Folding Kayaks Forum

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:15 pm 
Hi everybody!

yesterday while looking for a good kayak solution for me and my wife, I stepped in a used MTW Kolibri 3, and bought it.

So I do not know if I did well, but now I have it and I'm very happy.
For me it is very good because: 2 places, folding, good price, good overall state.
The guy that sold it, also gave me two 2.4m long paddles (very long! is this normal?), a compass, flotation bags and tools to carry it on the car.

I now have a few questions for you:

- To your knowledge this MTW Kolibrì 3 is a good folding kayak? I think it was made in the 1990's so not so recent...
- How often am I supposed to fold it back and forth? I thought of doing it often as with a tent...
- Do you know where I can find used sails that would fit this kayak? (see image, close to Grenoble there is a perfect windy lake)
- Is there any special care that I should know about before using a folding kayak? (ex: "never sit on the frame", "wax all wood parts every weekend", clean the skin and dry it,... )
- What are the most frequent damages for which I should be prepared?

I attach a picture of the folding kayak, and stop with the questions, for now.

thank you!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:12 pm 
Since I have no first hand knowledge with the Kolibri's, just some general folding kayak tips?
Kolibri's were certainly popular in the former DDR, as were folders in general.
Fold it back and forth? Maybe you meant if it should be kept assembled or taken apart after use and stored disassembled? Opinions vary on this! Storing it assembled can be hard on the wood frame pieces, but reduces the risk of damage during assembly. Long term folded storage can allow some skins to shrink, making assembly harder. I store my folders disassembled, personal preference!
Good place to look for a sail kit is on German eBay, or check with a dealer in used folding kayak gear there, such as Patcool.
Most important special care is to always allow the skin to fully dry before storing it in a bag. The cotton deck will rot quickly if stored wet.
Most common maintenance items are usually some varnish wear on the frame pieces and the occasional scrape on the hull.

Lastly, take your time assembling it the first few times and always use the float bags!

Have fun!

Chris O.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:29 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1180
Location: isles of scilly UK
Chris 0 gives good advice. Looking at the photos the front point of the coaming looks like it might be damaged, if so repair as required. The photo of the assembled boat, if this is the boat, it looks very good. Turn it over and have a good look at the skin for wear, old patches if there are any, and places that might require one, if it needs a patch then of course patch it . Then wash the boat assembled and allow to dry. It would now be good to treat the skin, probably with 303 protectant, these are available for the hull and the deck, one for each not the same one for both. If you have difficulty locating 303, amazon sell it. The paddles you received, these were the standard length, some people prefer shorter some longer, mine are longer, so try them and see. For seats i would suggest gel cushions or inflatables, the ply gets VERY painful.For sails if you can,t get the ones made for this boat look at other add on,s (off market) there are quite a few and consider outriggers, there,s a lot of info in the sailing section . I keep my folders with the wood parts in their bags and the skins loosly folded, i have never "car topped" where i live now i don,t need a car but when in Canada i put the boat to-gether every time, either at the side of a lake or river. Some people leave the boat assembled and they seem to be fine. An advantage of taking it appart is that grit, sand and other things including water can be cleaned out.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:25 pm 
Thank you a lot Cris O and John Allsop for your advise!

I will then go on with my original idea, to assemble to paddle and disassemble to transport and store. This was the reason I got this kayak in the first place, and you confirm to me that it presents no treats for the boat.

The only real picture of the kayak is in fact the assembled one, the others I found out they were pictures from the web (the sail, the frame... a bit disappointing.) Where do you see the possible problem to fix Jhon Allsop?

I'll look for the sail in Patcool and proceed to wash, dry and patch as needed. I guess the patches may be found also on the web.
I attach a picture of the bottom of the kayak. May be you see something that I may not see (this also is a picture of the actual kayak).

I'll use it for about 1 week at the end of September then proceeded with the 303 protectant and store it.

Great for the paddles, also this puts me more at ease. I'll find some old cushions for the seats.

Unfortunately I still have to wait 10 days before actually seeing the boat my self. It is at my parents place, who also fetched it for me a few days ago. I can't wait to see it, assemble it, and start paddling!

I wait for more replies!

thank you again


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:18 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1180
Location: isles of scilly UK
Simone, so the original photo of the frame is not the actual boat so what looked like some damage to the front "point" of the coaming dosn,t apply, The photo of the bottom looks like it is in good condition and it seems you have found a good buy. Wear generally occurs along the, chines i suppose it,s called (the long rods), and along them it looks good. The lower ones and the bottom of the hull is usually where keel strips are glued on if needed or to reduce wear of the hull.Patching material and adhesive can usually be purchased from folding boat dealers although there are other sources. It might be worth your time to look in the repair section of this forum to get some ideas and info. Without actually seeing the boat we would be guessing about anything that might or might not need doing. Although close photo,s of places that concern you will help.

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