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 Post subject: Re: Trak etc
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:57 am 
I'll be happy to post photos, but don't have a camera handy at the moment. The only pieces I've constructed so far are the assembly aids, which are nothing more than a pair of 1/2" plywood pieces with holes in them. So far, I haven't had time to make expanders to replace the side jacks, and it may be a while as I am in the midst of rebuilding 3 SOF Greenland boats and have a Nordkapp that needs a good bit of gel coat work.

Anyway, as soon as I have the Trak and a camera in the same place at the same time, I'll take photos of the assembly gadgets and how they are use and will post them.


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 Post subject: Re: Trak etc
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:22 am 
Hello,

I thought I would put some update after 14 months in the boat. Perhaps potential buyers will find it useful.

As Saludable says below, there seem to be no problems with tracking whatsoever even in high winds and choppy seas. Before I bought the kayak I was considering trying the attachable skeg from FC Wisper, but it doesn't need it, really. I covered many miles and never even found necessary to adjust the side pistons (the bottom one is very helpful and greatly improves manoeuvrability). They are very helpful in expanding bow and stern sections though during the assembly which with this technique is very quick and effective. And even if you put the frame askew somehow, you can always compensate with one of the side jacks, so it's easy.

The quality is excellent - everything seems to be working fine even though I paddle quite frequently. I landed on beaches, sometimes rocky, I dragged the boat a few times - it's sturdy and all usage only left a few negligible scuffs on the bottom weld. People here circumnavigated around Zanzibar: http://sea2summit.at/sea2summit_inhalt.htm
These paddled around northern part of New Zealand (and generally use Traks a lot I think) www.onayakabout.blogspot.com
The Expeditioners use them a lot too.
It got very good reviews from Kanu Magazine (September 2010), so there are people paddling it hard and prove that it's reliable and works.

Customer service I received from Trak is the best ever, I do mean that. I had to contact them once because one of the little screw-rods that connected one of the poles and the front, plastic bow piece fractured (it had eased and this put tension on the metal). Trak shipped the whole new frame section with apologies and assured that they had been working to improve this particular bit. They do stand behind their boats and always are willing to make changes and improvements. Other users say the same.

Disadvantages? Not many.
I don't particularly like the bag it comes with. I would prefer a light backpack. The golf bag is unnecessarily heavy and for long distances I would rather carry the kayak on my back. On the other hand it well protects the kit inside during airport checkouts, is convenient on short distances and, what's really impressive, I can also fit in a set of split paddles + the full kayak (float bags, skirt, sea sock).

I don't love the "keder" - rear "zip". It's very sturdy and completely waterproof, so no issues here, but often it's hard to open and close - you have to adjust the tension etc. and it just doesn't slide as I would like it to. I think a hatch would be nicer. FC can do waterproof hatches, so what's the problem? (I'm not sure how it would affect assembly and disassembly). I wouldn't mid a small one in the front as well, however, it's not crucial. I did some multi-day trips and didn't have problems with packing. I put the gear in the float bag and slid inside easily.

The initial stability could be better (it's better with a loaded boat). It's not bad here, I've never lost control over the boat, but it would increase the sense of security when it gets rough. Secondary stability is great and this helps as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Trak etc
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:23 am 
I would easily give it 9/10. The cockpit is large and easy to get in and it's a real joy to paddle, probably the closest experience to paddling a hard shell (but with lovely flex and feel of the water) and I wouldn't change it for any other boat. It's fast, takes enough gear for a longer trip and I love it. I moan sometimes when I have to drag it in the bag for a longer time, but once it's on the water, it's superb. And can be rockered, which is excellent (and when slightly rockered it is, I dare to say, the prettiest folder, together with FC Wisper perhaps :-D)

Comparing to FC Wisper it was £900 cheaper (UK dealers' prices).


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