Hello from Sonoma County (Northern California)

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Hello from Sonoma County (Northern California)

Post by eka »

Sadly I haven't been paddling in maybe 5 years, but happily I have just retired and maybe that will be changing soon!

Starting back in the early 90s I would travel every couple of years with a friend or two up to SE Alaska and do a 2-3 week self supported paddle, using our Feathercrafts on the Ferries to go point to point, or do loops around some of the islands. My last trip up there was 2015 and we did the Misty Fjords loop out of Ketchikan (17 days on the water...14 of them stormy).

I live in West Sonoma County in Northern California and do a lot of bike riding and a fair bit of hiking. I used to own two Feathercrafts, a K1 and K-light (the K-light was stolen off the beach at Jenner if you can believe it). I also have a couple of hardshells.

The reason I joined this forum was because I'd like to start paddling again, BUT I'm not sure the K1 is still the right boat for me. It's like 65lbs and a real pain to set up. It's a great expedition boat, but way too much trouble to put together then take apart and clean for a day paddle. Seriously makes me swear like a sailor putting that thing together. I am considering selling it (or not) and buying one of these more modern folding boats I've been reading about.

Anyway, that's all for now, thanks for your time.
- Erika

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Re: Hello from Sonoma County (Northern California)

Post by Jeremiah »

Hi Erika, welcome to the forum. Happy for your retirement, sad that you had your K-Light stolen. That would have been your "day boat". Your assembly description of the K1 made me laugh (knowingly). I own one too. And yet when its assembled its such a beauty.
If you're looking for advice on choosing a new folder, the one boat that might come up more than others is the Pakboat Quest 150. There are lots of steps involved in the assembly but no curse the gods moments. It will probably feel closer to your Feathercrafts when paddling it. I don't own one but I'm basing this on information from forum members who do have one or are very familiar with it. Also from researching the Pakboat website (there is a very good assembly video on the 150).
I hope you're back on the water soon. Paddling is clearly in your blood.

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Re: Hello from Sonoma County (Northern California)

Post by JohnSand »

Welcome aboard! Finding the right balance of user friendly, light weight, capable and affordable is a process. Good luck with your search.

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Re: Hello from Sonoma County (Northern California)

Post by lkampf »

Welcome Erika!

Sorry to hear about your K light, I spent a fair amount of time at a friend’s cabin west of Duncans Mills and know the area well. Agreed, expedition kayaks are a pain for daily use. I paddle a Folbot Cooper most of the time which is probably a good bit easier to set up and tear down, but even then I probably paddle it 1/2 the time I’d like to because of that 20-25 min process at each end. Living in Sausalito I used to leave my Kiawah set up for months at a time since my studio was right down on the waterfront. I’d just carry it across the parking lot and plop it in the water. I also learned about aluminium poles, saltwater and marine lubricants that way, fortunately before the lesson became permanent. I’m living in Croatia a bit farther from the water now and need to fold/unfold each time I paddle.

I think I saw a Cooper for sale in your area recently, check the deals section of this forum and see. NO particular curse the gods moments on those either, but they’re getting scarce since Folbot folded. Jeremiah’s suggestion of a Pakboat is also a great one. I have my eye on one of those next since they have an EU dealer. Traks also look good, if you can actually get one. Supply looks very short and support nonexistent for those so it’s a bit like buying a Folbot in that way.


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Re: Hello from Sonoma County (Northern California)

Post by Jake »

Maybe it’s the hassle of getting a SOF folder put together and then taking it down after an afternoon’s paddle that accounts, at least in part, for the success of the unique line of Oru folding boats as well as Innova’s line of inflatable kayaks. I sold my Feathercraft Kurrent, a delightful little boat, when it became likely that we might not be able to rent the condo with the two car garage that made it possible to keep the boat sheltered and fully assembled for the winter months that we spend on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Last winter I brought along a Feathercraft Aironaut, my first experience with an inflatable kayak. Then it was just a five minute drive to a local launch site with the Aironaut folded in the back of the Forester. Six minutes of vigorous pumping and the Aironaut, all twenty pounds of it, was ready to carry to the water. I only wish that the boat had a detachable rather than a fixed deck so that I could just let this old body fall into it.😃

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