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No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...
http://foldingkayaks.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6295
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Author:  paraglia [ Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

I enquired about the Aironaut and this is the response I got from the German dealer:

"the price for the Aironaut is without VAT: € 2.260,50. This Aironaut was our test boat, it is nearly new. The shipping to Canada is about € 200,--."

The VAT is taken off, but it's still about c$4000 with shipping and all those ridiculous brokerage fees.

Author:  Apathizer [ Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

chrstjrn wrote:
Not sure how many here are familiar with the history of Vancouver's real estate market over the past 10-20 years, but their point is legitimate.

Never the less, it is also fair to say that they couldn't pay the rent and are downsizing.

Seems like one could interpret it either way.

Without any insight it's impossible to know either way. I'm inclined to think many other makers are based in different areas largely because operations are much less expensive. Charlotte NC (Folbot) and Enfield NH (Pakboats) are less expensive than many areas.

It's scary how expensive so many places are getting. Here in Seattle, we have a terrible homeless problem largely because rents have skyrocketed. We're not yet as bad as the Bay area or NYC, but it's getting really bad.

Author:  chrstjrn [ Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

I think Alv (Pakboats) is in New Hampshire because his wife is there ;-). And it's not all that cheap a locale... but far far less than Vancouver, for sure.

Author:  kayakamper [ Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

...on another note, Folding Kayak Adventures in Colorado, one of Feathercraft's bigger dealers is closing its doors according to its site. Too bad as they had a good classified section for FC boats. I sold one and bought one through their site.
http://www.foldingkayak.com/

Author:  paddlesheep [ Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

I hate to speculate, but maybe the Aironaut was discontinued because it is a very unstable and tippy feeling kayak and they saw a lot of returns because of it. I tried my best but myself and pretty much everyone else who tried it did not feel comfortable in it and did not like it. Maybe it's just because I'm used to much more stable kayaks but I never felt comfortable in it under pretty much any conditions. It's fast, the fastest inflatable I've ever tried, it is light, it assembles in under 10 minutes but it trades that speed for stability and personally, I hated the thing.

Author:  Jake [ Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Feathercraft describes the Aironaut as being "twitchy" at rest, another way of saying that its initial stability is low. Still, with those big top tubes, the secondary stability should be quite good but, then, it's all a matter of the paddler's expectations and most don't really care much for twitchy boats. I wonder how the Aironaut's stability characteristics compare to the Safari which is sometimes referred to as having a "sporty" feel?

When I talked to Theresa just after the Aironaut had been discontinued (I wanted one), she told me that "the company line" was that it was being discontinued because it was uneconomical to manufacture. This sounds better than saying that too many paddler's reported going for an unexpected swim after being dumped out of their Aironaut. I heard the boat was a good seller and I wonder how many were sold? Still think it it might be the coolest inflatable ever.

Author:  paddlesheep [ Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

The safari can be pretty twitchy. I have one of the older ones, I heard the newer models are a bit more stable. The aironaut...I found it frustrating. Like it was the perfect inflatable, except for that fatal flaw. I would guess though that if Feathercraft wanted to they could reintroduce it in a more 'casual paddler' format aimed at the people who just want to go out kayaking a few times a year, and not have to develop the skills required for the aironaut, which believe me, was not a boat for beginners. The most fun I had in that boat was paddling around the local lake and practicing falling over and getting back in.

Author:  Jake [ Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

From the way you describe the stability characteristics of the Aironaut, I'd say that it is definitely not the best inflatable for the occasional, casual paddler. Maybe the fact that the Aironaut came equipped with a paddle float as standard equipment for self rescues might lead one to believe that self rescuing was something to be expected. Still, the Aironat is one über cool boat.

Author:  paraglia [ Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

I wonder if FC will revisit some of their earlier prototypes. When the Aironaut was under development, I found this picture on a Japanese website dedicated to Feathercraft. The photo was taken down just a short time later. It shows a much more relaxed, besides the paddler who looks really relaxed, fuller body and wider inflatable. Nothing like today's Aironaut.
The fact that there's a market for the current design has been proven, but then again, paddlesheep is right. There's also a market for the not-so-advanced paddlers like the rest of us.

Author:  gbellware [ Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Thanks for that pic, what a great looking kayak. It is hard to see details, but it looks like the hull is shaped much less "aggressively" that the production model and, as you speculate, more comfortable.

Best,
g

Author:  Jeremiah [ Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

That's a very interesting photo. Thanks for sharing! The "fuller body" and what appears to be a long cockpit (with perhaps a solo configuration) makes me believe it's a double. The peaked fore deck makes it appear to have a partial frame, kind of like their sit-on-top kayaks. It does make you wonder about a future inflatable and how it would be constructed (that's if Feathercraft hasn't completely given up the idea).

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