Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

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Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

Post by caratfrosting »


I'm an intermediate paddler looking to buy my first kayak. Initially it will be used for paddling in lakes which I anticipate will be fairly calm (like Lake Hopatcong and Lake Musconetcong in New Jersey), but I'd like to get a boat that would give me the flexibility to ultimately visit the Hudson west of Manhattan, which is the closest water to where I live. The boat needs to be easy to store in my apartment, and it would be nice to be able to travel with it easily, even on an airplane. I don't have a garage to leave an inflatable drying out in for a couple days after getting done using it, so I'm thinking a folding kayak is a better bet for me based on what I've read online. As far as sizing, I'm 5'9" and 160 lbs.

I was all set to buy an Oru Bay until I stumbled onto FoldingKayaks.org and the paddling.com forums. While there are some corners of the internet where it seems that Oru is the obvious choice short of $3,000 (examples here, here, and here, if anyone's curious), in these two forums Oru does not appear to be the preferred option. I'd like to stay in the same price range (let's say < $2,000 with float bags, taxes, shipping, etc.) if possible, and it seems like that's possible, but perhaps I'm being naive about what's seaworthy in the Hudson. The two strongest contenders seem to me to be the Oru Bay and the Pakboats Quest 150, although neither got any +1's in this thread. I've got an AirBnb by a lake booked in a little more than a month and would like to have a boat by then, and am not sure I can find a boat by then if I go the used route, which is pretty complicated from my perspective. Any thoughts on the right boat or approach would be much appreciated.

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Re: Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

Post by JohnSand »

I have no experience with Oru of Pakboat. There are some used folders in the NYC area for reasonable prices. I bought my three used by searching craigslist and ebay.

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Re: Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

Post by mje »

Oru promised me a loaner for evaluation several years ago but never came through, so my opinions are based entirely on what others have written, Oru’s web site, and examination of a boat on display at REI.

Oru fans tend to be recreational paddlers with no other folding kayak experience who are attracted by the light weight, compact folded size, and the clever design. I have yet to meet someone who traded their traditional folder for an Oru.

The boats are made of a heavy-duty corrugated plastic (Coroplast) with molded in hinges. Oru claims a 10-year UV resistance for the hull and a hinge life of several hundred thousand cycles, but the boat has only a one year warranty, making those claims somewhat meaningless. If the hull were punctured, it could conceivably be patched with a UV-cured plastic patch. A hinge failure or cut through a hinge would not easily be repairable. You might be able to glue a Hypalon patch across it.

For the $1,500-2,000 that Oru boats cost you could buy a new Pakboat or a used Klepper, Long Haul, or Nautiraid that would last a lifetime. All these boats are easily repairable, and parts are available. You could also buy a used Folbot or Feathercraft, and while the makers are out of business, some parts are available and most can be fabricated. For the $3,000 you mention you could also buy a new Long Haul Ute, a compact single that’s the fastest assembling folder I’ve ever encountered.
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Re: Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

Post by siravingmon »

Get the Pakboats 150!

I’ve had my 135 for 7 years now and it's brilliant. There were some issues with sponson valve attachment reliability in some late batches for the original sponson design but they fixed that with a redesign that I’ve found to be bulletproof

The 150 is further simplified for easier assembly without compromising integrity. I'd buy one like a shot but I'm a little guy and I think it'd be too big for me

I paddled an Oru Coast and was surprised how fast it was although I didn’t like the height of the deck which means a lower angle paddling style that I like, but I’m on the Facebook Oru group and the reports of things breaking put me off

The Pakboats 150 is also far better value than the Coast. The standard Oru is too short so too slow to be a useful sea kayak in my opinion. Some may disagree but I find anything with a water line length of less than 4 m to be too slow for me to keep up with my sea kayaking friends in theIr hardshells

Feathercraft Wisper, Firstlight 420, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, KXone Airrow 17, Nautiraid Geenlander 1, K1, 416, Narak 460 (sold my 550), Pakboats Quest 135, TRAK 2.0
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Re: Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

Post by tsunamichuck »

I paddled an Aire Tributary Sawtooth on The Hudson last fall
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

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Re: Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

Post by Jake »

I recently sold my Feathercraft Kurrent, a fine little SOF folder, a delight to paddle and quick enough for this old guy. Two reasons for selling it: First, Feathercraft is no longer and owner Doug Simpson can’t be relied upon for supplying replacement parts. I suppose you could fabricate some of these yourself if necessary but are you really going to do that? The second and more important reason is the assembly process which can be onerous. It’s not easy and takes too long. OTOH, if you paddle infrequently or can keep the boat assembled for extended periods like during a stay at an AirBnB, the annoyance of occasionally putting the folder together might not be such a bother. But if, like me, you’re renting a condo for the winter on Florida’s Gulf Coast and the current extortionary rents demanded by robber baron landlords has forced you to move into more modest lodging sans garage and you must carry your bundled folder to the local bay front park and search out an unoccupied picnic table wherefore to assemble it, you might just decide to go for a bicycle ride instead. And yet, if I came across a Pakboat 135 in good shape, I think I’d grab it in an instant. A big plus in favor of Pakboat is that it’s still in business and so parts are available. So far as the Oru goes, I’ve examined them up close, seen the cheap fittings and heard enough about the lousy customer service to know that I’d be very reluctant to buy one. But considering your particular situation, the Oru Bay might just work for you. Most boats demand compromise and you're unlikely to get all of the qualities you want in any particular kayak. Just one more thing. You might try giving s call to Lee Arbach at The Boat People and talk to him about inflatables. I like what he’s told me about the Innova Safari and, again considering that you’re an urban apartment dweller, you might find the Safari to be a decent compromise. You could paddle it on those New Jersey lakes, even on the Hudson and maybe carry it on the train out of Penn Station down to the Jersey shore to play in the surf. At the current price of just $649 shipping included It seems like a good deal. Good Luck to you!😊

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Re: Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

Post by sunmtnforge »

Greetings-I recently found an Innova Solar at a local thrift store. It is pre-2010 and takes the bayonet style valves. They are available through Innova however the shipping cost is 30$. Can anyone out there recommend a reliable replacement valve? I prefer to order on ebay where there appear to be similar valves but I do want quality. Any help-advice is deeply appreciated.

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Re: Apartment-friendly kayak capable of visiting the Hudson

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

DIYpackraft.com sells quality inflatable valves. A lot of the valves on Ebay are cheap crap from China that won't hold high pressure. Not familiar with the "bayonet type" though. I have swapped out twist end valves for the more durable Boston type (DIYpackrafts has them) but Pakboat also was going to be carrying those pre-glued onto a piece of PVC patch which would make replacement much easier: just cut out the old valve completely and glue the new one with the surrounding patch directly over the hole using H-66 vinyl cement.
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Pakboat Puffin 12
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P & H Easky 15LV
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