Seawave vs Trak 2.0 vs Pakboat for solo paddling

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michael11
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Seawave vs Trak 2.0 vs Pakboat for solo paddling

Post by michael11 »

My goal is to have a fairly seaworthy kayak which is airline transportable, for self contained solo tours (up to 1 week).
I would like to be able to handle some chop and wind (up to 10-15 knots) and do some open water crossings (5-10km) if the weather is calm.

I already own an inflatable Gumotex Seawave. But I currently have an opportunity to get an almost new Trak 2.0 for 1500$.
Should I go for it? Would it be faster, more seaworthy, comfortable and safer? (I'm fairly experienced with a hard shell sea kayak)
Or should I consider something else?

From what I understand:

Gumotex Seawave:
easy and reliable self rescue
Easier to launch / land in rocky shores and surf ?
Slower
harder to paddle during wind and chop
always a risk of deflated kayak (safety issue with crossings?)

Trak 2.0:
Faster
Handles wind and waves better
More comfortable paddling position
harder to self rescue (safety issue with crossings?)
Have to be pickier in landing / launching spots ?

Update:
After the trak deal didn't go well:
Pakboat quest 150
???
Last edited by michael11 on Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:39 am, edited 3 times in total.

Rob
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by Rob »

Can't say anything about the inflatable, since I don't have one of those, and have never paddled one either, though it does look like you've got the pluses and minuse pretty well documented.

Same for the Trak, though I've read and heard that the jacks, customer service, and parts availability can be issues too, so you many want to consider that also.

I know airlines can be a problem, though I just saw an ad for "ShipGo" which offers to pick up, and ship your luggage and items to your destination, so you don't have to lug it around. Pricing from the few destinations I checked look to be better than the USPS, FedEX, or UPS, so that might be a viable option for you, and others.

I haven't used the company's services, and don't know anyone that has, so that needs to be considered too. Still, their rates do look attractive.

Some of the lighter Feathercraft folding kayaks, if you can find one in decent condition, might work for you. If weight isn't an issue, then the other Feathercraft expedition models, or those from Klepper or Long Haul might be good too.

I'd take any of those in a heartbeat over their jack system for hull tensioning, and unreliable customers service/responsiveness.

There are some others too, e.g. Nautiraid, etc., which you might want to check out too.

michael11
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by michael11 »

The alternatives you mentioned will cost me 2 or 3 times more than the current offer, that's why I'm not considering them.

I was wondering in general if skin on frame in general is OK for solo paddling - i.e a 5 day trip around some greek or itaian islands.

Regarding weight - I realized that trak uses oversized bag and can be reduced to 20kg by moving some heavier parts to other suitcase, so i guess its not a huge deal.

lkampf
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by lkampf »

INteresting question Michael. The business practices of Trak are enough to make me want to avoid them out of principle, but if you get one cheap enough it might be ok. I’d just consider it to be disposable unless you can find parts used or fabricate your own.

Weight is probably the biggest issue with air travel. I brought my Folbot cooper on the plane to Croatia from the US and I paddle it around the islands here. At 22 Kilos for the basic kit in a pack that falls within standard luggage size, that’s great, but doesn’t leave room for camping gear in one checked bag.

A pack boat quest 150 is reported to be quite seaworthy, lands new at the budget you mention for the used Trak, has a solid reputation and support for a 15ish kg bag that leaves room for camping kit. On the other hand, it’s not nearly as sexy or high performance as a Trak. Rob’s comment suggestion for a used Feathercraft is a good one also. Klepper and long haul are quite heavy for air travel these days.

Another issue is salt water. Wooden frame is recommended for salt water applications over aluminium. Feathercraft is wood but so is the Nortik Navigator, although that’s more than double the cost of your Trak option. I’ve paddled Folbot coopers and Kiawahs extensively in salt water and it’s ok as long as you stay on it with lubrication, rinsing when possible and don’t leave them assembled for too long. The Quest frame is anodized and I suspect that improves it’s resilience, but I don’t have direct experience with it.

Using an inflatable for touring sounds like hard work to me.

Curious to hear what you choose.

-Lawrence

michael11
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by michael11 »

I decided to buy it anyway. I live in Israel and its extra 20-30% shipping and taxes to any other option. This is a kayak sold as "unused 2nd hand" by a local club / shop. And it looks really sexy. Also I still don't own a proper sea kayak (I use club's one).

Regarding touring in an inflatable - the Seawave is a very capable kayak. Its 4.8m and the waterline width is under 70 cm (with 1 padler). No problem doing over 20km per day in it in calm waters. But as I mentioned - It gets hard against winds over 10 knots and chop

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KerryOnKayaks
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

lkampf< I think you mispoke when you said Feathercrafts have wooden frames -- not true (all are aircraft aluminium). Maybe you meant Folbots, as the earlier models were wood framed.

My 2007 Feathercraft Wisper was purchased in 2010 from a couple who used a pair of them touring the Aegean and beach camping for 2 months. As long as you lubricate the aluminum frames with Boeshield before assembly and regularly rinse and dissemble the boats so they are not stored with saltwater in the joints, they well last perfectly well. I most recently used the Wisper along the Atlantic coast of Maine. The boat has served me well with no glitches and is very seaworthy.

The suggestion of the Pakboat Quest 150 was a good one too. I hope the OP has good results with his Trak. I've seen them on the water and it's an impressive design. But not one I would care to own due to the complexity -- too many parts to potentially go bad and a company which has thus far been less than renowned for customer service.

I've owned several Pakboats and any of those would be my choice for multiday touring due to the full access to storage inside the hull afforded by the velcro-attached decks as well as the simplicity of the design that would make any problems or accidents easier to repair that with a lot of other boats. The Pakboats are also lighter than the other makes of folders of similar size and capability. I can fit my Puffin 12 or Quest 135 (a smaller beta model of the 150) into a standard rolling airline duffel that can be readily checked as standard baggage with no excess fees or worrries about special handling. Though my Wisper will always be my favorite folder for solo outings, the Quest is a close second and at nearly 10 pounds less than the Feathercraft, is a better choice for travel. Also easier to assemble and dry for storage due to the open hull.
CURRENT FLEET:
Feathercraft Wisper
Feathercraft Java
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
PREVIOUSLY OWNED:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15

Rob
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by Rob »

Hi Michael,

Glad to hear you've made a decision.

On the Trak, I recommend ordering a spare jack or two now (they have three), since they will fail, it is only a matter of when, so a good idea to have at least one as a backup for when you'll need it.

As for pricing, only the new Kleppers and/or Long Hauls run 2X - 3X the $1,500 for the Trak.

Used Feathercraft and Kleppers can be frequently found for that price, or much less, in both singles and doubles. Long Hauls tend to run a bit more, from those I've seen for sale, and they seem to be more rare in the used market, like the Nautiraids too.

I've included that info, in case you find the Trak not to your liking, or if others are reading this.


Regards,

Rob

Jake
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by Jake »

Sometime before Jersey Paddler closed down, I borrowed their Trak demo for an afternoon’s paddle. I thought it’s performance to be about average for a SOF of its length but out of the water it was on the weighty side and unwieldy when packed for transport. I also felt that the jacks used to contort the hull’s shape were gimmicky. A rudder or, better yet, an attachable skeg like those used on Feathercraft boats would be all a well designed kayak should need.

michael11
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by michael11 »

Update - I didn't get it after all. The club which sells them forgot that they have sent a cockpit coaming for replacement and have no idea when it will arrive (they received 3 broken cockpits in their batch). They also claimed that it's impossible to communicate with Trak company.

I wonder if Pakboat Quest 150 is a right boat for me... It's quite cheap and light. Is it seaworthy for open water crossings at 10-15 knot winds and chop? How is it at surf launches and landings (say up to 1 meter)? Or I better save up for a more "serious" boat like nortik navigator?

Apathizer
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 for solo paddling

Post by Apathizer »

michael11 wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:39 am
I wonder if Pakboat Quest 150 is a right boat for me... It's quite cheap and light. Is it seaworthy for open water crossings at 10-15 knot winds and chop? How is it at surf launches and landings (say up to 1 meter)? Or I better save up for a more "serious" boat like nortik navigator?
I have experience with the discontinued Quest 155, which is very similar. It's intended as a touring kayak with minimal rocker so not will suited for surf, though it can handle it on occasion. Meter size wave would be pushing its limits, and if you'll be doing it regularly, yes a more 'serious' kayak will be better.

It handles wind and chop reasonably well, but is designed to track straight, so if you'll paddling regularly in strong, variable wind and current, again yes another more 'serious' boat would be more well suited.
Last edited by Apathizer on Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

michael11
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 vs Pakboat for solo paddling

Post by michael11 »

Thanks,
That helps alot.

Jake
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Re: Seawave vs Trak 2.0 vs Pakboat for solo paddling

Post by Jake »

Pakboat has one big thing going for it. They’re still in business and making boats.

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