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 Post subject: Butterfly Kayaks - Japan
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 12:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:21 am
Posts: 33
Location: Tokyo
Just came across this kayak maker. A fella named Masahiro Takashima is building them in Himeji, Japan.

http://www.bfkayaks.com

On the "Assembly" page at the bottom, there is a video of him putting one together. (Double-click to play, or right click and download.)

The whole thing packs into the cockpit, which is a separate sub-assembly. The frame is then assembled around the cockpit, which is then inserted through the rear deck opening into the skin. The tensioning device is a winch, and the frame is secured to the skin by five web straps under the rear deck. There is a unique hatch on the port side of the foredeck for gear access. It is a slit-style with what looks like a drybag type closure and has three straps to secure it. The cockpit/seasock looks like it has plenty of room.

The frame is composite FRP pipe, and the skin is urethane, probably something like Feathercraft uses. Wheels can be attached to the cockpit sub-assembly for portability.

Prices are about $2400 for the Crusoe 415, and $2700 for the Crusoe 460 model. Not bad. They come in red, turqoise, blue, yellow, and black.

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Nautiraid Raid I 460
Feathercraft K-Light
Feathercraft Aironaut
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 3:29 am 
Many things are not clear, even after watching the video. Looks like not too rigid, and also, I don't see any rudder or footpegs, but this I wouldn't count against it yet. Some boats of that length don't have a rudder, and some are not too rigid. There are other important questions that only users will be able to answer, and only after some period of field trials - design of joints, waterproof closure of the rear deck and perimeter of the coaming/deck closure, centering of the frame in skin, seat comfort and adjustments. And, of course - skin quality. Frame quality is less of a mystery - it looks like carbon composite tubes, material with known advantages and disadvantages compared to aluminum. Btw, I didn't see any seat in the video - can only assume that it is integrated into the cockpit-seasock sub-assembly (and then it has limited adjustment options).

He did assemble it in 7 minutes 40 seconds, but I can't move as fast as him :-) ... Probably, will take 20-25 minutes for most people. With size comparable to FC Kahuna this time would be comparable as well.

And, of course, the trick with seasock serving as a packing bag - well, neat trick, I admit. In reality, with any longterm use, folder needs a designated packing bag (and a good one). Seasock soon wears out even in course of normal use in the boat, - I can only imagine what would happen if I tried and used it as a packing bag for my boats. A designated backpack isn't a problem, of course - though it will add 4 or 5 lbs.


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