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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:09 pm 
paddler
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:57 am
Posts: 9
Location: Bellingham, WA
Just got a Quest 155 and couldn't wait to get it out on saltwater to see how it handles. A main concern was if it will keep up with hardshells on local kayak club Whatcom Area Kayak Enthusiasts http://www.wakekayak.org) that I paddle with frequently. First impression after opening the box was how light it is. Very light. That will come in handy when transporting in airports and other stations. It took about a leisurely hour to set up on living room floor. The only folding kayak I've only set up before was a Folbot Cooper. Reading and interpreting directions consumed the most time. After it came together, the rigidity was impressive. Got a lot of dog hair, dirt and scuzz on deck's velcro deck. I hope this does not reduce stickiness. The button on the cockpit combing popped out right at first assembly although I did not do anything dumb to it. Must be fixed. Pretty wimpy construction here.

First time, I took it out for 2 hours in Bellingham Bay near the water front close to shore with a lot of people nearby for safety. The seat was one backwards. First landing that was corrected. The seat is very comfortable! GPS said it paddled up to 3 mph.

Second trip, I paddled for 3+ hours south to Chuckanut Bay. Not as fast as the hardshell I had to sell but should be able to keep up with WAKE club paddles. Not much wind. Kept boat's speed up to 3mph. Difficult to maintain 3.5 mph. Usually easy to maintain 3.5 mph in the hardshell no longer own. The cockpit combing held the neoprene spray skirt without popping off. The Snapdragon XL sprayskirt that I bought for Dagger Katana 104 river kayak fits the Quest 155. A guy paddling a surf ski yelled "nice kayak!". Had a nice short paddle trip. Admired the palm tree fossils, sandstone cliff erosion patterns and nature and relative lack of development. Tide was high so was able to paddle under a small overhang cave. It was about 40 degrees F with winds 2-5 mph, calm waters. Near the big ship repair dry dock well maybe 1 foot and Quest felt fine.

Back at the dock near the Community Boating Center, I flipped the boat over a did first wet exit in this boat. Buurrr! Came out OK. The deck was a little floppy. I could roll my hardshell with a paddle float. Don't think I could ever roll a Quest. Deck is too soft and can't transfer force during hip snap.

There's 2 NRS float bags in the bow and stern with some dry bags to take up space. Not as much water in the boat as expected. I was not able to do a re-entry and paddle float-assisted roll. Kept coming out of the cockpit when hip snapping back up. I was able to get back in the boat with the paddle float and paddle used as an outrigger. The Quest seems stable enough to do a cowboy rodeo re-entry but have yet to see.

I wonder about assisted re-entries like T-rescues. I wish the Quest 155 had full deck lines. Can they be added. One experience club member did not want to play in the Deception Pass tide current with me today because of a prejudice against folding kayaks, primarily assembly time and seeing people getting tangled up in sea socks at a symposium. Overall, I'm quite pleased with the Quest 155 and am looking forward to using it on bigger trips in spring and early summer (go hiking in mountains in high summer).

Photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/74014145@N00/albums/72157663278574220 . Will try to report back as new issues are identified and hopefully solved with more experience with this kayak.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:51 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 277
yew wrote:
The button on the cockpit combing popped out right at first assembly although I did not do anything dumb to it. Must be fixed. Pretty wimpy construction here.

A few weeks ago one of the cockpit buttons corroded. It's pretty easy to replace though. They'll send you some replacements snaps, then all you need is a flaring tool.

I agree though. They should have used better quality corrosion proof screws.

yew wrote:
Back at the dock near the Community Boating Center, I flipped the boat over a did first wet exit in this boat. Buurrr! Came out OK. The deck was a little floppy. I could roll my hardshell with a paddle float. Don't think I could ever roll a Quest. Deck is too soft and can't transfer force during hip snap.

Do you have the foot-pegs and hip pads? I test-rolled mine just to see how it worked. It's doable with the foot-pegs and hip pads, but still fairly sloppy. I agree rolling isn't a strength, but fortunately it's stable enough that it's not an issue. [Admittedly, I hate rolling.]

yew wrote:
...One experience club member did not want to play in the Deception Pass tide current with me today because of a prejudice against folding kayaks, primarily assembly time and seeing people getting tangled up in sea socks at a symposium. Overall, I'm quite pleased with the Quest 155 and am looking forward to using it on bigger trips in spring and early summer (go hiking in mountains in high summer).

That's my general schedule as well. I typically paddle spring-mid summer, then go backpacking late summer-early fall. Nice early write up. Keep it up! :D

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Pakboats Quest 155.

'I actually read the Bible quite frequently. Can I tell you why? I stay in a lot of hotels. And I like to scare my kids before bed.' Jon Stewart


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:07 am 
paddler
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:57 am
Posts: 9
Location: Bellingham, WA
Got the Pakboat Quest 155 into a pool session to practice wet exits, rescues and to try to roll it. Did a T-rescue of a 16' hardshell several times. The Quest was more stable than the hardshell I been using last few years. The Quest of course has a fabric deck so sliding the kayak up during T-rescues was done gently and with care. It fits a SnapDragon neoprene sprayskirt (size XL). For about 4 resucues, I did not notice any stress or damage on the deck from sliding the kayak on to the deck. However, something could get damaged sliding hardshells up all the time. But, that's not an intended use of a folding kayak in my opinion. However, I wish there were more deck lines on the sides both to hold on to when in the water and to help raise and lower the boat during rescues.

This time I filled the FK up with 5 NRS float bags to fill up as much volume as possible. A lot of water did get trapped in the ends. Beginners in hardshells had some trouble draining water from the Quest. Some difficulty was from new learnings. The water trapped in the ends made it harder. Will have to work on a solution for that.

Wet exits were fine. Not quite used to this boat so sliding out took some adjustment. Same for sliding back in but that's the case for any unfamiliar kayak.

Could not do a full Re-entry and Paddle Float Roll. I did barely pull one off with a slow motion layback while rolling up. I don't think it'd be possible in real water with waves. The seat is too high for a good hip snap and soft deck doesn't transfer force from knee. I did buy the foot pegs and had them in. Will fill in more space on sides of hips to see if this would help. I was able to re-enter the Quest using the paddle and float as an outrigger. The blade had to go inside the cockpit not under deck bungies like a hardshell. Had to hold the blade down with a free hand. The plus side of the Quest compared to a narrow hardshell is that it's more stable and easy to get back into. I did re-enter twice with what I call "rodeo re-entry" (as opposed to cowboy or cowgirl) and that was easier than in my old hardshell.

There's another pool session scheduled in 2 weeks. When the water warms up in spring, we will hopefully have some "Members Helping Members" sessions to practice drills in the saltwater wearing dry suits. Looking forward to see how the Quest does than.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxLAA5JpBEA is an old video of the kayak club from over a year ago to give you an idea. A couple members use Feathercraft when they fly down to Baja or up to Alaska. I would've loved to have the Quest 155 when I was in Australia last October. Australia from Cairns south to Sydney is a sea kayakers paradise by the way.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:09 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 608
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
If your 155 is anything like my 135 you won't be able to roll it without thigh .straps. Packboat supply these and I never paddle without them. They make edging and rolling a breeze and I can't even imagine paddling without them, especially in rough seas. Thigh straps are a fairly common solution on some folding kayaks to the issue of not having a rigid deck to brace your knees against (some surf skis also use them)

You should also lower your seat, which IMHO is too high as standard for rough water. Following Pakboats advice I drilled out the rivets holding the rear plastic clips in place and replaced them with stainless steel hose clips. Using these you can set the seat height as low or as high as you'd like (I raise the seat on calm lakes for better leg drive). Pack boats told me that some Quests were produced with the rivets in the wrong place, making the seats too high.

I'm surprised that you can't maintain 3.5 mph. I'm a pretty weak 150 lb paddler and use a Zaskera Wing paddle made for children (even smaller than their teen model) and have no difficulty maintaining 3.5 knots with no headwind as measured by my Garmin wrist GPS. That's 4 mph. Even with my skinny short Greenland paddle I can easily maintain 3 knots = 3.5 mph. The only significant change I've made is to replace the standard backrest with a snapdragon backband which allows easier torso rotation. I hope I'm not trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs but maybe you should study a few videos or have a few lessons in good forward paddling technique, it makes a huge difference (no offence intended). Then again the 135 does have a lot less surface area to plough through the water on the 155 so maybe that's it. What was the hardshell you were paddling before?

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Simon

Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:21 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 277
siravingmon wrote:
If your 155 is anything like my 135 you won't be able to roll it without thigh .straps. Packboat supply these and I never paddle without them. They make edging and rolling a breeze and I can't even imagine paddling without them, especially in rough seas. Thigh straps are a fairly common solution on some folding kayaks to the issue of not having a rigid deck to brace your knees against (some surf skis also use them)

Thanks for the info. When I talked with them about accessories, they actually told me thigh straps probably wouldn't be necessary since I don't plan to roll. I'll think about maybe getting them, but since my Quest has handled some really rough conditions without them I probably won't. And again, since I'm bespectacled I avoid rolling if at all possible.

siravingmon wrote:
You should also lower your seat, which IMHO is too high as standard for rough water. Following Pakboats advice I drilled out the rivets holding the rear plastic clips in place and replaced them with stainless steel hose clips. Using these you can set the seat height as low or as high as you'd like (I raise the seat on calm lakes for better leg drive). Pack boats told me that some Quests were produced with the rivets in the wrong place, making the seats too high.

This probably isn't an issue for Yew since Pakboats adjusted all the seats after the initial problem was discovered. I got my Quest about 10 mos ago, and the seat height is just fine. Since Yew just bought it recently I would guess his Quest doesn't have that problem.

I'm also a little puzzled by Yew's slow velocity. I haven't GPS'd my speed, but one time in calm conditions I paddled about 4 miles in just over an hour with moderate effort. I was using an Aquabound Manta Ray, which is large blade, high angle paddle. Sometimes I use an Accent Lanai (lower angle, smaller blade), which isn't as fast, but I still maintain 3+ mph with moderate effort.

The Quest 155 seems to be a nice balance of speed and stability. While not a high performance boat, it's still reasonably fast and very stable. Unless Yew is a smaller paddler -I'm 5'9", 160 pds- it shouldn't be difficult to maintain 3 mph. Obviously we can only speculate.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:27 pm 
paddler
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:57 am
Posts: 9
Location: Bellingham, WA
There could've been a mild tide current that I did not detect. Tide currents swirl around in Bellingham Bay like a flushing toilet but it's hard to notice. It possibly could've knocked off 0.5 mph. I am 5'11" and 170 lbs. Yeah, my paddling technique is not very good. Will have to get it out on more trips and see. Next weekend, the club has a trip in Blaine, WA so will get some more miles on it.

I'm going to buy the thigh straps, if only for edging and bracing in swell.

The old hardshell was a Hurricane Tracer 164.

Thanks for the feedback. It'll be so cool to get this FK dialed in. Want to fly back East with it for a family trip and paddle Chesapeake Bay's Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:03 pm 
paddler

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:21 am
Posts: 7
How long does it take you to set up the Quest 155? Unfortunetly there are no assembly videos from Pakboats available.

I m struggling at the moment whether to go for a TRAK Seeker or the Quest (still available in some shops in Germany).

Thanks a lot :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:14 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 608
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
If it helps, I went through the same torment over whether to buy a Quest 135 or a TRAK. One of the reasons I went for the Quest was lower wetted surface area, so easier to paddle at cruising speeds, but the 155 won't have this advantage as it's not only longer but wider. It'll still be a lot lighter and simpler than the TRAK though. As I see it, the TRAK advantages are greater rocker (if you want it) for easier turning than the 155, a tougher skin (one of the reasons it's heavier) and the fact that it's much quicker to assemble (Quest is 35 mins for me in perfect conditions). The TRAK has the added weight and complexity of those hydraulic jacks, but it does without the added complexity of the six inflatable sponson tubes of the Quest (which help make the Quest so rigid). The back of the TRAK coaming is also a bit high for comfortable layback rolls, and the videos I've seen of it all show quite a sharp bend in the chine tubes (and hence the skin) where they meet the ribs, which put me off a bit ( the Quest has a really good Swede form hull shape)

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Simon

Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:31 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 277
sentient wrote:
How long does it take you to set up the Quest 155? Unfortunetly there are no assembly videos from Pakboats available.

I m struggling at the moment whether to go for a TRAK Seeker or the Quest (still available in some shops in Germany).

Thanks a lot :)

siravingmon's points seem valid to me, though I can assemble my Quest 155 about 30 min (not a huge diff with him).

I think it really depends on your intended usage. The Seeker is a performance kayak first, jack-of-all-trades second. This means it will be a bit faster and more durable, though heavier. It has enough capacity for a few days, but much more than that would be pusing it. I was also worried about potential hydraulic jacks failure, though apparently it's not an issue with the newer models.

The Quest 155 is primarily a touring kayak, meaning it offers a balance of efficiency, stability, comfort, storage capacity, and also a strong emphasis on reliability. While not as versatile or durable as the Seeker, it's still pretty durable and easily repaired if needed. As a touring yak the intended usage is extended paddling primarily on open water. It can certainly handle moderately tumultuous conditions, but doesn't do nearly as well in surf and whitewater as the Seeker. It's not as watertight (though generally fine), but has more storage capacity. Both offer easy loading/unloading of gear.

So I guess it depends what you want, and I think they're both great boats. Many paddlers love the malleability the Seeker's jacks provide, but since I like to keep things simple they actually put me off a bit. Once I get on the water, I just prefer to focus on paddling and not mess around with the boat's shape. If you plan to paddle in a wide variety of water, including really rough stuff like surf and whitewater, I'd go with the Seeker. If you're primary intention is open water/touring, the Quest is a better choice.

I hope this helps, and feel free to inquire further.


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