90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Moderators: mje, krudave

Post Reply
User avatar
kayakmike
paddler
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:09 pm

90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by kayakmike »

I recently saw an ad for a used "canoe" at a thrift store for $25. It's actually a 90-98 Feathercraft K1. It definitely looked like it has been outside for many years assembled, but looked intact and for that price couldn't go wrong. I have several glass and plastic sea kayaks, new to soft shell/folding kayaks, but thought this might be nice if I'm traveling longer distances and don't want to haul one of my other ones with me (i.e. just throw this folded up in the truck bed).

The deck is beat, has several tears and lots of sun fading. My neighbor has a heavy duty sewing machine and does tent, canopy repairs, etc. I need to hook up with her about the deck and see what she thinks about repairing tears or replacing the entire deck.

I put it in our swimming pool (just kayak, no paddler weight), and after a few days there was only a little water in the bottom so the bottom of the hull is mostly watertight with maybe some small leaks I'll need to chase down.

The frame looks like it has been wrenched on over the years, mostly with the extension bars in the cockpit area. I was able to get it disassembled enough to pull out the frame. All of the extension bars came out except for one that I cut a sleeve (that wasn't original) that exposed a previous cut below the sleeve. I was able to get all of the bars out of the frame sections except for the stern keel bar (it rotates in the frame but there is another repair sleeve that I will probably cut to separate keel bar from frame). It now looks that several of the bars are corroded. Right now it's not backpackable, but at least in a bunch of sections <8' long so still sort of portable.

As far as the frame goes, looking on the forum I guess my options are to cut and rebuild if I can't get them to separate or just live with the partial foldability I have now. I'd likely have to make at least one cut per bar to break it down shorter. I bought 4' each of 5/8", 3/4" & 7/8" tube to at least play with some repairs before jumping into a major frame replacement. Since almost every bar has at least one corroded joint, I'd probably be throwing good money after bad if I'm replacing most of the frame.

I guess since this is already a 20-30 year old kayak, it doesn't make sense to throw a lot of money into returning it to fully foldable condition. I guess depending on what the deck repairs/replacement cost, I'll decide just how portable to make it, leave it as a non-folding kayak (not much of a use for me since I have other hardshell kayaks), or hang it as wall art in my shop.

Any thoughts on what you would do with this?

Thanks,

Mike
cIMG_5523.jpg
xIMG_5735.jpg
xIMG_5735.jpg (67.1 KiB) Viewed 527 times

Jeremiah
faltbootemeister
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by Jeremiah »

Hi Mike
There's no doubt there are many people here rooting for you to refurbish the K-1 and get it back on the water. But after reading your post again I'm not sure if that's a good option. As you said that could require more money than you want to spend. It would make a nice "non-folder" (less costly repairs) but that option wouldn't suit your needs. If you parted it out the rudder alone would double what you paid for the kayak.
I'm one of those who would love to see it repaired. I hope others weigh in with some hopeful advice. If you decide not to, hanging it on the wall is intriguing. I've often called folding kayaks works of art. Someone on this forum successfully used some type of paint for the faded deck his folder. Then some 303 for the hull would do wonders.
Good luck with what ever you decide.

squirtdad
forum fanatic
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:35 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by squirtdad »

check out the post: Feathercraft Folding Kayak K1 (1990-1998) Parts exchange or for sale in the for sale section, might be a way to find some parts.

anything that is still fused, maybe soak and then light taps with a hammer to help loosen things up
Work keeps getting in the way of kayaking, SUP, windsurf, bike and fiddling in the garage activity.

User avatar
kayakmike
paddler
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:09 pm

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by kayakmike »

Jeremiah wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:49 pm
Hi Mike
There's no doubt there are many people here rooting for you to refurbish the K-1 and get it back on the water. But after reading your post again I'm not sure if that's a good option. As you said that could require more money than you want to spend. It would make a nice "non-folder" (less costly repairs) but that option wouldn't suit your needs. If you parted it out the rudder alone would double what you paid for the kayak.
I'm one of those who would love to see it repaired. I hope others weigh in with some hopeful advice. If you decide not to, hanging it on the wall is intriguing. I've often called folding kayaks works of art. Someone on this forum successfully used some type of paint for the faded deck his folder. Then some 303 for the hull would do wonders.
Good luck with what ever you decide.
Thanks Jeremiah. I appreciate your input.

I'm willing to spend some money if it makes sense, but not going to throw several thousand $$$ towards a kayak that wouldn't be worth that after the rehab.

I'll still work on saving the frame members I have, but before I start cutting any more I'd just have to see which ones are usable, which ones would need to be cut/replaced, and see how much that metal will cost. Fortunately the bent/welded sections can be reused, so everything else is straight pieces with some rivets. Looks like one of the extension tubes was previously cut and they put a 7/8" sleeve over the 3/4" original outer tube, so I may try that before replacing intermediate sections. So maybe a few hundred $$$ of aluminum and a little bit of cutting/drilling/riveting and the frame can be back to close to original (depending on how far I try and match the original build).

Been busy this week so haven't spoke with my neighbor about the deck. There are a few large rips/wear spots that would have to be repaired at a minimum. Maybe with some patching and local repairs and it's usable for some flat water paddling to see if I want to invest more into it (i.e. deck replacement).
squirtdad wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:34 pm
check out the post: Feathercraft Folding Kayak K1 (1990-1998) Parts exchange or for sale in the for sale section, might be a way to find some parts.

anything that is still fused, maybe soak and then light taps with a hammer to help loosen things up
Thanks. I have seen that post and several others regarding corroded frame members. A few sections I was able to separate by letting WD40 soak into the seam, but the rest are pretty corroded I think. Tried a bit of heat cycling with no luck. I have a few sections soaking in our swimming pool, so will see if long water exposure helps.

Rob
faltbootemeister
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:15 am

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by Rob »

You could also try a product called "Break Free" which is used to free up seized gun parts.

Apparently, it is a bit better than WD-40.

Let us know if you try it, and it it works, or doesn't.

I also suspect that once you get them apart, if you use fine sandpaper, like 600 - 1200, or even 2000 grit, it might help remove some of the surface corrosion, to renew the parts.

I'd start with the higher numbers, like at least 1200 grit, just to be safe, and to see if that will do the job. I think it should.

Also, I've read on-line here on this forum, that both heating and cooling simultaneously may help too. Heat the larger diameter tube while cooling the smaller diameter one with ice-water. That way you get expanding and contracting to help you.

mje
Site Admin
Posts: 1934
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by mje »

Break Free is, like most gun lubes, primarily mineral oil. Feathercraft tubes are very close fitting, and when they seize from corrosion, it’s pretty much impossible to separate them. The corrosion is aluminum oxide, which is extremely hard and cannot be dissolved with solvents. It’s basically insolvable in anything that won’t also dissolve aluminum metal.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

User avatar
kayakmike
paddler
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:09 pm

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by kayakmike »

Well, I took the plunge and decided to repair it.

I tried heat, WD40 & Break Free on the stuck frame members, but they didn't budge. I ended up cutting most of the middle sections to replace the least amount of framing as possible. I took a hacksaw to the section a few inches inside of each joint, then used a Dremel to cut most of the way through the outer bar on opposite sides of the frame, then split along the cuts to remove what was stuck. There was a good amount of corrosion in the joints, so it probably wasn't coming apart without cutting. Sanded off the corrosion in the sections I kept. I had to replace about 15 frame members and build 2 new extension bars. Still have a little bit of cleanup with tabs, plastic locks, shock cords, etc. to make it match the original frame design.

Got the rebuilt frame put together last night. Today I put it back in the skin and took it for a test spin in the pool.

Even though the deck was well sun faded, it still repelled water when I splashed with the paddle. I did notice a few small holes on the bottom where a little bit of water was coming through, so will work on repairing those. Looks like they may be old scratches or nicks from old rocky landings.

Spoke with my neighbor with the industrial sewing machine. She thought we could just patch the two tears first, but if needed she could try and replace the entire deck. After today's test run, think I'll just patch it and call it good. She can also replace the torn seat sling. Seat is also missing, so will need to make a replacement for that too.

So far, so good!

Mike
IMG_5763.jpg
IMG_5763.jpg (117.27 KiB) Viewed 297 times
IMG_5766.jpg
IMG_5766.jpg (83.71 KiB) Viewed 297 times

idc
lord high faltbotmeister
Posts: 511
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:42 pm

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by idc »

Well done. Great to see the boat getting some use.
I

Rob
faltbootemeister
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:15 am

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by Rob »

Looks great Mike!

Well done.

I may need some advice from you for a K-Light, which is in similar condition, e.g. seized frame. Not sure if I'll be able to get it apart, or not, so may consider keeping it as a rigid-framed kayak instead. Would be nice to fold it up for transport though, instead.

I'll let you know once I get a chance to see it first-hand. The guy who has it has tried without success.

I may want more info on where you got your tubing from, how to cut the tubing without damaging the skin (that seems like it will be a challenging trick), etc., etc., if I decide to try to make it a folder again, should it not be possible to coax the frame tubing apart.

mje
Site Admin
Posts: 1934
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by mje »

Wonderful! Considering that your kayak would cost around $4,000 new if they were still made, it’s certainly worth putting work into. Some Aquaseal diluted with toluene at the seams might take care of leaks.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

Jeremiah
faltbootemeister
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by Jeremiah »

I know you have more to do but so far, fantastic work! I'd be curious if your modifications to the frame make it easier to assemble. I've heard that your model with the center "cage" could be a bear to work with. In '98 Feathercraft replaced the cage with extension bars that were used until Feathercraft closed their shop.
I was reading a short article on the synthetic/rubber fabrics used for folding kayaks and inflatables and it claimed that hypalon was the most durable and long lasting. The K-1 was not ready for the trash bin. Good for you to keep it going.

squirtdad
forum fanatic
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:35 am
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: 90-98 Feathercraft K1 Rehab?

Post by squirtdad »

Check out colorado kayak supply or similar for hypalon repair kits and supplies https://coloradokayak.com/collections/r ... aintenence
Work keeps getting in the way of kayaking, SUP, windsurf, bike and fiddling in the garage activity.

Post Reply

Return to “Feathercrafts”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users