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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:54 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 669
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Nautiraid Narak long term review
Rating 1 to 5, with 5 best plus comments (compared with other folding kayaks, not hard shells)

Max sprint speed 5: I can hit 6 knots in it checked by GPS
Acceleration 3: ok but weight slows it down
Ease of paddling at cruising speed 3: ok, but too much wetted surface area for my puny 66kg
Glide 4: very good for a folding kayak and as good as your average seakayak
Ease of turning with sweep strokes 2: it's 5.5 m long but flexes a fair bit so rocker is ok which helps
Ease of edging for turning 3: quite stable and responsive when edged
Primary stability 3: never a problem at all for me but only 20.5 inches wide, unlike a klepper
Secondary stability 3 with standard seat, 4 with a (lower) foam pad instead: good, reassuring in rough weather
How easily it catches waves 3: too long and flexilble to be great but you can have fun surfing it
Paddling into the wind and waves: 5 definitely a strong point, it doesnt bounce much but rather cuts through waves and wind as it's so narrow, even though the bow is quite high
Can it surf diagonally? No
Will it plane on a wave? No, although it is fast on a wave
How stable is it side surfing? 4: surprisingly safe, I think all that flexing helps
How easily does it broach in following seas or surf? 3: pretty hard to keep it straight once it's no longer at 90 degrees to the wave
Does it nose dive easily? 5: massive bow and length help
Do waves side on throw the bow around? 4: surprisingly good, helped by all that flexing I suspect
Tracking 5, but see weathercocking below
Does it weathercock? 3: it does if you set it up wrong for the conditions but the 90 cm cockpit means you can move right back in medium airs to counter it and then further forward when it's really windy to balance it ( otherwise in F6/7 it will leecock)
Seat comfort 2: I threw away the standard seat with thin foam on a rigid plastic sheet and replaced it with a foam K1 type seat. Much better and lower for better stability
Footrest rigidity (type) 3: it's a wooden plate held by straps so shifts and creaks a bit, but at least being a plate you can get reasonably good heel drive
Footrest comfort 2: would be 3 for paddlers with longer legs but my Achilles tendons or heels rest on the cross rib
Thigh/knee braces (how effective) 4: good once you've set them in the right position by moving the straps that hold the foam padded alloy thigh bars in place
Effectiveness of hip pads 1: the standard blow up pads are mounted too low and are too small for me
Effectiveness of back band/back rest 1: I didnt like the foam covered hard plastic sheet back rest as it gave no lumber support and was a pain for layback rolls so I replaced it with a great back band by Snap Dragon that also allows bettertorso rotation
Ease of rolling 3: not bad but it's a pretty volumious kayak and full laybacks are not possible
Ease of paddle float reentry 3: not difficult but it is quite narrow (and yes I have had to do it when I hit a rock that threw me out)
Can you do a cowboy reentry? No way
Ease of lying back on the rear deck 2: the back of the coaming is a bit too high
Narrowness/lowness of the catch for paddling 4: only an original Greenlander or a K1 would be better for a folder
How much does it flex in the water 3: quite a lot but apart from the fact that it's less fun trying to catch waves in rough water I actually think it's a good thing and makes it very stable for such a narrow kayak
Suitability for sailing: I can't comment but some do sail them


Feathercraft Wisper, First light 420, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (4sale),Nautiraid Geenlander 1, K1, 416 & Narak 460 (sold my 550), Pakboats Quest 135, TRAK 2.0
Wanted:original Advanced Elements Air Fusion
Cape Falcon F1, Beth, Hobie AI

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:57 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 669
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Aseembly method: 2 wooden half fuselages you unfold then slip into the hull (no zip or velcro openings) then snap together and tension with a central lever before attaching the coaming with 2 bolts and a continuous coaming bead in the skin
How quick/easy to assemble /disassemble(mins)/tips? 45 min to assemble including float bags etc etc - pretty easy once you understand how (poor instructions) but only if you get the skin central as you insert the frame halves. 15 mins to dissemble if you wiggle the stems to unstick the skin from the frame
How easy to clean? 3 The wooden doesnt need washing so it's just the skin
How quick to dry? 3: No sponsons help it to dry fairly quickly, but there are 5.5 metres of enclosed space with no deck zips
How durable is the frame? 4 white ash stringers; 3 slightly delicate to assemble birch plywood cross ribs
How durable is the hull (material )? 3 (thick pvc hull, nylon deck) but I did have to reglue one of the deck rigging anchor points
How taut is the skin on the frame? 4: very good considering there are no sponsons
Is the frame easy to repair? 4: wood is easier to fix then aluminium imho
Is the hull easy to repair? 4: sikaflex black primer and filler work well on the black hull
How waterproof is it? 1 before you fix the coaming so the sprayskirt stays on (see below), 4 afterwards - you need to put sealant around the carry handles and then not use them as they are attached stupidly causing leaks when you use them
Does the coaming hold a sprayskirt well (and a sea sock)? 1 standard - truly appalling with no lip, 5 once you epoxy on a 14 mm rope lip
Can you sit on the back of the coaming? 5
How big a person can it carry? I'd guess anyone up to 100 kg, it's way bigger than I need
Can you sleep in it? No, the cross ribs would get in the way
How much baggage can it take? 3: I can fit about 80 litres of dry bags in there and still leave the long air float bags in there
How easy is it to load bags? 2: the cross ribs and narrowness mean I sometimes put the bags in first then pack them
Does it have carry handles? Yes but see above
Does it have deck lines? Yes
Does it have deck rigging for gear? Yes but anchor points not well attached and rigging lines very thin
How much buoyancy does it have (air bags/tubes)?. Two massive airbags. A pump would save time and dizziness :-)
How easy is it to pack? 5: the frame bag opens fully and the backpack is big enough for life jackets, a wet suit top etc.
How bulky/comfortable is it to carry? 3: those stringers are 1.4 m long so you either put that bag on a trolley ( that you have to pack) or use a chest strap
How heavy is it to carry? 3: 22 kg dry is a lot more wet!

Owned since December 2011
Other/subjective: being wooden, it has a warm feel that Alloy framed kayaks lack, and is my favourite kayak for just 'being in’ (vs performance) for that reason

Age: 53
Height: 175 cm with short legs
Weight: a puny 66 kg
Years actively kayaking: started in October 2011
Average water time / distance paddled per year: both days every weekend. 20- 30 km per day usually, occasionally 40 km
Kayaking background & experience: sea kayaking , mostly day trips but some overnighters, rough water preferred, some surfing and limited rockgardening, very limited kayak sailing experience
Other kayaks paddled? Extensively: Pakboats Quest 135, Cape Falcon F1, Fujita AL1-400 Alpina, Incept K40. Others: various 16 foot plus sub 22 inch beam fibreglass sea kayaks

Preferred Feathering: RH 50 degrees
Preferred Paddle Length: 212 wing, 220 GP
Preferred Paddle Design: wing/greenland, both 2 or 3 piece..
Preferred Paddle Material: full carbon wing, carbon or western red cedar for GP
Example of preferred paddle: e.g. Jantex Alpha small, Northern lights GP


Feathercraft Wisper, First light 420, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (4sale),Nautiraid Geenlander 1, K1, 416 & Narak 460 (sold my 550), Pakboats Quest 135, TRAK 2.0
Wanted:original Advanced Elements Air Fusion
Cape Falcon F1, Beth, Hobie AI

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:20 pm 
Wonderfully comprehensive! Thanks for sharing (=

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