Upgrading from Citibot advice

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Upgrading from Citibot advice

Post by mutcth »

Hi - We own two Folbot Citibots; they've proved useful over the last five years. Easy to put together and lightweight, we bring them with us on our annual Florida vacation. I'm not going to pretend we broke even vs. kayak rental fees, but we've enjoyed their flexibility and nimbleness.

I want something that's a step up in performance (we'll keep the Citibots for that particular trip.) While we also own a pair of P&H Scorpio LVs, I'm getting a bit tired of lifting their 55 pounds onto the roof of our SUV. We're also thinking of getting a small mini-motorhome, and loading kayaks on the roof of that will be loathsome. We paddle only on day trips or one night low-mile trips with ultralight camping gear, mostly putting around protected inland waters, with an occasional cautious close-to-shore ocean paddle. (In other words, even the Scorpios are overkill.)

I'm tempted by the closeout deals on the Pakboat Quest 135. We've talked to owners who loved their Pakboats. But I tend to buy "nicer" things, and am wondering if a Kurrent 2.0 is worth the added expense. However, I'm wary of longer assembly time.

It's an awkward time to be shopping, with the last year eliminating companies, models, and East Coast dealers. If the Aironaut was still being built, I probably would just ante up for that (because I'd love a 10 minute assembly time instead of 20), but it's no longer available. I'm also happy enough with our Folbot's quality, but of course, another (new) one isn't an option. Given that, I'd like to get something with a better potential for long term support.


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Re: Upgrading from Citibot advice

Post by siravingmon »

Hi there
No disrespect meant to Feathercraft, but if cruising speed is important then I think you'd find the Kurrent (13’ 1" x 25”) ) to be be a bit slow compared to the Quest 135 (13‘ 9“ x 23”). At least if the comparison between my Quest 135, Fujita (13‘x23.6”) and AirFusion (13‘x25”) is anything to go by.
Although both my small kayaks are much more manoeuverable (and so more fun for exploring caves etc), they both become very hard work over 3.5 knots (cruising at around 3 knots), while the Quest starts to sink in the stern a bit over 4 knots (cruising at around 3.5 knots). My Quest also tracks well without a skeg, while my two smaller kayaks don't.

The velcro deck of the Quest will make loading/unloading easier too for overnighters, and very little water gets through it even in rough seas.

Lastly, although the Quest is very stable when assembled correctly, you can make it feel just as unstable as a Scorpio Lv mark 2 with the backband too far forward by moving the chines as low as possible. I did this only once and although it felt a bit quicker, it scared me as much as the poorly configured Scorpio I tried once! :D
Having said that, if you buy an early model Quest like mine you'll want to lower the seat, a 10 minute job with a hand drill and 2 hose clips (as suggested by Packboats)
Last edited by siravingmon on Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Upgrading from Citibot advice

Post by Jake »

I've owned a Kurrent 2.0 for a couple of years and use it mostly in Florida waters where we spend a good part of the winter. I, too, considered the Quest 135 but finally chose the Kurrent 2.0 because of Feathercraft's reputation for quality and durability and, from what I was able to ascertain, the Kurrent seemed a more simple, straight-forward boat to assemble. Simon is without doubt correct about the speed advantage of the Quest, if that is to be a consideration. I normally paddle my Kurrent at an average 4mph (3.6 knots) and, at this rate, I find the paddling effort to be minimal. While I can push the little boat to 5mph, I'm a chronically lazy fellow and the additional speed just doesn't seem worth the effort. And, on those rare occasions when I suffer unduly from a surfeit of energy and wish to paddle a fast moving boat, I have ready access to an Epic surf ski. I sometimes wish that the Kurrent were just a bit less beamy but even that has proven useful to my personal paddling style. I prefer to paddle from a position that puts my posterior well above my heels. The Kurrent's slung seat is about 2 1/2 inches above the keel and to this I add a Seal Line seat cushion that adds another 3/4 inch. I find this higher CG more comfortable and efficient than sitting down lower in the boat and allows me to paddle at a fairly high cadence with a 205-210cm paddle using a high angle stroke. A more narrow beam in such a short boat would likely not tolerate such a high CG without a certain degree of hazard.

Assembly of the Kurrent or any Feathercraft is worth noting. I assemble my Kurrent when we arrive at our rental condo in Florida in January and disassemble it for the trip back to New Jersey in April. I then assemble it again and hang it from the garage ceiling until the following January. You can see that I'm not well practiced in the assembly process and so find it rather tedious, certainly more so than putting together a Citiboat or its longer cousin, the Gremlin. My point being that, if I had to assemble the Kurrent or any folder each time I had the urge to be upon the water, I would almost certainly own an inflatable rather than a folder. Feathercraft ceased production of the Aironaut before I had the chance to give the boat much consideration but if they re-introduce a redesigned version as I think they might, I will be among the first to order one.

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Re: Upgrading from Citibot advice

Post by chrstjrn »

None of us have tried these, yet, but if you want quick setup times then this might be your ticket. My concern is that the hullform does not look very sophisticated, so I would suggest test-paddling before you jumped into this.

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