Considering Buying the Quest 150

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LivinLikeLarry
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Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by LivinLikeLarry »

I'm looking to upgrade from my current kayak, and I'm strongly considering the Quest 150. I mostly paddle on flat water (rivers and lakes in my area), but I would like the option to eventually make some trips out on the Great Lakes. I'm particularly interested in camping trips to islands up to a few miles offshore. Is this kayak seaworthy enough for a trip like that? Additionally will the length of this kayak cause any issues in rivers? I'm assuming the main consideration would just be to avoid any smaller rivers that could scrape up the bottom?

Aside from that, I'm curious about the lifespan of this kayak. Ideally I would like a kayak that I could continue to repair/replace parts as needed for many years to come. Is that the case with a Pakboat? It seems like the sponsons would be something that could eventually need replacing. Does Pakboats continue to offer replacement parts once a model is outdated or are there any alternative options?

Lastly, a few questions about accessories. Are the foot pegs something I will almost certainly want? I currently only have experience with a sit on top kayak that does not really offer any foot support so I don't have any reference. Do other spray skirts work with this kayak or should I just stick with the one from Pakboats? I found an older thread that said only nylon skirts should be used with Pakboats. Is that still the case with the 150?

Apathizer
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by Apathizer »

My comments are based on experience with their Quest 155 model which is very similar.
LivinLikeLarry wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:49 am
I'm looking to upgrade from my current kayak, and I'm strongly considering the Quest 150. I mostly paddle on flat water (rivers and lakes in my area), but I would like the option to eventually make some trips out on the Great Lakes. I'm particularly interested in camping trips to islands up to a few miles offshore. Is this kayak seaworthy enough for a trip like that? Additionally will the length of this kayak cause any issues in rivers? I'm assuming the main consideration would just be to avoid any smaller rivers that could scrape up the bottom?
It's definitely seaworthy enough for those types of trips and there's plenty of cargo space for equipment and supplies up to about a week. As for rivers, it's not ideal but will work in calm to moderate conditions, but probably not whitewater or rapids. A repair kit is included which will fix the typical wear and minor hull damage that might happen, mostly from repeated landings and launches on rocky shores.
LivinLikeLarry wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:49 am
Aside from that, I'm curious about the lifespan of this kayak. Ideally I would like a kayak that I could continue to repair/replace parts as needed for many years to come. Is that the case with a Pakboat? It seems like the sponsons would be something that could eventually need replacing. Does Pakboats continue to offer replacement parts once a model is outdated or are there any alternative options?
Probably, but check with them. I think they have small-scale production facilities at their US headquarters for replacement parts even for discontinued models, but it's been awhile since I checked.
LivinLikeLarry wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:49 am
Lastly, a few questions about accessories. Are the foot pegs something I will almost certainly want? I currently only have experience with a sit on top kayak that does not really offer any foot support so I don't have any reference. Do other spray skirts work with this kayak or should I just stick with the one from Pakboats? I found an older thread that said only nylon skirts should be used with Pakboats. Is that still the case with the 150?
To me foot-pegs are necessary since their support enhances comfort (lower back), and they provide more security for turning and bracing. The thigh-straps are probably unnecessary (Alv told me this himself before he retired). I don't know if other brand spray skirts will fit; check with them.

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KerryOnKayaks
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

I have the smaller Quest 135 which is the earlier Quest design (main difference is that the earlier 135 and 155 were not designed so that you can paddle with the deck removed, otherwise pretty much the same boat.) As mentioned, yes, you DO need the foot braces especially if you plan to paddle in open water. You need them for control and also to brace for power that will transfer to your paddle stroke.

You can only use nylon spray skirts because neoprene ones put too much pressure on the coaming, which is also not the smooth egg shape of hardshell boats. I have found aftermarket sprayskirts that fit on my packboats -- in fact I use both the skirt for my Feathercraft Wisper and a Snapdragon the same size on my Quest. Since I use a Greenland paddle I have to have a good fitting sprayskirt or the water shedding from the GP sends too much runoff into my lap.

Pakboats are ideal for camping because it is so easy to load and then access what you pack due to the velcroed decks. You do want to assure that everything is packed in dry bags. If you pack light you would want to fill any extra space volume with your flotation bags, partially inflated. If you have not yet bought flotation bags (which you need to use whenever you paddle without a lot of gear filling the bow and stern) invest in the ones that can be used either as dry bags or air inflation bags.

I would not count on being able to get replacement sponsons for older models. Pakboat has changed their sponson designs over the years -- of the Pakboats I have right now, one has a single sponson on each side, 2 of them have dual sponsons and the Quest has triple sponsons. In fact the dual sponson boats have defective material in both the sponsons and the seats that failed completely, a manufacturing glitch that Pakboat handled by replacing that one bad run of fabric years ago. The prior owners never registered the warranties and so never heard about the recall and free replacement. I talked to Alv and Pakboat has no replacements that would work for these older boats (2007 PB Swifts). So I am making my own sponsons and retrofitting aftermarket kayak seats to these two boats. My 2004 PB Puffin has intact sponsons and seat that hold air fine all day, so the original material is pretty darned sturdy.

Getting single sponsons from other sources is sometimes possible (I picked up two singles for $20 each at one point, but they are just spares for the Puffin. The dual and triple sponsons in more recent Pakboats are pretty specific. In fact I am making the DIY dual replacements for the Swifts as separate skinny tubes that will slip into nylon sleeves so that each can be replaced and the sponson skin is more protected inside the sleeves from abrasion or puncture. I recycled the valves from the original tubes by cutting a circle of the skin surrounding the valve out of the failed tube and using the H66 vinyl glue to insert it into the new tube skins. I had suggested some years ago to Alv that they make up valves embedded in glue-able patches like that as replacement/repair parts and he liked the idea but I don't know if they went ahead with it. Glueing a valve into the fabric yourself is a pain compared to just installing it with a presealed patch.

I have yet to break any of the little black plastic bits that are crucial to PB assembly, though I have lost several of the short black rubber bands -- made replacements by cutting rings from a bicycle tire inner tube. I always carry a baggie with 4" plastic zip ties in it with my folder repair kit, in case I need to secure a frame portion in case of emergency.
Current:
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Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15

LivinLikeLarry
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by LivinLikeLarry »

Apathizer wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:39 am
As for rivers, it's not ideal but will work in calm to moderate conditions, but probably not whitewater or rapids.
That sounds like it should work fine for me then. For calmer rivers, this kayak should give me a significant speed and storage capacity increase over my current inflatable. Although I am curious when you say to avoid rapids, does that recommendation include Class I? I'm not particularly interested in taking this kayak through any rapids, but there may be times when being able to handle small stretches of Class I will save me a portage on longer river trips.

Also thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
KerryOnKayaks wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:31 pm
As mentioned, yes, you DO need the foot braces especially if you plan to paddle in open water.
Noted. Per both of your recommendations, I'll definitely plan on ordering the foot braces too.
KerryOnKayaks wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:31 pm
I have found aftermarket sprayskirts that fit on my packboats -- in fact I use both the skirt for my Feathercraft Wisper and a Snapdragon the same size on my Quest.
That's definitely good to know that I have more options if needed. Any advantage to buying an aftermarket spray skirt initially or is the Pakboat skirt just as good?
KerryOnKayaks wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:31 pm
If you have not yet bought flotation bags (which you need to use whenever you paddle without a lot of gear filling the bow and stern) invest in the ones that can be used either as dry bags or air inflation bags.
Funny that you mention the combo gear/flotation bags as I was just researching where to buy these this morning. I definitely think they'd be worth the investment, but I currently can only find them sold by TRAK right now. They're selling a set of 2 (40L each) for $210. They do look to be pretty durable and high quality, but I can't find anywhere else to compare their price to. Not sure if I'm using the wrong search terms or if they're currently the only seller.
KerryOnKayaks wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:31 pm
My 2004 PB Puffin has intact sponsons and seat that hold air fine all day, so the original material is pretty darned sturdy.
That's great to hear. Seems like so long as I'm careful to avoid overinflation in sunlight then the sponsons should last quite some time. Also I quite like your nylon sleeve idea for your replacements. Hope the project turns out well for you.
KerryOnKayaks wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:31 pm
I always carry a baggie with 4" plastic zip ties in it with my folder repair kit, in case I need to secure a frame portion in case of emergency.
That sounds like a great idea. I'll definitely remember that if I end up purchasing.

Thank you for all of the information. It definitely helps.

Apathizer
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by Apathizer »

LivinLikeLarry wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:57 pm
That sounds like it should work fine for me then. For calmer rivers, this kayak should give me a significant speed and storage capacity increase over my current inflatable. Although I am curious when you say to avoid rapids, does that recommendation include Class I? I'm not particularly interested in taking this kayak through any rapids, but there may be times when being able to handle small stretches of Class I will save me a portage on longer river trips.
Even though 15' isn't very long, the Quest is intended as more of an open water touring kayak with minimal rocker so maneuverability in rivers will be pretty limited. It's probably serviceable on occasion for class 1 conditions, but I doubt it can handle anything rougher. I've done mostly open water so my experience with any rapid class is limited.
LivinLikeLarry wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:57 pm
Also thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Sure thing. :D
Last edited by Apathizer on Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

LivinLikeLarry
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by LivinLikeLarry »

Apathizer wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:25 am
Even though 15' isn't very ling, the Quest is intended as more of an open water touring kayak with minimal rocker, so maneuverability in rivers will be pretty limited, but it's probably serviceable on occasion for class 1 conditions, but I doubt it can handle anything higher. I've done mostly open water so my experience with any rapid class is limited.
That's about what I expected to hear. I am primarily interested in the Quest for its open water capabilities, but it sounds like it should also work for a couple river camping trips I had in mind. Thanks again.

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KerryOnKayaks
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

Here's a link to the looong exchange a couple of other Quest owners and I had back when I bought mine, You can skip past some of my meandering descriptions of modifications to the seat that I proposed as it turned out in the end that the plumbing hose clamp mod that Pakboat recommended worked perfectly. But there are numerous tips on setting up Quests and the performance in that 4 page discussion if you have the patience for it,

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6379
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Curtis Lady Bug solo canoe
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15

Apathizer
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by Apathizer »

KerryOnKayaks wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:40 pm
Here's a link to the looong exchange a couple of other Quest owners and I had back when I bought mine, You can skip past some of my meandering descriptions of modifications to the seat that I proposed as it turned out in the end that the plumbing hose clamp mod that Pakboat recommended worked perfectly. But there are numerous tips on setting up Quests and the performance in that 4 page discussion if you have the patience for it,

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6379
If you haven't seen it I'll post a link to an assembly vid for the Quest 150 at the end of this post. Assembly seems a bit easier and simpler than the previous models, but still not what I'd call quick and easy. With practice and familiarity it will probably require about 20 min.

For single day or shorter trips, assembly and disassembly is the most frustrating thing about folding kayaks for me. It's tolerable for multi-day trips or if you have a place to keep it assembled when not using it, but assembling and disassembling for single day use is a PITA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVcgCLy ... b_imp_woyt

LivinLikeLarry
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by LivinLikeLarry »

Apathizer wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:18 am
For single day or shorter trips, assembly and disassembly is the most frustrating thing about folding kayaks for me. It's tolerable for multi-day trips or if you have a place to keep it assembled when not using it, but assembling and disassembling for single day use is a PITA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVcgCLy ... b_imp_woyt
I've seen the assembly video before, and you basically just expressed my last reservation about this kayak. While longer trips will be a lot of fun, single day trips are by far when I'd get the most use out of this purchase. I'm used to the added setup time from my inflatable, although admittedly I don't get it out as often as I'd like. While the folding kayak does add complexity to the setup, I'm thinking the reduced weight and size of the packed kayak will make it much more accessible for me than my current inflatable.

One question related to this, how hard is it to dry off this kayak after you're done? I know with an inflatable that drying it off completely is really important to avoid a mildew smell, but I'm assuming you don't have to be as thorough with a skin on frame kayak.

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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by Jeremiah »

I would say drying your folding kayak is every bit as important as drying an inflatable. A few days in it's bag wet is okay (maybe you're traveling before you can get to it) but any short or long term storage, the kayak should be completely dry. The good news is that the Quest should be very easy to dry (I own a Pakboat Swift to compare). Because the deck is removable (easy access to the hull) and the sponsons are not in sleeves, you can flip the sponsons out of the way, sponge up any remaining water and let it air dry. On a sunny, breezy day it's almost dry by the time you're ready to pack it.

LivinLikeLarry
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by LivinLikeLarry »

Jeremiah wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:51 pm
I would say drying your folding kayak is every bit as important as drying an inflatable. A few days in it's bag wet is okay (maybe you're traveling before you can get to it) but any short or long term storage, the kayak should be completely dry. The good news is that the Quest should be very easy to dry (I own a Pakboat Swift to compare). Because the deck is removable (easy access to the hull) and the sponsons are not in sleeves, you can flip the sponsons out of the way, sponge up any remaining water and let it air dry. On a sunny, breezy day it's almost dry by the time you're ready to pack it.
Got it. I didn't consider this particular advantage of the removable deck, but that sounds like it's pretty doable to dry off by hand before packing each time.

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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by Jake »

Drying an inflatable is more trouble and takes far more time than I thought it would especially if the boat has a fixed deck as does the Aironaut. The bottom and sides must be completely deflated otherwise moisture that’s been trapped between the inflated tubes won’t evaporate. And then the deck must be propped open to allow air to flow into the deflated boat. If the Aironaut’s deck were removable, the entire rinsing-drying chore would be much quicker and easier. Pakboat’s detachable decks make good sense.

Apathizer
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by Apathizer »

LivinLikeLarry wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:12 am
One question related to this, how hard is it to dry off this kayak after you're done? I know with an inflatable that drying it off completely is really important to avoid a mildew smell, but I'm assuming you don't have to be as thorough with a skin on frame kayak.
In my experience with the Quest 155 it depends on the temperature and time of day. During the middle of the day It's fairly easy to get it mostly dry and in warm, direct sunlight it dries fairly quickly. But towards the end of the day when it's cooler and the sun is low it didn't seem to completely dry out even with the deck removed.

As I think others mentioned (and maybe me in another) thread, packing while somewhat damp for 2-3 days isn't a concern, but for longer periods it should be completely dry or mildew develops.
Last edited by Apathizer on Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

yuen
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by yuen »

@Jake

Try to use a seasock. I use always one from Reed Chillcheater. It dries quick and the boat stays dry from the inside. Longest takes the build in coaming to dry.

Jake
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Re: Considering Buying the Quest 150

Post by Jake »

Thanks, Yuen,

I suppose that I should buy a proper seasock though I really dislike using one. I find them to be constricting, uncomfortable in warm weather and they add just another layer of complexity and stifle spontaneity. And they remind me of body bags. But I checked with Feathercraft and they are selling an “improved” version of their original sock for a couple of hundred dollars.

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