Good kayak for Alaska trip?

A place to answer questions from newcomers.

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chrstjrn
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Re: Good kayak for Alaska trip?

Post by chrstjrn »

I've never used TPU. I understand the reinforced versions are working very well now. Early efforts with unreinforced TPU (was it First Light? The New Zealand company...) didn't go well-- poor puncture resistance, as I recall, but I think that has been solved well, and long ago.
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.

Apathizer
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Re: Good kayak for Alaska trip?

Post by Apathizer »

overland wrote:This is helpful. Just to clarify something, is polyurethane better than pvc for a boat skin?
Also, how do the PakCanoes perform on flatwater--compared to a regular canoe, that is?
The PVC used previously by Pakboats is reportedly very durable. However, it's heavier and it's production is highly toxic (chlorine gas). Alv seems to think their newer PU hulls aren't quite as durable, but are durable enough.

If you'll be paddling primarily on flat water conditions I wouldn't be too concerned either way. Even in rough conditions -mainly waves and swell- flat water paddling generally presents minimal hull hazards unless one is careless around rocks, oyster shells, etc. Supposedly the Pakcanoes handle rapids just fine; I'm unsure about the XT 17.

If you have questions don't hesitate to call or email Pakboats. In my discussions with them -mainly email- they've always seemed honest and informative.

overland
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Re: Good kayak for Alaska trip?

Post by overland »

I guess I mean, how well does it paddle? If I got one it would be also for lake trips in the upper Midwest. Are they really slow compared to hard shell canoes?

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chrstjrn
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Re: Good kayak for Alaska trip?

Post by chrstjrn »

I agree with everything in Apathizer's comment, and add that Alv's preference is the sort of trip you are planning-- river running in northern Norway, to be exact. So he should be able to give you very informed responses.
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.

Apathizer
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Re: Good kayak for Alaska trip?

Post by Apathizer »

overland wrote:I guess I mean, how well does it paddle? If I got one it would be also for lake trips in the upper Midwest. Are they really slow compared to hard shell canoes?
Are considering a canoe in addition to a kayak? I've only seen their canoes, but never paddled them. I don't know much about them personally, but they have an excellent 10+ yr reputation for both durability and performance. Based on my cursory exposure they do seem quite rigid, so I would guess they paddle the same as a hard shell.

In most conditions I don't notice any significant difference between my Quest 155 and similarly sized hard shells. There's been quite a bit written in the Pakboats section. Another poster has written extensively about his Quest 135. He's even surfed it, which isn't really what it's designed for. In those conditions, he said some of his paddling companions noticed the hull flexing somewhat, but again, conditions were really rough. This hasn't been a problem for me, but I've only been in -unexpectedly- rough conditions a couple times. The XT kayaks are supposedly more rigid.

I don't know if this pertains to you, but the only real limitation seems to be rolling. If you plan to roll either an XT or Quest, it's probably a good idea to get the optional thigh-straps to help keep yourself locked in. I test-rolled my Quest (without thigh-straps) just to see how worked out. While I managed to do it, it was fairly sloppy. I don't like nor plan to roll, but the thigh straps are modestly priced for those who need/want them.

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chrstjrn
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Re: Good kayak for Alaska trip?

Post by chrstjrn »

Alv's stepson, who still works with him, told me he loved surfing the Puffin 12-- I imagine he liked the Q135 even more.

I've demo-d the canoes. They are lighter than most hardshell canoes, quite stiff, and have a reputation for toughness. I would say they compare well with hardshells, although not necessarily faster.
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.

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KerryOnKayaks
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Re: Good kayak for Alaska trip?

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

There are a number of YouTube videos of Pakcanoes in use in Alaska and on wild riversin other places, including pretty serious whitewater. A few pictures are worth a thousand words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omZ1kFbnPPQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihjbT7F4z90

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqWPPaGGfTQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Uhe2G8vOSA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sbiVu8tgPg
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KerryOnKayaks
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Re: Good kayak for Alaska trip?

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

Somebody just posted a fully equipped Pakcanoe 165 on Ebay for $1900 "or best offer". Considering the package includes all the accessories you would need for the trip, worth over $3000, that is a pretty decent deal.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pakcanoe-165-ca ... Swll1WzIem
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