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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:55 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 824
Location: atlanta, georgia
You no doubt will have fun planning for your Alaska trip, and fun selecting the right equipment and kayak. Couple of questions: Will you be alone? Will you have resupply for water or rely on purified? Are you a spartan camper or, like some (me) a comfort camper?
Other than that, you can get a lot of used boat for $2,500 and I would not rule that out. There are a lot of kayaks that were bought with best intentions of use that end up spending their lives in the closet. That money could put you in a really nice K1, an expedition Klepper, Nauteraid, or Longhaul.

Best,g

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"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
36' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1755
Location: Southeast Michigan
I ask because there are narrow, high-performance folding kayaks, and wider, more stable kayaks. You sound like you can easily handle a high performance boat.

For a boat you could roll ideally you'd be looking at a Feathercraft Khatsalano or K1 Expedition, but that's $5,800. The only high performance boats in your price range, new, would be something like a Folbot Cooper, at $1800, or perhaps one of the Pakboat Quest line, but they don't have a ton of cargo room. My personal choice for an extended trip would be my Long Haul Mark 1, which is long, roomy, and can haul a lot inside, but that's around $3,200 new. Let's see what other Forum members suggest.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:53 am
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Location: Annapolis, MD
In response to gbellware:

Yes, very very excited about the trip, now I just have to try to contain that excitement and channel it into effective preparation. I will most likely be paddling with one more individual, and perhaps a second...but likely not. I plan on purifying water at the source and then having a reliable amount with me (4 liters or so), but certainly not all the water I need between resupplies. I would consider myself on the spartan end of comfort camping if that helps at all. I am definitely not a weight weenie, but I also like being to minimize my gear just so I have less to think about. That being said, the gear I will have with me won't be the top of the line lightweight backpacking stuff. For example, when I backpack, I carry a two-person backpacking tent because I like the extra space to keep gear dry and to spread out. But, I won't be carrying stuff like a camping chair or elaborate stove system.

In response to both gbellware and mje in regards to the boats:

For this trip I am not nearly as worried about being able to churn out high speed miles in a perfomance kayak. My biggest concern for this outing would be gear storage capacity and durability.

I have come across the Folbot Yukon, and it looks like a potential option. Any experience with this kayak? Something I would certainly love about buying new is the lifetime warranty and highly ranked customer support. That would certainly give me peace of mind knowing the parts are covered.

Thanks again for your help.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:47 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 824
Location: atlanta, georgia
Oh boy, now you opened a can of worms. Every folder has a different personality and value in the hands of each paddler. And the differences are often a matter of one's utility for "quality". If you want to see what a high quality expedition kayak does in the hands of some serious paddlers just search this board for Doinomazi for some amazing video. You can also look at my not so amazing pics of another expedition kayak here:
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3623&hilit=+florida+keys (this is the first of two posts, you will have to search for the second one if you are interested)
At the end of the day, Longhaul, Feathercraft, and Folbot have stellar customer service after the sale, you really can't go wrong. Except if you fall in love with a 5,000 kayak and only want to spend half that :-)

Best,
g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
36' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:53 am
Posts: 41
Location: Annapolis, MD
Wow, that Doinomazi has got an incredible rig, and great videos. I loved your shots as well.

Being that I am new to the folding kayak scene I figure I should be wise about how I invest. I figure that if I am planning on doing the expedition in 2016 then I have plenty of time to purchase a boat and take it through the ringer so I will know if it is suitable for such a trip. I simply want a boat that I can paddle, take on an airplane, fit lots of gear inside and not have to worry about breaking apart on every landing. It sounds like the Folbot Yukon offers that...and its half the price of the others.

I have just finished my first full year at my first full-time job after college. I don't have much of a budget and need to remind myself that if I start off with a $2500 boat then down the road when I am (hopefully) more financially comfortable I can afford an upgrade. I did the same thing with my mountain bike. Bought a used bike for just under $800 that I can ride hard and have a lot of fun. Of course, I would love the $3500 new bike...but that will have to wait, and besides, when I am out on the trail the pure joy of riding doesn't know how much my bike cost me.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:19 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 824
Location: atlanta, georgia
That all makes sense, well thought through. BTW, we raised our kids in Baltimore and spent many happy days in the Chesapeake basin. Great paddling, it is an ecosystem like no other that I have seen. Enjoy.

g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
36' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:53 am
Posts: 41
Location: Annapolis, MD
I was just out paddling below the Bay Bridge last night! Great place, beautiful at sunset.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:11 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 121
To Freeburn:

If you go to Folbot's website and find their blog, it follows a woman named Kristin Gates who used her Folbot Kodiak to paddle the Yukon River.

Thanks for posting. It reminds us that while we are submitting information to someone's question there are others taking it all in.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:53 am
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Location: Annapolis, MD
Thank you Jeremiah!

Great blog reference. I spent the last summer working on a botany crew along the Yukon River...I am finding the blog both informative and nostalgic.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:05 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:19 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Oakland, California
Connor,
I was in Southeast Alaska about a month ago for work in Ketchikan. Gorgeous area! I managed to "sneak off" and do some kayaking in the Clover Passage area with a rented plastic sea kayak. Made my trip!
I think your big decision is if you want a folder which feels more or less like your Avocet (slender and more set up for rolling), or if you want to go with the more traditional folder type with sponsons (greater stability, but not really set up for rolling).
I second mje's recommendations. Maybe also consider Nautiraid Narak and Trak T-1600 in the slender sea kayak category, and Nautirad 460 for a different take on the more traditional type. None of these are within your price range, but they are comparable to fiberglass kayak prices. The other thing to consider is availability. Feathercraft, Longhaul, Trak, Folbot and Pakboat are North American companies while others have to be imported (Klepper, Nautiraid, Pouch and Nortik for example. Some are readily available here, others less so).
My own shortlist would be Nautiraid Narak, Longhaul Mk1, Nortik Navigator and Pouch LE14. These all have wood frames (personal preference!) and salt water resistant hardware.
Ideally you would be able to test paddle some folders before purchase. Don't dismiss a well cared for used kayak: The out of your price range new kayak is suddenly within your price range!

Chris

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Klepper Aerius II
Nautiraid Miniraid
Klepper T67
Pionier 450 S
Kette SE 54
Mariner Coaster
HSF Horst Hartung Slalom 50
P&H Hammer


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:56 pm 
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Thanks! Two new companies for me to check out! I have never heard of Pouch or Nortik until now. Seemingly, it would be crazy expensive to buy either of those new correct? I would assume just the shipping costs from Europe alone would be sky high. Pouch also has no price listing as they tend to do everything "custom" which leads me to believe nothing they have sell will come close to my price range.

I do love the look of the Long Hauls and have to say that the Ute does fall within my budget. However, I am assuming the Ute would not be able to carry enough gear to get me through 2 weeks between resupply stops. Is this a correct assumption?

For this trip in particular, and future expedition trips as well, I actually prefer to have a wider-berth kayak that focuses on stability and gear capacity over straight line speed. While I love taking my Avocet out for a couple hours to cover some serious ground as a workout, and perhaps an overnighter here and there, for the kind of trip I am planning it will be less about belting off those miles, and more about getting everywhere safely and comfortably so I can enjoy the experience as a whole.

So, it sounds like a lot of you all would be willing to pay the same price for a used Feathercraft/Long Haul/Trak as a new Folbot and that doesn't bother you. Interesting. My big worry is the warranty and customer service. If I was to scour the interwebs and come across a seemingly well taken care of boat which was far enough away that I was unable to test it out...what happens if it shows up with a big rip in the hull or something? Would those companies honor their product and still provide assistance without breaking my bank?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:26 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:19 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Oakland, California
Connor,
The key to affordable shipping from Europe is to keep the max length of the item to 120cm. Both the Pouch LE14 and the Nortik Navigator meet this per the data I have. I had an entire kayak - an old Kette SE54- shipped to me from Germany for 89 Euro.
Re price: In general folders are comparable, if not actually less expensive, than quality fiberglass sea kayaks. Yes, Folbots are comparable to rotomolded ones!.
I think that for your stated purpose a Longhaul with the added keel strips under the keel and the two stringers is the most "bomb proof" choice. Why? The Hypalon hull material is both particularly tough, abrasion resistant and easy to repair in the field. Frame clips are stainless steel instead of aluminum. For the deck you have the option of either cotton canvas, if you like a breathable deck on a sunny day when using a spray skirt, or Sea Mark (coated Sunbrella) if you prefer synthetic water and rot proof material. Lastly the frame pieces, since they are wood can be easily repaired or replaced (with scrap or even driftwood pieces) in the field.
Yes indeed, Folbot has a stellar warranty! However, I also consider easy repairability in the field. How would I get the warranty service while on an extended tour? Check what Folbot currently uses for their hull material and the required field patching procedures.
For a used kayak, overall condition is everything. You really should look at them in person, unless a really good and comprehensive set of photo's were taken (and you know what to look for!). A good set of photo's should show the kayak fully and correctly assembled plus all the parts when disassembled. Parts availability for Kleppers (AE1 and AE2), Longhauls, Feathercrafts and Folbots (except early plastic ribs, these will be replaced with aluminum ones!)) is generally not a problem.
Lastly, re. a shorter kayak, such as the Ute, they are great for day paddles where small pack size, easy maneuverability and quick acceleration are plusses. Packing space is clearly less and also consider a relaxed cruising speed on a long tour.

Chris

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Klepper Aerius II
Nautiraid Miniraid
Klepper T67
Pionier 450 S
Kette SE 54
Mariner Coaster
HSF Horst Hartung Slalom 50
P&H Hammer


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:53 am
Posts: 41
Location: Annapolis, MD
Hi Chris,

Great post. The Long Haul has now pushed its way to the top of my list. I was being hopeful about the carrying capacity of the Ute....that price tag is just so much easier to look at. But, the Mark I seems like a terrific boat, and I can't tell you how many people have spoken highly of their products and service. What do you mean by the stringers? Just deck lines? Below is what it lists online for the standard Mark I package:

Kayak, Rudder Assembly, Velcro Tuckunder Spraycover, Sling Seat, 1-8" Keelstrip and 10 D-rings (6-fore and 4-aft), 2 air sponsons, footbrace, bow and stern grab handles, Standard Packing Bags and Longren Packing Sleeve

So, what were you saying I should purchase in addition? This seems to have the keel strips, would the stringers just be to run through the D-rings?

Also, I have noticed it says it packs down into 3 bags. Is it feasible to take 3 bags onto an airline along with my other gear? I would assume that would cost a fortune in extra baggage fees.

Thanks for your time,

Conor


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:31 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 824
Location: atlanta, georgia
You have great advice from Chris. I would avoid overseas purchase of pouch, nauteraid, Tyne, or any of the otherwise fine folders just because of the shipping and service issues. Most of the overseas purchases by those of us from this side of the pond are for rare/antique/interesting models that just can't be found in the US. And avoid Wayland unless you want to waste your time and money, just search this board for their customer experience history.

You have listed the complete boat and add-ons you should consider for long haul kayak. The only thing I don't know about long haul is their hatch configuration. You would do well to consider hatches, they are not necessary but they sure make loading and unloading more convenient.

The stringers are part of the kayak frame, usually made of round-stock ash or birch, that run longitudinally in 3 or 4 sections from bow to stern, between the gunwales and keel boards. They help shape the hull. Hope that makes sense.

I have done a bit of kayaking on the Kenai, but there is another member who might help you with your plans. Tsunamichuck has travelled the world by kayak and now lives in the shadows of the Chugach Range in Alaska, you might want to pm him.

g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
36' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:13 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:41 am
Posts: 224
Price doesn't always translate in quality, but your safety on a particular type of expedition, similar to what you described, should not ne compromised by price... I'd rather wait for the right time, save and get the type of equipment I trust, than buying cheaper. On certain expeditions your life might depend on the quality and integrity of your gear.

I like Nautiraid, I admire the elegance of a Feathercraft, I ordered Folbot (and cancelled the order because they were not using Hypalon at the time) and I settled for Long Haul. No regrets since.

I don't know how the Long Haul boats will evolve in the future, I hope that Mark doesn't fall into the war of weights trap compromising the quality of the matetials to save a few pounds, but right now the Long Haul is the boat that will take you places... and back!

It is a heavy, sturdy, trustworthy, piece of equipment. We loaded the boat to capacity, 70+ litres of fluids, camping gear, food for two people for 14 days, lots of other type of gear and the boat sailed through surf and rough patches without any problem.

Taking a folding kayak and camping gear by plane is not as simple as it sounds in ads. We gave up the three bag solution. Where is the rest of gear going to fit? Many foreign airlines have various restriction on weight allotment. If you decide to reach a remote place where only small planes, choppers , boats, 4x4 or donkeys can reach, logistics may become a much bigger challenge than paddling rough waters... :)

We just returned from a trip to a remote area and teo weeks later the boat and gear are still in transit between helicopters, small boats and two different cargo airlines. Rough handling, i saw one guy dumping our stuff from a truck still in motion, waiting days in a row outside in harsh conditions and so on. No bag or cardboard box would have survived that abuse.

I can't wait to see the boat again and I can only hope that everything will be OK.

Bottom line, expeditions are a bit different than the Sunday paddling at the local pond. Not better, not worse, just a bit different.

Plan well, save and get the best equipment you can afford. Then plunge forward and have fun... :)

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