Preparing to order 480ex

Fujitas, Chinesemade boats, etc.

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Byron Walter

Preparing to order 480ex

Post by Byron Walter »

I'm a newb and having been spinning like a dervish trying to select a folder. The pointer stopped on the Fujita. Mike, who runs Fujita NA out of his crib is preparing me for the sticker shock (paddles, PFD, ect).

Looks like I'll have to bite the bullet and buy float bags from FeatherCraft, since these seem to be the best off-the-shelf option. Seems like a bad option to go cheap on. Need a dry bag for day trips, big enough to hold jacket, pants, shoes, grub... 15 liters big enough? Anyone suggest a particular brand?

I intend to get my 5'6", 150 body used to the new ride in local Ohio flat water lakes. But there's plaenty of opportunity for growth as I'm only around 50 miles from treacherous Lake Erie (not a place for a newb). Paddling should be fine into November around here.

Past paddling experience has been limited to rental Kayaks on the Cuyahoga River and one extended wilderness trip in the Yukon/Alaska region, which I loved.

Anyhow, this site has been extremely valuable in helping me to sort things out. Will probably pester you all with mucho question.

Christov_Tenn

Bags

Post by Christov_Tenn »

Are you going to try the boat out first, with the Fujitana demo program?

These guys seem to liquidating their line of drybags -
http://www.seairsports.com/specials.htm

Dunno anything about their quality, but some of their prices appear o.k. Local Walmart in my area's carrying an el-cheapo brand of drybag for about $12.00 as a seasonal "camping" item.

C.

Alm

Post by Alm »

Looks like you are buying a kayak without trying it first. Fujita 480 - based on specs only - seems to fall somewhere between Kahuna and Wisper. Likely, more flexible frame than in the first two. I doubt it will be assembled faster than Kahuna, though. With gear, I would suggest not to aggravate the consequences, and wait for delivery of the boat. Then you would go to any nearest kayaking or camping store and buy, say, 10-liter PVC round-bottom bag for food and 15-25-liter for clothes (this one can be nylon). I'm not suggesting any particular brand - for me, Seal Line Kodiak bags work well, and they are not expensive. PVC bags - doesn't matter what company, I think. Nylon bags I would get the heaviest possible, of heavy-duty fabric. With 25L bag you can put your sleeping bag with clothes, otherwise it might not fit in 15L bag with clothes. But one 25L bag might not fit inside your hull same well as 2*15L bags - that's why wait until after you'll get the boat.

The room at the very end of the bow and stern should be filled with floatation bags, - not with drybags. I'm not always following this rule - only when can afford wasting this room. Again, there are tapered drybags that can be inflated, and they combine the features of both floatation bag and drybag (being, IMHO, neither good flotation, nor roomy drybags), - but perhaps you will have enough sticker shock without such a complication. You can upgrade/change your bags any time later.

With paddle it's a separate story. First decide on length (225cm?), then on blades size, and then on brand or grade (the lighter - the more expensive).

With PFD for Fujita - have no idea. For Kahuna, K1 and Longhaul, unless for a very tall paddler, only mesh-back PFD like Lotus Mildwater will work well, because of high back-rest of these boats. I've just shortened/removed few foam panels off the back of my old canoe PFD (multiple vertical panels of this PFD allow such surgeries easily).

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tsunamichuck
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Congrats

Post by tsunamichuck »

As far as paddles go. Lendal makes the best 4 piece system. All blades and shafts are interchangeable. I like Windswift paddles alot and they make 4 piece paddles also. I like Lotus PFDs The Sea Sherman is the most comfortable PFD I have ever worn. NRS Flotation bags work great and you can store gear in some of their bags. Want deals on gear? Check out Sierra Trading Post http://www.sierratradingpost.com You will also need a bilge pump and paddle float.
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Alm

Post by Alm »

yeah, pump, paddle float (they are relatively cheap); mid-hull cart (not cheap); but they are at least necessary (pump or scoop is in fact mandatory in many jurisdictions). Then comes the turn for many, many kayaking-related toys that are neither necessary on most of trips, nor cheap at all :-) : GPS, VHF, waterproof headlamp, some nice Goretex paddling jacket for a price of 2 decent paddles, etc, etc...

Byron Walter

Hi Guys!

Post by Byron Walter »

Yeah, I'm buying without trying. While the 480 might (actually will) have more flex than some of the other offerings, I'm pretty certain that it will make up for it with good wave riding characteristics. But then what do I know. Well, I do know that flex in a mountain bike is a very bad thing:)

I'm going with 230 cm FG Werner paddles and a Lotus PFD. I'm letting Mike of Fujita handle the selections on this stuff as he uses a 500 and obviously is well-placed to know what should work with the 480 & me.

I notices that REI has some tapered float bags (and I will check with Sierra). And I have much of the other stuff... rain gear, GPS, etc.

Hopefully today Mike will contact me with the specifics and then it will be up up and away... or something like that.

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Post by krudave »

Byron, flex in a boat translates to inefficiency and can lead to weatherhelm in wind waves. My Cooper flexed enough I had to add a rudder. Paddle your Fujita and then decide.

As to bags, give us a URL or a make/model so we can see what you have in mind. You want tapered bags that fit in the ends. Many are too small because they are intended for WW boats.

That 230 is OK, but a 220 is long enough for a boat like that.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

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tsunamichuck
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Nix the 230

Post by tsunamichuck »

It is way too long. 200-215 should be perfect with larger bladed paddles toward the short end. Longer paddles make you tired faster, encourage poor technique and put you at a higher risk for shoulder problems. Here is the Werner guide http://www.wernerpaddles.com/chooseapaddle.php
I think they would put you at a 220. Or if you want to go lighter and have a paddle custom fit to you check out Beale paddles http://www.bealepaddles.com/
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Byron Walter

Guys...

Post by Byron Walter »

What you said about flex is what I would expect and very similar to my experience with biking. But I believe that I can deal with it. I hope that technique can compensate for flex. But we really don't know if flex will be that much of an issue with the 480. However I do have good upper body and waist strenght (I do a ton of ab exercises).

The Werner page suggested a 230 cm length based upon my input but I'll move down to 220cm.

The REI float bag URL is long, hope it fits:

http://www.rei.com/online/store/Product ... REI_SEARCH

It's the Seattle Sports Standard Sea Kayak Flotation Set with a tapered 43 x 15.5 bow and 49 x 20 stern. I'd guess that this would do a good job of filling the boat up. They're 40 bucks and come in a delightful lemon flavor (they're yellow :P )

Alm

Post by Alm »

Floatation bags by Voyager are probably cheaper. And they are all tapered (unlike drybags. which may or may not be tapered). The length of floatation bags is determined by the length of the bow and stern sections behind the last rib. 49" seems to me too long. Only in short trips one can afford filling more than those last sections. If Mike at Fujitana suggests 43" and 49" length - fine, but otherwise I wouldn't buy them until after I've got the boat.

Technique or no technique, - flex will affect the efficiency of forward strokes. This is physics. It may also affect tracking (the ability to go straight) and stability, but this can be compensated by skills and rudder, TAD. I don't know how much more PE480 is flexible than, say, FC Kahuna.

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krudave
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Post by krudave »

Byron, that is a hell of a deal, $40 for the set! Oversize bags are better than undersize. Only drawback is taht they do not have tabs for anchoring to the frame, but that is minor -- you can make an X of bungie cord, or grommet the selvage to make your own anchor points.

I agree with Alex on flex. Probably a more serious problem for kayaks than bikes. You'll know, after a while on the water, whether it is a problem.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

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tsunamichuck
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Saw this is on the BASK website

Post by tsunamichuck »

http://www.bask.org/frame.html
Feathercraft Khatsalano Folding Kayak - $2500
This is a 1996 Khatsalano that is in terrific condition, never having suffered any significant damage. It is yellow and comes with the original Feathercraft accessories : sea skirt, rudder, repair kit, backpack, cockpit cover, video, instructions. If you know anything about the Khat (see http://www.feathercraft.com/ ), you know this is the premier folding kayak, giving you the performance of a hardshell with the flexibility and comfort of a foldable. New ones retail for $4726. Will sell this one for $2500. Also, will sell Werner fiberglass Camano paddle and other extras if you act quickly! Can send pix if desired.

Phone: 650 245 5045

Could be a bit easier on the wallet.
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Byron Walter

The Deal is done...

Post by Byron Walter »

...called Mike and ordered the 480ex. Mike said that the 480 is very stiff, which seems counterintuitive, the frame being fiberglass. But in talking with him I do know that he's a former white water guy who now does mostly seakayaking. He also is an instructor. Thus he outta know of that which he speaks.

Anyhow he's getting me a couple of 4 section paddles, one Werner Camano and something else about a hundred or so cheaper for a backup. He felt that the 230 cm would be the best bet with this particular kayak and my 5'6" size.

It will be at least a week and a half before the boat floats, since the paddles are not a stock item (Werner is about 20 miles from his office/home) and he's headed to Alaska to fish... lucky bugger.

I'll be back with a report once I get set up. I'm looking forward to cool weather paddling this fall.

Now get off your computers and get out there while the weather's nice :P

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tsunamichuck
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Since you are buying 2 paddles

Post by tsunamichuck »

Go with the Camano as your primary and go with something different as your spare, not a heavier version of a Camano. The reason is you should be as comfortable with your spare as you are with your primary paddle. So if you are sold with Werner, Get a Little Dipper, Shuna, Coryvecken or whatever they are selling these days as your spare. Look at Lendal, Swift, Aquabound,Onno, Epic also. Different conditions will warrant a different paddle... ie in 40 kt winds you would be much happier with a Little Dipper vs a Shuna. Try a join a paddling group so you can try different gear.
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Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

Byron Walter

The backup...

Post by Byron Walter »

...is an Aquabound. Don't know which model but I'm not very fussy. In the past I've spent days paddling with whatever I've been able to get my hands on and nary a complaint. I can assure you that either paddle will be far better than any paddle that I've ever used.

My problem will be developing a smooth, clean stroke and not falling out of the 'yak :D

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