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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:07 am 
Hi!

I have found on net two documents on Ladoga-1 assembly and there are
some noticeable changes (different plastic parts, different bow/stern
connections, sling seat, two longerons less, changed rudder...)
Old?: http://www.yarva.com/files/ladoga1.pdf
New?: http://www.triton-ltd.ru/docs/LADOGA1.zip (flash format)

I would be glad if somebody with experience with this kayak
could comment those changes. (Alm, bwb,Yevgeniy?)

Still looking for stiffest and robust foldable...

Thanks,
Zoran


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:52 pm 
Anonymous wrote:
Hi!

I have found on net two documents on Ladoga-1 assembly and there are
some noticeable changes (different plastic parts, different bow/stern
connections, sling seat, two longerons less, changed rudder...)
Old?: http://www.yarva.com/files/ladoga1.pdf
New?: http://www.triton-ltd.ru/docs/LADOGA1.zip (flash format)

I would be glad if somebody with experience with this kayak
could comment those changes. (Alm, bwb,Yevgeniy?)

Still looking for stiffest and robust foldable...

Thanks,
Zoran


Hello,
I have the old L-1. Got it from the store in St. Petersburg three years ago. Bow and stern connections are made of infamous nylon but can be easily repaired with Powertape. Triton people sent me some spare parts - black plastic connectors and metal connectors for bow and stern with alu tubes. I still haven't replaced them because Powertape holds on.
L-1 is very fast and stable boat. But you have to replace all steel parts with alu or inox. First time assembly is very hard. Before inserting two parts in the skin it is very good idea to place a grocery plastic bag over each end. That helps when you take kayak apart. I also invested in a new seat and back rest. After 10 assemblies or so it is much easier to assemble and disasemble the boat.
Vitja


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 6:26 pm 
Vitja, thanks for your info on first assembly and boat performance.
I see that Ladoga would be quite rewarding DIY challenge ;-)

I assume that you use plastic bags for preventing skin to frame stickiness at bow and stern.
Did you use Ladoga-1 at sea? If so how did you manage salt corrosion of aluminum tubes and joints? Does new black plastic connectors feels any better than the old white ones? What is the weight of your Ladoga?

Zoran


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:25 pm 
>I have found on net two documents on Ladoga-1 assembly and there are
some noticeable changes (different plastic parts, different bow/stern connections, sling seat, two longerons less, changed rudder...)
Old?: http://www.yarva.com/files/ladoga1.pdf
New?: http://www.triton-ltd.ru/docs/LADOGA1.zip (flash format)

The first one is the old Ladoga. It weighs 27 kg inlcuding backpack (even though manual says 18 or sometimes 22 kg). I coudln't open the second link (Shockwave media player didn't want to install on my computer). From what you are saying, it looks like a new Ladoga. I would expect same difficult assembling and dissembling. Looking how difficult it is to make a good rudder on aluminum frame boat (Folbot rudders are - let's say, acceptable, - and even Feathercraft rudder has some unresolved problems) - I doubt that Triton has managed to make a good rudder on new L-1. (On the old L-1 the rudder is terrible).

>Still looking for stiffest and robust foldable...

Then get a Feathercraft K1, or Wisper, or Kahuna. Wooden frame boats are also quite stiff. In Europe you can get an old Klepper AE1, or the one without sponsons (Blauwal? T9?), or a Pouch - for 600-700 Euro or less (Pouches are usually cheaper than Kleppers at ebay.de). All of them can be assembled faster than Ladoga1 (not sure about Pouch, - I have never seen it). K1 should take the same time as L1 or slightly less, but more predictably - i.e. there will be no surprises in course of assembling or dissembling. L1 probably costs now more than US$ 500 in Russia, due to declining $US, plus travel costs to St. Petersburg or Moscow.

If weight and one-bag option are important, and if you are willing to go higher than 700 Euro including shipping cost, (but don't wont to pay big $$$ for a Feathercraft), I would suggest getting a used Folbot Kodiak. With added keelstrips this boat is good enough, and there are no problems with assembling, dissembling or corrosion. Shipping from the USA shoudn't cost more than 250 Euro, and import taxes will be minimal or zero, if seller will declare it as a used item with low value, or a gift. Kodiak weighs 28 or 29 kg (61-63 lbs) with bags and rudder, and normally comes in 2 bags, but it should fit into one bag slightly longer than L1 bag.

All these boats (Kleppers, Pouches, and Kodiak) are wider, heavier and slower than Feathercrafts or L1 on flat water; but in rough seas wide boats will be more stabile, and then you'll get to your destination faster and safer than in Feathercraft or L1.

Alex.


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 Post subject: Ladoga 1
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:58 am 
Zoran,
I have used L-1 on rivers and sea. Yes, there is some corrosion on the keelson. Perhaps I should have washed it every day or so when paddling around Adriatic and Corsica. I think this alu keelson will last for another 5 years. I wonder how to get the crystalized salt out of tubes, though. L-1 weight is 23 - 24 kilos. Black plastic works fine. Haven't broken a single black connector.
Lp, Vitja


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:21 am 
Yes, I am still looking for stiff, fast(long&narrow), lightweight, easy to assemble boat with good payload and quality. Best choice would be Fujita PE-1 480EX & 500EX(stiffness?) then there are also Klepper Exp SL (heavy), FC K1 (heavy, long assembly time) and Ladoga-1 (heavy, long assembly time, possible quality issues but cheap).

Now I am considering two boats:
Fujita PE-480EX - closest to my wishes but its stiffness is questionable
Ladoga-1 - cheap enough for DIY improvements

----------------
Thanks, Alex. You are very sincere and it is obvious that you had really fun time with your Ladoga ;-)
Changed rudder looks very similar to folbots and probably work like rudder from folbot. It is far from Kleppers or Feathercrafts rudder.

I see Ladoga as DIY alternative to Tom Yost's DIY kayaks. Its low price could justify some work on boat IF basic design is good. That is why I am so interested in Ladoga and changes made by Triton lately.

I don't have experience with boats from Feathercraft. K1 must be very good boat but paying 5(8!) times more for a quite heavy boat that is hard to assemble (at least time consuming) is just not good alternative for me (look above for my wishes). FC and Triton are hard to compare... they are not in the same league.

Money is not that big issue, price/performance ratio is. I don't like to be ripped off with too high price or too low quality.
I'm very familiar with Klepper (Aerius II) and I am using it as my reference.
In my opinion Klepper offers the best price/performance ratio (at least in Europe). Kleppers are robust and quality made BUT they are heavy and slow. Folboats are even slower except for Cooper witch has too much flex and too low payload.

----------
Vitja,
I am glad that you managed to disassemble Ladoga after sea paddling. How long was Ladoga assembled? Did you use some lubricating grease to prevent joint corrosion?

I know that boats with aluminum frame are not best choice for sea paddling :-)


BTW
I have found some positive reviews for newer Ladoga on German forum.

Zoran


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:57 am 
To John, we can actually ship you any of the Triton boats directly from the manufacturer. Of course you can always try to see if there is a UK dealer who sells for less, but I am not sure if there is one, although I know theres a Triton dealer in Germany they have a rather limited selection.

If you need a three-seater the best boat is the Vuoksa 3, as it has inflatable pontoons, while for a 2 seater the best model is the Ladoga 2.

Regarding the Ladoga 1, hopefully by August we will have a review come out in Sea Kayaker magazine.

Regarding the rudder, I am not sure of the rudder in Ladoga 2, but the Neva 3 rudder which I believe is the same works fine, its definetly not anything special, but it gets its job done.

Regarding assembling and dissasembling, after a few times it gets a lot easier, and can be done in half an hour. Although after paddling on salt water I would recommend dissasembly ASAP. Also the use of something like WD-40 doesnt hurt at all.

Finally on the Vuoksa 2 vs. Ladoga 2. If you dont plan on paddling on any Sea, Ocean, or very large Lake (i.e. the Great Lakes in the USA). Then the Vuoksa 2 would actually be just fine for you. Of course if you plan to paddle in the afforementioned types of water then a Ladoga 2 is better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:43 pm 
>Yes, I am still looking for stiff, fast(long&narrow), lightweight, easy to assemble boat with good payload and quality. ...Now I am considering two boats: Fujita PE-480EX - closest to my wishes but its stiffness is questionable
Ladoga-1 - cheap enough for DIY improvements

Read articles about Fujita - it has some waterproofing problems, leaks through and around the hatches. Seems like it can be easily remedied, - so this isn't a big problem. Sounds like it is more flexible than Feathercraft K1, and - not sure, just my guess - closer to Folbot Cooper than to K1 in flexibility.

If you are not very tall, you may consider Feathercraft Kahuna. It is easier to assemble than K1 (25-30 minutes), lightweight (16 kg stripped boat, without rudder or backpack), payload is 135 kg, and quality is very good.

>Changed rudder looks very similar to folbots and probably work like rudder from folbot. It is far from Kleppers or Feathercrafts rudder.

If it is a yoke foot control system like in Foldbots - it is not very comfortable. I tried it, and Klepper pedal system is much better. Also, I don't know what are the stern attachment details on "new" L1. Thin axle and yoke (at the stern) made of very soft metal, plastic fittings, ropes instead of cables, rubber brackets with narrow holes and a lot of friction, and brass sleeves falling out of these holes - all this makes old L1 rudder difficult to control and unreliable. Rudder lifting cleat near cockpit was just a mockery, poor illiterate attempt - I can't describe this. Considering that good clam cleat of that size costs only $4 in marine stores - I can't understand such a "design concept". I have no idea what was changed in the new rudder, and wouldn't like to bet my money again on something uncertain. You will need your rudder, paddling around Croatia and Greece coast - Greece can be very windy in summer. Buying directly in Russia, you won't be able to check everything in the store, and will have to bring it back to Russia within 1-year warranty term, if anything is wrong.

>I see Ladoga as DIY alternative to Tom Yost's DIY kayaks. Its low price could justify some work on boat IF basic design is good.

Basic design? Stiff frame = difficult assembling. Keelstrips is a good idea, but they are way too narrow (and you can't change this). Plastic fittings are designed poorly, they need a lot of care in assembling. Yes, you may use the skin and frame tubes, and redesign most of plastic fittings (= make your own) and replace all the hardware and hinges with a qood quality stainless parts, and make some changes to spraydeck, and replace spray-skirt. My mechanical skills were not enough to do all this on L1, and it didn't look like a good candidate for a sea kayaking even after all the possible DIY changes.

>K1 must be very good boat but paying 5(8!) times more for a quite heavy boat that is hard to assemble (at least time consuming) is just not good alternative for me.

Like you said, K1 and L1 are not in the same league, speaking of quality; their prices should not be compared. K1 could be remotely compared to Folbot Cooper or Fujita 480, and in this league the price and quality difference would be much less. Also, consider that both Cooper and Fujita have lower payload than K1. L1 is same wide as K1, but 15 cm shorter, and has same or slightly less payload as K1.

Speaking of weight and assembling: post-2001 K1 weighs 24 kg without rudder and backpack; my L1 was also 24 kg without rudder and backpack. K1 takes 50 minutes to assemble, and L1 takes 50 on most days or 40 on good days, or 60 on bad days (its assembling and dissembling is very unpredictable, and always needs a lot of physical efforts - more than in K1). K1 is not the best boat for daytrips with assembling every time. L1 would be worse than K1 in that sense. If assembling that takes more than 30 minutes and a lot of efforts, you will not want to use it for just 6-7 hours day-trip without overnight stay.

Kahuna is, I think, the limit of what can be used for a day-trip, with 30 minutes assembling and 15 minutes dissembling. It is also the limit for a 65-70 kg paddler on 7-8 days trip with full supply of food and fresh water.

>In my opinion Klepper offers the best price/performance ratio (at least in Europe). Kleppers are robust and quality made BUT they are heavy and slow. Folboats are even slower except for Cooper witch has too much flex and too low payload.

Folbot Kodiak should not be any slower than Klepper AE1. I think, AE1 weighs slightly more and packs more bulky than Kodiak - but in Europe I would be tempted to get an old AE1 rather than Kodiak.

>I know that boats with aluminum frame are not best choice for sea paddling :-)

Featehrcrafts and Folbots are aluminum; Klepper Alu-Lite is aluminum. When aluminum grade is good (not the case with Ladoga), and tubes are thick enough (Ladoga's tubes have very thick walls), and if it is anodized (not the case with Ladoga), and if the boat is waterproof enough (most boats are), then aluminum works fine in sea water - for many years.

>Money is not that big issue, price/performance ratio is.

Try getting a used K1 for $US 1800-2000 (preferably, post-2001). Pre-2001 models have heavier Hypalon skin (but they are much cheaper). Or a used Kahuna for $US1500 (they are all post-2001 - some with hatches, and some without).

>I have found some positive reviews for newer Ladoga on German forum.

Still want to take a chance? :-) ... I can only wish you good luck. Probably, it can be used by people who live near water (preferably, not sea water), in their own homes, and keep Ladoga assembled all the time (or, at least, all the summer). Then, after some DIY work, it could be a reasonably good and cheap boat for river and big lakes paddling.

Alex


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:34 pm 
I just like to say, the most recent issue of Sea Kayaker magazine (August 05) has a review of the Ladoga 1.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 5:38 pm 
You can read the review now directly by a link from our site, I dont want to post a direct link here, but if you go to http://www.busmatch.com/ladoga.html or http://www.busmatch.com/newsindex.html

you will find a link to the review.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:21 pm 
Well - I was afraid that I was biased (or just have got a "Monday boat" - you know, made on Monday in the state of a heavy hangover ). I'm glad to see that my opinion coincides with the reviewers'. It is still a semi-product - or, more politely, - an entry-level boat. In more than 3 years of produciton they only added grab handles, jeez... Yeah, and they've made a sling seat too - which doesn't work properly. Same crappy "cleat" that doesn't hold rudder lifting line, same unreliable deck rigging that doesn't hold almost anything, same ropes to control the rudder, with a yoke-bar now in place of loops - yes, this was what I did, - added a bar (I wonder, what kind of idiot came up with the idea of those loops in the previous model?)... Totally agreed with the small cockpit notions, intended area of use (protected waters), and awkward carrying it on the shoulder due to the center of mass location. Hopefully, it will find its niche on the market. Not me, - many thanks....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:58 pm 
Hmm, so thats what they said, I guess they said it a lot more politely though. So Alm, what would say of the review, is it overall positive, negative,s omewhere in the middle?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:31 pm 
Yevgeniy wrote:
Hmm, so thats what they said, I guess they said it a lot more politely though. So Alm, what would say of the review, is it overall positive, negative,s omewhere in the middle?


I thought you read it.

I also thought that I have already said, that I agreed with this review - it might be a good boat for short trips in protected waters (or it might not). Depending on how seriously to take those details that I've listed above, which I also said that agreed with:
To me losing a deck-bag or spare paddle due to crappy rigging is serious;
Losing the rudder line from the crappy cleat is serious too in heavy weather;
Ineffective rudder control is also serious to me in areas where I need a rudder;
Cockpit restricting torso movements, difficult to get in and out is also serious to me;
Inability to use a paddle-float rescue is serious to me;
Poor seat is serious too, unless paddling along the city beach or any other easily accesible shores, where you can land any moment.

Footrest - there was mentioned something that it was a bit short of rough-water requirements; I can elaborate this a little bit further, - since you asked. The footrest is unreliable, - completely in line with many other parts of this boat. It doesn't stay put. Now it's there, half an hour later it's gone, sliding towards the bow. After a few weeks in my boat it basically didn't want to stay anywhere, since keelsen and lower stringers acquired some bend (it is normal for a frame to take a shape first few months). And it was not easy to fix it reliably again in this type of the frame (I couldn't figure out how to do this anyway). How they (i.e. reviewers) are going to maintain those 5 knots of speed without a footrest, I wonder?

And many more details, listed earlier, albeit not mentioned in the review, but probably not much of a secret to dealers; review didn't evaluate the overall quality or assembling problems, and overall wasn't neither too negative, nor positive, nor comprehensive. Some comments of the reviewers indicated that they might not have had any substantial exposure to foldable kayaks, except for this particular one (I can tell - what comments, but don't think this is important). When little said, - then there is little to agree or disagree with... I don't think, however, that my poor expertise or interpretation of this review were really needed, - as it was implied by the question, - or that it will affect dealers' behaviour in any way. They have to sell, - OK, fine with me.

Just one little request - please, remove from your preface to the review in Sea Kayaker the claim about ocean suitability of this boat - because this is apparently a misleading statement, - to say the least. Or post a retraction notice, so that people would know.

Alex.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:15 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1712
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
Alex- your last point is something I noticed too (my copy of SK arrived today-- I read the review on the train, after work). Yevgeniy's statement at the beginning of the article contradicts his statement at the end.

Never the less, the L1 is a sweet-paddling hullform (yes, I've paddled it), but the details are very rough. You sound like you're having one of those stereotypical Russian Mondays-- ease up. The Ladoga's biggest problem is that it has been priced to compete with the Folbot Cooper. And, of course, the Puffin Swift beats the daylights out of both of them (finally had my first paddle in my Swift, yesterday).

_________________
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: '84 Hobie 16; early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:40 pm 
I did read the review, but I had thougt that asking what other people thought would help, as a dealer and someone connected to the boat I probably have a tendency to look on it more optimistically. Regarding the statement at the end, it was written in response to the review, sort of to answer the questions, the problem is that when they mentioned its good for lakes I agreed with it, because I do think its good for both. I suppose It might be confusing, and I will put some note on our website to clear up the confusion.


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