No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

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AndyP

No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by AndyP »

It seems Feathercraft is downsizing their line considerably. As a K2 owner it worries me as far as future parts availability; right now on their website most sponsons are listed as sold out. I called to get info but they're still closed for the holidays- anyone have any inside information on what's going on?

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chrstjrn
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by chrstjrn »

Oh, wow. A definite "What's going on?".
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

Apathizer
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by Apathizer »

Even though there's a bit pricey for me (by a bit a mean way too), I hope they aren't in trouble. Hopefully they're just streamlining, and phasing out redundant and/or models that aren't selling very well. Hopefully they'll offer an explanation soon.

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tsunamichuck
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by tsunamichuck »

I grabbed a couple of sea socks for The Kahuna. Kind of a sad sight..
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

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chrstjrn
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by chrstjrn »

A third party observed that Doug Simpson isn't getting any younger. Does anyone here know what Doug Simpson's age is? He's been running Feathercraft for 30+ years... If no apparent heir...
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

Jake
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by Jake »

I'm surprised that FC's most recent addition to its line, the Aironaut, seems to be gone, too. It seemed like a very capable inflatable and I had entertained the thought of buying one. Ah, well, one less temptation to bedevil me. I'll now be able to focus my attention on what Gumotex has to offer. Anyway, though it looks like Doug Simpson might be trimming ship a bit, I doubt that there's much threat of FC's immediate demise.

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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by Jeremiah »

third party observed that Doug Simpson isn't getting any younger. Does anyone here know what Doug Simpson's age is? He's been running Feathercraft for 30+ years... If no apparent heir...

The thought of Doug retiring is sad but if you look at the assembly video for the Aironaut he looks like the same Doug Simpson that sold me a K-Light back in '95. Maybe they are just scaling back as some have suggested. Still, this, along with Folding Kayak Adventures (major FC dealer in the States) closing shop makes you wonder. You certainly don't get any answers from the FC website.

Yeah Jake, I thought about an Aironaut too. I know it was a popular kayak in it's short time. Maybe I'll go back to entertaining the idea of owning a Kurrent. This is certainly giving us something intriguing to ponder over during these cold winter months.

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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by Jeremiah »

Sorry Chris, I have to learn how to give credit to your words. I can't just copy and paste.

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chrstjrn
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by chrstjrn »

Hi J-- no worries at all
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

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gbellware
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by gbellware »

No surprise that Feathercraft thinned the herd, but I am surprised a bit by the Aeronaut. I had a chance to visit with Doug a few months ago and he did mention that they needed to reduce their lines to the ones that were most popular. And he showed me how ridiculously difficult the inflatables were to fabricate, they may just have been too expensive to make. But now there are no doubles!
I would not draw any conclusion that the company is not healthy. They pretty much fabricate to order, which is about as efficient a way to run a business, in my experience.

Oh, and a belated Happy New Year to Chuck and all the rest of this fine community.

Best,
g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

Kleppers, A1 Expedition and carbon Quattro
Easy Riders, 18.6 and 17
Lots of BSD sails
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by Jake »

According to Dan who does the FC blog, the Aironaut production has been halted only temporarily until they can switch to a "lighter and better" hull material. Sounds good!

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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by Jeremiah »

Thanks Jake, I figured the blog might have some answers, then I forgot to look for it. The Aironauts future sounds interesting but l don't see FC going away from urethane, and you can't get much lighter than the current model. We'll see. But it certainly is good news that the Aironaut will still be an option for anyone looking for an inflatable.

Jake
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by Jake »

I tried calling Feathercraft today and got a recorded message saying that the number had been "temporarily disconnected". Rather odd.

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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by Jake »

Got an e-mail today from Theresa at FC. According to her, the Aironaut has been discontinued as it was uneconomical to produce.

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gbellware
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Re: No more K2, Klondike, Khats, others...

Post by gbellware »

That makes sense, but it is disappointing. The Aironaut is such an exceptional boat, I was lucky enough to check it out and see how it is fabricated. It is a giant step ahead in our very small market but, unfortunately, it requires so much labor that its cost is way out there. And, like the Klepper carbon frame, it costs more to make than the market will bear. Oh well.

g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

Kleppers, A1 Expedition and carbon Quattro
Easy Riders, 18.6 and 17
Lots of BSD sails
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

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