What's the right boat?

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Mart

What's the right boat?

Post by Mart »

After reading ackolades of one folder and another and being inundated with so many details about various folders, how does one arrive at the boat of choice? Say for instance you like to get out occasionally, your wife may come along but wants to ride with you, lakes and gentle streams but have to be prepared for big chops and rough water. You want a boat to take with you to the Caribbean, to paddle around islands and transverse open channels. The everglades would be a great trip too and you want to go camp while kayaking for a week. Oh, I forgot to mention that you aren't rich and your getting older so you don't want to lug anything to heavy (<35lbs).

Any suggestions?

tsunami von chuck

A couple of choices

Post by tsunami von chuck »

If you go solo only.. consider an Atatl. A really decent inflatable that can be paddled double or solo is the Innova Helios 380. Both new around $700.

gregn

Post by gregn »

Try Feathercraft Klondike. It is a mid size double (manufacturer however calls it single/double/tripple, I would like to see them demonstrating the tripple trick). Beautiful for paddling as a solo, or double. Very stable, but fast and manouverable.

I bought it after long deliberation, it was hard to part with the single hardshell. Now, after a few months of paddling Klondike I see the decision was right.

In warm climate I would get one of Feathercraft's sit on tops, like Java or Gemini. I have quite a bit of faith in their design and manufacturing work.

Now, the price is another story. Second mumble is needed to paddle Klondike. It is worth it, however, IMHO.

Alm

Re: What's the right boat?

Post by Alm »

Mart wrote:Say for instance you like to get out occasionally, your wife may come along but wants to ride with you, lakes and gentle streams but have to be prepared for big chops and rough water. You want a boat to take with you to the Caribbean, to paddle around islands and transverse open channels. The everglades would be a great trip too and you want to go camp while kayaking for a week. Oh, I forgot to mention that you aren't rich and your getting older so you don't want to lug anything to heavy (<35lbs).

Any suggestions?
Many suggestins, but no solutions.
<35 lbs - this leaves us with very few boats. Even Kahuna is heavier, after you add a rudder and few ounces of water.

Klondike is light for a double kayak, and is probably narrow enough to be paddled solo without excessive efforts, but it is not cheap and weighs much more than 35 lbs. Any double with frame weighs more than 35 lbs, - and you want it to be able to accomodate 2 people.

Inflatable boat like Innova weighs less than 35 lbs (don't remember how heavy is a double version), but it is not a craft for open channels. Somebody tried inflatable Stearns in Everglades - read at http://www.watertribe.com --> magazine --> Archived articles --> "What was he thinking".

One thing seems obvious (almost): wooden-frame boats like Klepper or Longhaul double are not what you need. They are heavy, and have better envelope of ruggidness/performance than you probably need. I said "almost" - because these baots are easier to assemble than, say, Feathercraft, and this may or may not be another criteria not mentioned yet.

May be you should forget about fitting all the above criteria in one and the same boat, and get 2 relatively cheap single kayaks with frame (i.e. not inflatables). And then, if wife will want to paddle more often and in the same boat with you, - get 3-rd one - this time a double. What is "relatively cheap" - impossible to define. If, say, Atlatl is not good enough for you, or Folbot Kodiak - not fast enough, then the next one reltively cheap could be Folbot Cooper or Feathercraft Kahuna. 2 Kahunas will cost the same as 1 Klondike, so this may not fit your criteria of low cost, but if price is the major obstacle and at the same time Cooper will not be good enough for you (quality could also be one of criteria not mentioned yet) - then we are probably back again to inflatables. Not because they are "better" than any framed folder, but because they are a different breed, and after having bought one, you wouldn't have to compare incomparables.

tsunami von chuck

The Helios is a really capable boat.

Post by tsunami von chuck »

I had one for a little while. It was slow, but tracked well and the rudder could keep it on track in 15-20 kt winds. It was no K2 or Khatsalano or Romany but it was better than an Aleut. Easily carried, quick assembly, paddled solo or tandem.. Sounds like a good solution to me. Doesn't seem to me Mart will be doing a Watertribe challenge and a Helios held up well in a San Juan challenge http://www.innovakayak.com/sj-97.htm
Another solution is to make your own. Tom Yost posts here frequently and is very happy to offer advice and assistance as well as plans free.

tsunami von chuck

The Helios is a really capable boat.

Post by tsunami von chuck »

I had one for a little while. It was slow, but tracked well and the rudder could keep it on track in 15-20 kt winds. It was no K2 or Khatsalano or Romany but it was better than an Aleut. Easily carried, quick assembly, paddled solo or tandem.. Sounds like a good solution to me. Doesn't seem to me Mart will be doing a Watertribe challenge and a Helios held up well in a San Juan challenge http://www.innovakayak.com/sj-97.htm
Another solution is to make your own. Tom Yost posts here frequently and is very happy to offer advice and assistance as well as plans free.

tsunami von chuck

Another possibility

Post by tsunami von chuck »

http://cgi.ebay.com/folding-kayak-pakbo ... dZViewItem
Just have enough flotation if you plan on any paddling.

Christov_Tenn

Puffin II

Post by Christov_Tenn »

I've got a Puffin II that I paddled solo about eleven times before buying a used Pouch E68 (Importer's demo boat). Paddles well as a tandem, those few times my wife has been willing to accompany me on the water. My wife feels pretty secure in this boat, and with her paddling the craft in tandem with me, it moves along and maneuvers (sp?) fairly well. The P2 is light - I can easily shoulder carry with seats, paddle, drybag for daytrip, pfd.

Have had problems with the sponsons - the inflatable air bags, two of which run the length of either side of the boat. My P2 shipped with one faulty bag, returned it to the manufacturer and had it replaced.

Had assembly problems while on a training junket in about 98 degrees F. Could not get the stems to connect straight to the gunwale terminators. Sent the boat back to the manufacturer for inspection/repair & they stated it went together fine for them. When I got it back, it went together fine. One of the sponsons popped during inflation (the friend who paddled with us that morning overinflated, which was pretty much my fault for not paying attention or giving better instructions).

My other problem with this boat as a solo kayak has been the position of the seat bottom over chine latches - evidently I have lopsidedly weighted buttocks, consistently causing the properly secured latches to pop loose under my right buttock. The manufacturer was unable to duplicate the problem. The friend I mentioned in the previous paragraph is both taller and heavier than me, but likewise reported no such problem.

Scansport or Pakboats ( http://www.pakboats.com ) only has two fulltime people running the U.S. end of the business, and these guys rotate trips to China to oversee production runs, so communication and customer service turnaround times can be lengthy. These guys (Alv, the company founder and owner, & Mike) strike me as honest and straightforward, interested in making a quality, affordable product.

If you buy one of these boats, make up your mind to accept paddle splash and a wet ride or, alternatively, you may wish to develop flawless (read drip and splashless) technique. The spraydeck - tandem and solo are available - will also keep you pretty dry but make entry and exit more of a headache because there is so little (vertical) room under the deck.

As shipped, the P2, deck, repair kit, air pump fit into one not particularly durable (but, nonetheless convenient) duffle bag. Scansport ships the paper instruction booklet in the zippered pocket alongside the repair kit.

There're a number of posts about these boats in the Pakboats conference on this forum. I've got a few photos of and from the P2 in a gallery on the FoldingKayaks main site for reference, and can scan and email you some others, showing the boat as it arrived in the box and duffle, as well as my successful first assembly.

If I had to do it over again, because I've found I'm pretty rough on boats, I'd get something like a Folbot Greenland II or Pouch RZ96 for tandem paddling. I much prefer my solo boat, and wish my wife were willing to paddle a solo boat of her own with me. Should probably be grateful she's willing to spend some time on the water with me in the tandem.

Merry Christmas,

C.
Last edited by Christov_Tenn on Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Yostwerks

Post by Yostwerks »

Whether it be a double kayak or a tandem bicyle, you must have two individuals of equal desire to participate, or the bike or kayak sits unused. I've owned both, ( Burley tandem, and Folbot Greenland II ) , and that was the scenario for me. If your paddling partner shares part time in your interest, learning to paddle a single should be no big deal.

I'd recommend two singles vs a double. You might check around on Ebay or other sources for a used Feathercraft K-Light or two. These boats are essentially smaller Kahuna's and from my experience owning both types, the K-Light is a good rough water boat ( very maneuvarable but with good tracking), lighter weight and easier to assemble (20 min) than the Kahuna , plus very stable though a bit slower. I still don't understand why they dropped this boat from the lineup. When the water conditions are at their worst, I still get out the trusty old K-Light. Another factor is the small pack size of both the K-Light and Kahuna, and that means easier airline transport.

The inexpensive Folbot Aleut may be another good choice. It's fairly light, easy to assemble, and super stable, though it's slower than even the K-Light.

It's unrealistic ( for me ) to regularly use a double as a single, no matter the good intensions. Especially if weight and mass are factors, and for me they are big factors. As I get older, my homebuilt boats seem to get lghter and narrower. ha! . Plus, my own preference is performance ( speed, feel in the water, and quick turning) and I know of no double capable of any of these. Though my homebuilt Dyson Double folder came close ( 21ft X 27in).

Loading and unloading a kayak on roof carriers is nearly impossible if it's a double and you are paddling alone, unless you plan to fold and unfold everytime you paddle, and that gets old very quickly ( at least for me). The Pakboats may be the exception to all the above, but I have no experience with this kayak / canoe.

Tsunami von Chuck may have found the ultimate solution by paddling his FC Khasalano as a double........

http://yostwerks.com/TsunamiVonChuck.jpg

Merry Christmas and Happy "Paddling" New Year to all.

Baron von Faltboot

tsunami von chuck

I was unable to do the ultimate

Post by tsunami von chuck »

which was to get Fido to tow me. Yeah baby! Lets see that Khats do 10 knots!

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chrstjrn
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Posts: 1719
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Post by chrstjrn »

The Puffin 2 gives you everything you mention except I'd do some careful experimenting and self-examination before undertaking open crossings in the Carribean in it. I flew to France with my Puffin 2 and paddled all the way up the Somme (river) in it-- a trip of a week or more.
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig (in storage)
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previously: '04 Pakboat Puffin II, '05 Swift (prototype), '84 Hobie 16.

mart

what boat for me

Post by mart »

Hey guys - thanks for all the information! I see some responses from early this morning - I hope you didn't miss Santa to share all that wisdom!

Seems I have quite a few boats to check out. I appreciate hearing about all your experiences, it always seems to be a great bench mark for beginning. I noticed there wasn't a lot of Folbot recommendation, I was wondering why? They were the company that got me interested and I thought they were pretty good?

As for building your own boat, I'm just finishing a 15' canoe and rebuilt a lightning sail boat a year ago so I wasn't to eager to start a new project. From what I saw on this site seemed to indicate that it was as costly as buying a new one - did anyone try it?

Anyway, I'm going to St.John in February and I hope to be packing a kayak to get between the USVI and the BVI and as transportation around ST. JOhn - So, don't steer me wrong guys! I won't have much opportunity to try it out before the trip - Lake Erie is pretty cold this time of year!

Thanks again for your time and help! HYope you all have a wonderful new year! By the way, my wife doesn't go often but when she does we go! did a 3 day 90 miler in Sept in the ADKs.!

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chrstjrn
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1719
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Kansai, Japan

Post by chrstjrn »

It's rare that I would steer anyone new to folders towards anything except 1) Pakboats, 2) Folbot, or 3) a used Klepper (or equivalent). Puffins are around $800, Folbots are around $1500. Folbots are great, but your criteria screamed "Puffin 2".
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig (in storage)
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previously: '04 Pakboat Puffin II, '05 Swift (prototype), '84 Hobie 16.

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krudave
Site Admin
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: Astoria, OR

Post by krudave »

Mart wrote: I noticed there wasn't a lot of Folbot recommendation, I was wondering why? They were the company that got me interested and I thought they were pretty good?

Like the poster before this said: your criteria, particularly very light weight, ruled out most Folbots. Costwise, they are very good for the money. I suspect the Folbot Kiawah might be a good choice in the end, but it will be over the weight maximum you specified.

I paddle a Cooper, and like it, but probably not the best for someone a little nervous in the cockpit. a Kiawah will be more forgiving.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

Alm

Post by Alm »

>I noticed there wasn't a lot of Folbot recommendation, I was wondering why? They were the company that got me interested and I thought they were pretty good?

Kodiak and Cooper (in my post) were Folbots. There were also Aleut and Kiawah in other posts, - which in total covers almost all Folbot single kayaks. And, also, all the abovementined Folbots weigh over 35 lbs, and can't accomodate two people - which means that they don't fit 2 of your criteria. The only Folbot that can take two people, is Greenland II, and it weighs much more, and is not the best boat to buy for mostly solo paddling with maximum 7-day duration of trip (Kodiak is enough for that).

As your criteria are apparently impossible to satisfy, you should modify them first. One of options mentioned was to buy Puffin2 and forget about open-water crossings. Another option would be to agree to the weight about 50 lbs, and buy 2 Kodiaks, or Aleuts, or K-lights, or Kahunas.

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