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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:12 pm 
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In response to gbellware:

Thank you for your clarification in regards to the stringers. I believe I can picture where and how they would fit from your description.

It is nice to know that Long Haul is North American. I also appreciate your advice as far as shipping from Europe goes. I figured anyways that if I am going to spend an equivalent amount of money for a Nautiraid, Pouch, or Long Haul...then I minus well purchase the one which will be able to respond faster to any questions or issues that arise.

As far as the Long Haul Mark I kit goes...does the spraycover also include a sprayskirt that actually attaches to the paddler, or would I need to purchase a separate sprayskirt to attach to the cover?

Also, tsunamichuck actually reached out to me after one of my very first posts and has been giving me advice as well. Very nice guy.


In response to DoiNomazi:

First of all, I hope your boat arrives in good shape! A shame to see people treating it so carelessly.

I am a little worried in regards to your issues with airline travel. Is it possible to pay a little extra ($50 per bag or so) to check two extra bags so the entire boat can just be checked on an airline. I am not currently planning on any overseas trips, but I wouldn't be surprised if I start entertaining the idea in the near future. I would like to feel more comfortable with being able to travel with a boat such as the Long Haul after making such a significant purchase.

On the other hand, I love to hear the great reviews of the Long Haul's durability and gear capacity. Good stuff.

Great videos by the way. Another individual pointed me in your direction and I spent all night the other night watching your adventures.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:21 am 
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It is difficult to find an answer that fits all transportation related situations. It depends on your destination. How remote is your destination, what type of climate, do you paddle, or paddle/sail, what type and how much camping gear you need, OR YOU THINK YOU NEED... :)

On the last trip we went to a cold climate, which meant winter gear, from additional heavy rubber boots, to winter sleeping bags and clothing. Without taking the sailing kit, because of the constantly shifting winds, our total combined curb side gear weight, including transport cases, was 233 Kg (513 lbs). The last segment of the flight had a non-negotiable weight limit of 20 Kg per passenger for checked-in luggage and 6 Kg for cabin luggage. That was 52 Kg. allowed for both of ys. It was not even a matter of paying excess fees. The plane was a smaller prop and they said they will not take any extra luggage beyond the 20 Kg per passenger. Options?

Whenever we take the kayak and gear overseas we prefer to use cargo transportation. Marine cargo is cheaper but it takes longer and air cargo is the most convenient. Air cargo has certain requirments. You can use the original bags but they must be really well wrapped and protected. On one trip we used two custom made heavy duty cardboard boxes for all the gear, kayak, camping, clothing, etc. The air cargo handlers tend to be careful and the boxes were in good shape but on the way back they gave their last and became unusable... if you add more segments and different forms of transportaton in addition to the flights, the situation changes quite a bit. The transfers to and from the airport can be demanding on the gear. Much more demanding than the cargo flight if you are not present to help and protect.

On the way in, we had to use two different cargo planes, a helicopter and a pick-up truck. Then we had to load all the gear on a boat for a 56 mile ride until the point where the paddling began. The empty cases had to travel back the 56 miles by boat and remain outside in the elemts (no protected storage) for 12 days until we returned. Then another boat ride to another island where the airstrip was located, followed by another pick-up ride and the two different cargo planes on the way back. No chopper on the way back. Each of those different forms of transportation means loading and unloading by people who may, or may not, care much about your kayak... It is easier for them to grab whatever strap seems handy, push, roll, drag, drop, than lift and carry with care... One guy decided to drop the boxes from the pick-up truck while still in motion! When loading on one of the boats they asked me if we can just roll the cases down a steep wooden ramp with nails popping up... I try not to imagine what happened when I was not present...

So, what type of luggage can take the abuse and protect the content? Do you want to reuse the luggage on future trips? Made of what? Heavy cordura (heavier than the original bags)? Hypalon? plastic? Aluminum? Wood? Cordura and hypalon on the exterior with marine plywood on the interior (sort of a trunk with handles all around)? How much weight would the heavier material add to the overall weight and cost? How many pieces of luggage? More pieces means more chances that something gets lost..

That being said, don't let logistics ruin the fun. Folding kayaks are meant to go places.

For the kayak alone, you can definitely travel on most flights with the original bags and expect to pick up the kayak in good condition at the other end.

That's my humble $ 0.02

Enjoy your future trips!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:10 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

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Posts: 279
Freeburn wrote:
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.

The Folbot model I'd be inclined to use for that type of trip would be the Kodiak. It's a serviceable Klepper/Long-Haul knock-off, and in terms of length/beam seems to strike a nice balance between the longer, sleeker Cooper and the short, beamy Yukon. At 13' long with a 30" beam :shock: the Yukon would move like a houseboat. At 15' long with a 28" beam, the Kodiak is still too beamy for my taste, but it will definitely be faster and have better tracking than the Yukon.

But ultimately it depends how much you really need to carry. Freshwater can be filtered as needed, so there's no need to carry gallons on board. But if you'll be on saltwater for extended periods without access to freshwater you might need to carry several days worth of water.

Just FYI, I've pretty decided to buy a Pakboats Quest 155 this winter. I'm a former Folbot Cooper owner, and I've looked closely at both the Kodiak and Quest 155, and absolutely love Pakboats' design: They're light, yet still managed to be quite rigid, fairly easy to assemble, have decent storage capacity (without going overboard) and the peel-off deck is wonderful; not only does it make loading/unloading gear super-easy, but it also enables 'topless' paddling on calm, clear days. Also, with the deck removed the inside of the kayak dries much more quickly, and is really easy to clean. I'm 5'9" 160pds and the Quest 155 seems just about perfect as a general-purpose yak for me: spacious enough for mid-length touring, and also well suited for casual day-trips.

The Kodiak is a good boat, but unless you're primarily doing long, unsupported trips, it's overkill as a general purpose yak... especially since it weighs 52pds! :shock:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:15 am 
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I'd agree that Long Haul is the best combination of ruggedness, seaworthiness, longevity, repairability, and availability of parts. The boats combine the best aspects of the Kleppers with improved hardware and US service. Folbot is high up there, and offers great support and value, though their boats aren't quite as rugged. Feathercraft gets high marks for performance, but you pay a high premium for them.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:36 pm 
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In response to DoiNomazi:

Wow, the journey of your cargo rivals belongs in an epic the likes of the The Odyssey! I have to say it isn't very heartening to hear what logistics are required for transporting a larger folding kayak such as the Long Haul. I would be carrying about 75 pounds of gear and wouldn't be sailing at all, so I would not be facing the drastic weight issues you ran into. But still, 75 pounds of gear along with a three bag boat will be difficult to bring on an airline judging from your experience.

Much and more to think about. Thank you.


In response to Apathizer and mje:

As DoiNomazi pointed out above, the big drawback for me with the Long Haul would be ease of transportation. Personally, perhaps the most important reason I am interested in purchasing a folding kayak is for the ability to take it on an airliner (I understand I may need to pay a little for an extra bag) anywhere around the world without having to hire a logistics manager. The PakBoats and Folbots start at almost $1000 less than the Long Hauls, and from what I have seen the Kodiak and the XT-17 would be able to fit into 1 bag for travel. Given those benefits, I am prone to believe that I would rather deal with the stress of fixing a tear in the hull in the field than to be so overwhelmed by the stress of transporting my boat that I never actually get out in the field in the first place.

Based on everybody's feedback, I know that a Long Haul would be a terrific boat, I have no doubt. But with the transportation issues, and price differences I would love a little more feedback about both the Kodiak and the XT-17. I agree with you Apathizer that upon a second (or was it twentieth) inspection of the Folbot website the Kodiak would be worth paying extra for the increased length to width ratio. The XT-17 is also an attractive option, and was one of the first boats I was considering however I am pretty sure the reason it dropped down my list was due to negative reviews in regards to the ability of the deck to keep water out in rough weather. I don't recall where I read this, but does this sound familiar to anybody? Also, with the XT-17 would you think it feasible to pack in a solid 75-100 lbs of gear apart from myself?

As far as the Folbot goes, I have read some bad feedback in regards to the ability to repair their new hull material (elvaloy). Has this issue been cleared up, or is this an on going mystery to find an adhesive that can actually stick to elvaloy?

Apathizer, as far as my search for a folding kayak, I am not concerned with owning a performance speed demon. I have hardshell kayaks that I can put in for the daily/weekend paddle, but nothing that I can take across the country and pack to the gills. I would prefer to purchase a boat with greater stability and gear capacity than straight line speed. Of course, as you pointed out with the Yukon, when an increase in speed without sacrificing stability with the Kodiak can be achieved I see the wisdom in making that switch.

So, ignoring the Long Haul for now, what would be your choice (and why) for a multiday/week expedition kayak in potentially rough waters...PakBoat XT-17 or Folbot Kodiak?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:42 pm 
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In spite of what we encountered with logistics, and we like to use quite a bit of gear on our trips, loading the boat to capacity, if I had to buy another folder tomorrow I'd buy a Long Haul without hesitation because, being out there in the surf on a rough day, I know that it will stay together no matter what you throw at it, I also know that it will float rain or shine and take us back to safety.

The extra bucks I had to pay for it, was, above all, an investment in safety and durability. After all the hard trips, the boat looks and feels like the day I unpacked it for the first time.

I'd never pick anything just usin my eyes browsing online, or reading other people's opinions. While both opinions and pictures can be extremely helpful, touching and testing, looking at the quality, texture, strength of the materials is the real deal breaker.

I remember emerging from the tent one sunny morning and seeing a Feathercraft tandem right next to our LH. It looked like a Lamborghini parked next to a Toyota Landcruiser 78 Troop Carrier... :) I approached filled with jealousy... I asked for permission to take a closer look and touch. I touched the aluminum keel and the gunwales... I flexed it a bit, I pushed the deck, I lifted the bow... In the end I was so happy with my boat... :) I'd never trade.

And don't forget, the quality of a product is also reflected in customer service and nobody can compete with Long Haul when it comes to customer service.



Regardless of what folder you decide to buy, good luck and have fun!... :)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:31 pm 
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At the moment the Long Haul Mark I seems like a dream boat. Expensive, yet can't be beat in durability and customer service according to you and several other members. I can definitely see myself testing and purchasing one in the more distant future (perhaps a tandem for duo adventures like you!). You mentioned how you like to really pack in a ton of gear...if you were to be travelling more lightly (say just 75-100lbs of gear maximum) would you still choose the Long Haul every time?

I wish to ease my way into the folding kayak scene and the XT-17 and Kodiak seem better tailored to my immediate needs (budget and ease of travel).

I completely agree with you that all this reading and typing on forums (although very very helpful and appreciated!) is all for naught if I don't bother to actually see and feel and paddle the kayaks in question. I have been searching, and will continue to search, for demos for Folbot, PakBoat, and Long Haul.

Worst case scenario with Folbot, I could even order the Kodiak test it and return it within 30 days in "like new" condition for a full refund if I am unable to make it down to Charleston, SC or find a nearby demo. Of course, doing such a thing seems rude to me, so I would rather not have to go that route.

Thanks again for your help.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:31 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
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Freeburn wrote:
In response to Apathizer and mje:

As DoiNomazi pointed out above, the big drawback for me with the Long Haul would be ease of transportation. Personally, perhaps the most important reason I am interested in purchasing a folding kayak is for the ability to take it on an airliner (I understand I may need to pay a little for an extra bag) anywhere around the world without having to hire a logistics manager. The PakBoats and Folbots start at almost $1000 less than the Long Hauls, and from what I have seen the Kodiak and the XT-17 would be able to fit into 1 bag for travel. Given those benefits, I am prone to believe that I would rather deal with the stress of fixing a tear in the hull in the field than to be so overwhelmed by the stress of transporting my boat that I never actually get out in the field in the first place.

I agree. I don't fly much, but don't have a car and need a bit that will fit comfortably on public transit (buses and trains). Both Quest models fit into a compact duffle, and while bigger the XT-17 is still manageable-sized. Transporting the Kodiak via airlines would be challenging, but doable: even though it's heavy, it fits into 2 separate bags, so there'd be additional fees, but I'd think it would work. I don't think it would work for mass transit.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Freeburn wrote:
...The XT-17 is also an attractive option, and was one of the first boats I was considering however I am pretty sure the reason it dropped down my list was due to negative reviews in regards to the ability of the deck to keep water out in rough weather. I don't recall where I read this, but does this sound familiar to anybody? Also, with the XT-17 would you think it feasible to pack in a solid 75-100 lbs of gear apart from myself? ...

As far as the Folbot goes, I have read some bad feedback in regards to the ability to repair their new hull material (elvaloy). Has this issue been cleared up, or is this an on going mystery to find an adhesive that can actually stick to elvaloy?

So, ignoring the Long Haul for now, what would be your choice (and why) for a multiday/week expedition kayak in potentially rough waters...PakBoat XT-17 or Folbot Kodiak?

In highly tumultuous conditions both Pakboats and Folbots will have some deck leakage. With the Kodiak, the cockpit isn't watertight, and a standard spray-skirt won't fit, so the main issue is cockpit leakage. And yes, as you've probably seen in the Folbot section of this fourm, Elvaloy is extremely difficult to repair, and field repairs seem implausible.

With Pakboats, there is some leakage through the velcro seam, but most indications are that it's pretty minimal if the deck attached/aligned carefully. Since this seam is perpendicular to the water, the leakage from typical waves/swell is minimal. However, if the deck is repeatedly submerged -say during leaned turns and extremely rough conditions- water supposedly enters at a much faster rate.

While both have +s and -s, I think I'd prefer the XT-17 over the Kodiak for the following reasons: field repairs are much easier (esp the hull - the most likely thing to get damaged), it's lighter, probably a bit stiffer, and offers a better balance of storage capacity and performance. I know you aren't looking for a 'performance' yak, but it's my understanding that even though the XT-17 is narrower it's still very stable.

Another nice feature about all Pakboats that most paddlers probably won't think about is the additional air-tubes. Most folders only have one sponson on each side that runs along the top of the hull, whereas Pakboats have 3 inflatable tubes on each side that run both the entire length and entire depth of the hull. Consequently, if flooded Pakboats will sit much higher in the water, making them much more manageable. Folbots and other models will remain afloat, but the deck will be just barely above water.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:12 pm 
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Apathizer, wonderful advice. I have seen on other discussions that the XT-17 accepts non-Pakboat sprayskirts. That would be nice to be able to purchase a high quality sprayskirt to help with cockpit waterproofing. As for the water up under the deck, I would be putting everything in dry bags anyways, and the ability to repair the XT-17 hull in the field is a huge advantage in my mind over the Kodiak.

The more criticism I read about Elvaloy, the more hesitant I am about pursuing Kodiak. Such a shame because the Kodiak looks like it otherwise fit my requirements well. I don't mind the two bag system that much; the weight and dimensions of each shouldn't make it difficult to check one bag and pay extra for the second bag as an "oversized" or just second checked bag.

Now it's time to do some more digging on the XT-17! I did see an impressive video of a couple surfing their XT-15s on the Columbia River. My biggest concern is storage space...enough for 3-4 medium dry bags (clothing, camping gear, food)?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:34 pm 
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Oh, and one more thing just to add to the chaos. How do you all feel about the PakBoat Puffin Saranac?

I just caught a glimpse of it on another discussion and was checking out some reviews. The price seems too good to be true (which usually means it is). I like the fact that it appears I could apply a similar solo deck as the XT-17, and they have added the bow and stern covers that help avoid water splashing in the ends. Also a much more roomy hold for gear. At 28 lbs, the weight is nice as well. Is it made out of a less durable material or something? Why the cost differential?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:14 pm 
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Freeburn wrote:
The ability to repair the XT-17 hull in the field is a huge advantage in my mind over the Kodiak.

The more criticism I read about Elvaloy, the more hesitant I am about pursuing Kodiak. Such a shame because the Kodiak looks like it otherwise fit my requirements well.


Freeburn,

You'll want to call Folbot for confirmation, but I believe the Kodiak (and the Aleut and Edisto) is still being made with a Hypalon hull instead of Elvaloy. I have a Kodiak as well as a Yukon, both in Hypalon, plus a giant Feathercraft Klondike, and I think the Kodiak is well-suited to southeast Alaska and to trips of up to two weeks' duration.

Here is a link to a recent trip report of me in my Kodiak in the San Juan Islands of Washington State (saltwater islands, topographically similar to SE AK). This was only a six-day trip, but the boat carried two large bear barrels and a big pelican case for my camera, plus a tripod, plus all the usual camping gear and clothing and fresh water jugs. With judicious packing, you could handily carry sufficient supplies in a Kodiak to do the trip you are talking about.

The Kodiak, like all open-cockpit designs, takes on water if waves break on the deck. The spraydeck and sprayskirt are insufficient to keep all the water out. Whitecap conditions will result in a certain amount of water entering the kayak, though not to a dangerous degree. I would avoid using an open-cockpit boat in anything more than three-to-four foot wind waves.

You are unlikely to encounter such conditions in the Inside Passage, so you should be fine. If such conditions do arise, they are likely to be brief, no more than a day or two, and you can wait them out. Other commenters may have greater risk tolerance than I do and may advise you differently. All the boats you are looking at—Kodiak, Yukon, Long Haul, and XT-17—are of the open-cockpit type, so there is no dodging this issue, but I don't think it will be a show-stopper.

I say the Kodiak is plenty of boat for you, if you can get it in Hypalon (again, call Folbot and confirm). Field repairs with the Hypalon hull are easy. I have done them on my Yukon, but haven't needed to with the Kodiak. For your money, Kodiak is probably the way to go.

Alex


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:41 pm 
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Alex this could be an absolute game changer! I sent them an email right away asking about which material they use for the Kodiak. If it is indeed hypalon it could rocket back to the top of my list.

Your points about the open cockpit kayaks are great. I guess that the point at which water starts coming in the boat could be used as a metric for when it might be good to get off the water. I am all about pushing forward, but I agree that on a long expedition voyage there is more to be gained from erring on the side of safety and pulling into camp than paddling headlong into a dangerous situation.

Also nice to hear a first hand account of the gear capacity. Sounds like it should be plenty for my needs.

Your trip report was fantastic as well. Nice photos. I especially liked that one of the jumping orca...awesome.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:09 am 
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Freeburn wrote:
Now it's time to do some more digging on the XT-17! I did see an impressive video of a couple surfing their XT-15s on the Columbia River. My biggest concern is storage space...enough for 3-4 medium dry bags (clothing, camping gear, food)?

I'd guess there would be plenty of space. Remember, Pakboats don't have internal thwarts, so there's much more storage space than most other folders. The listed max payload is 400pds :!: , so it can certainly handle the weight.

alexsidles wrote:
You'll want to call Folbot for confirmation, but I believe the Kodiak (and the Aleut and Edisto) is still being made with a Hypalon hull instead of Elvaloy.
...
All the boats you are looking at—Kodiak, Yukon, Long Haul, and XT-17—are of the open-cockpit type, so there is no dodging this issue, but I don't think it will be a show-stopper.

Sorry if I seem overly contrarian, but the XT-17 does not have an open cockpit. Consequently, with a high-quality spary-skirt there won't be any substantial cockpit leakage the way there is with the other boats you mention.

Freeburn - I'm curious what Folbot's response is, but it's my understanding that Dupont has actually discontinued production of Hypalon. There's a Folbot video showing how to assemble the Kodiak, and the hull is Elvaloy, so I doubt they'll be able to manufacture a new Kodiak with a Hypalon hull.

It's my understanding that other manufacturers are still producing Hypalon-equivalents under different brand names, but I don't think Folbot offers anything other than Elvaloy for all their new boats.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:38 am 
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Hypalon was discontinued, Dupont closed the only plant that made the product in 2010. There is still some old stock available out there but it has not been available for boat builders for several years.
g

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