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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:32 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

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I recently received this email from Alv at Pakboats:

"For the coming year, the XT-17 will be the only XT series kayak available. We may make a new XT double for 2014.

Best regards,
Alv Elvestad"

It seems like the new Quest models will indeed replace the XT-15 & 16. Alv seems to think the Quest models are better suited for day paddling and small to average size paddlers, while XT is better for larger paddlers, and longer trips/expeditions.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:54 am 
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Location: Coastal New Jersey
According to Pakboat, the Quest models will be simpler and easier to assemble than the XTs and lighter, too. Alv, who has designed both the XT and Quest boats, seems to feel that the XT-15/16 were overbuilt for the kind of use that the typical single paddler might likely give them. The polyurethane skins should be durable enough; the Trak -1600 has a PU skin and the manufacturer claims that the boat is tough enough to survive collisions with rocks in class 3 whitewater. I remain somewhat skeptical about that claim but if I can land the Q-135 on a gravel beach without fearing damage, that would be fine with me. In a recent phone conversation, Alv said that he and his wife paddled the Quest prototypes in Norway last summer and he was very pleased with their performance. He may have the boats in New Jersey in June for an in-water demo weekend and I'm looking forward to having a go at them. I hope that Alv updates the Pakboat website with some info about the new, more simple frame, assembly, etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:47 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
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I still haven't seen a Quest for sale on any US websites (was hoping to get one over the pond in early May)

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Simon

Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:59 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
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Location: Coastal New Jersey
If things are on schedule, it is likely that the first shipment of Pakboat Quests has left the sweatshop where they were made somewhere in China and are now aboard a container ship on their way to the US. I have the impression that Pakboat is a rather laid-back operation. Have patience.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:18 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

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Jake wrote:
According to Pakboat, the Quest models will be simpler and easier to assemble than the XTs and lighter, too. Alv, who has designed both the XT and Quest boats, seems to feel that the XT-15/16 were overbuilt for the kind of use that the typical single paddler might likely give them.


Yeah, that's the impression I got as well. While the Quests will be lighter and simpler to assemble, supposedly the hull won't be as rigid. It sounds like they might be similar to the Folbot Cooper and Kiawha, but with a PU hull.

Jake wrote:
The polyurethane skins should be durable enough; the Trak -1600 has a PU skin and the manufacturer claims that the boat is tough enough to survive collisions with rocks in class 3 whitewater. I remain somewhat skeptical about that claim but if I can land the Q-135 on a gravel beach without fearing damage, that would be fine with me. In a recent phone conversation, Alv said that he and his wife paddled the Quest prototypes in Norway last summer and he was very pleased with their performance.


He apparently told someone else on this forum that the Quests aren't (yet) of comparable durablity to Feathercraft boats with the standard skin. He says they'll be working on this.

I'm not sure if the Quests hull is PU-coated, or fully PU, but either way it's my understanding it's fairly thin - probably the only way they can keep it so light and inexpensive.

It's not just the material itself, but also other factors -thickness, grade, etc- that also determine how durable the boat will be. Again, right now, I know we're only speculating, but it's my understanding that the Quests won't be nearly as durable as the Trak T-1600.

Then again, the Quests weight, what, 8 pounds less?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:19 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
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Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
As long as we're just speculating...

My 13 foot Fujita weighs 12 kg and I'm more than happy with how tough the pvc hull is, so I'm not worried about how tough the hull of the 13 kg Quest will be, while recognising that a heavier boat such as a Feathercraft with the standard skin should be tougher.

Bear in mind that much of the lighter weight of a Quest over a TRAK will be due to the absence of those 3, relatively heavy, hydraulic jacks. The Quest 155 weighs about 16 pounds less than a TRAK, while the 135 is nearly 20 lb less. That's a lot of pounds if you have to carry a kayak up and down ferry boat or train steps or put it in the back of a motorbike :-)

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Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:42 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

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siravingmon wrote:
Bear in mind that much of the lighter weight of a Quest over a TRAK will be due to the absence of those 3, relatively heavy, hydraulic jacks. The Quest 155 weighs about 16 pounds less than a TRAK, while the 135 is nearly 20 lb less. That's a lot of pounds if you have to carry a kayak up and down ferry boat or train steps or put it in the back of a motorbike :-)


Yeah, as I think others have also mentioned on this forum, I really wish Trak would offer a version without the jacks. The could easily use something else that creates a fixed rocker, with a uniform lateral trim. They could probably knock about $400 off the price, which would probably entice a few more potential buyers.

I think collectively the 3 jacks weigh about 8 pds; not a huge weight penalty, but significant.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:16 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

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The folks at TRAK hinted some time ago that they were considering a somewhat shorter version of the XT-16, probably without the hydraulic devices. The concept of being able to modify a boat's rocker is interesting but not something that I would think to be very useful except in whitewater river running. In that environment, where a boat may be bashed up against rocks or scraped over a rocky bottom, I think a high quality inflatable would be the better choice.

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Last edited by Jake on Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:24 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
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Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
I think the adjustable rocker would be good for surfing too, see the TRAK TV video of the guy on a tiderace, but I remember reading somewhere that it's best to keep it only a click or two off maximum rocker anyway and that it's actually slower with no rocker.
Remember everyone used to use only German folders once upon a time for white water kayaking :-)

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Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:59 pm 
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The possibility to change the Track's rocker is a bit of a gimmick. I'm not sure how many people actually do that on any regular basis. The hydraulic mechanism adds complexity and weight. As Jake wrote, it makes a lot more sense to use a good quality inflatable river kayak. They aren't expensive and are regarded to be quite tough. Folding kayaks don't belong on rocky rivers.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:59 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
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I'm sure a good quality short inflatable canoe designed for white water, or a pakboat folding canoe, for all I know, would be more fun on white water, but my point is that the TRAK, despite the weight penalty and the complexity, is unique as folding sea kayaks go in that it can function both as a stiff tracking boat for sidewinds and one that can also turn on a dime and won't purl easily, meaning you should be able to cover long distances in it fairly comfortably and then have a lot of fun close in rockgardening and surfing on the same day trip, for example. I can't imagine another folding sea kayak with acceptable touring performance that would also perform as well as the TRAK on the Skookumchuck (this TRAK TV video is well worth a look http://www.rethinkkayak.com/pages/experience-trak-tv) with just a few pumps of a lever while underway.
Any TRAK owners out there care to comment on its surfing ability?

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Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:51 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
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paraglia wrote:
The possibility to change the Track's rocker is a bit of a gimmick. I'm not sure how many people actually do that on any regular basis. The hydraulic mechanism adds complexity and weight. As Jake wrote, it makes a lot more sense to use a good quality inflatable river kayak. They aren't expensive and are regarded to be quite tough. Folding kayaks don't belong on rocky rivers.


I think the bigger gimmick is the side/lateral jacks that curve the full to the right or left. Most people who've used the boat seem to think it's simpler to use corrective strokes -the way you would with another yak- while keeping the the sides even.

But yeah, even the adjustable rocker just seems unnecessary to be. As I said, they could just set it up so that it has a moderate rocker that is not adjustable. This would elminate the need for jacks, and probably get the price right around $3K.

This would probably present a marketing problem: Without the jacks/adjustable rocker the T-1600, while probably more practical, becomes much less distinctive in terms of marketing. This is one of the reasons I like Pakboats: They don't seem to over-hype their boats the way so many other companies do.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:08 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

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siravingmon wrote:
I'm sure a good quality short inflatable canoe designed for white water, or a pakboat folding canoe, for all I know, would be more fun on white water, but my point is that the TRAK, despite the weight penalty and the complexity, is unique as folding sea kayaks go in that it can function both as a stiff tracking boat for sidewinds and one that can also turn on a dime and won't purl easily, meaning you should be able to cover long distances in it fairly comfortably and then have a lot of fun close in rockgardening and surfing on the same day trip, for example. I can't imagine another folding sea kayak with acceptable touring performance that would also perform as well as the TRAK on the Skookumchuck (this TRAK TV video is well worth a look http://www.rethinkkayak.com/pages/experience-trak-tv) with just a few pumps of a lever while underway.
Any TRAK owners out there care to comment on its surfing ability?

I'm sorry I seem to have overlooked your post. I should have responded earlier. Sorry, my bad. :wink:

It seems to me the T-1600 would be capable of all the things you describe if it had fixed moderate, rocker. This would strike a decent balance between straight tracking and efficiency on flatwater and moderate swell, while being nimble and stable enough for surf, rockgardening, and other situations requiring more maneuverability. I agree with paraglia - most paddlers wouldn't want to paddle it on whitewater. A yak like the T-1600 seems ideally suited for oceans (including surf) and flatwater rivers.

That said, most of what I've read/heard about has been overwhelmingly positive. So, I'll admit, much of my perspective is based in simplicity bias: I generally prefer things to be as technically/mechanically simple as possible; that's why I'm leery of the jacks. That said, it's my understand they're fairly simple. And while there apparently were some reliability issues with the earlier models, and are now very reliable.

A spare set of jacks (3) costs about $500. If they devised a version without the jacks, the price-tag would probably be much less cringe-worthy. :shock:


Last edited by Apathizer on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:58 pm
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Location: Sacramento
Does anyone know if they will bring out a double deck for the XT 17 once they get rid of the XT 16 model?

Marty


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 11:59 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

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Ozpaddler wrote:
Does anyone know if they will bring out a double deck for the XT 17 once they get rid of the XT 16 model?

Marty

[See the first post of this thread.]

Alv told me via email that they may introduce a double-deck for the XT-17 in 2014. Pakboats does seem to move at a fairly lax pace, so don't hold your breath.

Before presenting a 'new' model(s) of the XT series, I think they're going to try to sell all or most of the ones that are left. The XT-17 has been an 'sale' for almost a year, which tells me there are still quite a few of them.

It makes sense for Pakboats to sell the remaining XT-17s that are still around: when/if they introduce new, improved versions, the value of the older models will plummet.


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