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 Post subject: PFD for folding kayak
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:08 pm 
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Can any one recommend a PFD suitable for use with a folding kayak?

I'm looking for one with a built in tow point and storage for a tow line.

I was considering something like the Kotata ProFit Tour

http://www.kokatat.com/product_lifevests.asp

Thanks.

Tim W


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:28 am 
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I don't think you need a "special" PFD for a folding kayak. The only point you might like to check is, some kayak models have a high seat back. In that case, you'd need to make sure the seat back and PFD didn't interfere. I think I've seen, over on the Folbot forum, that some people found a "mesh back" PFD useful with that type of seat. In my experience with Puffin and Feathercraft, any normal PFD would be fine.

So the main thing is, find one that is a comfortable fit, and has the features you want. Kokatat make good stuff, so the one you have picked is likely to be a quality product. I'd recommend, if possible, going to a shop or a trade show, so that you can try some on.

Mary

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:12 pm 
Yes, high backrest in FC boats can be a problem, especially when upper body is average height or shorter. The skirt goes over the top of the backrest, so PFD can't slide below the top of the backrest either.
Mesh back PFD works well, though not all of them are created equal. Kokatat doesn't have real mesh-back models. There is Kokatat Bahia model, it has variable thickness foam at the back, with thinner foam at the very bottom and 2 inches mesh panel above - this is not what is needed, the mesh should be in the lower 1/2 or lower 2/3 of the spine.

You may also consider inflatable PFD (with manual inflation, not those where it activates as soon as water gets to the sensor). Again, not all of them are created equal - some are for yachts or power boats. What you need is this http://www.helly.ca/EN/products/133-product.cfm . But CO2 cartridges aren't allowed on most airlines, I think.

With a tow harness - there are such models in almost any major brand (not inflatable), and the last two models in your Kokatat link look like they have a harness.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:27 am 
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Hello Alex and Mary, maybe I phrased the question poorly but I did get some good answers.

If I had to ask again I would say can someone recommend a PFD with a built in towing harness
and suits the high back seats found in a Feathercraft Klondike?

Are there any other solutions to the seat back snagging the back of the PFD?
ie. different seat? remove seat back?

The seats seem very complicated, has anyone tried just sitting on the slings?

Tim W


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:03 pm 
Quote:
If I had to ask again I would say can someone recommend a PFD with a built in towing harness and suits the high back seats found in a Feathercraft Klondike?

I doubt. Mesh-back PFD are made more for comfort than for other reasons, and they are considered recreational (even if unofficially), while those with towing harness are for guides and therefore don't bother themselves with comfort. May be some will have slightly shorter back by one inch or few cm, but this won't make a difference. If "normal" PFD rides up on your torso too much, 1 inch won't help. Many people don't complain with regular PFD, which surprises me, because not all of them have long torso.

Quote:
Are there any other solutions to the seat back snagging the back of the PFD?
ie. different seat? remove seat back?

The seats seem very complicated, has anyone tried just sitting on the slings?

I have never heard of such solutions. Definitely I wouldn't remove the seat back without adding some back band instead. Besides, straps over the rib are regulating the seat angle and immobilizing the seat between tight front straps and over-the-rib straps, so it doesn't move back and forth. I recall Dave Kruger attached a hardsell-style back band to his Cooper (the boat somewhat similar to FC), ask him, but again, this won't help to immobilize the sling. Dave's seat is a brick of hard closed-cell foam sitting on the bottom.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:31 pm 
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Alex wrote: I recall Dave Kruger attached a hardshell-style back band to his Cooper (the boat somewhat similar to FC), ask him, but again, this won't help to immobilize the sling. Dave's seat is a brick of hard closed-cell foam sitting on the bottom.

The backband I installed was teamed up with a custom-carved minicell seat, fitted over three longerons and two frames. Similar minicell seats are commonly made as part of outfitting a hardshell for a solid stance in the cockpit, aiding bracing, rolling, and edging. You need to be handy with tools to make these modifications, but they are not difficult. Carving minicell is kinda fun.

The original poster, send me a PM and I'll send you some photos via email of how I did that outfitting if you want.

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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:32 pm 
Tim; may be you should just try some regular Kokatat PFD (with a regular FC seat) if you find a good price. Kokatat a good brand and you could resell it later. Like I said, many people don't complain with regular PFD in FC.
Try and lower the backrest with those straps on the rib. This will result in a wider angle between the back and the seat, and you will probably have to tighten front straps more and move the sling one inch forward. Wider angle won't be good for relaxed paddling when you want to have a higher support for your back, but may be this will help to prevent "riding up" of the PFD.


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