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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:17 pm 
Hi everybody,
Some friends convinced me that 2 single is better than one double.
So I am looking for a single for me and my girlfriend (who is not tall, 5.2 feet). Feathercraft kayaks are very interesting.
But does someone here tests the K1 and the wisper and is able to compare them in terms of speed, stability, tracking, portability...
And if someone is able to make a comparison between K1-wisper and kahuna I am also interested.
Regards
Roland


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 1:34 am 
Hi Roland;
I haven't tried or even seen a K-1 but I did paddle both a Wisper and a Kahuna. There is quite a difference in my mind to the two boats, however I'm a newbe at this so I'd take my comments with a grain of salt.

In general I found the Kahuna to feel more stable than the Wisper, I thought it was very easy to paddle and made me feel instantly at home. The Wisper on the other hand felt more lively and playful, still not tippy but certainly much more responsive to both the water and my movements in the cockpit. I ended up deciding I liked the Wisper better due to a slight increase in speed and the more responsive character of the boat. Still I was really impressed with the Kahuna, I doubt that you could go wrong with either boat it's just a matter of the specific characteristics you have an interest in.

Note that all of the above was from a demo paddle, I have my Wisper on order but haven't received it yet. After I get it I'll be putting a review under the Feathercraft section of this forum.

Hope that helps!
Jim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:55 am 
I have a K1 and a Wisper. I'd say maneuverability, fit and weight are the biggest of differences.

The wisper is much more responsive than the K1, easier to get on an edge, easier to turn and much more responsive to a corrective stroke. While my girlfriend had a problem with thee K1 weather-cocking, getting frustrated at the slow response to a corrective stroke she had no problem when she switched to the wisper. I've had no problems with the wisper tracking, though I've noticed some tendency for the boat to "swim" in a following sea that was easily corrected by a slight edging. I've had problems with weather-cocking in the K1

The Wisper is much more snug fitting boat ( I think at 5'2" your girlfriend would be swimming in a K1), the slimmer beam and braces make the difference. If you get the K1 spring for the thigh braces.

Lugging the wisper is a joy as compared to the K1. The K1 is heavy and I find this really cuts out the advantage of a folding boat (for me).

I've considered selling the K1 once I got the Wisper, but the K1 is much more sturdy and much more of a camping boat. The Wisper is fine for shorter trips but lacks the volume of the K1.

So for a 5'2" person I would reccomed the Wisper and if you aspire to longer trips a Kahuna. The K1 is a fine boat but it is a lot of boat. Do be aware there's no rudder option for the Wisper but there is for a Kahuna, that may affect your choice.

BTW, I'm a novice and I've never paddled a kahuna...


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 Post subject: One more thought
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 10:11 am 
Just one additional note, Warren made a good point about the Wisper not having a rudder available. It does however come standard with a skeg which I'm told will correct the weathercocking tendency. Since I haven't received my boat yet I can't tell you how much the skeg does or doesn't help but I'll keep it in mind on my first paddles to see if I notice a difference.

Jim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:00 pm 
My first three trips with the Wisper I used the skeg. Only on the first day was it probably really needed. I noticed no lack maneuverability with it. Since then I've not used it.

From my experience and my girlfriends we found the K1 to have more of a tendency to weathercock than the Wisper.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:32 pm 
Kahuna is, I think, the optimal boat (among F-crafts) for medium-range camping trips, up to 7-10 days (depending on your body weight and how much fresh water you have to carry), - in wide range of weather conditions. Many people sold their shorter K-light when Kahuna was introduced. Some people (I've heard), but not many, stopped using their K1, having bought a Kahuna. K1 has much more payload than Kahuna, - it is probably difficult to let it go when you already have it. With longer hull K1 also has more inertia, more wind resistance (if there is any wind), slightly better tracking and slightly better stability, especially what I would call a "longitudinal stability", than Kahuna (don't know how to call this - less jumping of the bow up and down, - like in any long boat). I don't think that K1 and Kahuna should be compared - they are too different. K1 is a high-volume expedition boat, and has pretty much all the features peculiar to such a craft.

Significant difference between these 2 boats is also assembling time. Kahuna with its 25-30 minute assembling (not including rudder) with significant efforts, using same lever system as in K1, and 15 minutes dissembling, feels like the limit of what can be used for a day-trip with assembling in the morning and dissembling again in the evening.

Alex.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 8:53 am 
Hi there,

I just bought a Big Kahuna and I like it. However, when testing it, I had the impression that it is not fast enough.

Now, I am pondering to change it for a Wisper (which the seller agreed to, however the Wisper won't be on stock for the coming three weeks).

The problem is that I am a taller person and Wisper does only seem to fit small and medium size paddlers. I am 189 cm (6.2 ft) tall and weigh 89 kgs (196 lb).

Can you advise me whether to stay with Big Kahuna or go for Wisper, given my size and weight?

Thanks and best regards,
Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 4:58 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 210
Location: River Danube, Austria
i have a K1 and a Kahuna and use the K1 for long camping trips and can fit anything in exept the fridge and the sink.

the kahuna is used on shorter camping trips and day trips, i think both kayaks make an excellent pair if you are paddling with yoour girlfriend, you can split the gear and everything between the two of you.

my advice if you are getting a kahuna: check if you need a "big" or regular kahuna (cockpit size) and of for the large rear hatch, it makes loading a lot easier!

hiope this helps,

:wink:

servus

Willi

_________________
1960 Klepper T9 (turned into a bookshelf)
1987 Pouch RZ85
1998 Prijon Seayak
2002 Seaward Gemini Tandem
2005 Feathercraft Big Kahuna
2006 Feathercraft K1
2010 Feathercraft Wisper XP


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:44 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:55 am
Posts: 568
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
westcoastwill wrote:
i think both kayaks make an excellent pair if you are paddling with yoour girlfriend,

Willi


Will, you're confusing the original poster (2 years ago), who wanted to paddle with his girfriend, and the latest poster, Tabatskuri (Chris). His question was whether he'd be better to stick with the Big Kahuna which he currently has, or change to a Wisper for more speed, given that he's quite a big guy.

Chris, I've no experience with Feathercraft kayaks, but since you're quite tall, I'd suggest not committing yourself to a Wisper unless you've had a chance to paddle one and see if it's comfortable. Weight's less of an issue; but as you say, the Wisper seems to be aimed mainly at smaller paddlers. Hopefully you'll get some more definite advice here from someone who uses a Wisper. But it's possible that, if you want more speed than a Kahuna, you may need to think about a Khatsalano (or a composite hardshell).
(Edit: Have a look at the "Adventure Racing" thread under "What boat for me?")

Mary

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 8:39 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1029
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Tabatskuri wrote:
Hi there,

I just bought a Big Kahuna and I like it. However, when testing it, I had the impression that it is not fast enough.

Now, I am pondering to change it for a Wisper (which the seller agreed to, however the Wisper won't be on stock for the coming three weeks).

The problem is that I am a taller person and Wisper does only seem to fit small and medium size paddlers. I am 189 cm (6.2 ft) tall and weigh 89 kgs (196 lb).

Can you advise me whether to stay with Big Kahuna or go for Wisper, given my size and weight?

Thanks and best regards,
Chris


Try the Khats.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 7:52 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Stone Mountain, Ga. U.S.A.
I must say, the question of size is important. I am 6' and 190lb. I have paddled a Whisper, K1 and own a big kahuna. I fit best in the Big kahuna and K-1 ( same size cockpits ). The K-1 seems faster than my Kahuna ( and should be because of the increased length) and the Whisper seemed all 'round sportier and faster than the other two.

Size wise, I did not feel like the Whisper fit me well enough to trade up to it. If anything, I would own a K-1 as an addition to my Kahuna.

Oh, and my feet were uncomfortable in a Khats ( I have big feet, size 12 U.S. ) as they rubbed on the underside of the deck.

Conclusion? If you fit a Whisper or Khatsalano, they are the fast, sleek boats of the feathercraft line, but you can't go wrong with K-1 or Kahuna


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 4:48 am 
Dear all,

thank you very much for your valuable advice!

In the meantime, I was at the Kajak shop in Constance (Germany) again, where I discussed the issue with the owner. I tried out the Whisper in the shop, as the owner would not want me to test it in the water, as he immediately saw that I was too tall (and heavy) for the boat. I really felt a bit squeezed in it. The owner added that, in the end, I would be slower with the Whisper than my Kahuna (due to my comparatively heavy weight of 89 kg and 189 cm length).

The 'LaCanoa' shopkeeper advised me to test the Khatsalano-S if I wanted to have more speed, which I did last Saturday.

You won't believe it, I will stick to my Kahuna for the following reasons:

- The Khatsalano-S with its 22.5 kg seemed a lot heavier and less dynamic than the Kahuna. The difference in speed was not really noticeable. (Is it due to my race-kayak experience some 20 years ago???!!!)

- The Khatsalano-S is not easy to carry on your shoulder, when you are alone. Due to its length and weight carrying it is relatively cumbersome.

- The rudder pedals were a nuisance: I have long legs, so the pedals constantly slipped off the rails, and I had to 'fish' for them in the hull. Not an easy task if you consider the slim hull design.

I am using my kayak mostly for day trips and will go on weekly trips from time to time, as well. So, in the end I think I took the right decision to stick with my Kahuna, which, at least accelerates relatively fast (not as Khatsalano-S, in my view at least).

But still, I am dreaming of a really fast, light folding kayak. I wonder whether anyone has experience with the lighter 20kg model Khatsalano. Is it a rocket?

Best regards, and thanks once again, for your feedback!
Tabatskuri.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 6:04 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:55 am
Posts: 568
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
Tabatskuri wrote:
But still, I am dreaming of a really fast, light folding kayak.


You might take a look at the longer model FirstLight (claimed weight 10.1kg) although there's not a lot of information about them on the web.

Thanks for posting your impressions of the various Feathercrafts - it's always useful to know what other people felt about them.

Mary

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 3:55 pm 
Quote:
I wonder whether anyone has experience with the lighter 20kg model Khatsalano. Is it a rocket?

Why should it be?... 2.5 kg (=5.5 lbs) lighter weight than regular Khats is a negligible difference, it can't result in much higher speed. You will only see this difference when racing, - saving may be a few seconds on 1000m distance. And you will feel 2.5 kg difference when carrying it on your shoulder - this is where EVERY pound or kilogram of weight feels a lot, but you are right that boats heavier and longer than Kahuna will be a pain to carry - anything more than 18 kg=40 lbs and longer than 15 ft is a pain. On water it is mostly hydrodynamics that makes a difference - wetted waterline length, beam width, and shape of the hull cross-section.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 3:09 am 
- Thanks. So why people then say that Khats is a 'fast' folding kayak?
Did anybody have the same impression that I had that Khats is not really much faster than Kahuna, or am I totally wrong?

The only advantage I see from Khats is loading capacity with comparatively high speed.

- What I found interesting with Kahuna is, that it has an 'ideal speed' (what we call 'Rumpfgeschwindigkeit' in German). As a consequence, there is no use in giving the boat stronger paddle strokes to accelerate, but one should rather increase the frequence in light strokes to gain speed. However, while increasing the frequence you will notice that Kahuna won't track too well anymore...

Best regards,
Tabatskuri.


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