Folding Kayaks Forum

The user forum for FoldingKayaks.org
It is currently Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:00 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: a BIG expedition
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:07 pm 
I need some advice here. Here's the trip-- I could use some direction as to what kind of boat would best suit my needs:
12 months of paddling (3 months in The Netherlands, 3 in Bangladesh, 3 in the Pacific Islands and 3 in Greenland). I wouldn't be paddling extreme mileage each day, but will likely encounter unfavorable conditions so the boat should be fairly rugged. I will only be taking it apart for the flights between trips so I don't need a fast put-together time, but since I will be out of the US, redundancy in materials would be helpful for repairs. And obviously I will need space for a lot of gear. Which boat is best?! THANKS
--drew


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:58 pm 
Sounds like a lot of paddling! You'll need a very rugged boat, so aim for the top of the market.

Obvious choices (to start the discussion):
    Long Haul Mark 1 - High capacity, stable. Wooden frame easier to repair than aluminium framed FC.
All the above will be very rugged. If surf is an issue I would give the FC the nod because of it's small cockpit. The Long Haul and Klepper will be easier to repair if needed. If you're used to hardshells, the FC will be more familiar. If you like a more stable boat, the Klepper or Long Haul will be more comfortable. For Greenland waters, a boat you can roll would be pretty essential, which would rule out everything but the FC K1. If you can roll that is, of course.

Nohoval


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:28 pm 
Little to add - except for some doubts in wider beam of SL. I didn't compare personally, but LH company assured me that their boats have the same width as Kleppers (despite of what LH websiter says). Mike here had both AE1 (sold?) and MK1, so may be he knows better. Unlikely that SL is wider than AE1. And as we are on this topic, - quoted weight of all these boats has to be taken lightly :-) .... Which means, - all of them weigh more than their specs say.

Repairing stainless steel fittings of LH - hmm... It is a problem to drill a hole in a stainless steel with a good battery-operated drill (not to mention pocket-size drills). But I would rather anticipate repairs like attaching metal parts back to the wooden parts, or fixing broken wooden parts, rather than fixing broken stainless parts of LH.

Considering a lot of transportatin in this trip - K1 could be a good candidate. It is impossible to give any informative advice without knowing more details of a kind that Nohoval Turets mentioned - paddling habits, condition of sea, distances between protected or inhabited areas etc. One can spend the whole year on the trip, without venturing farther than 10 km away from some substantial towns or more than 2 km off shore.

PS: with height or weight higher than average, I wouldn't buy any boat without trying it first. Proximity of pedals and "thigh" rib (in Klepper and LH), or "calf" rib (in K1) is important.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Big Expedition
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:17 pm 
I have a huge loyalty to Klepper for most of which are practical reasons, yet also for which I have to admit many sentimental reasons.
I really don't need to brag to you of how many BIG expeditions Kleppers have been on; Klepper can do that for me at http://www.Klepper.de or http://www.Klepperusa.com. But as to addressing some of the needs you have pointed out.
Start with capacity. Are you going to have regular contact with civilization at all your locations, or are you going to need to pack weeks of supplies for some of them? I could see that Greenland and Pacific Islands applying to the latter. If you need this extra capacity consider an AE II. (Or the Long Haul M2). If not, the AE I (or the Long Haul M1)

The next would be climate. Most of your locations would be fine with aluminum or wood, but I would be very concerned about Greenland (and the Netherlands if you're there in Winter). Aluminum is highly temperature conducting. If the water is cold, the temperature can be carried to you by the aluminum frame parts and paddle shaft). Wood is a great insulator, meaning that it wouldn't carry the temperture. I would consider a wooden frame for this region.
The other consideration for climate would be deck material. Your synthetic deck materials don't breath well in hot or tropical locations. This would probably apply in Bengladesh and the Pacific Islands. A canvas deck is going to breath much better and canvas actually cools as the sun evaporates any moisture.
The final consideration is repairability. Unfortunately this is any area in which I have far too much experience of late, but for the sake of making a point on repairability of a Klepper type boat, I'll procede w/ my story. Quoting myself from a recent article: "I loaned my older Klepper out and the borrowers wrapped it around a boulder within 45 min. My boat was out of commision for the rest of the season and I barely had it back on the water by the next season. The butcher's bill came to 3 broken ribs, 3 badly damaged gunwales, 2 damaged keel boards, a broken coaming, 2 broken side rods with sliders, 8 clips & 2 rod holders and 2 large tears in the deck where the gunwales had come through."
Now, I would have been willing to bet a new boat that I could have self-extracted with 4 hrs of time and a basic 1st aid kit for the boat. This kit would have had: A Leatherman tool, gaffer's or duct tape, a handful of various sized zip-ties, tent cord and a roll of 14 guage electrical wire (solid core) w/ insulation. I would have use willow branches to create splints for the broken parts and used the combination of the above kit to lash the parts back together. I believe I could have carefully finished the trip with these repairs. Add Klepper's repair kit and a few more hours and I could have professionally repaired the deck.
Had my catastrophe occured in Greenland, Bengladesh or the Pacific Islands, I believe I would have other options after I'd extracted myself. I could replace any wood that was necessary and create aluminum splints rivited with brass nails for any that couldn't. My 3 ribs are still presently in service with such repairs. A variety of glues should be available to put pieces back together. Interestingly I've heard that a favourite in the South Pacific is made by mixing styrofoam with gasoline and letting it cure, but I can't attest to it. Repairs such as these would actually give the boat character. Other substitutions that could be considered would be patching the deck w/ denim and the hull with innertube or vinal and rubber cement.
Repairs like these could also be accomplished in the Netherlands, but I'm somewhat of a perfectionist and would probably get in contact with Klepper and have the new parts even before the badly broken ones could be satisfactorily repaired.
Kleppers are so redundant that all of the port and starboad parts are the same and completely interchangable. I've even managed to migrate and combine the parts off of broken pieces to make nearly perfect new pieces. Ex. the length and fittings of the opposite ends of the bow and stern gunwales are interchangable and can be used to repair surviving gunwales with slight modifications, glueing and riviting. The bow and stern stems of the keel boards are the same length and likewise interchangable with slight modifications, glueing and riviting. My boat currently runs on such repairs. I haven't needed it yet, but the middle ribs are attached to each other with a rivited plate and are easily reversed with a little riviting.

I'm admittingly very bias, but seeing as how Klepper is already a proven performer in all of the locations that you plan to visit, it seems you really couldn't go wrong with them. That, coupled with the criteria of capacity, climate conditions and repairability seem to put them near the top of any list.

My next serious contender, especially if price is an issue, would be Long Haul. Pretty much for all of the same reasons but without my personal bias. I have huge admiration for Mark and would probably be doing the same thing if he wasn't. I haven't actually tried any of his boats in person.

As far as size is concerned I manuver my AEII from a solo position very effectively, but recommend a rudder (but not for whitewater). The rudder in especially windy or swelly conditions is almost as good as having a second paddler. Klepper also makes a special solo spray skirt for the AE II. The AE II doesn't eddy out too well in close quarters, but I regularly use mine in class III rivers. Jason at Klepper USA has told me he prefers an AE II quatro in class IV rivers (!!!) as opposed to an AE I.

Good luck with your decision and all your paddling!


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:58 am 
Thanks for the very substantial amount of info.
In response to your further inquiries: I am accustomed to paddling in fiberglass boats and am very experienced for my age (21-- and regarding size, I'm 6'1" and thin). This trip would lead me far from inhabited areas, but likely not too far from shore. And yes, I do have a solid roll from whitewater training.
I was drawn to the K1 since it seems the most similar to boats I have paddled in the past, but unfortunately money is also somewhat of an issue (considering all the other things that money will have to be spent on....) Thanks to your adivice, I will look further into the Klepper and Long Haul and hopefully be able to sit in each at some point soon.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:18 am 
At the moment, without clear itinerary, this seems rather an academic discussion. Flying or taking train/bus with K1 is a pleasure, compared to twice more bulky Klepper or Longhaul singles. If it wasn't for mentioned transportation issues, I would stay with one of Kleppers or Longhauls - Expedition version hull with hatches amd rudder. Long boats like SL or even AE1 are difficult to load/unload without hatches. (Yes, loading hook, I know).

Some reservations should be made regarding Longhaul: there is a problem with the sharp tip of stern deck-bar and backrest on MK1 (they need to be separated properly, and I spent a bit of time and thinking on rectifying this problem). Also, rudder of MK1 needs to be either slightly modified (to ensure higher lifting when not in use), or to be replaced with a new Klepper flip-on-deck rudder. I think, I mentioned all that in my MK1 review on the main page.

Repair of aluminum tubes (in Feathercrafts), using either wooden splinters, or larger aluminum tube plus duct tape or epoxy, is pretty simple. I didn't have to do exactly this, but had a lot of "modifying" done on Kahuna, when installed outrigger sailrig on it, and can say that working with aluminum isn't more difficult than with wood. Same epoxy and fiberglass can be used. The only difference is that you can't make a hole in aluminum with a nail - some pocket drill is needed. Also, rivets can't be replaced without a rivet tool and spare rivets, but, in a pinch, drilling a second hole and using either $1 aluminum wire, or thick uphosltery thread, or a machine screw with a lock-nut can be a solution. All the above items are needed in repair kit anyway. The only extra item in repair kit for aluminum frame (compared to the wooden frame kit) would be some small drill and 2 short pieces of aluminum tube (one diameter for keelsen and another one for stringers). Not really necessary, - wooden splinters can be used too, but tubes are better.
But I have to say, that field repairs of HDPE ribs of K1 is something that I have no clear idea of. With a spare piece of HDPE plate this can be done, though (see Tom Yost page). May be, a piece of wood or plywood could be used too. There is very little chance to break HDPE ribs.

Yes, cold water paddling on K1, with heels on the hull bare bottom (rather than on a wooden step-board of Klepper/Longhaul) - not much fun. Cold water "immersion clothes" are needed anyway in this area, including drysuit and good booties.

Too many issues to address, too wide topic for useful discussion.


Last edited by Alm on Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:29 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
The Klepper SL and LH have the same beam. A friend and I took measurements a while back; I believe the Klepper had slightly less girth in the bow but maybe more girth some where else (can't quite recall); bottom line was that they appeared to be very similar. One big difference, though, is the cockpit size. The Klepper's is 2" wider and something like a foot longer than with the Mk 1. The layout of the ribs is different as well, with the Klepper having two ribs in the middle of the kayak very close together.

My own view is that either of the three kayaks mentioned are capable enough to get the job done. It's the subjective things that should guide you in the decision--like, which kayak is most comfortable for you? Do you value speed and nimbleness over stability? Do you prefer wood over aluminum? Do you care to have a cotton/breathable deck? How versatile do you need the kayak to be (fishing, sailing, or just paddling)?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:43 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1715
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
ALM's post looks like a pretty good summation, in this case. Have you taken a look at Fujita? It's weight and performance best the FC, but I'm not sure about the durability of the hull for your application (frame quality is first rate). Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any English-language testimonials to it's expedition-suitability (and I don't read Japanese).

_________________
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:43 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
And here's another question for you....

Can I come?

Ha!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:29 pm 
Hey all:
Your advice did the trick. I am a finalist for the Watson Fellowship and had my interview this morning. (There are only a few rules for the program-- you must leave the US for a year and you can do no formal study of any kind). My full year proposal is to study the coastlines that are most threatened by a potential rise in sea level due to global warming-- or by glacial melt (think Greenland). I would be creating a photographic documentary of the shorelines in each country-- since they will no longer be around some day in the future-- as well as recording information about the cultures which would be affected. All while traveling by kayak. Thanks to all of your advice, I was able to properly answer the questions pertaining to kayak selection and how I would maintain such a boat over the course of my year abroad. The rest of the interview went... well.... just OK, so we'll see in March if I do get to embark on this journey. And if I don't... you all have convinced me of the quality of these boats and I will seriously consider a purchase for personal use. THANKS TO ALL.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:13 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1715
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
Aaah, yes. I remember the Watson Fellowship from when I was finishing college. It generates a lot of very interesting projects. Good luck!

_________________
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:11 am 
That sounds really cool! Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

Nohoval


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:13 pm 
I had a feeling something was in the wind.
The only thing I would add to the previous postings would be to fasteners: Use Stainless screws, bolts and lock nots. whenever possible for repairs. It's slightly more expensive, but worth the pains when it comes to future disassembly. My Klepper is 40 yrs. this year. All of the original copper screws are a bear to deal with (Klepper uses SS now). Also SS doesn't make a good choice for splints or scabs unless you have access to the material and more importantly a drill press. Copper burr rivits are an excellent substitute for Klepper's aluminum burr rivits (not pop rivits). I haven't found a source for aluminum burr rivits other than by special request from Klepper, but copper is available at better hardware stores (No, not Home Depot or Lowes) or feed stores (saddlery repair). Brass scrutchon pins or brass nails w/ copper washers also work well as an alternative. These metals are more mallable than steel and easier to remove if needed. You can use the concave end of a regular steel bolt to mushroom and set the metal.

Best of luck, and hope you can keep us posted whenever you get close to e-mail.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:59 pm 
When I got my Longhaul, there wasn't any repair kit included. It was on discount (due to very insignificant flaws of interior sponson sleeves), but I suspect that they don't include anything with completely new boats either. Unlike, for example, Feathercraft, that includes skin material, glue, and instant patches. Anyway, I was curious about those specific rivets that needed to be mushroomed at one end, because one of them was a little bit loose. As I recall now, I've found something similar at the local Lee Valley Tools (woddworking store), though not alumium, but copper ones. Eventually, my greed took over, and I carefully hammered/flattened the aluminum rivet until it was tight enough. It is so much easier to work with regular pop-up rivets that are used on aluminum frames like Feathercrafts.

PS: I have just cheked the catalogue of this store at http://www.leevalley.com - they are called "copper rose-head boat nails and roves". Roves are kind of washers, and the tip of the nail has to be put through the rove and flattened with hammer. There are also hollow copper rivets with one flat end (used on wooden knife handles), but I don't like them hollow. The store is canadian, nails are made in the USA - so there must be more of them south of the border.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Rivits
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:08 pm 
Thanks for the info. Question: Are these 'copper rose-head boat nails & roves' flat or round headed?
I've found a regular source for flat head copper and brass round head w/ "burrs" from Weaver Leather in Mount Hope, Ohio. The hollow copper rivits you described are called tube rivits. A special tool similar to the set used for grommits is required for successful setting. All rivits of this sort should use an "anvil". Now before you start thinking of those things that keep falling on the head of poor ol' Wiley Coyote, :lol: keep in mind that it's any hard surface used against a hammer (or cutting tool). A "set" is also very useful. For my copper rivits I have a factory made set made by the Osborn Tool Co, of NY, that has a concave indention on one side of the face and a 1/4" x 1.5" hole drilled on the other side of the face. Placing your "work" on top of your "anvil" (I'm still using a second hammer for now.) Your rivit should already be in place w/ the point up. Use the hole to set the "washer". I then trim the excess point with wire cutters, a hacksaw or die-grinder. I leave 2mm or more of point extending through the burr/rove/washer. Then I use the concave surface to gently round the point of the rivit. I usually have to re-set the rivit w/ the hole as the rivit will attempt to back out of the "work". Then I round again, repeating these steps until I have a firm rivit w/ a nicely rounded head. Once I acquired this technology, I began finding uses for it beyond boat repair.

I made a repair on the ribs of my Klepper that I think actually look beautiful. For a complete fracture that was complicated by being exactly where one of the Klepper snap-locks was: I first cleaned up the fracture and then epoxied it back together, letting it set for a complete cure. Meanwhile I fashioned Two 1.75 x 4" (aprox.) rectangular plates from 2mm plate aluminum. I sanded the cured epoxy surface to match the form of the original wood and then pre-drilled 2 holes into the plates for the new Klepper snaplock, using the pre-existing wood holes for a guide. I then used the rivits supplied w/ the snaplock as a pins/guides to position the plates on either side of the wood. With the plates secured I drilled holes for my plate rivits. On my first rib repair I used the larger round head brass rivits, but on my second rib repair I used small "scrutchon" brass round head nails. I drilled my holes so that I had 2 diagnally placed holes on each side of the break, plus the snap-lock holes. I made the tolerances of the holes so tight that I had to drive the nails through. I then trimmed the points as described previously. I omitted the washers as the second aluminum plate was sufficient to act as a rove. I used a drill to form a slight "counter sink" on this side. I rounded the points as described. I then mounted the snap-locks as normal. The rivits for the snap-locks act as a 3rd pin for each side of the break. Both repairs look very good, but the second is the best.

I should makes some notes here.
#1. Klepper gives instructions for setting their rivits that involves flattening the point of the rivit w/ a hammer and using a hard object such as concrete as an anvil. I have seen the result of such work. The method that I described gives a much more finished apearance and is barely distingishable from the factory installed rivits.
#2. The Osborn setting tool I described is too fat to get close enough to the rivits of the snap-locks. I use a small diametre pipe to set the point of the rivit (no burr/rove/washer is provided for this part) and then use the concave tip of a small bolt to round the rivit point.
#3. I have found the use of pop-rivits so unsatisfactory in repairs to my Klepper as to exclude their use completely.
#4. I prefer using aluminum rivits from Klepper when I can get them, however after that I prefer the mallability of copper to brass on the larger rivits.

If I had an aluminum kayak and were making a repair to a broken tube:
I would clean up the break making the tubes as round as possible again. Then I would find the next diametre tube down to snugly fit inside the original tubes. I'd probably sand the tubes and apply some sort of rubber adhesive such as bathroom caulk and put the pieces back together exactly as I wanted them. After the adhesive set I'd drill holes into the tube, (but not through the tube and away from any fabric contact). Then I'd set pop-rivits.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group