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 Post subject: LH Mk 1 comments
PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:23 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
I just returned from a 100 mile trip around the Strait of Hormuz in my LH Mark I. The area is quite remote and rugged. The Musandam peninsula is a mountainous fjiord. Cliffs as high as 3000 feet drop into the sea and there are only a handful of camping spots along the way. There were several small fishing villages only accessible by ocean. We were caught in seriously bad weather one day--the kind that you generally want to avoid if you can. We were rounding a headland against a particularly strong incoming tide with a headwind up to 35 knots and up to 8 foot seas coming from all directions. Yes, it was rough going. I'll post pics and more details of the trip later. For now, I wanted to make comments on the performance of the LH.

The kayak is faster than I expected. In calm conditions I could paddle between 3.5 and 4 knots. I could sprint to 5.5 knots. By way of reference, when the K1 was reviewed by SK, one of the reviewers was able to maintain 4.5 knot pace with sprints to 5 knots. On calm days it seemed that I could maintain a 4 knot pace (4.6mph) without much problems. Once at 3.5 knots the efforts required to keep the kayak at that pace were surprisingly nominal. I think the weight of the kayak makes it seem slower than it really is.

The kayak is very stable. Although I was quite nervous as I paddled through that rough weather, the kayak handled it quite well. It's able to take waves on the beam quite well.

The kayak takes on more water than it should. I'm not sure why this is so. I have the velcro tuckunder spray deck. It seemed that at the end of each day there would be a good 6 cups of water or more in the boat. I'd sponge the water out each evening, but after it rained one night I had to sponge another 6+ cups of water out of the kayak again in the morning, and I had the cockpit covered with my spinnaker sail that night.

The kayak is so heavy. I had someone there to help me lift it out of and into the water each day. Had someone not been there to assist in moving the kayak I likely would have wound up having to drag it over rocks which could lead to damage of the hull.

The kayak is a versatile platform for fishing and sailing. I mount a rod holder to a LH deck board and am able to paddle with my fishing rod up without any problems at all. Moreover, the kayak is stable enough to land good sized fish.


Last edited by Paul on Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: LH Mk 1 comments
PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:44 pm 
My 2 cents..

Paul wrote:
In calm conditions I could paddle between 3.5 and 4 knots. I could sprint to 5.5 knots.

Without a trimaran sail rig (which you didn't use on this trip) - probably would be 3.1-3.5 knots cruising speed for me, but I'm not too fit, and like using a GP, which doesn't work well with beamy boats, unfortunately. It can be accelerated up to 5.5 or cruised at 4.0, but this would need more efforts than I want to spare, and definitely would require a Euro paddle.

Paul wrote:
The kayak is very stable. Although I was quite nervous as I paddled through that rough weather, the kayak handled it quite well. It's able to take waves on the beam quite well.

Yes, side waves can hardly push it off the course or tip the balance (compared to FC sinlgles or hardshells). Though, I've got a feeling that sharper bow of FC provides for easier "plowing" through the waves, as heavily loaded boat doesn't really ride the oncoming waves.

Paul wrote:
The kayak takes on more water than it should. I'm not sure why this is so. I have the velcro tuckunder spray deck. It seemed that at the end of each day there would be a good 6 cups of water or more in the boat.

Welcome to the world of traditional-style open-cockpit folders. With MK1 the main source of water is sprayskirt - velcro closure, seepage through the fabric, even after treated with some impregnant (skirt fabric is reportedly better on recent models), splashes over the top of the funnel, and TAD - rear "boomerang" of the coaming. Not that the fabric is low-grade - but this system can not be made as tight as, for example, hardshell skirt (or FC). Btw, make sure you've tucked it tight under the coaming everytime - it is stretching when wet, and then there is more seepage both throught the fabric and velcro closure. Folbot Kodiak users might tell you even more (more sources of water). On GII they've come up with a home-made solution - sewn-in lateral battens. But I don't think that I had more than 1 cup after paddling on calm days.

Paul wrote:
after it rained one night I had to sponge another 6+ cups of water out of the kayak again in the morning, and I had the cockpit covered with my spinnaker sail that night

I had to make a cockpit cover out of $4 tarp - with short bungeys and clips at the corners, wrapped around the mast (to use with Balogh sail) and tucked under the mast collar. Longhaul sells some cockpit covers, but I don't think they are talored up to teh Balogh crossbar and mast, so I had to make it anyway. You might have some leaks though the deck seams - if it was really well covered with spinnaker.

Paul wrote:
The kayak is so heavy. I had someone there to help me lift it out of and into the water each day. Had someone not been there to assist in moving the kayak I likely would have wound up having to drag it over rocks which could lead to damage of the hull

I told ya :-) ... Cart like Paddleboy Nemo is a must for anything heavier than FC K-light or Kahuna. Some rocks won't let you to use a cart, though. There is no way to lift and carry solo the boat like MK1, unless completely empty and stripped of the seat and skirt. I think that even lighter similar singles AE1 and Folbot Kodiak would require to totally unload everything out before carrying them.

PS: If this is really the case, - when rocks won't you use a cart - you may try some inflatable rollers. The idea was suggested by Ralf Dias in his book, he sugested infaltable boat fenders. I used much cheaper rollers (not boat fenders) in 2004 http://alexm221100.googlepages.com/tinajas2.jpg (there are 2 of them on the photo), but they were not too puncture-proof. May be expensive ones are better. If you have enough room (which you probably don't, on long trips), you might use some non-inflatable rollers like swimming pool foam "noodles".


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:57 pm 
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Let me second everything Alm says, particularly the comments about the cart. I replaced my Klepper Aerius I with a Lonk Haul Mk-I, and the difference in stability really sold me. But it is a heavy boat.

The only boats I really don't mind carrying solo are the under-40 lb boats, and there aren't many of thiose I'd take on an extended trip in a remote area. I used to carry my FC on one shoulder, but only for about 50 yards, max. With a cart, I can drag my big double Klepper, with all the paddling gear in it, for a mile, no sweat.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:31 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's excited to see and hear more about your trip. Maybe we should move that to the "Trip reporting" section, though.

I have the Long Haul cockpit covers for my ("expedition") tuckunder sprayskirt. They're very nicely made, and would even work if you were car-topping an assembled kayak. I would recommend you consider getting one-- I think they're $35. They fit tightly over the hoop.

Carrying a loaded boat, over a rocky beach, alone... I couldn't even do that with a Puffin. I'm not exactly scrawny, either. One advantage of a Puffin is the removable deck, making unloading for movement much easier, but I don't think I'd consider a Puffin for the kind of trip you just took (not heavy duty enough). It might be a good issue for us all to consider further, perhaps in it's own thread. It seems the easiest way is to, at the least, figure out ways to pack and unpack the boat quickly.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:00 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
Quote:
I have the Long Haul cockpit covers for my ("expedition") tuckunder sprayskirt. They're very nicely made, and would even work if you were car-topping an assembled kayak. I would recommend you consider getting one-- I think they're $35. They fit tightly over the hoop.


Chris, I have the velcro tuckunder sprayskirt, so these cockpit covers won't work.

Another thing regarding the Mk1 is that it plows through waves quite a bit. I've always heard from other sources that folders tend to flex over waves as opposed to going through them as hardshell kayaks tend to do. I'd be interested to hear from others if their kayak flexes over waves or plows through them.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:35 am 
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I feel a bit silly comparing a Puffin to a Klepper, but the Puffin II just dances over the waves. It has very full ends, in order to achieve that 400-lb capacity.

My Klepper AE2 does flex over the waves, but it also throws a bit of spray.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:08 am 
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Location: Astoria, OR
How much do you think it flexes? I had a folder which flexed ... downward in the center, because of my weight, which is what any boat that "flexes" will do, inasmuch as the paddler is the greatest load on the boat.

I can tell you that too much "flex" is a very bad thing. The boat that flexed too much had too much rocker, and was a dog when "flexed;" it also leecocked like a bandit, and it was difficult to bring it back to windward. Sure, going head-on into waves, the ends would rise and fall a little, but the heavy part, where I was located, stayed solidly in the waves.

In contrast, my Folbot Kodiak is a very rigid folder, and it does not "plow" because the ends have quite a bit of volume, which lifts the boat over waves.

If a boat flexes enough to conform to the water surface going over swell, its joints are going to wear out. I do not want a boat that flexes! In fact, I fixed that flexer with some stiffening materials from the manufacturer, and now it is faster and behaves better, with no leecocking. It is the fastest folder in my fleet.

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Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:33 pm 
Paul wrote:
Chris, I have the velcro tuckunder sprayskirt, so these cockpit covers won't work.

No, it won't. This is odd that LH doesn't make a full-size cockpit cover to use with quite popular Tuckunder skirt - but probably Klepper has it. Easy to make, too. I used metal grommets to tie the short bungeys to, and this was a mistake - use either plastic grommets, or sew some webbing loops to the tarp (in lieu of grommets). My metal grommets were neither stainless nor brass, and corroded after a few weeks. Rear corners are clipped to D-rings behind the boomerang, and short bungeys with clips - to D-rings near the cross-bar. Without the crossbar you just tuck the loose material under the coaming. Near the mast you'll have to wrap it around (I also used wide Velcro) and tuck under the collar.

Paul wrote:
Another thing regarding the Mk1 is that it plows through waves quite a bit. I've always heard from other sources that folders tend to flex over waves as opposed to going through them as hardshell kayaks tend to do. I'd be interested to hear from others if their kayak flexes over waves or plows through them.


I think there is some confusion here. Hardshell kayaks plow through - when the wave is too steep or too high or the bow is heavy and/or doesn't have enough buyoancy. Otherwise, the bow floats up and then, very often - slap! (down) - and the ride is more bumpy.

With the folder, even the most rigid one, there is some flex, so you don't have this "slap" against the water. But same as in a hardshell, the bow will not float up if it doesn't have enough buoyancy. And then it plows thorugh the waves. And as some wide folders have dull prow, compared to hardshell sea kayaks, (and often heavier than fiberglass harshells), it's harder for them to plow when they have to. More spray, slower plowing. This are my impressions upon comparing FC single to hardshell single and to LH single. LH has a dull prow, and it is heavy even when empty, and yours was heavily laden, so what would you expect? On long trip on LH1 I filled the room beyond the last bow rib and the last stern rib with floatation bags - not with cargo, - otherwise it would've nosedived, with the bow submerged for what felt like too long time to me.

OTH, if the folder has too much flex (like first few dozens of Folbot Coopers, later fixed with the factory add-on part, as Dave mentioned), or may be, TAD, some Packboats - it will have the whole bunch of unexpected "whims", affecting controllability, but again, if the bow is narrow and/or heavily laden, so doesn't have enough buoyancy, it will still try to plow through rather than floating up on the wave.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:04 am 
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Alm wrote:
OTH, if the folder has too much flex (like first few dozens of Folbot Coopers, later fixed with the factory add-on part, as Dave mentioned), or may be, TAD, some Packboats - it will have the whole bunch of unexpected "whims"


Funny you should mention Pakboats and flexing. When you look at them, you figure they must flex... but they don't. Maybe it's partly because they're so short. Early prototype Swifts flexed (I tried one... whoo-ee, like a wet baguette), but Alv refused to sell them until he had sorted that out. The P2 doesn't even plow with my wife in the bow (although maybe she counts more towards floatation than weight 8) ). No flexing.

The Aerius barge doesn't strike me as having any handling problems related to the flexing. It certainly is proven, at sea. Perhaps the slight flexing it does have is just more audible because it is wood. The sail adds a few different vectors to the forces, as well.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:02 pm 
chrstjrn wrote:
The Aerius barge doesn't strike me as having any handling problems related to the flexing. It certainly is proven, at sea. Perhaps the slight flexing it does have is just more audible because it is wood. The sail adds a few different vectors to the forces, as well.

I have the same feeling - it's just the sounds of wood. Localized movements that have little effect on the shape. Probably more flexible than FC Kahuna or K1. FC Khatsalano - I wouldn't be surprised if it flexed more than AEI or AEII, being that long and narrow, though with FC attention to quality I'm sure it's not significant enough to affect the handling.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:39 pm 
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I have trouble believing that the stainless STEEL fittings on a LH would flex more than those... alright, I'll admit it: somewhat whimpy-seeming aluminum fittings on my Aerius. Of course, those aluminum fittings have withstood many tests, so I can't be too critical.

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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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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:13 pm 
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chrstjrn wrote:
I have trouble believing that the stainless STEEL fittings on a LH would flex more than those... alright, I'll admit it: somewhat whimpy-seeming aluminum fittings on my Aerius. Of course, those aluminum fittings have withstood many tests, so I can't be too critical.
Flex might have more to do with the closeness of the fit of the fittings than the material they are made of. Depends on how the fittings are designed.

Flex in my Folbot G II was mostly in the central connectors, which showed some wear after 5 years of heavy use. The boat seemed more flexible then than in the beginning, but we used it hard, and sold it to a couple in Utah. I bet it is still going. These folding boats are tough.

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Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:01 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Good point. And maybe the Klepper fittings are inherently tighter than the LHs.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:06 am 
chrstjrn wrote:
maybe the Klepper fittings are inherently tighter than the LHs.

Mike here knows better, he had both types. In LH those stainless joints between ribs and gunwales do have some play, mostly lengthwise. About 1/4", - this is apparent on the photos in Mike's review:
Image
Image. In practice, the frame is compressed enough to minimize this play - you can notice it mostly during the assembling.

Hinges ahd horseshoe joints in the middle of the frame are inherently flexible indeed (they are identical in Klepper and Longhaul - and Folbot has a very similar horseshoe, btw).


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:20 am 
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Alex wrote: Hinges ahd horseshoe joints in the middle of the frame are inherently flexible indeed (they are identical in Klepper and Longhaul - and Folbot has a very similar horseshoe, btw).

I think this is the source of most of the flex in these models. OTOH, boats which have a continuous framework from stem to stern, like my Cooper (and most Nautiraids?), flex because of play in the longeron joints, especially if there is any inherent longitudinal looseness in the top and bottom longerons.

It is the latter which Folbot fixed in the Cooper to remove the flex in that boat. Makes a huge difference. I did not notice the flex in my Cooper the first few outings. But, as the skin settled into its natural form, it took more and more tightening of the jackscrew at the stern to tighten the skin, until finally I ran out of room.

A much lighter paddler (I weigh 220 lbs) would not have noticed this, I suspect.

Lots of flex is not a good thing in any boat. You don't want the rocker changing to conform to the wave shape. It makes the boat hard to control by edging or leaning. And, sweep strokes can only do so much.

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Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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