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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 7:04 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Thankyou, Simon, for a very comprehensive review. Some time ago, Alv Elvestad sent me a PDF for the assembly procedure and I thought that it seemed quite involved which surprised me because the Quest is supposed to be a more simple boat than the XT-15 which it replaced. Still, if one doesn't need to assemble it often, this may be a minor point. For me, the choice will be between the Quest 135 and the Feathercraft Kurrent 2.0 and, at the moment, I'm leaning toward the Kurrent simply because I've been paddling a K Light Plus and find it to be an excellent little boat.


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:32 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 282
Jake wrote:
...Some time ago, Alv Elvestad sent me a PDF for the assembly procedure and I thought that it seemed quite involved which surprised me because the Quest is supposed to be a more simple boat than the XT-15 which it replaced. Still, if one doesn't need to assemble it often, this may be a minor point. ...

siravingmon, I'm really curious to find out if the process becomes more expedient with practice/time, and as the skin stretches a bit more. If I get a Quest, I'll probably assemble & disassemble it before and after each use most of the time. A longer, more demanding assembly time isn't a deal-breaker, but will make me have second thoughts.

Jake, while FCs are pricey, they're reputedly great boats. And FC's customer service is vastly superior to Pakboats; whenever I've emailed the latter for info it's always taken at least several days to receive a response. :?


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:52 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Southeast Michigan
siravingmon wrote:
I think the 1.4 m Kayaksailor would be way too much sail for the Quest. My PA sail is only 1 m and is very low to the deck on a beam reach and even then it was a lot of sail in last weekend's stiff breeze.

Thanks for the detailed review. As for the sails, I think there are enough design differences that they don't compare directly just on area.

I have the 1.4 m KayakSailor + jib, and am considering getting a Quest 135 since I think it would be a good match for the sail. I have used the sail on a Pakboat Puffin Sport (10.5'x29", 17lbs.), Elie Horizon 80 XE (8'x28", 27lbs.), and Ocean Kayak Sprinter (17'x21", 58lbs.)

The Elie is a handful since it's so stubby and edge turns like crazy. The Sprinter is too long & heavy, but can be fun when there's enough wind on the beam to get it up to hull speed. The Puffin Sport is a blast since it moves decently in lighter wind, but still handles predictably. However, mine is getting on in years and it's nice to have a rudder for sailing. The Quest 135 seems to be a good compromise of enough length for some speed, but short enough to be able to tack, and light enough that it will still go in moderate to light winds.

One advantage of the KayakSailor rig is that the leeboards resist heeling, so offset a larger sail area. This is most obvious for me on the Sprinter. It's a fairly tippy boat, but doesn't feel any worse with the sail up. With the rig mounted and leeboards down, but the sail folded, it's a pretty stable boat. The leeboards allow to adjust for a bit of weather helm, which helps when the wind picks up. (A sail on a kayak with no boards will probably have some lee helm. It will tend to fall off the wind and pick up speed if you're not paying attention and the wind increases.)

The jib means it's possible to heave to & take a break when things get hectic. The flexibility in a KayakSailor topmast and the frame of a Pakboat help to absorb sudden gusts. With that and the leeboards, I think the Quest 135 would handle the KayakSailor well. (But as you mentioned, your high angle paddling may not work well with the KayakSailor.)

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Pakboats Puffin Sport, KayakSailor 1.4 + jib, Advanced Elements Lotus SUP, Elie Horizon 80

Sold: Pakboats Quest 135, Firstlight 480C, Dagger Edisto, Ocean Kayak Sprinter
Selling: Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:22 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Am away so rolling all my responses into one.
Hoping this is my last commercially built kayak. it suits my purposes very well indeed.Paddle is an 87” Northern Light Paddlle. 3 piece. By far the best Greenland paddle I've ever tried. Silky smooth in the water and powerful, but with low effort. My friends tried it and didn't want to give it back :D

The stock seat felt really comfortable but it puts you at least 2 inches off the bottom, too high for me for optimum stability in the kind of seas I enjoy paddling in. The foam pad on the keel works well instead.

It seems to me that the Quest has more freeboard at the stems than the Kurrent. My Fujita 400 has similar dimensions to the Kurrent and the nose goes under in waves head on more than I'd like, which slows it down in rough conditions. The Quest 135 at 13’ 9" by 23” is also narrower and longer than the Kurrent (25" wide?) or Fujita 400 (24" wide), and is faster than the latter as a result.

Ralph and Alv at Pakboats have always got back to my emails very promptly and have been very helpful.

My Quest has some weather helm on a broad reach. I'm going for the Flat Earth Sail (FES) as I need something very compact like the PA sail for paddlesailing, backpacking and biking (no car). The FES also spills wind in gusts as a safety measure, apparently, but I'd love to see if a 1.4 m sail AND jib with leeboards work well with the 135.

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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: Thu May 30, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:52 pm
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Location: Southeast Michigan
siravingmon wrote:
I'm going for the Flat Earth Sail (FES) as I need something very compact like the PA sail for paddlesailing, backpacking and biking (no car). The FES also spills wind in gusts as a safety measure, apparently, but I'd love to see if a 1.4 m sail AND jib with leeboards work well with the 135.

The KayakSailor is on the bulky side for backpacking and biking - roughly the size & dimensions of a large guitar case. It's good that there are so many options for different niches! I'll report back if I get a Quest & take it sailing.

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Pakboats Puffin Sport, KayakSailor 1.4 + jib, Advanced Elements Lotus SUP, Elie Horizon 80

Sold: Pakboats Quest 135, Firstlight 480C, Dagger Edisto, Ocean Kayak Sprinter
Selling: Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:46 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Just back from my freediving holiday, but still managed to get a day's kayaking in around the south side of Ischia today. Had the GPS on for a while and managed a top speed of 5.2 knots with my NLP Greenland paddle in the Quest, without busting a gut and in a slight headwind. That compares pretty favourably with my slightly longer and narrower F1.
Alv from Packboats suggested I should insert the floating chines so they rest just under the plastic sleeves on the ribs, rather than on the sleeves, during assembly. This made positioning the chines much easier and meant the skin wasn't so tight, so it was also easier to get the keel straight
I can't be sure, but it also felt a bit faster and easier to edge, as well as less sensitive to waves side on. It was a bit windy for the 2 hours back to the ferry port and I love the way the 135 catches and surfs small wind waves :-)

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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: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:57 pm 
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Location: Southeast Michigan
siravingmon wrote:
I'd love to see if a 1.4 m sail AND jib with leeboards work well with the 135.

I just placed an order for a Quest 135 + rudder system with large blade. I hope to be able to post a review within the next couple weeks!

Also, your review is getting noticed by some others on the paddling.net forum:
http://www.paddling.net/message/showThr ... 83#1637377
"I read that review it was excellent probably the best I have ever read."

_________________
Pakboats Puffin Sport, KayakSailor 1.4 + jib, Advanced Elements Lotus SUP, Elie Horizon 80

Sold: Pakboats Quest 135, Firstlight 480C, Dagger Edisto, Ocean Kayak Sprinter
Selling: Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:06 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Great news, hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine :D And thanks for the link, very flattering.
Please post some pictures of your rudder set up when you get it! I suggest you go for my zip tie solution at the bow (see photo references earlier in thread) as once with the PA sail I forgot to put them on and the twist on the bow due to the sail on a reach actually popped the stem off the gunwale on the windward side. It was very windy at the time but it didn't affect the boat handling and I only discovered it when taking the boat apart. I was impressed that it still sailed well despite this. In any case the zip tie would"ve prevented it from happening. That said, my PA sail is mounted very far forward so perhaps this exacerbates the twisting effect at the bow.
Been incredibly busy with work lately so still haven't ordered my Flat Earth 70 Sail, which I still think is my best option for paddle sailing. I hope to find time to order it this weekend if Mick hasn't given up on me as a lost cause...(my apologies for being such a slacker Mick if you're reading this)

Looking forward to your review

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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: Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:52 pm
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Location: Southeast Michigan
I got my boat and put it together Wednesday, paddled it Thursday morning and installed the rudder Thursday afternoon. No big surprises assembling or paddling the boat... the design is basically a beefed up Puffin. I've had a Puffin Sport for years, so most of the assembly steps were familiar. The addition of the "floating ribs" adds a surprising amount of stiffness, however. With the SmartTrack pegs, it doesn't feel much different than paddling a hardshell, but light and efficient for modest cruising speeds. I seemed to have a slight pull to the right, and weathercocking seemed worses on that side, so I probably didn't have the keel exactly straight. Having the pegs in probably worsened the weathercocking since the weight is toward the bow (lifting the stern slightly to the wind) and such a light boat is sensitive to trim. I haven't paddled with the the rudder yet, but it should help both counts - balancing with a bit of weight on the stern and easily counteracting a slightly off center keel.

The rudder installation took me five or six hours, but there were several factors involved in the time:
* I wasn't working very quickly
* There are a lot of steps
* The instructions were confusing or unclear in some parts
* I appeared to be missing an instruction sheet for installing the foot control pedals
I was still able to complete the installation with a bit of searching on the web to see pictures of how the toe controls should be installed and the correct way to route the cables. This video was probably the most helpful:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf-kKsyJWm4
I think working more efficiently it'd be possible to do the installation in under 2 hours. With the install complete, putting the rudder on at assembly time should be only a minute or two.

I might be able to get out to try a paddle with the rudder today and post some pictures in the next few days. Is there anything specific about the rudder you had questions on? The D-rings for mounting the sail should be here Friday, so maybe I'll be sailing it next weekend!

_________________
Pakboats Puffin Sport, KayakSailor 1.4 + jib, Advanced Elements Lotus SUP, Elie Horizon 80

Sold: Pakboats Quest 135, Firstlight 480C, Dagger Edisto, Ocean Kayak Sprinter
Selling: Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:06 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Thanks for your comments on the rudder. I was most curious about how well it sailed with that 1.4 m sail combined with a rudder :D
I also find the rigid foot pegs make a big difference for me for paddling, and help in rolling too - it's a pretty easy kayak to roll.
I sit right back in the cockpit and don't find weathercocking a problem, but then I also have short legs so my weight is quite far back anyway. I also fitted some thigh straps to the hull ribs (not the deck), so it's easy to correct tracking with edging in following seas, for example.
I agree that it's a bit tricky to get the keel stems straight. I was thinking about maybe fitting some Yost style velcro loops to locate it better during assembly, do you think that might help make it easier?

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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: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:23 am 
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Location: Southeast Michigan
The velcro loops might help. I think I got the keel straighter on my second assembly. Like the Puffin Sport, I think it helps to take a bit of extra time to make sure all the cross ribs and sponsons are even and adjust as you go along before everything tightens and gets set in place.

If everything goes well, I might have a sailing report after next weekend.

_________________
Pakboats Puffin Sport, KayakSailor 1.4 + jib, Advanced Elements Lotus SUP, Elie Horizon 80

Sold: Pakboats Quest 135, Firstlight 480C, Dagger Edisto, Ocean Kayak Sprinter
Selling: Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:16 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
I played around a bit with initial assembly tonight after work and I found the following sequence seems to work best for a dead straight keel. I'd be interested to know how this compares with the assembly sequence of the other two owners out there...

1. Assemble gunwales and keel as normal (using large cable ties to stop the gunwales from slipping off the bow stem rods) - I put the short section of my keel to the rear, but not sure if it makes any difference, and place the keel stems more or less centrally
2. Insert the two central ribs (the ones either side of the keel joint)
4. Do my best to get the keel stems absolutely central at this stage, as the keel isn't so tight it can't be moved, but it doesn't flop about either at this stage
5. Attach the stern and bow ribs, checking the keel is more or less straight
6. Attach the last rib (between the bow rib and the central rib)
7. Pick the boat up and sight down the keel with the boat turned upside down, bending the bow and stern sideways as required to get the keel is straight
8 Continue with partial inflation of lower sponsons, insertion of chines etc (I now leave full inflation of the sponsons until after I've got the deck mostly on as it makes getting the deck on a bit easier for me)

If I leave trying to get the keel straight until after I've part inflated the sponsons and inserted the chines, it's just about impossible for me to reposition an off-centre keel stem. I can't say I've actually ever noticed any difference in tracking on the water, it just annoys me if the stem isn't dead straight :D

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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: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:44 pm 
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I had a post all written up last night, and then after I previewed it, I accidentally closed the tab :( Had to rewrite it today.

siravingmon wrote:
I found the following sequence seems to work best for a dead straight keel. I'd be interested to know how this compares with the assembly sequence of the other two owners out there...
I put the long keel section to the back since my weight is concentrated over the joint otherwise. I doubt it matters, though. I reverse steps 5 & 6, i.e. put the ribs in from the center to the ends. Both of these are habits from assembling my Puffin. I think step 7 might be easer before installing the bow & stern ribs. They don't seem to move the keel much, just lock it in position.

siravingmon wrote:
Thanks for your comments on the rudder. I was most curious about how well it sailed with that 1.4 m sail combined with a rudder :D
I finally got out sailing on Sunday. The wind was light (forecast under 5 mph), but enough for a leisurely sail. I wasn't able to tack without paddling, but I think it'll be possible with practice and a little more wind to build up some momentum. It felt like the Quest pointed higher than either my Puffin or OK Sprinter. I got the large / tandem rudder blade, so it probably helps there.

Jibes were uneventful in the light wind, even when it shifted and caught me off guard. With the rudder I was able to run wing and wing. That's a lot harder when steering with a paddle since even small course deviations or balance shifts can either backwind the jib or jibe.

Between 5 & 10 knots should be the sweet spot for my setup. 5 knots on the beam should be enough to get close to hull speed, or at least a decent cruising pace. 10 knots and the paddle would probably only be needed for bracing. Much more than that would require reefing and / or a lot of bracing.

Despite the low wind, I had a lot of waves to deal with due to heavy powerboat traffic. Nothing much over a foot, but choppy and coming from every direction. Kind of like this:
http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/images/ ... /10/12.jpg
(Later, I found out there was a tragedy on the next lake over from where I was sailing, but I hadn't felt unsafe with the traffic while I was paddling.
http://westbloomfield.patch.com/groups/ ... g-accident )
A few waves came in from the right directions to surf and sail. I had one awkward wave hit at the same time as a small puff. The boat heeled more than I anticipated, but rounded up nicely and flattened out without much of a brace.

I'll try to get some pictures up in the next couple weeks. If anyone has any details they want to see, let me know.

_________________
Pakboats Puffin Sport, KayakSailor 1.4 + jib, Advanced Elements Lotus SUP, Elie Horizon 80

Sold: Pakboats Quest 135, Firstlight 480C, Dagger Edisto, Ocean Kayak Sprinter
Selling: Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:06 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Just an update on assembly and performance.
Finally got assembly down to 30 minutes flat. I think the skin may have stretched a little as getting the deck on right is now easier. I find doing it with the kayak on its side and pushing down well ahead of where I'm attaching the velcro does help.
Still impressed with the performance for my puny 145 lbs. Went round Ischia with a mate last weekend, averaging around 3.8 knots over 16 nautical miles in 4 hrs 15 mins with my cheap plastic wing paddle. This is good for me - I find the Narak a bit too much effort to maintain such a speed for that kind of distance, although I miss its higher top speed in the sprints across port entrances and ferry channels.
Still loving how well the Quest surfs boat wakes :-)

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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 Sep 11, 2013 9:25 am 
Hello everyone!
Thanks for the amazing review! Could someone post a picture of the backpack the quest 135 fits into ..? i'm considering buying this model for a backpacking trip in Greece and would be very helpful.
Many thanks in advance :)


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