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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:28 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:16 pm
Posts: 4
Hi everyone,

I am new to the Forum and to kayaking in general. I am looking towards purchasing my first kayak for myself as well as my girlfriend and was hoping to get some advice and recommendations.

I consider myself a novice, though pretty comfortable paddling and really enjoy it. I would like the boat to be an appropriate size, I am 6’-6'1" and 165lbs, my girlfriend is 5’3" and 120lbs. I am based in Auckland and will be using the boat mostly for day paddles, coastal exploring with some more open crossings, not for any extreme activities. I would also like to be able to bring some light fishing gear. Recreational use with the capacity to cope if conditions pick up is the objective.

I live in an apartment with no storage space to keep the boat, it will mean assembling and disassembling each time I want to go out paddling for a few hours. So I guess the first priorities would be ease of assembly, handling and lightness.

The main requirements that I have are the following:

- either 2 single boats, or a tandem that can be paddled as a solo at times.
- tracks well, stable and can handle a bit of waves and wind when necessary.
- fast set up and pack up.
- lightweight, easily stored and portable.
- enough carrying capacity to bring a day's worth of supplies.

Based on other posts the Pakboats, Feathercrafts and Kleppers seem to be high quality boats that would suit my needs. I was wondering if they were too fancy for my intended use? And also if Advanced Elements or Gumotex boats would be good enough options to consider?

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge

Oux


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:03 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 501
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Feathercraft went out of business a little over a year ago so your only option would be to find used boats for sale, which are rare and still costly. They are great boats -- I've owned 3 and still have a Wisper. I have no experience with Kleppers but the ones I've seen seem to be fairly high volume, which might make them not so great for your petite girlfriend. I have owned 4 different models of Pakboats and think very highly of them. Very good value for the cost and good performance even in rough water. Easy to set up, light and comfortable. Their Quest 135 would be a good fit for the smaller paddler but they discontinued that model -- may still have some in stock though. I have one of those and really like it (I am 5' 5" and 150 pounds). Their slightly larger Quest 150 would probably fit both of you -- it's a solo boat that can be used with or without the deck. Used as an open boat would be handy for fishing and hot weather. They also have their XT-16 which is convertible from solo to tandem. I used an ex boyfriend's XT-15 and found it a very comfortable and seaworthy. The removable decks on all Pakboats make them much easier to set up than a lot of other folders.

I would hesitate to take any of the Advanced Elements models in coastal waters, same with Gumotex. The problem with inflatable boats without frames is that they tend to not track as well and can be a real chore to paddle any distance in wind and strong currents, though they are stable in rough water. Others with more experience with those may weigh in with better evaluations than mine.

Alv Elvestad at Pakboats is very easy to talk to about his boats if you have questions about them.

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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 Nov 16, 2017 1:59 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 118
The options you have are diminished somewhat with some folding kayak manufactures closing shop. Inflatables would meet many of your requirements (storage, ease of assembly, good day boats) but I agree with Kerry for the most part on the performance issues. I would say that some are built better than others and one of the better inflatables (not from my experience but from reading reviews) is the Incept K40 Tasman. The company calls it a solo expedition sea kayak. The Pakboat "convertible" option that Kerry mentioned is a great choice for a tandem that can be used solo.

You found a good place for well informed information to help you in your search. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:19 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:16 pm
Posts: 4
Hi Both, and thank you for sharing your insights. I knew I would find some valuable information on this site 

It seems like one of the Pakboats would serve me well. I particularly like the idea of a removable deck which makes them versatile and would be ideal for fishing. Only reason I asked about Advanced Elements and Gumotex is to in relation their prices, but I guess that you get what you pay for. These two manufacturers are also easier to find in New Zealand, but perhaps I haven’t looked hard enough for Pakboats. I will reach out to Alv and see if he can recommend a retailer in New Zealand or in the broader Asia-Pacific area. Freight cost could be an issue though …

I will also research the Incept K40 Tasman Jeremiah mentioned as I haven’t heard of it before.

I would be keen to get more feedback if anyone else would like to share their experience with these (or other) models, in addition with purchasing a kayak down under.

Cheers

oux


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:32 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 118
Sorry I didn't mention this in my previous post but Incept is located in New Zealand. I visited their website before I replied to your post and it seemed up to date, but now I'm wondering if they are still around. Another New Zealand (folding) kayak manufacturer First Light has what appears to be the same unchanged website for the past 10 to 15 years, so who knows what's going on there.

Again, good luck! What ever you decide on, it will interesting to hear your thoughts on it.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:40 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 393
Location: Coastal New Jersey
If the Pakboat 150 had been available at the time, I would have purchased it rather than the Kurrent 2.0. I paddle my folder in Florida in the winter months and an open boat option makes a lot of sense in the sub-tropics and other ways as well. And Pakboats are as light weight as Feathercraft boats and supposedly easier to assemble, a very important consideration if you must put the boat together and take it down each time you use it. Another option might be one of the Oru models, the Bay or Coast, which are quick to put together and might be easier to air freight to NZ. If most of your paddling will be in protected waters where wind is not a significant factor, perhaps a good quality inflatable like one of the Gumotex kayaks might prove a satisfactory compromise.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:24 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
I am pretty happy with my Innova ( which are the US version of Gumotex). They are a bit slow but do well in the conditions I use them in

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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: Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:28 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 118
I revisited the Incept website and was impressed with the detail and information on their products. For example, they explain their use of urethane fabrics and why they heat weld them, a process that Feathercraft used exclusively after 1999. They also sell Gumotex sit-on kayaks, as mentioned by tsunamichuck.

I seem to recall that there was a woman who gained notoriety in the kayaking community by using her Aire Sea Tiger inflatable kayak on some long expeditions. I hope I got it right but maybe somebody else could way in. Just giving inflatables a little love.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:04 am 
forum fan

Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 1:10 pm
Posts: 19
Jeremiah, you're probably thinking of the late, great Audrey Sutherland. Here's a brief tribute:

https://www.patagonia.com/blog/2015/03/ ... utherland/


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:17 am 
forum fanatic

Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:21 pm
Posts: 36
What a woman. I am inspired!

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Jack Charity

Folbots: Greenland, Aluet, Cooper
Atlyak
Kleppers: Passat and Master
Inflatables: Coleman and Intex
Rigid: Mirror dinghy and Chrysler 23


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:11 am 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 118
Thank you yellowboat. When I started to really get interested in kayaking I read a lot of books on the subject. A few of them were not so good. I should have read hers.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:16 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 393
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Thanks, Yellowboat, for sharing the Audrey Sutherland article. She was a woman who redefined solo, self-sustained, minimalist expedition paddling with inflatable kayaks. There hasn't been much mention of inflatable paddle craft on the forum of late but it seems to me that a well designed, durable, light weight inflatable would appeal to a wide spectrum of paddlers especially those living in space restricted environments or for those who plan to travel by air to far off paddling destinations as well as those whose water-borne outings are more casual or infrequent or paddlers who are attracted to the simple idea of "pump 'er up and go". I find it interesting to see the current surge of popularity in inflatable SUPs and I've noticed that a few of the SUPers I've talked to also own one or more kayaks. The late, lamented Feathercraft entered the performance inflatable market with the wonderfully named Aironaut which seems to prove that a fully inflatable kayak can be a performance paddle craft and a lot of fun as well. Maybe Gumotex can come up with their own version of the Aironaut.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:22 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:16 pm
Posts: 4
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Alv at Pakboats recommended a Quest 150 and a Saco if I decided to go with two solo boats. On the other hand, the Saranac’s versatility is very attractive and offers a good compromise, especially when considering price. If I decided to paddle alone in the Saranac, how easy would it be to set up the kayak with just one person?

I have contacted First Light in New Zealand, but their kayaks are (way) above my budget and seem to be for more advanced paddlers. I will look at Incept and Gumotex inflatables as alternatives to Pakboats and see if they prove a good compromise. Both are in New Zealand and therefore much easier to purchase, I will also need to factor in the shipping cost for a Pakboats...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:33 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 501
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Setting up any of the dual use Pakboats for solo or tandem simply consists of strapping in either one or two seats (which are installed after the frame and skin are assembled and and only take a minute or so each to do.) They clip to the frame, have two straps that fasten on the sides and then you partially inflate them. And then you velcro on either the tandem or solo deck for the XT-16 or Saranac, which takes the same amount of time for either one. In the case of the Saranac, you don't even need the deck in some conditions where an open boat is fine.

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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: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:41 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 501
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Incidentally, Oux, shipping 30 pounds from the USA to New Zealand is roughly $275 USD by DHL express (1 to 4 days) and $300 by Fedex Economy (2 to 5 days). A 40 pound package is $335 via multiple shippers.

My brother has been selling classic drums and drum kits that he renovates on Ebay and shipping them around the world -- I helped him find freight quote resources for overseas shipping. Here's one:

http://www.usgobuy.com/en/usps/shipping ... aland.html

More "Devil's advocacy" for Pakboats: Since the Incept single sea kayaks are close to $2,300 USD and the Pakboats are around half that price, the shipping cost is kind of a moot point, unless there are import tariffs that further reduce the cost savings. Alv does sell some demo and used boats sometimes -- some countries reduce or eliminate tariffs on used goods.

The Pakboat singles are all considerably lighter than the 37 pound (17 kg) Incept Tasman. At over 26" (67 cm) wide, the Tasman is kind of a battleship. Not having a removable deck could make it less than ideal for fishing.

_________________
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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