Sad news

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Randall
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Sad news

Post by Randall »

Sad news indeed. Best of luck to Doug and the other FC employees. I was raised in Vancouver and frequently visited their shop along with Ecomarine. I actually walked by their old shop on Granville island near Christmas but I was in a hurry, my kids were complaining and I didn't stop to peek in. I built my 1st folding kayak using materials I sourced from them back in the late 90s. While I currently own a pair of Kleppers as family/travelling boats, I always loved feathercraft. With my kids a little older now, this may be the year I get a Greenland boat. I always wanted a Khatsahlano...
Aerius II Expedition (x2). One kid and one adult in each boat.

treecutter
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Re: Sad news

Post by treecutter »

Randell, there is a book called Building The Greenland Kayak by the former editor of Sea Kayaker magazine. It is excellent and you would be able to build a kayak from it to give a perfect custom fit.

Jake
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Location: Coastal New Jersey

Re: Sad news

Post by Jake »

I, too, own a copy of Chris Cunningham's Building The Greenland Kayak. It's an excellent source for anyone wanting to build a SOF kayak. One of these days I might actually build one.

Also, here's something from Doug Simpson regarding Feathercraft's plans for future support of existing boats:

New post on Feathercraft Kayaks

Future Parts
by fckayaks
Feathercraft Repairs

We will be setting up a limited Feathercraft repair shop later this year.

(We are moving out of the city and first must undertake construction on

our new home.)

We will be able to replace many aluminum tube parts, various plastic parts and

supply hardware pieces.

We will be able to supply skin fabric for repairs, but will not undertake these

repairs ourselves.

We will be able to supply sewn and taped spray skirts and sea socks and also

replacement air sponsons.

Please look for a new website featuring Feathercraft parts sometime this fall.

Sincerely Yours,

Doug Simpson

siravingmon
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Re: Sad news

Post by siravingmon »

Thanks Jake, that's very reassuring news indeed!
Simon

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
Cape Falcon F1, Beth, Hobie AI
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Randall
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Sad news

Post by Randall »

I own Chris' book but all I've made in the 6 years that I've owned it is a paddle ;)

The problem I have is storage and that's why I have folders. I may look at Tom Yost's builds again...
Aerius II Expedition (x2). One kid and one adult in each boat.

Bluewarm

Re: Sad news

Post by Bluewarm »

Has there been any new information on future support and parts? I know FC's are made with pretty technical fabrics.... any idea where to get these?

Thanks

treecutter
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Re: Sad news

Post by treecutter »

I believe the fabrics were manufactured for Feathercraft in France. I assume that they would be impossible to get anymore. I am sure that there are lots of other fabrics that can work well in a repair........................ sunbrella perhaps comes to mind.

Jake
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Re: Sad news

Post by Jake »

Doug Simpson expects to be able to supply parts and fabric sometime in the autumn of this year. Doug appears to be a man of his word but, if you need to fix your FC kayak now you'll have to wait a few months.

I've used Sunbrella fabric to make sail covers but I don't think it would make an effective material for deck repair.

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tsunamichuck
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Re: Sad news

Post by tsunamichuck »

Bluewarm wrote:Has there been any new information on future support and parts? I know FC's are made with pretty technical fabrics.... any idea where to get these?

Thanks
I may have some extra
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

Bluewarm

Re: Sad news

Post by Bluewarm »

As well Feathercraft has posted that they will have fabric at their new (?) shop.... but will not be doing any skin repairs? I wonder why.

I assume they will be doing frame repairs I guess.....

Jake
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Re: Sad news

Post by Jake »

It looks like Doug is getting up a small workshop where he can make and supply frame parts and material for hull repair but it will be up to the owner to actually effect the repairs. From what little I know, Doug is now retired and the parts supply thing is a part-time gig. Wish I could talk him into making a few Aironauts :)

CanvasClipper

Re: Sad news

Post by CanvasClipper »

KerryOnKayaks wrote:Frame parts are more of a concern when looking towards future maintenance of a boat from an extinct vendor.
Funny thing ... I kept my Java and sold the Greenland II and Aeruis II because those were clunky, heavy boats. And that Feathercraft would be in business "forever".

Guess I won't be using the Java in the surf any more :twisted: :shock:

CanvasClipper

Re: Sad news

Post by CanvasClipper »

Jake wrote:to feel the hull moving under my feet, almost as if I were riding upon some benevolent sea creature, a very good, little swimmer. :D
And there, in one beautiful line, is what I love most about paddling a folder (my long-lost Folbot Greenland especially). That feeling of the boat *swimming*, rippling over the swells like a seal. Beautiful.

CanvasClipper

Re: Sad news

Post by CanvasClipper »

Apathizer wrote:they don't want to be away from their creature and electronic comforts for an extended period. Consequently, they aren't interested in things like backpacking, camping, and multi-day paddling trips.
Alv, build a wi-fi enabled folder, with many apps. And make sure it has GoPro mounts and smartphone cradles (and can be paddled, one-handed, by people who are always looking down (maybe with an app called Paddle) :lol: :roll: :twisted:

Silly jokes aside, I work for a newspaper and the things that are troubling your business are the same things that our troubling ours. Of all the things we've learned (maybe too late), two things stand out: 1) kids want to "connect" in what they believe is a genuine way and 2) they want to create and be seen to be creating, hence the rise of a "selfie generation" whose antics grow more extreme by the day.

There is a huge opportunity here for the outdoor industry: imagine you take that idea of "connecting" and apply it to kayaking or the wilderness or hiking or back-country camping. We, who've been there, know that the outdoors offers the best connection you could ever dream of.

Stir a bit of "we want to create" into the pot and you have something ... profound.

I read this week a story of an Instagram couple who live in a van. They have hundreds of thousands of followers. They are sponsored with gear and paid by outdoor companies to be "influencers". Sure, most of the followers want to see pictures of the woman doing yoga in her bikini, but still ... They are living a life that is immediately attractive: free, on the road, seeing beautiful things. It's that dream that's earned them a vast number of followers. (And sure, their "dream" is little tougher now that they have to create content, every day)

The folding kayak business needs some influencers. It needs a young couple, touring the world's waterways with their folding boat, and a tent and their dog (travelling dogs are always a hit!) Instagramming and Facebooking that dream to all their followers. (Heck, I'd do it but at 50, I'm not sure how many followers I'd get :twisted: :lol:)

Maybe there's something in this: the outdoors is cool. Kayaks are cool. Adventure is cool. The folding kayak is so niche, so completely left-field, hipster even, that it's like a seam of gold waiting to be stumbled upon.

Rob

Re: Sad news

Post by Rob »

Wow, just seeing this.

Shocking, and horrible news.

I was coveting one of the newer, K1 folding boats, with the built-in sprayskirt mounts.

I've got one of the much older, K1s, that has the built-in, suspender-type sprayskirt, and would like to modify that to a newer design.

I contacted FC some time about doing that, but apparently they don't/didn't do that kind of work.

I guess I'll need to look for other options, if I can scrape up some dough to buy a newer one, live with the one I've got, and/or find another manufacturer.

Sad.

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