Request impressions paddling a double Klepper in solo mode

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terryalford

Request impressions paddling a double Klepper in solo mode

Post by terryalford »

Hi all,
My name is Terry and I've paddled a Klepper Aerius 1 for the past five years. A few years ago, I paddled it from Montreal to NYC via varioius rivers, canals, and Lake Champlain (see a partial account at http://www.hrwa.org under Reports and Articles, but I no longer use the juno email address identified there).

I've never paddled a double Klepper, but have been considering purchasing one (or a Long Haul Mark II) to paddle primarily in solo mode on longer adventure trips, especially costal ocean trips.

I'd like to hear from those of you who have experience paddling a double Kepper or Long Haul in solo mode. I'm 6', 220 lbs and find paddling an Aerius-1 fun in most conditions, and don't mind paddling it all day long (20+ nm during a typical day), but am concerned that paddling a double in solo mode would mostly just be "work" rather than an enjoyable experience -- especially when facing a headwind or current. Any comments?

UPDATE: Well, I just received (late April 2005) a 1995 Aerius-2 in superb condition, purchased through Long Haul Folding Kayaks, and hopefully can post a response to my own question at some point in the future.
Last edited by terryalford on Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Guest

Post by Guest »

I don't have MKII or AEII (have got an MK1 recently) - but if you feel comfortable in AE1 with your weight and size, you don't need a double. Unless you are planning very long trips (over 10 days) with full supply of food and water. I notice higher resistance to the cross-wind, switching from 15 ft boat to, say, 16 ft or 17 ft of the same width - more rudder work or correction strokes, quite annoying; and AEII is also much wider than AE1 or MK1.

mje
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Post by mje »

I paddled an Aerius II solo for a year. It doesn't feel like a kayak; more like a small, lightweight Whitehall pulling boat. It does point better than the Aierius single. If not heavily loaded it's still a good performing boat, but I think if I was to use (or a Mk-II one solo for long trips I might drop a rowing unit in it. That would make a great long distance touring rig, and indeed, it's been used for some major trips.

If you're looking for something more stable and with more cargo room than the A-I, consider the Long Haul Mk-I. It's surprising how different the two boats feel, and that extra 10" translates into a lot more cargo room. I've replaced my A-I with a Mk-I for solo trips. For paddlers over, say, 150-160lbs, and taller paddlers (over 5'11"?) the Mark-I is a better expedition boat.

Alm

Post by Alm »

Yes, Mk1 has a lot of cargo room. I can definitely load 4 or 5 * 10 liter water bags (13-15 days supply), and the appropriate amount of food in there (I'm 160 lbs). It is 18 lbs heavier (Expedition version) than shorter Klepper Aerius 1 Expedition, and 11 lbs heavier than Klepper Aerius 1 SL Expedition (new 16ft long version by Klepper - you may consider it too). Mk1 has more wood in keelsen and gunwale boards - not every conditions need that much strength, I think.

Guest

Post by Guest »

I also considered getting the LH double before I finally decided on the LH single. I had spoken with Mark Eckhart about the performance of his double when in single mode; his comments were that if he were paddling in solo mode he would definately want to be in the single--it's going to perform much better in wind and current, and just be more fun to paddle in general. Also consider that the LH double perhaps doesn't convert to single mode as easily as the Klepper, which has a sliding seat. To convert the LH from double to single you have to deflate sponsons, change a few ribs, unbuckle seat, reposition and resecure seat, reinflate sponsons.

The LH single feels like a real work-horse, a get the job done type of boat. It has decent speed and great overall stability. It is heavy, though!

Paul
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Spruce Head, Maine

Post by Paul »

Oops! I forgot to log-in to the new forum before I made the prior post as a 'guest.'

petercat

I have an AEII

Post by petercat »

I paddle my AEII solo frequently. It is fast to assemble, heavy, stable, and slow. Holds more gear than you need and gets slower and more stable the more you put in it. I rarely use the rudder unless I'm sailing and always paddle from the center position.
I can keep up with a pack of hardshells, but I end up working harder than they do, until the conditions get rough, then they're bracing while I'm changing the tune on the MP3 player. For swim supports, big camping, kids, sailing (for a kayak), weekend water romps with people new to kayaking, it is wonderful.

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chrstjrn
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Post by chrstjrn »

Petercat said it pretty well.
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
In storage in the US:
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previous:
'04 Pakboat Puffin II
'05 Swift (prototype)
'84 Hobie 16.

mel

One final item

Post by mel »

If I were paddling a double in single mode, I would put some balast in the front and sit in the back cockpit if I were doing it. Maybe as much as 100 lbs. This would balance the boat better. You probably should try this if you can before you decide. As was mentioned, a double makes a great "carrier"

Barin

Post by Barin »

Before getting my single kayak to Venezuela, I paddled my Klepper double solo almost exclusively. As stated in other posts above, it is quick to assemble, has a huge payload capacity, extremely stable, and very sea worthy. I have done several open water crossings (the longest being approximately 7 miles from mainland to island and vise-versa) alone. It can also take considerable rough to choppy conditions without a wimper. My last trip out, with a partner, we paddled through with 1 1/2 meter waves (trough to crest) with little trouble. When paddling solo, I sit in the back seat and can control the boat with or without a rudder from there.

CaptainKlepper

Solo AEII

Post by CaptainKlepper »

I know this is a rat. her old posting, but still relevent. My experience w/ different boats is rather limited. I easily prefer any kayak to any canoe. That said, I've had a few tracking issues with single hardshells. I currently paddle a AE II from the solo position. I agree that it's no sportster, but with what I credit to good paddling technique I usually manage to keep up w/ people in poly boats. I've heard it said, and I believe it from my own experience, that a good rudder is as good as a second paddler on a double. Course corrections can suck up a lot of energy on windy or swelly days. I thought about getting a single (I inherited my AE II) but was assured by Jason at KlepperUSA that he prefers doubles over singles in class IV (:shock: !!!) rivers. I've heard some people complain about the foot pedal arrangement on Kleppers, but I haven't encountered any disatisfaction yet. If I do modify the pedals, I'll start w/ updating my forward keel board to allow the pedals to be micro-adjusted on a track system. I do like the ability to stash jackets, cameras, etc. right behind my backrest to have easy access.
Other boats: My SO drives a single inflatable that I'm not personally satisfied with the back support and the tracking is on the extreme end of wobbly.
I recently drove a sit-on-top, that was a complete disaster. The paddles were too short and not feathered. It weighed just as much as my AE II, even though it was poly, and I was completely exposed to the elements. The back support was the last straw.
I once had a double Folbot w/ a solid frame that was a decent boat but it was heavier than the AE II. I believe that folding boats are many, many times easier to repair.
If I try any singles, it will be a poly whitewater craft to improve my handling techniques.

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chrstjrn
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1724
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Post by chrstjrn »

It would be interesting to hear what Terry (father of this thread) has to say about his A2, and comparisons with other boats.
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
In storage in the US:
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previous:
'04 Pakboat Puffin II
'05 Swift (prototype)
'84 Hobie 16.

gregn

Post by gregn »

Before deciding on a folding kayak, I sea tried most of them: Mark I and II Quattro, AEI and II, Feathercraft KI and Big Kahuna. Chronologically:

Big Kahuna was a beautiful boat, fast to paddle, very responsive, fun. But it was too much work to keep it upright. If I were 25, this is the boat I would buy.
AEI never felt right for me. Too tippy, loose, I did not like it.
AEII felt ok as double, as single was too doggy. Maneuverability was pits, kayak was too slow, and heavy.
Mark II Quattro was excellent for double paddling, but solo was like AEII (they are identical boats after all).
Feathercraft KI was a fun boat, too, as big Kahuna, but still too sensitive. I enjoy when I'm able to stop paddling, stretch my legs, reach for things behind the seat, take a picture, and then carry on regardless of the sea state. KI couldn't offer me that comfort.
MarkI was the best single boat fit for me, fast and stable, but still something was not right.

Ended up buying Feathercraft Klondike (moderate volume double, with single option). It was the best fit for my size (6'5" and 215lbs), skills, and age. Now, after three months of paddling, I feel that I made right decision. I enjoy taking it by myself and can keep up with hardshells during local club paddling. Can paddle from single or stern position. As a double Klondike works like a dream. With its moderate beam of 31" and almost 18' in length, speed is phenomenal, my wife feels very safe in it, and we have lots of room between the seats for out of synch paddles.

In single mode, I have room for several hundred lbs of cargo. In double, we can load it with over 100 lbs of camping stuff.
The kayak sits low in the water (with two people), so windage is minimal. It is a low profile kayak.

I think that the discussion on this forum got stuck on Klepper paddling. There are alternatives there!

Alm

Post by Alm »

gregn wrote: MarkI was the best single boat fit for me, fast and stable, but still something was not right.

Ended up buying Feathercraft Klondike (moderate volume double, with single option). It was the best fit for my size (6'5" and 215lbs), skills, and age. ....

I think that the discussion on this forum got stuck on Klepper paddling. There are alternatives there!

In the light of recent notions on high seat of Mark1 (compared to AE1), - perhaps too high for tall or heavy people, - this could've been something that was wrong with MK1 in this particular case.

Very possibly that Klondike is one of very few good alternatives for somebody who wants to use a double as an "extra-large-size single". Other doubles are a little bit too large (as singles). I don't think there are many other choices - may be one of Fujita 29.5" beam mini-doubles: http://www.fujitana.com/products/kayak/al2430alpina.asp - this one has aluminum frame, and there is slightly longer 470 cm hybrid-frame double. Klondike is more spacious, but these tiny doubles could be even faster in solo mode than Klondike. Or, not faster, but easier to paddle, being light boats with short waterline.
I have some doubts regarding this 430 cm Alpina, though - 8" shorter than Kahuna (yes, it is THAT SHORT), and 4" wider, it weighs 2 lbs less than Kahuna. PVC isn't particularly light material per given thickness or given strength, compared to Feathercraft urethane-coated hull, so - it could be that this double has slightly less material in frame or skin, than Kahuna (which still could be enough - Kahuna is a *very* sturdy boat). Having said this, - good PVC can be, in my opinion, more abrasion-resistant than hypalon of Kleppers or Folbots, - though still needs a keel-strip. Also, solo-mode for these Fujiatas is not clear - is it from back seat only, or with the seat moved to the center. The price of this 430 cm Fujita is totally marvellous, I have to say.

gregn

Post by gregn »

Alex, I sense that you are 100% right. One inch lower for the seat in MarkI would make a huge difference (according to others) in comfort and stability. I could experiment only so and so munch during sea trials in your MarkI in beautiful Deep Cove. Thanks, Alex.

Probably the best method to buy a kayak is to try some of them over and over again. One has this opportunity here, on the water front in Victoria, where Ocean River Sports will allow you to rent one for a couple of hours for a small fee. Of course, they do not carry folding kayaks. On the other hand, Granville Island in Vancouver, BC offers two possibilities: Feathercraft factory is always willing to give you a demo for a little paddle, and so is a large kayaking shop there (forgot the name), which has most of Feathercraft kayaks ready for demo. Both are super friendly bunch of guys.

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