Folding Kayaks Forum

The user forum for FoldingKayaks.org
It is currently Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:57 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 101 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:18 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1127
Location: isles of scilly UK
In the 1977 Canoe magazine, not canoe and kayak in those days, the October issue buyers guide listed Folbot with 22 boats, not all foldables and klepper had 2, the aerius 2 and the inflatable made by Metzler called Skate, Folbot have gone and I can,t see them ever starting production again. In effect klepper seem to have gone as they no longer make boats although they are apparently made for them by Wayland, they have an extensive on line catalog but how much business can they really have? It,s lack of customers that is the problem how many youngish people want to get to the lake side or river bank then assemble a boat, I like it but most want instant use. I live on the isles of Scilly, very small islands off the south west UK mainland, the most popular kayak is the sit on top which a number of islanders own and visitors rent out sit on tops. A few hard shell sea kayakers come each year but no folders. The only way to promote the foldable is advertising preferably on TV but what foldable kayak company could afford it, they can,t in most cases afford to go and display at boat shows. We have to expect that it is now a cottage type industry with low overheads and low production, not easy to make a decent living. I maybe wrong but there is a saturation market for kayaks and in particular folders which once reached sales fall to almost zero, in 40 odd years or so I bought two new boats and one used one.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:27 pm 
paddler

Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:20 pm
Posts: 5
One thing that didn't help was the cost of the boats. While I understand that low production numbers means more cost to recover per boat. But in my eyes I see something like a Folbot as not needing constant upgrades, retooling and ever changing government DOT/EPA standards that account for nearly a third of the cost of building a car. There wasn't a whole lot of difference over the years. So when I bought my Greenland II in 1991. It set me back $2k which is $3,700 today. That's way too much for what one got. If they would have been more reasonable in cost. Folks might have been more willing to build them on the shore.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:42 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1759
Location: Southeast Michigan
Folbots were all hand made to order, of high quality materials. They didn’t have the economy of scale that allows for automated production. Still, they were the cheapest quality folding kayaks made in North America or the EU.

_________________
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:24 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
The folding kayak has always been a niche in the universe of double-paddle small craft and now it appears to be an even smaller niche tottering on the brink of extinction. Folbot and Feathercraft are gone, Klepper doesn't seem to be making Kleppers any longer and while TRAK's website seems to suggest that they're selling boats, I find their requirement for upfront money in order to hold a place in the production line to be a bit suspect. Long Haul is still in business making high quality kayaks but seems to have become a sort of cottage industry with its owner and principal craftsman, Mark Eckhart, presently having to entertain himself with a more reliable means of income while he builds boats on a custom, one-off basis. That pretty much leaves just a single maker of quality, affordable kayaks surviving today and that, of course, is Pakboat. And owner Alv has said that Pakboat's continuance depends on the success of their folding canoes. Let's just hope that there are enough people who want folding canoes to keep Pakboat going.

The thought of TV advertising, suggested by a few of us on the forum, while suitable for the marketing of things like cars, trucks, Internet providers and such but the cost of a spot ad on a TV network would be terribly cost ineffective. People are out there buying double-paddle boats but these are likely to be of the bargy rec boat variety like those to be had at COSTCO ($699.99 for a matching pair including paddles and I suggest that you pick up one of their barbecued chickens while you're there. Very good!). And then there is the SUP which seems to be the dominant paddle craft for these times, its popularity fostered by simplicity and ease of use and transport. In fact, they look like a lot of fun. Just sayin' :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:24 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 283
Jake wrote:
And then there is the SUP which seems to be the dominant paddle craft for these times, its popularity fostered by simplicity and ease of use and transport. In fact, they look like a lot of fun. Just sayin' :)

Yeah, SUPs are definitely simple, fun and more conducive to spontaneity, but aren't as efficient and can't carry much gear for multi-day trips. I also wouldn't want to be out on one in cool, inclement weather, but it's doable with wet-suit.

Most younger persons do seem to prefer SUPs though. As you wrote, I would guess they're attracted to the convenience and simplicity relative to kayaks.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:29 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1127
Location: isles of scilly UK
Not so many are interested in canoe/kayak camping as I was and still would be. All they want is a bit of what they consider fun, hence paddle boards are, simple, reativly cheap, or easy to hire. Almost all the few islanders where I live who have paddle craft use paddle boards or sit on top kayaks. Just a few visitors come over with hardshell sea kayaks. Unfortunatly we have now drifted well away from the subject title and as we are now on page 7 perhaps a new title should appear. Folbot have gone and unless someone can build them on a part time low over head cost they will never return.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:47 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 283
john allsop wrote:
Not so many are interested in canoe/kayak camping as I was and still would be. All they want is a bit of what they consider fun, hence paddle boards are, simple, reativly cheap, or easy to hire. Almost all the few islanders where I live who have paddle craft use paddle boards or sit on top kayaks. Just a few visitors come over with hardshell sea kayaks. Unfortunatly we have now drifted well away from the subject title and as we are now on page 7 perhaps a new title should appear. Folbot have gone and unless someone can build them on a part time low over head cost they will never return.

At the point I don't know what rebooting Folbot would entail and how it could be a sustainable business model. Since Pakboats needs to sell both canoes and kayaks to keep afloot, how feasible would Folbot be as a dedicated folding kayak manufacturer? Even for someone who loves folders, it would need to be a sustainable business and it doesn't seem like it can be.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:48 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1759
Location: Southeast Michigan
From what I’ve heard, the Folbot tooling is gone, sold for scrap. They’re not going to be started up again. My feeling is that a succession of owners didn’t really understand the business or the market.

The folding boat market is a very specialized one. The outdoor magazines don’t get it; they focus on flash and high tech. They like ultralight gear and electronics. To them, a wooden frame and canvas hull is an antique, like a cedar and canvas canoe, or a wood and canvas backpack. They raved about a plastic boat with a one year warranty.

Most outdoors adventurers don’t even know folders exist. I’ve given a lot of impromptu lakeside and riverside seminars to other kayakers and canoists who had never seen one.

_________________
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:46 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1127
Location: isles of scilly UK
Years ago I wrote to one of the canoe magazines and asked them could they have one or half a page dedicated to folders their simple answer was, NO. I have a rucksack/backpack which is over 60 years old which is strong canvas with a wood frame. For years i tried to find a modern lighter one which would stand up on it,s own when packed like my old one. I couldn't find one. Sometimes improvements and advancements are not made for the user of the items, it,s just to make them cheaper to manufacture, and then advertise to convince us we need the latest. New better phones and cameras keep coming out almost every year and the public fall for it. I don,t have a cell phone, or mobile as they are called in the UK and I am glad that I learnt how to read and use topo maps before the GPS was invented my camera is set at 100 iso (asa), its a Sigma.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:24 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:09 pm
Posts: 1
If it's any consolation, I'll be taking my Folbot out on the Hiawassee to see the wintering Sandhill Cranes Saturday. Sandhills Cranes were nearly extinct once, now there are tens of thousands at this one spot.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:27 am 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Posts: 134
Welcome aboard! Post pictures of those cranes if you can.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 101 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group