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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 4:55 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 4:25 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Hello all,

Was hoping someone here could give me a bit of insight. I'm looking towards purchasing my first kayak for my self as well as the lady, and i'm finding myself a little at loss with all the options. We are both going in with slightly different attitudes as well, which may affect the choice of yak. Right now i'm leaning towards the AE Advanced frame convertible, but it looks like its sold out everywhere I look.

The main requirements that I have are the following:

- around CAD $1000 for either 2 single boats, or a tandem that can be paddled as a solo at times.
- Portable, and easily stored (live in a condo without a car)
- Fast set up and pack up
- tracks well, stable and can handle Lake Ontario, lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay
- For me i'm looking for something I can run laps around with for fitness, for her something that is easy to paddle as she sees it as a leisure activity (if tandem i'll likely be doing most of the paddling so it doesn't matter)
- Enough carrying capacity to bring a day's worth of supplies (just in case the lady wants to have a picnic on the island).


Currently I been looking at the following, if anyone has feedback on these or any other suggestions I would appreciate it tremendously:

- Intex Challenger K1
- Advanced Elements Firefly
- Sevylor K5 QuikPak
- Innova Swing I or Swing II (tandem)
- Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible (tandem with solo conversion ability)

Thanks in advance.

Shalis


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 11:14 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1081
Location: isles of scilly UK
I no nothing about inflatables. Personaly i would go for folders and two would , in my opinion be better than a two seater, (double). If you can pick up two Folbot Yukons i think they would be ideal, but DON,T get ones made of ELVALOY as this material is said to be difficult to patch if ever need to do it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 12:34 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 500
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
All the boats you are looking at are pond, small lake and moderate river boats. None are suitable for windy open water like Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay. And you will not be getting the kind of exercise you expect with any of them because they are largely slow and effortful to paddle. You won't be running laps around anybody in one of them. They also can't carry much in the way of cargo and being mostly open boats are going to be a wet ride -- not great for cold Canadian waters. Temperatures under 20 degrees C require protective clothing and even Simcoe rarely gets warmer than 15. Some, like the Challenger, Swing and Quickpak, are little more than glorified pool toys. If you get caught in serious winds or offshore currents you would never be able to paddle back to shore. Not safe boats at all for your intended purposes. Just because something is sort of pointy and floats does not make it a true kayak. You would not take a tricycle on an interstate highway and you don't take small inflatable kayaks (that are really more like rafts) on large windy (and often cold) waters.
Best bang for your buck if you want to buy new would be Pakboat kayaks. How far are you from New Hampshire? Pakboats US headquarters is there in Enfield, NH. They also have dealers in Ontario and Quebec. Check their website. You are going to pay closer to $1000 EACH for single boats and $2000 for a double. Their XT-17 can be set up to paddle either single or tandem (it has removable decks for each set up) and is very seaworthy. I briefly had the smaller solo XT-15 and it was easy to set up and paddles almost as well as a touring hardshell. There are even people who rig them with sails to use in windy open water. I recently bought a Pakboat Quest 135 for around $900 USD (they are going to be changing the models and are selling off the old stock) and it's an excellent open water boat for anyone under 5'10" and 180 lbs. Fast and maneuverable. I see they still have one demo left for $1200 CAD (plus you need to pay $100 for the foot peg assembly). They also have one XT-15 solo for sale, located in Norway. It would be about $1400 CAD. Depending on your respective sizes, a Quest 135 for your lady and an XT-15 for you would enable you to paddle just about anywhere.

(I will have to continue this later in a second post, since these replies are limited to 3800 characters)

_________________
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


Last edited by KerryOnKayaks on Tue May 31, 2016 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 12:40 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 500
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
(Part Two of earlier response):
Sometimes you can find Klepper, Folbot or Feathercraft used folders for sale, but even then it is rare to find one under $1000 in good condition (a new Feathercraft runs $3000 to over $5000).
I should also bring up that Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario are not waters that should be paddled by novice boaters. Even if you do find kayaks that will suit your ambitions you need instruction in both technique and safety before you venture out in those environments. I just took a skills course from an excellent BCU/ACA certified sea kayaking coach who operates near Buffalo, New York -- Andrea Vaillancourt of Seabirds International. If you are near there, it might be worthwhile taking her training (she provides boats -- they are rigid sea kayaks but the techniques are the same for any touring kayak.) There are also plenty of outfitters in Ontario as well as excellent outdoor clubs, like the Cataraqui Canoe and Kayak club in Kingston Ontario, that sometimes offer beginner training and loaner boats.
I started out kayaking with a folder (a $3000 Feathercraft Kahuna) and was fortunate to have good instructors that helped me develop the skills I needed before I used it in open water, There are no "beginner kayaks", only "beginner kayakers" who need to learn skills in the craft that are appropriate for the conditions in which they aspire to paddle.
If your budget is not more than $1000 CAD you will either have to be very persistent in trying to find deals on competent used folders, settle for used hardshell touring kayaks and somehow deal with the storage issue OR wait until you can afford proper kit. Remember that you also need decent paddles (at least $150 each), PFD's ($60 to $125 each for good ones), spray skirts, bilge pumps, flotation bags, signal lights, drybags, etc. OR, if you have basic mechanical and tool skills and some space to work in, you can build your own folders or even competent inflatable sea kayaks for a few hundred dollars in materials from the free patterns and instructions by Tom Yost. http://www.yostwerks.org

_________________
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 1:28 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1228
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Watch eBay and Craigslist. There are usually Kleppers out for sale. Kayaking is not the rage it was so Kleppers can be had cheaper.

_________________
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Innova Helios 380
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Feathercraft K-Light


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 2:32 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 4:25 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Thanks for all the advice! I didn't mention prior, but my height is 6' at 180lbs

I'll take your input to heart Kerry, I was worried about the value and safety of those affordable inflatables which is the reason why I reached out for some expert opinions.

I do intend to take some courses in order to gain basic skills and knowledge of the local waters. Currently looking at taking a 2 day course in a local outfitter which includes basic paddle skills, rescues and so forth. And look forward to follow that up with further education and progression.

Unfortunately from what you guys are telling me it sounds like i'll be better off with just renting for a year or so until I can afford the more expensive foldable models. Those pakboats look great and would surely fit my needs, but taking into account the courses and all the associated gear needed it will be a bit before I can afford them. The retailer that I found here in Canada that sells them has the quest 135 at 1799$ CAD and the x17 at 2949$ CAD.

so I guess rent for now and keep an eye on craigslist/ebay while saving my dimes (no more pennies up here in the North).

Shalis


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 3:05 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:42 pm
Posts: 443
Keep an eye out for second hand. And meanwhile save.
And let people know you are looking in case anyone spots something for you.
My first (second hand) boat cost me £200 (about $300--I was very lucky, I realise in hindsight), my second £450, and I've since picked up older boats (including my current favourite) at around £100 that I've been able to reskin in pvc using Yost's methods (link mentioned in post above).

My own advice would be to get what you can afford and enjoy paddling and to trade up whenever you find something good at a good price. (But do make sure that you're paddling within both your and your boats' competence--paddling in company with more experienced paddlers when you start is a good way to learn.)


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:52 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Southeast Michigan
Inflatable Standup Paddleboards compare favorably to their hard brethren since they're sort of rounded and flat anyway, but a kayak needs a skeleton for stiffness and shape.

I'd add the Pakboats Puffin Saranac to your list. It's not really a big wave boat, but it's a step up from the inflatables listed in the original post. It should be OK on the lakes you mentioned, if you use discretion to cancel a trip for bad conditions and don't venture too far from safe landing.
http://pakboats.com/index.php?option=co ... Itemid=150

I have a Puffin Sport, which is a similar design to the Saranac, and the Quest 135. The Puffin gives up some paddling speed and frame stiffness, but assembles more quickly than the Quest (especially without the Puffin deck). Less assembly time leaves more time to get it out on local waters. That, along with courses to start, is a big factor in getting familiar with what you and the boat can handle.

Having individual boats is nice, and you could get ones that fit each of your needs. The downside is you'd have two boats to store, transport, and assemble, so a tandem might make more sense in your situation. However, you should rent a tandem together first to make sure you can get through a trip in the same boat without major arguments.

_________________
Pakboats Puffin Sport, KayakSailor 1.4 + jib, Advanced Elements Lotus SUP, Elie Horizon 80

Sold: Pakboats Quest 135, Firstlight 480C, Dagger Edisto, Ocean Kayak Sprinter
Selling: Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:45 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 500
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Off topic, but why are you selling your Quest, "FolderSailor"? Just curious. I've got an older Puffin 12 (and have owned other folders) and just got a 135 and really like it a lot, now that I've re-engineered the too-high seat sling.

_________________
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:16 am 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:36 pm
Posts: 241
Location: west burbs of Chicago
I second the advice to rent a tandem (more than once) to determine if you love it or . . . it becomes a "divorce boat" :(.
On the old Folbot forum, we had two couples who paddled tandem for years (even decades) and loved it. Others tried it and went immediately to a pair of singles.

In case you see an attractively priced, used Folbot, be aware that Citibot and Gremlin would not be appropriate for big, open water. Aleut, Yukon (and its almost twin Edisto) are good utility boats and can handle fairly big water. None are speed demons but can carry plenty of gear for camping.
Cooper and its little brother Kiawah are narrower and faster, more like a hardshell but with less payload.
Kodiak is a serious, big water, expedition boat that can carry gear for a week of camping.
Greenland II is the tandem version of the Kodiak. There are more of them on the used market than all the others combined.

If you get to where you can afford new, Pakboats is your best bet. Alv makes good boats for good prices.

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Five Folbots - Super TSF, two GIIs, Kodiak, Gremlin


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:57 pm 
forum fan
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:52 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Southeast Michigan
KerryOnKayaks wrote:
Off topic, but why are you selling your Quest, "FolderSailor"?

One of the main reasons I bought the Quest was to have the rudder for sailing, but I ended up preferring to use the Kayaksailor without a rudder. I'd be happy with the Quest if it was my only boat, but I have five and the Quest gets out the least (only once a year or so).

_________________
Pakboats Puffin Sport, KayakSailor 1.4 + jib, Advanced Elements Lotus SUP, Elie Horizon 80

Sold: Pakboats Quest 135, Firstlight 480C, Dagger Edisto, Ocean Kayak Sprinter
Selling: Hobie Adventure Island


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:26 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:45 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Montana, Florida
I think out of your list I'd lean towards an Advanced Elements or Innova. The Intex and Sevylor IKs are cheaper but aren't good for much besides putzing around a quiet lake or pond. I wouldn't trust them in rough conditions.

The AE convertible is a good one but requires some extras which will boost the price up. But I think in the case of inflatable kayaks, you get what you pay for. Another brand worth looking into is Sea Eagle. They're middle of the road offering good quality at a moderate price. More than your Intex and Sevylors but less than your Advanced Elements without compromising too much on quality.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:22 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 277
shalis wrote:
Thanks for all the advice! I didn't mention prior, but my height is 6' at 180lbs

I'll take your input to heart Kerry, I was worried about the value and safety of those affordable inflatables which is the reason why I reached out for some expert opinions.

I'll 2nd many of Kerry's perspectives (we both like Pakboats).

The XT-17 seems like a great option for you. For your size it would work well configured as a single, and it also gives you the option of a double when you and your partner want to paddle together.

I understand your dilemma in terms costs. While sea kayaking is a blast, the initial costs are pretty substantial for a quality yak and equipment.

_________________
Pakboats Quest 155.

'I actually read the Bible quite frequently. Can I tell you why? I stay in a lot of hotels. And I like to scare my kids before bed.' Jon Stewart


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:50 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 500
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Pakboat has just posted 3 of their discontinued Quest demo models for sale 20% off list, on their website under "Deals". The 155 model would fit you and the 135 (which I have) would likely fit your partner if she is smaller than you. They are under $1000 USD, though of course with the exchange rate now that would be over $1200 Canadian. Can't say enough good things about the Pakboat Quests -- light, comfortable, good storage space and fast and easy to paddle. I would not hesitate to take mine on Ontario or even Georgian Bay.

I really think you need to rule out any sit-on-top kayaks for the waters you intend to paddle. You need the protection of a full deck that will support a spray skirt for cold water.

_________________
Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:19 pm 
forum fan

Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:47 am
Posts: 10
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA
I have the AE convertible with the backbone which I think is an essential addition. A few things to consider: Setup of a inflatable is quite fast after you did it once, the AE convertible takes me about 10-15 minutes. I also like that it is a quite long single. However, if you paddle tandem there is limited storage space since the front and rear triangle is mostly filled by the air bladders. The other disadvantage is that inflatables take very long to dry, there is many corners and folds, I normally have it sitting for 3 days to a week in the basement to prevent mold.


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