Thinking of purchasing a 17' Keppler Aerius 2 seater - 1970

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Thinking of purchasing a 17' Keppler Aerius 2 seater - 1970

Post by Dawns »

Hi there. I will be looking at a 17' 2 seater Aerius in a couple days and wanted some feedback from experienced users. I believe the boat is from 1970 or 74. I will generally be using it for myself and sometimes my dog ( 45 lbs) and or occasionally my partner. I will be paddling in calm water, river or small lakes ( at least at this point as I'm a novice paddler & admittingly on the cautious side). All of my experience is with hard shell recreational kayaks but I want something lighter and more portable. Also, the person who currently owns it I don't believe has stored it disassembled" and I've read one should not do this. (I.e. It should be stored disassembled). Does anyone know the approx weight of the kayak & if I could manage to put it atop my car on my own? Any feedback is appreciated. The kayak looks in very good condition from pics I've seen but haven't had a chance to examine it in person. Also,how difficult would it be to get parts etc for this Aerius as I reside I in Canada (about 1.5 hrs north east of Toronto). Also how durable is the bottom ie paddling thru weedy rivers and sandy or rocky shorelines. I can be rough on my hardshell kayak as the material is super durable.
Thanks so much for any feedback you can provide!

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a 17' Keppler Aerius 2 seater - 1

Post by john allsop »

It COULD be a good boat, BUT examine it for wear, patches and wear on the underside, although a hull with patches is normal and not a bad sign. Take it appart, check the wood for rot or black areas and of course the metal fittings, klepper parts are expensive but available. I lived in Canada for 38 years, southern Ontario and then 8 years in Northern Ontario. You have a good Klepper dealer in Calgary, i can recommed him. Now the weight, i think it is about 78LB. I always took my Klepper apart and assembled it by the lake or river. You will be able to put it on a roof rack, but on your own it,s not easy, there are ways to make it easier, the people who carry them on roof rack will no doubt advise you. I have two Aerius 2s one Folbot Yukon and a hard shell Triak. Don,t part with any money untill you examine the boat and maybe paddle it.

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a 17' Keppler Aerius 2 seater - 1

Post by gbellware »

Welcome Dawns. To add to John's good advice...
Car topping by yourself will be difficult unless to are tall, strong (and young) without some kind of aid, like the hullavator or a set of rollers. But it can be done.
As for storing assembled it may not be a problem. Unlike shock-corded aluminum tubes on Feathercraft and others the joints on a Klepper won't fuse if left assembled. But if the skin is old and degrading it can stick to the frame, especially at the bow and stern, and become very difficult to get apart. You will find out if that is the case when you take John's advice to take the boat completely apart to inspect.
The condition of the skin is all important, that is where most of the value lies in an older Klepper. Make sure it is pliable and not cracking/splitting...that is the beginning of a very expensive situation.

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a 17' Keppler Aerius 2 seater - 1

Post by martin2007 »

Hi Dawn,
I own a Klepper Aerius 2 which I paddle solo in a suspended seat in the centre. I've reinforced the keel with robust rubber strips, and it is my go-to boat for paddling in the 30 Thousand Islands of Georgian Bay. It's heavy, especially with the homemade hull reinforcements, but versatile and comfortable for fishing, downwind sailing, tripping, etc. Don't even consider portaging it. I lift it myself onto the roof rack on my Mazda 3. I can accomplish this due to the oversized padded roof bars on my rack. If you're looking for a light boat that's easy to load in and out of the garage or yard, this isn't your best choice. It is a wonderful boat for big lakes, however, as outlined above.
For a Klepper of this vintage, beware of disintegrating rubber. If the boat is in very good condition it should fetch between $300 and $500 Can.
Welcome to the forum. Folding kayaks are a rare sight on the water. I'm in london, Ont. and really enjoy mine.


Re: Thinking of purchasing a 17' Keppler Aerius 2 seater - 1

Post by Dawns »

Thanks so much all for the great feedback. I have now, with me a list of questions to ask when I take a look at the boat. And some very I portent things to look for. As far as I can surmise the boat has been assembled for a while, so it should be o there's to g to see how it looks when it's taken apart. Also this seller wants (at least by the $ they are asking, perhaps not what they'll settle for!) a fair bit more than your recommendation Martin, so I will keep that in mind if I am serious about the boat after I've seen it! Thanks again everyone for all your valuable feedback. It's so appreciated. :D

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Re: Thinking of purchasing a 17' Keppler Aerius 2 seater - 1

Post by mje »

The critical thing on that boat is the hull. A boat of that age will have a rubber hull, and if it's rubber, it's almost certain that it will have to be replaced unless it was stored indoors in a cool place and protected from ozone. If the deck is good, Mark at Long Haul can sew a new hull to it for half the price of a full skin, and it'll outlast you.
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Re: Thinking of purchasing a 17' Keppler Aerius 2 seater - 1

Post by DLee »

Hi Dawns, have you looked at the boat yet? One thing that no one has mentioned yet is that the Klepper Aerius II is probably the most available boat on the used market. In really good condition the boat price could be a little higher, but again, for that vintage be cautious of the hull. A newer model can run anywhere from $800 - $1800 depending on condition. I paid $2200 for an early '90s Expedition model in very good condition with a FULL S2 sail rig and a couple other accessories. It has been worth every penny. The point is, there is a constant rotation of these boats on the market. It's possible availability might slow down at some point but I don't think it's happening anytime soon.

I bought the very first boat I saw and I made a good purchase. Since then I've seen some real train wrecks and am thankful I got a good one. Cleaning up the wood and revarnishing is a real chore... seriously. Unless you are set up to do this work my suggestion would be to start with as good a boat as you can because even with a great condition boat the work will come. Enjoying the boat right off the bat is a great way to be inspired to do the work later when it beckons.

So, unless you're a very project oriented person, I'd shop around and maybe spend a little more for a ready to go boat. Maybe the one you're looking at is the one. If you're not sure make some pictures and post them here. You'll get plenty of advice. The AEII is probably the best known boat on this forum.

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