with the battery and motor on the back. The Escape rides well on the water…with efficient use of the battery.



Attached is a brief PDF file…with pictures…showing some of my modifications. I am finishing up putting together a more detailed writeup showing how I put everything together for the “pimping” job. Anybody who would like a copy can send me a PM.
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Re: [TubeDude] Escape Review In reply to
So sorry about your experiences, Tube Dude. Side bags, leaks, no responses to emails. You deserve much better treatment (we all do). Hopefully the Escape is now okay. It should be a really good fishing craft.
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Re: [jmach] Escape Review In reply to
Thanks for the well wishes. I do like the Escape and plan to spend a lot of fishy time in it. Just irked at what I had to go through to acquire the "standard" of the industry...in quality and price.

Sadly, as I look at all of the reviews for Dave's company on the Internet I find that my experience is not unique. There are a lot of buyers out there who have been underwhelmed at the after sale service.

Also sadly, I have almost come to expect that I will have to deal with problems in workmanship or delivery whenever I order anything on line. There are exceptions but even big conscientious firms like Amazon have glitches. I once ordered some line from them and got the wrong size...three times in a row...returning and explaining each time that they had it improperly labeled with their own labels. Their label showed the 25# test I ordered, but plainly printed on the manufacturer's label it was only 15# test.

But, I remain the eternal (infernal) optimist and keep buying online.

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Re: [TubeDude] Escape Review In reply to
TubeDude wrote:
Thanks for the well wishes. I do like the Escape and plan to spend a lot of fishy time in it. Just irked at what I had to go through to acquire the "standard" of the industry...in quality and price.

Sadly, as I look at all of the reviews for Dave's company on the Internet I find that my experience is not unique. There are a lot of buyers out there who have been underwhelmed at the after sale service.

Also sadly, I have almost come to expect that I will have to deal with problems in workmanship or delivery whenever I order anything on line. There are exceptions but even big conscientious firms like Amazon have glitches. I once ordered some line from them and got the wrong size...three times in a row...returning and explaining each time that they had it improperly labeled with their own labels. Their label showed the 25# test I ordered, but plainly printed on the manufacturer's label it was only 15# test.

But, I remain the eternal (infernal) optimist and keep buying online.
Wow, maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had close to that much trouble with my frequent orders online from other companies! Even with stuff shipped directly from China companies.
Sad to hear about all those issues with NFO and Amazon for you. Too bad, because NFO is a leader and only source of some very innovative products, to the point there is no other place to go. So I'm thinking maybe better for me to go to one of their shows and get a demo boat...

One of the reviews on NFO boats at Cabellas indicated the seat slow leak issues might be related to the coating rubbing thin with wear or abrasion issues, but who knows?
Wish you better luck from now on.

PM
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Re: [pontoonman] Escape Review In reply to
When you eliminate the bladder...as is the case with Dave's craft...that leaves the door open to leaks from other areas...like the coating. That is all that stands between floating and walking...a good watertight coating. And that is where the leak was in the first Escape he sent...a worn spot near the end of the right air chamber. It had never been in the water. It was worn from rubbing on the box.

The one small leak I was able to find in the seat was along one of the seams...another spot vulnerable to leaks due to failure to seal completely. And there is still a leak I can't find...probably up inside between the seat air chamber and the protective layer covering the bottom part. Again, that tube had never been in the water either.

Those are things you might endure in a low end product made "offshore". But not in a high end craft supposedly the quality standard of the industry. Especially when the followup service and responses are so poor to non-existent.

I still do buy a lot of things online...and a ton from Amazon. Overall great service and a simple return policy on defective items.

I know people who are more concerned about a company's after sale service and return policy than they are about price...with good cause.

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Re: [TubeDude] Escape Review In reply to
So sorry for the bad luck there.
I would like to add this is not an everyday occurrence. For the record, I have owned several of Dave's boats as you know. They are not designed specifically for fly anglers, but are designed for mobility.
In regards to service. I have not had any problems with any of the boats.
Not saying yours are not real issues, just saying that in hundreds sold there can be a bad one.
I am glad the Escape works for you, I can say it did not for me, but the Predator has been epic.
Hoping for continued reports!



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Re: [TubeDude] Escape Review In reply to
TubeDude wrote:
When you eliminate the bladder...as is the case with Dave's craft...that leaves the door open to leaks from other areas...like the coating. That is all that stands between floating and walking...a good watertight coating. And that is where the leak was in the first Escape he sent...a worn spot near the end of the right air chamber. It had never been in the water. It was worn from rubbing on the box.

The one small leak I was able to find in the seat was along one of the seams...another spot vulnerable to leaks due to failure to seal completely. And there is still a leak I can't find...probably up inside between the seat air chamber and the protective layer covering the bottom part. Again, that tube had never been in the water either.

Those are things you might endure in a low end product made "offshore". But not in a high end craft supposedly the quality standard of the industry. Especially when the followup service and responses are so poor to non-existent.

I still do buy a lot of things online...and a ton from Amazon. Overall great service and a simple return policy on defective items.

I know people who are more concerned about a company's after sale service and return policy than they are about price...with good cause.




I have been using bladderless since 2000 and again, never had any issue, but it can happen.
The advantages to bladderless is first off, the cover. It is made of several layers of material including Kevlar.
We packed our 14' boat on a motorcycle trailer for a week. When we got home we had noticed the taillights on the trailer had rubbed 3 layers of coating off. (keep in mind this is a long boat that with frame is around 160 lbs.)
The boat still holds air with no issue.
The other advantage to bladderless is it is easier to find leaks and fix them, A toothpick and Aquaseal usually does the trick.
Another advantage, it will be lighter then bladder version.
One more advantage, sand or dirt can not get in the zippers as there are non. Plus it can not get inside and rub the bladder.

Lastly, Dave told me at one of the shows. He does order the side bags, seat and oars. Sometimes they cannot keep up with his orders, so he immediately ships what he can so that customer can still use his product.

Again I am sure for problems are real, but just in my dealings and reading, MANY of those bad reviews are from people that have never owned an NFO.
There is a forum that is full of these haters that love to bash Scadden for Outcast. I know this for a fact that 8 out 9 have never had one and are talking about a friend of a friend of a friend.

My personal experience, been using Scadden since 1986, bladderless since 2000. NEVER an issue. so a 50/50 report.



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Re: [flygoddess] Escape Review In reply to
I suppose I have you to thank for the voicemail message from Dave. He was complimentary about the review...but nothing about my problem. Still having to carry a pump to keep the seat aired up enough to fish longer than an hour.

I well know your past history with Dave, and I know you have helped him and he has helped you. Good arrangement. But I also know other people who have "enjoyed" the customer service after the sale.

I stand by my remarks. Great craft but less than great followup...for me. But everybody picks on me anyway. I'm used to it. I'm married.

"Lastly, Dave told me at one of the shows. He does order the side bags, seat and oars. Sometimes they cannot keep up with his orders, so he immediately ships what he can so that customer can still use his product"

I was unable to use my Escape until I got the side pockets. They are what I engineered to hold my rod rack, tool rack and sonar setup. Why would I want to just paddle around with a naked Escape? And it would seem appropriate for an explanatory note or followup email (or phone call) to notify the customer as to what happened. In my case, Dave did not respond to a whole series of attempts to reach him and get my pockets delivered.

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Re: [TubeDude] Escape Review In reply to
Again, I am sorry you have to deal with this. But, all I did was emailed him at around 9 am this morning your review.
I haven't ever had a problem getting a hold of him via phone or email. So, if I was able to help, I was happy to do that.



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Re: [flygoddess] Escape Review In reply to
For what it's worth, I am happy enough with my purchase that I am writing two separate PDF files that I will be sending to Dave. One is a positive review, containing some of my past history and my feeling that the Escape is the best I have used. The other is a very detailed step by step photo writeup on the steps I took to use the pockets as mounting bases for the PVC pimping...with dimensions, etc. I will also make those available to anybody on the board who wants one or both. I anticipate they will help Dave in his future marketing...and in helping other multi-tackle types in tricking out their rides.

In spite of the delays in getting my new ride on the water I like it well enough to deal with the "speed bumps".

Sorry if anything I have posted offends you. I know you and Dave are tight and I really meant no harm. Just venting a bit. Us old codgers do that.

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Re: [TubeDude] Escape Review In reply to
I am not offended at all. It is what it is. I just figured I could help.
Dave is a good friend, but it is business.
All good. We need to get out on some water. You and the escape, Me and my Predator (the big sister) LOL.



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Re: [TubeDude] Escape Review In reply to
Thanks for the review and the great idea for a quick disconnect of the cargo bags and the PVC motor mount that wedges between the seat and main pontoon.

Sorry you've had some frustrations with getting your pontoon just right, but it looks awesome from the photos. I've always had a good experience with Scadden products, which is why I've bought 5 of his pontoons.
(This post was edited by kandersonSLC on Aug 8, 2016, 1:24 PM)
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Re: [kandersonSLC] Escape Review In reply to
Thanks. Glad you liked it. Attached is the more complete writeup...with more pics. Might serve up some more ideas.

I have no problem with Dave or his products. We have an ongoing dialogue and all is well.

Looks like you and the Mrs. have been doing some fishing. Saw your post on the Green. Nice.

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Re: [TubeDude] Escape Review In reply to
Thanks. More great ideas from the "Tubetorium." I need to the add the foot rest idea to my Fuzion.
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Re: [kandersonSLC] Escape Review In reply to
Something I thought of...after you expressed interest in the quick-click pocket thing. It helps to fiddle with the tightness while the air chambers are partially deflated. Then you can clip on the fasteners...on the D rings...and when you top off the air it tightens them up solid.

Let me know if you need any technical stupidvision on playing with the PVC. I'd be glad to help if you need it.