Trak durability, rescue, and disassembly questions

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HudsonKayaker
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Trak durability, rescue, and disassembly questions

Post by HudsonKayaker »

Hi all, I'm new to this forum. I was wondering if people could speak a bit more to the durability of the Traks and safety.

I'm used to hard-shells with the sealed bulkheads and was wondering if people have had durability issues with the skin or parts on Traks (do the seams every split or create problems? ) and also what people's experiences are in self-rescues and assisted rescues, given that there are no sealed bulkheads.

I'd use have float bags and a sea sock as well but am concerned about self-rescues and assisted recoveries being more difficult without the bulkheads.

Also what is the breakdown like? Everyone always talks about assembly time for folding kayaks but I've found SOF and folders' disassembly to be more time-consuming because it takes longer to dry and can be difficult to clean (especially in the bow and stern sections) if any sand or saltwater has entered them. In general, how long does it take for the Trak skins to usually dry? Can they be sponged and toweled dried in way hard-shells can be?

Should I alternately consider a pakayak -- which has the bulkheads of a hardshell?

Looking forward to everyone's sage advice.

Rob
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:15 am

Re: Trak durability, rescue, and disassembly questions

Post by Rob »

I don't own a Trak, but have another folder - Feathercraft.

Disassembly is faster than assembly, not including the sponging out and drying time.

You can sponge and towel dry them some, in order to get the water out more quickly than just waiting for it to evaporate. The rest can evaporate, once most of it is done, if it is warm and sunny where you are at.

Not sure what people do in wet, rainy, and very humid weather when doing this. I suspect a tarp could help, but drying out will be a challenge.

Ideally, you'll want to rinse with fresh water as well, after using in salt water, if/when possible, especially before a long storage.

Don't put away wet or they can and will get mildew.

Therefore, they are a bit more labor intensive than your fiberglass or plastic kayak, especially if you don't have access to fresh water, and/or good weather to rinse and dry them out after use.

If there's no fresh water at the take out, you'll just need to deal with that when you get home. I suspect at least partial reassembly could/should work to help with the drying out process for any water in the extreme bow and stern you can't reach with a sponge, or towel.

I've seen mention of some "yellowing" of the white outer hull on Traks, for a used kayak someone had for sale, so a light touch when drying them would be a good idea. I don't know if they spray them white, or if the outer white coating just wears off over time (or from the sun), so you should be aware of that. Perhaps there is no coating to wear off, and the white just yellows and ages over time, to its more natural, rubber color.

I wish they offered a black hull option, but perhaps the white lower hulls scare the aquatic life less. :D

Jake
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Location: Coastal New Jersey

Re: Trak durability, rescue, and disassembly questions

Post by Jake »

Maintaining a SOF folding kayak requires a certain degree of commitment. The Feathercraft that I used in Florida was kept fully assembled and stored in the garage of our rented condo thus avoiding the onerous process of assembly/disassembly each time I wished to go off for an afternoon’s paddle. Still, upon completion of each excursion, I spent half an hour with a hose an sponge rinsing and re-rinsing the the hull and longerons and mopping up what water remained with beach towels. I replaced that folder with an inflatable, an Aironaut, in the event that we weren’t able to find (or afford) a place with a garage where I could store the assembled boat but, somehow, an inflatable just doesn’t seem like a “real boat” to me. Maybe the Aironaut will change my mind. Anyway, a folder calls for more TLC than a monocoque hardshell and that might be one reason we’re attracted to them. I suppose it’s the old thing about just “messing about in boats”😊.

mikeyr
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Re: Trak durability, rescue, and disassembly questions

Post by mikeyr »

I don't see a issue because of no bulkheads, the float bags will do about the same thing. I would think about the same water would be in the boat, maybe a little more but not enough to make a difference. As to disassembly, I take apart my Trak quite quickly and don't find it a "onerous" process as stated above. Yeah, its 15-20 minutes to assemble, 15 or less to take apart and then when I get home I have re-assemble it to wash it down and dry it down, but I don't find it a big deal. If I know I am going back out in next few days, I just keep assembled for those days, but that means planning transportation to/from the harbor as I have no way to carry a 16' kayak in my truck, I have a rooftop top tent on a rack in the bed taking up the space, luckily my wife's car has roof racks.

Jake
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Location: Coastal New Jersey

Re: Trak durability, rescue, and disassembly questions

Post by Jake »

My Feathercraft Aironaut takes about 5-6 minutes from inflation to floating. Still, I’m looking about to pick up a Kahuna or even a K-Light of the most recent vintage. And that boat will not be coming apart very often.

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