Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Kayak Review

No paddle no problem! When you are just starting out in kayaking or thinking about doing so definitely the paddling part is not something you are crazy about. Also as time goes by it becomes a motion that is more and more difficult for older people to do. That is why older people tend to go more towards motor boating or have to leave it all together.

Thankfully there are options out there. One of them just so happens to be a kayak we had our hands on this week. If you’ve ever been to a beach destination where they rent out boats that you have to propel with your feet sort of like a bicycle you will know what we are getting to.


The Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot is a kayak that is propelled by the user exerting a force on the pedals that make a small propeller turn and allow the boat to move forward. 

This motion takes less strain on the body than paddling and allows for people of all ages to get out on the water. At least that is what the guys at Perception Kayak want us to believe let us see if its true.

About The Product

We know that it has a pedaling propeller system, but that is not all you need to know about this boat. It is a 12.5 feet long boat, with a deck that is 33.5 inches wide. The boat weighs in at around 95 pounds and can hold optimally around 475 pounds on deck. Which means that you are going to be able to bring plenty of gear along for the ride.

This kayak has a sit on top design that includes an ergonomic mesh captain’s chair that can be adjusted to fit anywhere along the deck so that you can ride and balance the kayak however you see fit. It has two bungee cord storage compartments at the front and rear of the boat that can be adapted to fit a cooler perfectly.

The pedal system can also be removed and you can go back to paddling at any time you like. It has a paddle storage on the side if you ever decide to use a paddle for help turning the boat. It is great for a day out fishing in calm lake waters.

A Quick Summary 

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    Lightweight, removable Pilot Drive pedal system
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    Boat Weight: 95 lbs
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    Four molded-in rear rod holders
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    Additional storage under the seat
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    Convenient drink holder keeps your favorite beverage from spilling.

What We Like

The fact that you can always have your hands free while on this boat and it can still be moving forward is a very cool asset. Especially if you are looking to spend a considerable amount of time on the water. It also has a lot of room to put your gear, and the kayak’s overall design is made so that you can bring a cooler without destabilizing your balance on the kayak.

It has multiple compartments where you can store all sorts of gear as well as a decent amount of rod holders. If you want to go kayaking, but are not too fond of paddling, this might be your best bet. However, there are a couple of performance issues we will get to shortly that you have to keep an eye out for. 


What We Do Not Like

The biggest differentiating feature that this kayak has with regards to many of its competitors is the pedal system that is designed to propel the boat. Just like so many of the boats that incorporate this system we found that it wasn’t 100% reliable.

There are moments when you will almost inevitably have to paddle. So if you thought that you could throw your paddles out think again. If it was just an add-on feature that didn’t work properly or wasn’t 100% reliable we probably wouldn’t come down so hard on the boat, but since it is the main feature essentially we’ve become a bit skeptic. 

Perception has since improved their design with regards to this system, and it is a little more reliable, but there is another issue. If you happen to have a problem with this system, they will send you a new one, but you have to install it yourself. We never like to touch are boats that much, because if you don’t install it properly your boat can begin to leak, and we definitely don’t want that.

Customer service from Perception is great if you have an issue they will stick with you until you get it fixed. We would prefer it not have issues and they promise that their 2018 model doesn’t let's hope so.

Where To Buy

We ripped this kayak a little bit, but we had to make sure that all of the potential issues were out there. That being said we know that this will typically scare people off from making an online purchase. In our experience, we actually recommend an online purchase sometimes.

The warranties are sometimes better online so should anything go wrong you will probably better protected. If you have any issues, you could still head down to your local store and get it checked out.

So in our mind, we would recommend not shying away from online purchases. Just make sure that your product arrives as advertised if not don’t try to make any adjustments to it yourself. Contact customer service before trying any of those.



It is a good option, especially when you get the pedal system working properly. It has a bunch of cool assets, plus it allows you to fit all of your gadgets on the boat without it becoming too heavy to manage. It really allows the users to be very comfortable out on the water. Which, in turns, means more fishing time.

Even though it has its issues we could still recommend giving it a try. The initial investment is a little steeper than maybe other kayaks out there, but the other kayaks are just not as comfortable for long hours of use. We give this kayak a passing grade.

Our Rating

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