single boat question

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overland
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single boat question

Post by overland »

I'm driving my parents' car up from Florida next month, and I noticed that there are two used singles available along the way--a Feathercraft K-Light Plus (about 10 years old; it's the last version) and a Folbot Cooper. The Feathercraft is quite a bit cheaper. Any advice as to which I might try to buy? I'm not familiar with either. This would be for recreational use around home.

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Re: single boat question

Post by siravingmon »

The feathercaft is a top quality highly manoeuvrable kayak but a bit short for paddling with other sea kayaks or for covering long distances. The Cooper is 3'8" longer so faster with more luggage capacity but without the same build quality and a bit leaky through the deck zip I hear, so it depends a lot on what you want a kayak for. The Cooper will also be a bit easier to assemble as you insert the complete frame in the skin then zip it up.
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tsunamichuck
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Re: single boat question

Post by tsunamichuck »

siravingmon wrote:The feathercaft is a top quality highly manoeuvrable kayak but a bit short for paddling with other sea kayaks or for covering long distances. The Cooper is 3'8" longer so faster with more luggage capacity but without the same build quality and a bit leaky through the deck zip I hear, so it depends a lot on what you want a kayak for. The Cooper will also be a bit easier to assemble as you insert the complete frame in the skin then zip it up.
Simon, I am a bit surprised at your response about the KLight being slower and not as good for long distances. Had one and had no problems keeping up at a touring pace. Finished a few races in top 10 out of 100+ too. Yes it will be slower at a workout or race pace. Go put your Cape Falcon through a good trial... I can still out run longer sea kayaks in my 13.5' Sportee :mrgreen:
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Re: single boat question

Post by mje »

Folbot is out of business, and the availability of replacement parts is nil. Feathercraft is still in business, their boats are of very high quality, and they can support past boats. I'd say go with Feathercraft.
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Apathizer
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Re: single boat question

Post by Apathizer »

mje wrote:Folbot is out of business, and the availability of replacement parts is nil. Feathercraft is still in business, their boats are of very high quality, and they can support past boats. I'd say go with Feathercraft.
I generally agree. However, the OP didn't provide much input. If he just wants a cheap yak for occasional paddling mainly on protected water, a Cooper might be worth considering, but only at a very reasonable price. By reasonable I mean no more than $700 if it's in like-new condition, and considerably less if it's not.
Last edited by Apathizer on Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: single boat question

Post by siravingmon »

No offence Chuck, but youlre at the opposite end of the spectrum power wise compared to me and I'm not at all surprised you managed to keep up with longer hard shells in a K light. I love short kayaks, but both the ones I've owned under 13 ft are hard work keeping up with sea kayaks above 3 - 3.5 knots, whereas I've never had problems with the Quest or the F1 in the 4 hour outings we used to do, apart from in a real sprint across ferry lanes.
Simon

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overland
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Re: single boat question

Post by overland »

Sorry, I guess I left out too much. This kayak would be for inland lakes and rivers and maybe out on Lake Michigan, nearshore, on calmer days. (I live a few blocks from the lake.) We have a Klepper Aerius 2 but it would be nice to have something I can take out myself without too much trouble. What would be a fair price for a K Light Plus?

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Re: single boat question

Post by Jake »

Short boats don't get no respect! Of the dozen kayaks that I've owned, most of them 17-18 long, the only boat I really regret having sold is my Mariner Coaster. It was a superb sea boat and nothing could surf the short, steep wind waves common to the wide, shallow bays behind New Jersey's barrier beaches better than the Coaster and no 18 foot kayak could snake its way through serpentine salt marsh creeks or the narrow Pine Barren streams like the Coaster. And, like the Coaster, the K-Light and, now it's replacement, the Kurrent, are light weight, easy boats to paddle for hours at a time at 3-3.5 mph. I think the Kurrent's performance might Be improved somewhat if it had less beam, maybe 24 inches rather than 25 but that's really a minor concern. Certainly, if speed is important or you plan an expedition of sorts, then a longer, higher volume boat is probably better suited to your needs but, noting that you have access to a Klepper Aerius as an expedition boat, the K-Light would probably be a boat that you would use more often and certainly find it a pleasure to paddle. And you need not fear falling behind the pack, the K-Light will hold its own.

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Re: single boat question

Post by Apathizer »

siravingmon wrote:No offence Chuck, but youlre at the opposite end of the spectrum power wise compared to me and I'm not at all surprised you managed to keep up with longer hard shells in a K light. I love short kayaks, but both the ones I've owned under 13 ft are hard work keeping up with sea kayaks above 3 - 3.5 knots, whereas I've never had problems with the Quest or the F1 in the 4 hour outings we used to do, apart from in a real sprint across ferry lanes.
If I remember correctly I'm just a bit larger than you. I'm 5'9", 160 pds. For my size, I find 15-16' yaks are about ideal. They accelerate fairly quickly, have decent cruising speed that's fairly easy to maintain, and provide a decent balance between tracking and maneuverability.

While shorter kayaks accelerate quickly they don't track very well and have a low cruising speed. At the other end, longer yaks (17'+) have excellent tracking and a higher cruising speed, but I've read they require more effort to reach and maintain cruising speed. They also tend to be less maneuverable.

This has been my experience short and long yaks. Short boats don't track well and aren't efficient enough for me, while large boats require too much effort to reach and maintain cruising speed, and aren't maneuverable enough. I'm sure 17'+ yaks work well for larger paddlers (180+ pds), but it seems too many paddlers subscribe to the 'longer-is-always-better' fallacy.
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Re: single boat question

Post by siravingmon »

It's worth noting that with nearly plumb bow and stern, Coaster has a significantly longer waterline length than a K light. It's also famous for the amount of flare it has, meaning the waterline beam is also much less than a K light...
Simon

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tsunamichuck
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Re: single boat question

Post by tsunamichuck »

siravingmon wrote:No offence Chuck, but youlre at the opposite end of the spectrum power wise compared to me and I'm not at all surprised you managed to keep up with longer hard shells in a K light. I love short kayaks, but both the ones I've owned under 13 ft are hard work keeping up with sea kayaks above 3 - 3.5 knots, whereas I've never had problems with the Quest or the F1 in the 4 hour outings we used to do, apart from in a real sprint across ferry lanes.
None taken. I found the K Light a lot easier to keep up speed than my Kahuna and Java. I paddled a friend's Cape Falcon and liked it a lot. I really love my Sportee and it is now my usual go to kayak.
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Re: single boat question

Post by Jeremiah »

The longer boat will always seem more attractive, but I would definitely go with the K-Light. I would choose it for all the practical reasons that Michael mentioned and it's performance will not leave you wanting. I found it interesting what Chuck said. I owned a K-Light, sold it, and purchased a Kahuna. Although I love my Kahuna, I also feel that the K-Light was easier to cruise along on longer trips and it tracked better.

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Re: single boat question

Post by martin2007 »

As spring pokes its shy head out of slushy mud up here in Canada I must agree with Yusuf Islam on this one:

Longer boats are coming to win us
They're coming to win us
They're coming to win us
Longer boats are coming to win us
Hold on to the shore
'Cause they're taking the key from the door!

Noble sentiments, these. Even more so if you leave out the unpleasant part about pocketing someone else's key without their permission.

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gbellware
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Re: single boat question

Post by gbellware »

Martin,

Wow, what a great verse. Don't know how many on the Forum listened to Cat Stevens, but I sure appreciate your post.

Best,
g
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Re: single boat question

Post by Jake »

I agree with Jeremiah and Tsunamichuck: the K-Light is an easy, efficient boat to paddle. It will move along at 3 knots in calm water more efficiently using less energy than the Cooper but if you want to go faster and don't mind working harder, maybe the Cooper is the better boat. I sold my 1998 K-Light Plus and bought a Kurrent 2.0 because I wanted the welded seams and larger cockpit. They both paddle equally well.

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