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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:51 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 8:29 pm
Posts: 4
Hello all,
Last summer in my last couple of paddles and then again this past paddle I noticed my Kiawah pulling pretty noticeably to the right. I'm a pretty novice paddler so my initial thought was that it was my technique, which it very well may be. However, I'm a bit worried that I may have bent the frame on the boat last summer when I had it car topped on a long trip from Vancouver Island back to Saskatchewan.

I've noticed that the frame is not symmetrical down the centre when comparing the top centre stringer to the bottom one. I've looked at some other pics online of frames and it seems like this isn't particularly uncommon, but I'm still not sure. It could be an assembly issue, but no matter how I tried to shift it this asymmetry was always there.

I've attached some photos. Anyone have any experience with this? I'm still inclined to think it's just a problem with my form, but if the frame is messed up I'd like to determine that so I can try to fix it.

Thanks,

Ryan

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:09 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 8:29 pm
Posts: 4
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:44 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hi there,

Eagled-eyed Folbot experts may spot something I'm missing but I can't see anything significantly assymetrical in the photos.

Pardon my question, but as you say you're a novice, is it possible that you' e been paddling in side winds or winds from the aft quarter? If so, then perhaps your kayak is heading slightly into the wind (weathercocking). You can check by eg heading directly into the wind to see if it still pulls to one side. If it does pull into the wind in side winds, then leaning into the wind or sitting off centre on the windward side while you paddle will help.

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Simon

Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:07 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 8:29 pm
Posts: 4
Thanks for the quick reply!

The last time there was a huge headwind from the right and I was definitely weathercocking, but in the times prior to that the wind has been light and I still noticed the tendency.

I guess I might just be overestimating how much a small amount of asymmetry would affect the way the boat tracks. That being said, for such a flexible boat, I guess the way the frame sits on the ground like that probably isn't even a good indicator compared to when it's under more tension and in the water.


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 11:22 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1754
Location: Southeast Michigan
I suspected asymmetry when my then-new FCraft K1 kept pulling, but I discovered it was my technique, or lack of it, that was the problem. Some boats are very sensitive to lean. Once I forcused on that, and practiced enough, I could control most of my kayaks simply by leaning.

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Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 1:50 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 121
I have a Folbot Cooper that, when the frame was assembled, looked as if it was not quite symmetrical at times. This proved of no concern as the Cooper tracked as straight as an arrow. My Feathercraft Kahuna's frame always looked symmetrical but it had a tendency to weathercock easily. A paddler's weight can play into how the kayak handles. I'm a lightweight so I imagine I didn't sink the keel enough to keep it as straight as a heavier paddler would. But as Simon and Michael touched on, learning good technique can go a long ways. The leans I would do to keep the Kahuna tracking were so subtle (not even thinking about it) that when I got the strap on skeg for it I immediately stopped using it because it made it harder to lean with it attached. Maybe with more use and a little better feel of how your Kiawah performs will you be able to determine if the frame is bent or not.


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 3:39 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:00 pm
Posts: 139
Perhaps inflating the sponson more on one side would help compensate.

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BernieM
Folbot Cooper, Pakboat Sport, Innova Sunny, Epic GPX, Oru Kayak, Wike Bicycle Trailer


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 11:56 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 8:29 pm
Posts: 4
Thanks for the replies everyone! Sounds to me like I'm too novice and have used the boat too few times to determine if it's the frame causing the pull, and it this point I'm more and more inclined to think it's me. I'm going to keep working on my technique and see if I can get things straightened out without worrying out the frame just yet. Besides, with Folbot no longer in business I don't really have much recourse if the frame was bent anyways! Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 1:00 am 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:36 pm
Posts: 248
Location: west burbs of Chicago
All of the above are good advice.
There is one issue with the newer style Folbot frames (Cooper, Kiawah, Gremlin, Citibot) that can cause tracking to one side or another.
Even if your frame is assembled as perfectly symmetrical as possible (no folder frame is perfect) when you slide it into the skin you can without noticing, get it a little off center. This will cause tracking to one side or the other.
As you push the frame into the skin, grab the skin by the tail, so to speak, and shake it up & down and side to side a few times as you get the frame farther into the skin. This will help it center itself naturally. The shorter boats are more susceptible to this than the longer ones, but it can still happen to a Kiawah.

Also, the Kiawah is known to be more sensitive to paddler position, fore and aft, than other Folbots. Some owners have had real battles with lee and weather cocking which were solved by moving fore or aft until the problem was minimized.

So follow all of the previous posts to evaluate your technique and be sure the frame is centered in the skin during assembly. If the problem persists, start experimenting with seat position. Be sure to do that on a still, windless day so you know what is cause and effect.

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Five Folbots - Super TSF, two GIIs, Kodiak, Gremlin


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