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Fujita 500 (single)
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Author:  Franz [ Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  Fujita 500 (single)

Just finished assembly for the first time:

Looks Beautiful ! :) In both form and function. Has the appearance of a hardshell yak. Good materials, well engineered,( seams welded, skin reinforced in all the right places).

The frame is made of wood and strong fiberglass rods, and the connections are stainless steel. It's light -- 42lbs (manufacture's specs.) and seems durable.

Can't wait to see how it paddles. Should be stable with somewhat decent speed. Had to order a strap on skeg from Feathercraft, but the boat may not need it.

The boat fits my frame well (5'10" 170lbs) and maybe ok for larger paddlers -- depending on how large.

Not sure about the sponsons being sealed into the skin. Probably a good thing though. No water will get to them. But to repaire them one will have to cut through the outer skin covering it. Shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Will give a paddling report.

F.

Author:  Alm [ Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fujita 500 (single)

Franz wrote:
42lbs (manufacture's specs.) and seems durable.

...
Not sure about the sponsons being sealed into the skin. Probably a good thing though. No water will get to them. But to repaire them one will have to cut through the outer skin covering it.


Put it all on bathrom scales - in backpack, vertically, slightly holding it with fingertips at the sides to keep from falling (but not pressing), and note the maximum reading. And then weigh the backpack and sprayskirt only, and subtract this from the first weight. Now it might be around 42-44 lbs. But if logistics of your trip requires carrying the backpack in the boat (usually in the most obscure nook), then you should take the first reading as your boat weight, - and this will be more than 42 lbs. If you will need a seasock and rudder or skeg, - add this too (nobody removes it for carrying the boat to and from water). Eventually you'll arrive to more than 42 lbs - may be 50-52, I don't know. Which is still fine.

Sponsons integrated into skin are probably a simplified or cost-saving engineering solution. One wall less (but if the cockpit-facing wall is of the same hull material, then there is no weight savings on this). Russian Triton boats use same approach. I don't think this is good for repairablility - separate sponsons can be simply replaced, if gluing is difficult or there is no time, or too much damage. If I were to repair these integrated sponsons, cutting through the hull would've been the last thing to do. Though, gluing the puncture without gluing the walls together is tricky (I had to replace a damaged valve on urethane sponson once - yours are vinyl). Many vinyl glues are "contact", so one way of fixing the small puncture could be half-inflating the sponson and gluing the patch with glue, and with some duct tape over (to keep it in place under the air pressure, until it cures).

Author:  larrybluhm [ Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

Franz! Glad you are liking the new boat - hope you get to go soak it in the Bay real soon. Though I've got the older non-welded skin on my 480, I would wager that the sponsons are removable from the ends. Turn the skin inside out to access. I've had to remove them several times to take out the twists from repeated folding Best method I've found is to do the deed while the boat is still wet (and slippery). I tie a line to one end of the sponson and then pull it out the other end. Once untwisted, inflate it and get it just started back into the sleeve. Then open the valve and finish pulling the sponson back in place as it deflates.

Since we're neighbors, we should get together some time. I'd love to see the boat and the new welded hull.

Author:  Franz [ Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Thanks.

Larry, I'll have to take a better look at the sleaves. I haven't had the skin inside out yet, so it's hard to see the ends.

What are you using for flotation?

Yes we need to get together and go for a paddle. I like Tomales Bay but will paddle just about anywhere.

Author:  larrybluhm [ Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

Tomales works for me - have paddled and camped there quite a bit over the years.

I eventually got the FeatherCraft float bags. The Fujita vinyl bags didn't last long at all. I got better wear out of the Seattle Sport bags and went through two sets, ending up with two of the larger bags which fit the boat very well. Those failed also so I went with FC, though I now realize I could have sewn up covers for the bags I had. A layer of fabric makes all the difference - zero failure for the current bags over a couple of years.

Author:  Alm [ Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

I should've come and see, shame on me, with the factory 20 minutes away. Larry, are you referring to what they call "heav-fabric bags"? http://www.feathercraft.com/Products/drybagprices.php . I didn't consider them because it appeared that the only difference from much cheaper Sealine etc coated fabric bags was extra Urethane laminate layer (or whatever plastic). But, may be, fabric is also very good (it could be what they use for FC decks - doulbe-laminated and embossed on one side, to imitate bare fabric).

Author:  larrybluhm [ Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

Alex, that would be the floatation bags (large) http://www.feathercraft.com/floats.php.

Author:  Alm [ Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ops... I didn't notice they were float bags. I see, there are over-bags on them (could be sewn or glued from old tent bags etc, you're right).

Author:  vagabond [ Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

Franz , I'm shopping for a folding single and the Fujita 500 is on the list. Do you think it would accomodate me at 6'3'' 200lb ?

Author:  Franz [ Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Hey Vagabond

Hey Vagabond.

I do think it would fit you , but I think you'd be wise to sit in one to make sure.

If you're anywhere near San Francisco you could sit in mine. Also, Fujita North America has a cool demo program. They will send you one through the mail.

Mike at fujita N.A. is a wealth of information:
(866) 915-2925

Author:  vagabond [ Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks, I'm near Portland, OR and will probably do a road trip to Seattle for a Demo with NA Fujita. Even though they would send a boat to me I'd rather hear and see everything firsthand from the rep.

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