Folding Kayaks Forum

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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 5:01 am 
Just curious, since FC kayaks are so highly acclaimed, or at least they used to be.

Any chance of them selling the business to someone else that wants to take it over, and produce these wonderful kayaks?

Seems a shame to let all the designs and business go belly up. Usually, when people want out of the business, they look to see if there's someone else willing to step in and take things over.

Granted, perhaps the business has changed, especially given airline baggage charges now, but shipping the kayaks by freight at a lower rate, in advance, just might be possible.

A lot of people that don't have room for a rigid sea kayak, and/or the vehicle to transport it/them may still want to use them as well. That's my current situation, since the toy hauler is unserviceable, so I may need to use my folding boat even for local excursions instead.

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 1:17 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 589
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
That would be lovely, but I doubt it would happen. I visited Feathercraft's HQ and production shop a couple of times when I was in Vancouver and they had a very high tech operation, using CNC machines to precisely cut and mill and thermally bond the components, all of which equipment I believe was sold off. Restarting production would be extremely costly and there just did not seem to be sufficient market to sustain it.

Regarding your concern about the cost of checking folders as luggage: on my recent trip from the US to England on Icelandair, they allowed two free checked bags up to 62" unified dimensions and 50 pounds each. I had thought I was only allowed one bag but was still able to pack my Pakboat Puffin, 4-piece Cannon carbon paddle, sprayskirt, float bags, a Malone inflatable roof rack and strap kit, a PFD and all my kayaking clothing kit including hightop boots in a single rolling duffel that met the dimensions and was 48 pounds. With the two bag allowance I could have easily brought my heaviest folder, the 37 pound Wisper and all the gear and then some. A third bag would have cost me $94 each way. But even $188 is less than 3 days cost of most kayak rentals. So I still believe in the viability of folders for airline travel.

Icelandair has some great deals on airfare and seem to be more generous about baggage than the other major carriers -- and they are expanding their route connections both in the states and overseas. My round trip from Pittsburgh to Manchester UK was only $670. The four legs of the transAtlantic flights -- Pittsburgh to Reykjavik to Manchester and back -- were extremely pleasant with plenty of leg room, comfortable temperature on board and excellent choices on the personal TV screen including a number of Icelandic documentaries (and back episodes of my guilty pleasure favorite TV series, "Vikings"). They also offer 1 to 7 day layovers in Iceland for travelers transiting through for no extra charge. I thought of taking them up on it but after 11 days in Yorkshire I was ready to go home. But flying over Iceland and Greenland during daylight hours was amazing.

Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Curtis Lady Bug solo canoe
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 3:47 am 
Thanks for the reply and info.

Didn't realize they were using CNC machines for their production, so yes, I can see how that might significantly raise the threshold for re-entry.

Good to hear on the baggage.

Kayaking rentals are rather shocking in price, especially when you consider how quickly just using them occasionally adds up.
Rent them for a few days, and you've paid the price for a brand new toy.

Last major trip I had, I was able to send my kayak with some fellow club members, and flew in to meet them, since I didn't have as much free time off as they did. Then returned home with everything by air. As I recall, the price was pretty reasonable back then.

Had diving gear too, and didn't know how to pack light, so must have looked like a Sherpa in the airport. I did get more than a few funny looks, with three large bags, and probably 120 - 150 pounds of gear. I suspect it all weighed almost as much as I did back in the day, factoring in the weight belt, other diving gear, books I bought, prawn traps purchased, etc., etc..

Need to do that again, before too long.

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 7:34 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1246
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Take a good look at Nautiraid

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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