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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:04 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
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Location: South Salem, NY
Yeah the Tim Evan's boat does look pretty neat... and 10 lbs! wow.

Mary I love your rig! What... you have an eight piece paddle in that little bag?! Ha. Glad to hear you're still hanging out here and paddling. I'd shy away from the Salmon fisherman as well... bit of a crazy lot... and sharp hooks and an inflatable raft may not go well together.

I hadn't realized the pack rafts were gaining such popularity. I thought it entertaining, and an interesting idea, when I read Tim Evan's intention to take a little pack raft along as emergency backup on his next journey in the new kayak... at ten pounds and folding tiny, why not?

Two boats, twenty pounds... wow.

d

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:00 pm 
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Hey DLee - 1.5lbs for the back-up raft. Even better :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:38 am
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Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
brillythekid wrote:
You said the rafts you have experience with are slow draggy pigs :mrgreen: so if Saco isn't recommended for expedition use, why are rafts recommended?


I wouldn't recommend the two-person rafts we use because they are slow and high-sided. The don't pack small, ie, you would struggle to get one of these boats into a large volume backpack, and they weigh about 20kg. They are pretty indestructible though.

Packrafts are a different matter - they are light and a lot more nimble but will be slow on flatwater and into a headwind.

I'm going to throw another possibility into the mix - one of the Pack Cats (https://www.jpwinc.com/proddetail.php?prod=4380-packcat) designed by a boat firm called Jack's Plastic Welding (www.jpwinc.com). These pack down light, can carry good loads and being catarafts are slightly more nimble on the water. Headwinds will always be a problem, though.

I have never paddled one but I do like the idea of a super-light cataraft.

As most respondents to your questions have noted, whatever boat you choose is going to be a compromise. Maybe you should read this piece about paddling the Savonoski Loop in Alaska (http://inlightofnature.com/in-light-of- ... noski-loop). The guys took a Folbot Yukon and a Folbot Greenland double, and had at least one epic portage.

Reading that, the Yukon sounded like The Right Boat.

Good luck.

Paul

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:29 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
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Location: South Salem, NY
Quote:
Hey DLee - 1.5lbs for the back-up raft. Even better :)


Unbelievable.

So has anyone mentioned the Feathercraft Aironaut yet? Not sure how small it packs but 20 lbs isn't bad. They sound like great boats.

I think the idea of building something is pretty fantastic as well.

d

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:50 am 
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Hey Paul, thanks for the ideas. The Pak-Cats seem very indestructible! Too heavy for us, unless we change our "plan of action"... The Folbot Yukon looks like a great boat! If we decide on a different river for our big trip, or if we find out there's good access to the one we're thinking of traveling, the Yukon will definitely be a consideration.
Did you get your boat yet, or still waiting for its delivery?

DLee, I don't remember coming across the Aironaut. Reviews seem positive. 20lbs were the lightest foldables/inflatables we came across (besides homemade kayaks like Tim Evans'), so it's definitely a consideration. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:30 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 810
Location: atlanta, georgia
Spent several hours with Tim Evans in Vancouver this week. His boats are really amazing. They are unbelievably light and stiff. His 14 foot boat weighs 10 lbs, his 17 weighs 14, and he is designing a new boat that he wants to come in at less than 10. Remarkable. Tim was very generous with his time and we went through every detail of construction and fabrication. I was hopeful of learning enough to make one myself. Not happening. While I now understand how they are made I also understand that I don't have the skill and patience to make one myself. These are meticulously crafted pieces of floating art that are best left in the hands of patient engineers, which is what Tim is.

I also got to spend some time with Doug Simpson, founder of Feathercraft. He gave me a tour of his fabricating shop on Granville Island. He is a very friendly and passionate designer and builder. Got a close look at the Aironaut and really appreciate how well it is made and how remarkable is its design. At 20 pounds and with decent volume/payload capacity I think it would work as a pack-in boat, with performance and toughness to handle Alaskan rivers.

Just my $.02,

g

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:09 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
I've got an older Pakboat Puffin which is the predecessor to the Saco and has similar dimensions and structure. With the deck it is close to 25 pounds, packed with PFD and break down paddle it is around a 30 lb load in a medium duffel bag. Not something I would want to hump far on my back with other gear but it could be done. It would definitely give you more gear carrying volume than a packraft and would track straighter and be less susceptible to wind. If I was planning a trip to wilderness such as you describe and had a few hours hike followed by many days on the water and portaging the set up boat, I would favor a Saco over a packraft. If there was often more than a half day of hiking carrying the packed boat I would opt for the raft.

I have a suggestion: since there are two of you, why not a tandem Saranac? A tandem will be lighter than two solo boats -- one guy carries the deck, seats and frame and the other the main skin -- about 15 lbs each -- probably 20 each with the PFDs and paddles. The longer Saranac is going to track better and be faster than the Sacos as well. One drawback would be the capacity -- if you are big guys you will max out the recommended 400 lb loading pretty fast. In that case, a 48 pound Pakboat Pakcanoe 150T with a 650 lb capacity would handle anything, including whitewater -- of course that would mean closer to 30 lbs per person of boat gear. I bought a Pakboat XT kayak from a guide who uses Pakboat folding canoes for fishing trips on gravelly whitewater streams from Alaska to Patagonia. Canoes are really more of a standard craft for the waters you are describing. An overturned canoe bridged on rocks or downed trees with a mosquito net and tarp over it also makes a great shelter.

In my hours of semi-idle day-dreaming about outdoor gear, I've imagined a system that uses nesting modular aluminum poles and fabric panels that can be variously configured as a pack frame, tent structure or skin on frame boat skeleton. A good class project for an industrial design student......

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:57 pm 
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Hi G, sounds like you had a great trip - must have been extremely interesting seeing Tim Evans' boats first hand!
I wonder, with Tim's designs, but more durable materials, how much more would a kayak like his weigh?

The Aironaut does look like a nice boat. It's definitely a possibility.

Thanks Kerry for your suggestions. I didn't realize a Saco can possibly weigh 30lbs. with all its gear. I guess any boat advertised at 20lbs. should be considered for packing weight at ~25lbs?
The tandem idea is a very good one, and the pakcanoes look really really nice. We thought of them, but at least at this point, prefer solo boats. One of the main reasons is we'd each want our own boat before and after the trip as well.
Just last week I got an old kayak - not foldable (and not light - ~53lbs), so it's not coming with us to Alaska (or anywhere else very far that requires its carrying), but it was free (may just be on loan - time will tell) except for having to put in quite a few hours fixing it up. It will be a good way to start getting more experience and maybe get a better idea of some of the suggestions people posted which we may not have been able to fully appreciate yet. And also a great way to start comparing different kayaks - including, maybe, homemade...
I love your convertible packraft/skin-on-frame/tent idea. Love it! I've thought (only in vague theory) of ideas like that... Can't remember what right now, but they usually included a tent :) Manufacturers should really think in those terms...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:08 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
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Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Where are you located? Your site profile doesn't ID your geographic area. If you were in my general neck of the woods you could check out my Pakboat in person and compare it to other craft (I always have 4 to 6 kayaks in my fleet.)

I don't think for such a serious trip that you should let considerations like each having your own boat after the trip color your choice for the best option for a challenging expedition. A larger boat can always be sold (they retain their value well) and you can split the proceeds to buy your own boats.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:46 am 
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Thank you Kerry very much. That's a really nice offer. I'm not in the U.S. now, and probably won't be for a year or two more (the next time will probably be for this planned trip. N. California is where I'm usually located in the U.S., but get to the East Coast sometimes). I see you're in PA. If my brother gets to the East Coast I'll try to contact you.

You're probably right. I'll show my brother everyone's suggestions when he gets a chance.

I see you have\had a Dagger. Do you know much about the bigger ones? The one I got and fixed up is a touring one. Seems its specs are similar to the Stratos (maybe an older version? It's called Savannah). Sunday I hope to try it for the first time. If you have any experience with it\similar - how does it compare to your pakboats, or other foldables you have experience with?
Another thought - how do your pakboats compare with each other?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:40 pm 
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Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
The Dagger Savannah is what we call a "day touring" kayak due to it's mid length (14' 6") and fairly wide beam (25"). Here are specs from an old ad:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/savann ... r~p~68234/

I do have a somewhat similar boat in my "fleet" (presently only 5 boats -- I have to change my profile list), an older Perception Monterey that is the same length, similar hull design but a little narrower. It has gained positive reviews at the Paddling.net site:

http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showRev ... l?prod=483


This size of kayak is actually quite versatile -- short and light enough for enjoyable day trips on rivers and lakes but with enough cargo space for overnights and with the right hull and deck design and features for coastal conditions. I have even taken 14 and 15 foot plastic touring kayaks on mild class 1 and 2 open whitewater streams.

As to how my various folders compare, they run the gamut. The Puffin is wide, short and slow. Better for birdwatching and photography than covering any distance. Great for ease of transport and quick set up and take down. Easiest to assemble of all my boats.

The Pakboat XT-15 was faster and more solid feeling -- probably a lot like your "new" plastic boat. Also pretty easy to set up, excellent seat comfort and huge baggage capacity. The ex boyfriend kept that one so I don't have access to it any more (good riddance.... to him, not the boat).

My Wisper is narrow relatively light and pretty fast, super comfortable and fits me like it was custom made. Kind of a pain to set up but I have gotten pretty accustomed to it, I did have a little trouble with it paddling up on the Saquenay Fjiord in Quebec in August due to having hauled it too far on the car roof rack rather than packing it down -- I slightly bent the frame sponsons in the bow which caused the deck rod to disengage from the front rib and deformed the hull enough to make it a little sluggish and hard to track. I will have to tend to fixing that before I set it up and take it out again.

My first folder was an FC Kahuna which I loved at the time (since I did not know any better) but in retrospect it was pretty slow compared to my other folders since then. I had trouble keeping up with people in longer hard boats and canoes in it. It weathercocked a lot until I bought the optional rubber FC skeg which made a big difference (the Wisper also needs this but comes with it standard). I had many great years and trips with that boat until I sold it for $1800 to a guy from New York City who bought it for his wife at the same time he bought my older model FC K-1 for himself.

The K-1 Expedition (vintage 1996 so made of cordura and not the newer fabrics) was a battleship -- really too large for 5' 5" and 145 lb me -- but I got it for a great price locally ($2,000 when the new ones were going for close to $5,000). It was heavy, a complete horror show to assemble with the older "cockpit box" style frame and had a full rudder. But it was pretty fast and very stable -- the first time I took it out was in strong river current with large waves and wind and it felt very safe and tracked like an arrow. If I was going to do a major long expedition in a kayak I could see that as a good choice.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:33 am
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Thank you Kerry!
I'll look into your post soon. Seems like some very good, practical, first hand info.
Just came back from kayaking with my brother with the two boats - this kayaking business is a lot of fun! As was expected.
So far been out with the boats three times. Now two boats - the Dagger, and a home made experiment called "Lopsea" because she has a little off center disposition, but you have to look carefully to see it... She needs definite improvements, and she's potentially a foldable - but not going with us to Alaska...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:00 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 486
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
Billy, if you are still researching lightweight boats that can be packed in, I just saw this new raft/kayak inflatable hybrid packraft from Aire that looks like it might be just the thing. A little pricey but at 7 pounds and 350 pound carrying capacity it would be perfect for a wilderness packing trip:

http://www.aire.com/aire-kayak/bakraft-hybrid.asp

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:26 pm 
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Hey Kerry, sorry for the late reply - finding myself busy these days with things much less enjoyable than kayaks...

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into rafts a little more sometime, but pretty set on kayaks at this point.

On a site about kayak expeditions someone put some old (I think) quote about how with these seemingly fragile seagoing vessels, you can go places and manage rough seas much more robust boats can't. I realize rivers and seas are not the same, but for now kayaks are my passion (unfortunately theoretical again these days, but hopefully not for too long).


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