Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

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bigbird

Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by bigbird »

Klepper describes in their literature that a Klepper double can be easily converted to a single (physically looks very simple) but the big question is how does it handle paddling as a single kayak. Anyone with experience?

Bigbird
Multiyears with a Seaward Passat G3
Now a small Klepper single as a trial basis for a Klepper kayak
Looking at a Klepper double

mje
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Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by mje »

I paddled a Klepper AII and a Folbot GII as singles for some time. In both cases, they're reasonably easy to handle, though certainly not as responsive as a single. My personal feeling is that you shouldn't get a double unless you're planning on regularly paddling with a partner or you want a large sailing craft with a lot of cargo capacity.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

bigbird

Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by bigbird »

Michael
Thanks for your comment. I might be reaching but I am looking for the best of both worlds. I sold my previous double kayak as my wife is not always physically able to go kayaking. This has in the last few years limited my kayaking as I owned a fiberglass double which was not suitable to paddle as a single. With a double Klepper that can be paddled as a single, I get the flexibility of kayaking with or if necessary without my wife. The alternate is to purchase two single kayak's but my wife is not fully comfortable in a single seater. If it paddles reasonably well, a klepper double let's me have my cake and eat it as well! I am not looking for speed but the ability to go kayaking whenever.

But and it is the big but, if the Klepper double paddles and handles like a barge, then there can be no fun. Yes, a Klepper can be paddled as a single but how well does it handle?

Bigbird
Single Klepper owner
Thinking to upgrade to a double Klepper

mje
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Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by mje »

I don't know how to quantify it for you. It doesn't feel like a lightweight kayak. It's 16' long, 2.3' wide, and weighs 70+ pounds. Sort of like a light decked canoe.
Michael Edelman
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DLee
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Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by DLee »

I think Michael's observations are right on. I've been paddling my AII solo around the lake lately and have been surprised how quickly it moves. There is a little more effort involved but I'm not sure it's all that much. I think the wider beam is where the additional effort comes in as the paddle angle is a little different from a thinner boat.

As Michael mentioned the AII is great for sailing. The Klepper rig is a lot of fun and the Kayaksailor is really a great little sail for this boat. With the Kayaksailor you could easily manage a day out in the boat with your wife simply sitting and enjoying the ride in the back. That's what my wife does.

I've made a deck for the interior of my AII which makes taking advantage of all the additional space much easier. I sail, fish, paddle and relax in the boat. It's quite comfortable with room to spare. I think I could sleep in it if I needed or wanted to.
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

sleslie

Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by sleslie »

I agree with Michael and DLee. The Aerius II handles reasonably well as a single even without the single-seat conversion kit. With the conversion set (which I don't have), the handling ought to be even better.

I've paddled it solo from the back seat in all sorts of configurations: with the sails up, with small non-paddling children up front, loaded with camping gear etc. I wouldn't take it to any serious races, however.

The only problem with using it as a single is getting it to the water on your own. Seventy pounds in three bags is quite a load (and it's even more with sails in a fourth bag). Of course, if you live on the water, that's not an issue.

john allsop
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Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by john allsop »

I think you will find is that most people who have Aerius 2s paddle solo most of the time and they paddle well from the rear seat or from the middle seat if the Klepper conversion is used. In fact the seat positions are fairly close so I wouldn,t bother with the cost of the conversion, i have paddled for about 40 years from the rear and there are no problems. It,s good for sailing, camping, it,s stability is great and good for general messing about in boats, you won,t win any races though.
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aaronb5

Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by aaronb5 »

I did a solo conversion on my Aerius double this Summer and noticed a big difference as an empty boat but with gear, it still performs well when solo paddling in the normal spot aft.

tomwall

Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by tomwall »

I use to be a rather big guy (300lbs, 225 now). I've paddled a Folbot Super and a A2 solo for many years. My experience has been that the doubles are easier to handle from the back seat IF there is very little wind. With wind, you can easily get so you can't turn (windvaning?). If you are in the middle, however, these boats track like bloodhounds!

A simple solution is to be prepared for calm or wind. I bring a comfortable stadium seat with me. If things get windy, I scoot to the next rib forward and slip the stadium seat under me.

Good luck.

Tom,
Tucson

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Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by DLee »

My solo conversion (a couple years ago) consisted of getting a Long Haul Comfort Seat and some additional nylon straps and buckles. I can put that seat anywhere in the boat. Pretty comfortable too, but I'm currently thinking about getting the lumbar support...
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

Fatfrog
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Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by Fatfrog »

Option 2 could be the new Grand Narak by Nautiraid, which is said to be especially designed to be converted from 2 to 1 seater. Like Klepper it is a wood framed kayak with a different tensionning system. She is more narrow at 75 cm (with inflated external sponsons) and her length is 550 cm. Here are two pics with one and two paddlers.
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uncajohn

Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by uncajohn »

I've paddled my 545 Klepper, sinlge without any problem. I guess that the only drawback is that when without cargo, it is sensitive to the wind. On the other hand paddlin git single it offers a hudge capacity of cargo space!

UncaJohn

BJones1

Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by BJones1 »

I have recently bought an A11 and only paddle on my own. I chose it for its stability which is fantastic.
At first paddling was not much fun as I just could not get on with a double paddle but now use a single canoe paddle which is dryer, less tiring and gets me along quite nicely thank you. It seems to suit the wide beam of the A11 and is by far a more comfortable way of travelling. I guess I got the idea from Verlen Kruger who consistently used a single paddle and also the A11 is very similar to his Sea Wind open kayak in terms of length and beam.
Altogether I find the A11 a super all-round craft and I love it.
Brian

martin2007
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Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by martin2007 »

Hello there,
I paddle both canoes and kayaks.
Occasionally I use a bent-shaft canoe paddle in my tandem Tyne folder which is rigged for solo paddling. When I paddle with the single-blade, I rig up a temporary seat slightly aft of centre. This seat is about 8" up from the floor. This allows me to sit-and switch paddle from a seated position similar to a sit-and-switch position in a canoe. With a nuanced correction on the stroke I can change sides every 4-10 strokes. Paddling the kayak this way gives my muscles a change of task which amounts to a welcome break from double-blade paddling. I find, however, that it's not as efficient as double-blade paddling, at least not in my Tyne boat. I recently purchased a used Klepper A2 and will certainly try the single-blade in her as well. Do you jerry-rig a seat to increase your paddling height in the A2? Without doing so, I can't imagine paddling with a single blade sitting kayak-style on the floor of the boat.

BJones1

Re: Klepper Double Kayak as a Single

Post by BJones1 »

Hi
As you are also a canoeist I guess I can understand you being worried about paddling in a seated position low down when using a single paddle. However, I simply put a foam cushion on my Klepper seat (the seat is in the solo position) which brings my bum to about 4 inches from the floor and I have no problem with this. I also use the rudder to full effect and usually change sides about 30 or so strokes. I don't think the stresses on the body are any different from using a double paddle as long as you are able to lean forward reasonably to maximise effort. Being 6 feet tall I use a long 60 inch wooden beavertail paddle.
I find that I can move almost as fast as with the double paddle and I am more comfortable by far especially as I can change sides and "take a rest". I understand that Verlen Kruger sat in his Kayak using a single paddle and he did over 100,000 miles in his lifetime!
It really is a dryer, quieter way to travel in my opinion and I doubt I will ever switch back to a double paddle.
Brian

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