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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:05 am 
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Advice sought please...

I plan to fit a footplate into the bottom of the sea sock to make it easier to keep open and in place (I intend to then fasten the bottom of the sock to a cross rib to make it even more secure, as advised before). One approach to making this footplate was recommended in a previous thread http://foldingkayaks.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2526 using a foam block, and this is what I am going to do unless anyone has since devised another method / material that would be better...?

Hopefully this will help when practicing rescues over the next few weeks, especially as my hardshell-paddling partner is doubtful about the suitability of a folder for such activities and looks a bit mutinous when I tell him this is the boat I'm taking on our holiday in May! Can anyone advise whether being rescued/rescuing others is much different with a folding boat and a hardshell together than with two hardshells?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:20 am 
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Selkie,
Two considerations:
1. In a rescue situation you want to be able to make a fast and smooth wet exit. Make sure that your legs cannot get hung up in the sea sock. I personally prefer large float bags in bow and stern, and like to keep a clean cockpit.
2. Rescues with a folder can be similar to those with hardshells. What really matters more is the lay-out of the rear deck, coaming and deck lines. In general, flat and low rear decks, cockpits large enough for butt first reentry and full (and fairly taught) deck lines make rescues easier. Tall rear decks, small cockpits and floppy deck lines make it tougher, especially in rough water. The only way to see what works is to try it in flat and rough water. The ideal practice spot is a windy location with an adjacent sheltered area.

The other thing to look into is your kayak's cockpit: Do you have a comfortable and supportive seat, good hip, knee and foot bracing? How about a secure (in waves...) spray skirt?

Chris

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:52 am 
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Thanks Chris. Its a standard FC wisper if your familiar with the design, I think the original / smaller cockpit, its not massively restrictive but definitely need to do some trial wet exits to make sure I can leave in a hurry.

With your first point, do you mean you don't use a sea sock? I was hoping to source float bags that can also be used as dry bags, I'm sure I've seen reference to these.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:29 pm 
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I've owned a Feathercraft since I started kayak touring in 2002 (first a Kahuna, then a K-1 and presently a Wisper like yours.) I have never liked the sea sock and only used it twice, once to see how it worked and the second time because it was a cold day. The sock is hot, makes entry complicated and interferes with a good fit on the spray skirt. I also tested flooding it while standing in shallow water and found it a real pain to pump and sponge it out, much more so than emptying just the open hull with the standard pump.

I always use flotation bags -- if I am packing gear in dry bags I just partially inflate the float bags and shove them way down into the stern and bow and push the packed dry bags back as far as I need them to go and then inflate the float bags as much as they will go without dislodging the drybags. The drybags don't have to be inflatable (at least that is my feeling) since their solid volume will displace water entry anyway which is the main purpose of float bags (I prefer to think of them as water displacement bags). Feathercrafts have sufficient buoyancy from the sponsons.

If you are going to try your idea of adding the plate to the bottom of the seasock, I would suggest the thin plastic cutting boards that you can find in kitchen gear departments. You might also try cutting the bottom, side wall or lid one of those plastic 5 gallon paint or spackling buckets. Or a cheap (i.e. thin) plastic dustpan. I think something rigid and slippery, like the nylon plastic foot brace that is standard with the Wispers, would be better than any sort of foam. Just my thoughts.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:10 am 
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Thanks Kerry, I hadn't considered not using the sock though I really really dislike it. Now I am tempted to use flotation / dry bags to displace water and go sock-free when I don't actually plan to capsize. I guess so long as the frame is thoroughly washed down then the small amount of water brought in on feet won't do any harm? Can anyone advise about this on a multi-day trip, how quickly does corrosion happen... would it be ok to take apart and wash thoroughly after 5 or 6 days of use like this?

I may still make the plate and use the sock when I practice rescues just to minimise unnecessary salt water exposure - though I'll do a couple sockless to see how hard it is to empty the boat. I'm not familiar with a spackling bucket, but this type of tub comes in lots of sizes and http://goo.gl/ce2gW6 is flexible enough to bend and slide into place but springy enough keep some shape, if cut down a little...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:39 am 
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I've used the Feathercrafts in salt water without problems. I've ALWAYS liberally coated all the frame connections with Boeshield lubricant when assembling my folders, flushed them with fresh water whenever possible to do so and dissembled the boats within a few days after any salt water outing. Never have had a frozen connection or corrosion problems. Bicycle shops are usually a handy source of Boeshield. Get the little drip bottles, not the spray can. The stuff was developed by Boeing Corporation as a lubricant to use in aircraft that would be durable and not damage or degrade rubberized or plastic materials so it's very safe to use in folders.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:33 pm 
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Selkie,

No, I do not use a sea sock. I considered one for my Coaster (old school hard shell, no bulkheads), but decided not to. Instead I use the original large float bags in bow and stern.
Problem with a sea sock in a hard shell is the lack of internal attachment points for a sea sock, resulting in a floppy sock to trap your legs in. With a folder OTOH, you could have clips on the sea sock to clip it to the frames and maybe have the sock stretched somewhat taught. I personally will only consider a sea sock if, once installed, it forms a fairly rigid tub inside the cockpit. I would likely have to design and test such a thing.
My more or less vintage folders are currently not set up for sea kayaking, no deck lines or waterproof neoprene spray skirts! But, I always use float bags in them. Actually my little Nautiraid and Klepper T67 come close: Both have reasonable spray skirts, but the T67 is my museum piece (fresh water use only) and the Nautiraid is a bit short and slow for group paddles ( however, ideal for poking around small sloughs and wetlands!). My goal is to eventually have a good folding sea kayak: The Pionier 450S properly outfitted with a new skin and all the required trimmings.
For the incidental water and mud/sand entering the cockpit, I place a small towel in front of the seat in my folders. I step on the towel when getting in. Keeps any water from sloshing around too.
I like to keep my wet exits as fast and easy as possible, so will not add anything inside the cockpit to make them more difficult. I feel this is important when the chips are down: Rough coastal conditions, and when a roll fails on the second attempt. Wet exits should never result in a moment of panic, but should feel like a perfectly normal everyday way of exiting your kayak.
My perspective here? I have been doing a fair amount of rescue practices during the past two years since I started to focus more on sea kayaking. The group I sea kayak with (Bay Area Sea Kayakers), places a premium on this. Add always being dressed for immersion, and the fear factor goes way down when paddling in conditions.

Chris

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Last edited by ChrisO on Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:26 pm 
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Selkie, Now you've got me thinking about a modification to one of my seasocks (besides the FC one i have a funky homemade one that came with my skin-on-frame). I had bought a length of very heavy weight vinyl-coated ripstop polyester fabric last year to lengthen a too-short deck for my little Pakboat Puffin and have a bunch left over. It is very stiff and slick. I'm going to try cutting a piece to attach to the foot section of the seasock to keep it from collapsing and might even try a length of it along the bottom of the sack to make it more slippery, kind of a skid plate.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:30 am 
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Can you please share how that sock project goes? I will feedback any success or otherwise with my experiments. Glad I'm not the only one to dislike the floppy sock effect, a niche in the market exists, Chris we could be your first customers! I didn't know that hardshells at one time came with no bulkheads, my partner and his hardcore surf-kayaking buddies use float bags in their boats even though they have bulkheads, belt and braces but they probably need them.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:02 am 
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Though a different kayak with no sponsons interesting all the same regarding rescues http://www.trakkayaks.com/pages/video


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:59 am 
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The Trak Is an interesting boat with a unique hydraulic hull tensioning system that allows one to not only stretch the skin but actually change the hull shape. The downside is that these clever devices can fail and they add weight. The Trak is a relatively heavy boat.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:50 am 
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It was interesting how difficult it was to empty by pulling it across the bow of the other boat.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:07 am 
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Even with a series of flotation bags, you'll still get a lot more water in the kayak than you do with a sea sock, because the ribs and keel/chines/ gunwales hold the bags away from the kayak skin. I've found it's harder to pump out a seasock (because the sock tends to wrap itself the pump inlet), but the volume of water is a lot less. Seasocks are lovely and warm in winter, but uncomfortably hot in a mediterranian summer.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:31 am 
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Selkie, I think you might find yourself working in different ways with the folder in terms of emptying the boat as well. Maybe the other guys can chime in here as I'm not sure traditional hard shell techniques will work for a swamped Wisper... 'The Complete Kayaker' by Ralph Diaz is an older book that dealt with many of these issues, and although dated is a great book with many good tips specific to folding kayaks and kayaking.

The volume of water collected in a folder can be huge given the proper opportunity, even with float bags. I sail so I tend to take on more water than most. I always keep this handy device sitting behind my seat:

http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/plumbing/pumps/utility-pumps/bsup-portable-battery-operated-utility-pump-1-55-hp-138-gph-4-5v-3-4-in-ght?infoParam.campaignId=T9F&gclid=CjwKEAjw55K4BRC53L6x9pyDzl4SJAD_21V1gRTmpc-EDkQsFs-Iw0R33TZVWFAOf1MFFfLpcOyRGxoCHKfw_wcB

Trying to empty a folder with a hand-pump is an exercise in frustration and it's exhausting. You'll definitely want to explore the different ways of emptying water from the boat, with or without the aid of other kayakers around. I don't think you'll have any issues helping hard-shell kayakers with their boats. Although you'll want to be cautious of the weight placed across the deck bars.

Dennis

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:05 am 
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Thank you, thats very helpful. I think a degree of trial and error is going to be essential but very glad to be able to draw on the experience of people here.


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