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 Post subject: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:08 pm
Posts: 10
I haven't kayaked in my adult life, and only one occasion when I was about 15; but a few weeks ago I became suddenly obsessed with the subject -- reading all that I could about sea kayaking at kayarchy.co.uk (an excellent website), then I got interested in kayak manufacture and bought/read books on that too (Nick Schade's strip-built kayak book, for instance), and "on Island time" about a chap going around the Bahamas in a sea kayak, catching fish with a harpoon!

Due to my large size, 6 foot 4 and about 17 stone (genuinely big boned, former rugby player), I found that most sea/touring kayaks were too small for me, or for me and a decent load, and perhaps with not enough buoyancy regardless. Then I came across Kleppers, their large capacities, and their history. I'm towards the end of "Alone at sea", and I'm dreaming of weekend trips down English rivers, or holidays on Scottish lochs next year and in the decades to come (I'm in my early 30s).

I've progressed as far as ordering a frame for a Klepper Aerius II (520), and I intend to look it over and get a Keppler skin for it too. I was in the Army Cadets at my school, and I often reflect fondly upon it, because it gave me a reason/excuse to camp outdoors, among but not obsessed with nature, and to see some of the countryside. So I hope to replicate some of that with my Klepper, and enjoy some nice adventures, stopping at many riverside pubs along the way, and learning a bit of paddling proficiency before I take it on holiday to some of the rivers of Europe (I've just started reading some of the "Rob Roy Canoe" adventures -- that can be downloaded from archive.org -- that detail such journeys, and have an enthusiastic Victorian optimism to them).

The fact that the Aerius II is even big enough for me to sleep in also appeals -- I enjoy my own company (especially when travelling), and I have no aversion to sleeping at the side of a canal in a foldable kayak! In fact, it sounds quite romantic!

So I'm enthused, and I haven't even got a working boat yet! I fully expect the Klepper to last me a lifetime. I like to look after things, and it'll give me an excuse to do some woodworking, or some metalworking in the future. If the skin lasts 20 years I may need to replace it once -- and I've chosen the most popular model, so there should be no problems finding spares.

Anyway. Nice to have found this community/website, and to have learned a lot from here already. The advice here gave me the conviction to buy my first boat, so hanks for that!

Best regards.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:56 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Hi Steve and welcome,
Now the Klepper A2 is a very fine boat but sleeping in it seems a little ambitious. I suppose if you remove the frame halves and use the skin for a "tent " it could save you in an emergency. Bear in mind it will be very damp after a day on the water. Maybe you have been influenced by Dr Linderman's exploits on the Atlantic where he manages to semi sleep in a paddling position while sub-consciously holding course during his seventy something day trans-Atlantic voyage. You said you were a big boned, former rugby player but no mention of any god like attributes like Dr Linderman.
Luckily the Klepper is big enough for a tent and airbed so I'd be going down that path.
Cheers Jim

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Folbot:Super, Sporty, Greenland II, Klepper:1960's AE2, 1970's AE2, 1990's AE2000


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:08 pm
Posts: 10
I didn't realise that the inside of the canvas would get wet. I was hoping that it would be a cost effective way to spend a long weekend afloat during the summer -- sleeping over Friday and Saturday night.

I'm happy to report that my enthusiasm has continued unabated, and I have since obtained detailed maps of all of the inland waterways of Great Britain, and a book about all of the interesting caves and hidden places to explore on its shoreline (under the guise of an Ordnance Survey book about historical smuggling!).

Thanks for the welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:07 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:42 pm
Posts: 442
Hi Steve,

I have come across people who've experimented with sleeping in canoes afloat overnight, but they are rare. Jim is right that there are practical difficulties with sleeping in a Klepper. The ribs/stations would be pretty uncomfortable, quite apart from any dampness. But lots of people do canoe along the British rivers and canals wild camping at the side of the river at nights in tent or bivvy (and leaving early in the morning, if its an 'informal' camp, leaving no trace).
If you were really determined, you might be able to sleep in your Klepper. DLee of this forum built himself a 'sailing deck' to make the ribs and boards at the bottom of the Klepper less uncomfortable on his knees when moving around while sailing. I imagine it would also make it more comfortable for sleeping onboard; you can search for his post on this probably in the sailing section. But as for me, I'll continue to carry a bivvy bag or tent and haul up onto the shore when I want to sleep.

If you haven't yet discovered the 'Song of the Paddle' forum, you may want to check it out. You'll find lots of like-minded British canoeists there. Even though they claim to be an open/canadian canoe forum, loads of the posters consider it a welcoming home for British paddle-sport in general. One big advantage you have with a folder is that you can pack up at the end of your trip and take the train or bus home. Last summer I wheeled my Klepper down to London and through the tube to Euston station and took the Caledonian sleeper to Western Scotland for a long weekend paddling to, and camping on, Knoydart. It was a marvellous trip that I plan to repeat sometime. (Mal's blog of the trip here: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/ ... t=knoydart , warning it's got a lot of pictures.)

Finally, (forgive me if this sounds preachy and you already know it) do take the safety seriously if you are a beginner. Wear a PFD (personal floatation device or buoyancy aid) and educate yourself on water safety. Big open water (and cold water), whitewater and weirs are dangers that sometimes kill beginnners in the UK. Paddling in company is a good way to start out when you're new to the sport and a site like songofthepaddle.co.uk is a good way to find like-minded people to get afloat with. But the important thing is to get out and enjoy yourself.

Good luck with getting yourself a folding boat and getting out and enjoying the water. Let us know how you get on.
All the best,
Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:38 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1712
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
Check out the 2015 movie "Comme un Avion". It was released in the UK (sadly, not yet in the US). I've forgotten the English title.

_________________
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: '84 Hobie 16; early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:57 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:42 pm
Posts: 442
Hi Chris, Steve,
The movie is available from Amazon.co.uk as 'The Sweet Escape' (click for link).
All the best,
Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:08 pm
Posts: 10
I've just finished watching that film. It was very good! Nice kayak - I like those Nautiraids. If money were no object I'd have probably bought a Grand Raid myself, but when I saw an Aerius II frame for sale at £250, the idea of spending £4000 on a Nautiraid seemed a lot less justifiable! I'm happy with my choice, though. I couldn't bring myself to even consider getting a direct Klepper-copy, such as Wayland or Long Haul; but the Nautiraids - while similar in design to the Klepper - seemed to have taken it further, and improved/refined the design somewhat. At least that is my assessment. I'll certainly be getting my hull from Klepper, even though it's twice as much as from Wayland. I wouldn't want to give my business to a company that has done little more than copy Klepper's design entirely! When it comes to some of the accessories, though, I think I might have to go with the cheaper options -- I'm quite tempted by Wayland's downwind sail, about £180 -- especially vs. Klepper's version at £400 or £500! While I'm complaining about prices: £200 for a spray-deck?! It's outrageous! I'll have to improvise one, I think -- perhaps a waterproof groundsheet tucked-in around the coaming, in some fashion.

I read over that holiday report, Ian. It was a good read - well written - and some stunning photographs. That is exactly the kind of holiday that I hope to be taking in the future. You're the chap with the blue Klepper, I gather? I've always been attracted to offshore islands (probably from watching the Swiss Family Robinson!). I'd love to spend some time going island to island, camping on them -- and all the rest of it.

I must confess that I'd forgotten about bivvy bags. That's a much more sensible/comfortable idea! I'll probably get an ex-army one - camouflage colours - so that I don't get asked to move on by security-guards -- as in the film, indeed! -- or even by the 'land-owners'. I had intended to use an inflatable mattress to raise myself above the ribs in the boat.

As regards a PFD -- would you wear one when paddling on a canal, or a tame river? I don't intend to go thrill-seeking - ever; my idea of fun is a steady paddle, then pull-over for a few drinks and some crisps; then do another few miles! I'll have to practice my safety procedures for getting back into a capsized boat at sea, and so on. Dr. Lindemann informs me that Klepper's are unsinkable, thanks to their sponsons; so that's a weight off the mind in an emergency, I should think. I'll have to find the best way back-in through trial and error -- it may not be dignified!

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:55 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 607
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Good luck with skinning your Klepper, you'll find expert advice on this forum from people who've either done it or had it done by someone reliable.

PS I don't think anyone who's been on this forum a while would put Long Haul in the same category as Wayland. Long Haul are the Rolls-Royce of wooden framed folders and buyers are ecstatic about their after sales support...

_________________
Simon

Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:08 pm
Posts: 10
Ecstatic?!
Perhaps I worded it awkwardly -- I was attempting to compare Wayland and Long Haul's "Klepper-clones" to Nautiraid's Klepper-inspired -- and improved, according to me -- design; while also lamenting the fact that companies that have grown sucessful by copying a competitor's product seem to be doing better financially than the competitor that they copied -- especially evidenced by the Klepper/Wayland manufacturing situation being as it is now.

As for these ecstatic customers...


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:47 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:42 pm
Posts: 442
Hi Steve,
Yes, I'm the one in the blue Klepper T9. A lovely boat I found through this forum. Over 50 years old with a rubber hull that is still going strong. You might have spotted the yellow duct tape on it. I managed to tear the canvas on the boat while putting it together in a rush that day. (We were trying to catch the tide.) One of the beauties of a folder is the ease with which one can carry out a field repair in these circumstances. (Always carry duct tape! ;-) ) I must get around to sewing on a canvas patch now I'm back home again.

Regarding pfds, here in the UK many consider it best practice to wear one even in flat calm water like canals. When I canoed in Canada (some decades ago, perhaps things have changed), the important thing was to have one in the boat with you. We tended to kneel on them as the ribs of the canoe tended to stick into your knees otherwise. In other words it is a cultural thing. I *always* wear one when I'm with my children because I consider it to be setting a good example (a bit like bike helmets). On a cold day I'll wear one cos it helps keep you warm. On a hot day when I'm by myself on flat water I might take it off for comfort. Really, what you do is up to you. Some people are very fundamentalist about these things and again, like bike helmets, you will find people hold differing opinions--often very strongly. But you sound like you've got the right idea in terms of safety: it is a good idea to practice getting back into a capsized boat before you need to.

You could try making yourself a spray deck if you're handy with a sewing machine. Gluing pvc would be another route. In both cases you would probably find it easier if you have an old example to use as a template. Re hulls, I have two Wayland hulls on different boats, the original Klepper one on the T9, and I made my own glued pvc hull for an old Tyne Prefect that I have. I've written elsewhere on this forum about my Wayland hulls. If I had the money I would be tempted to use Marcus Heise in Germany to sew a new hull for the next one I need. He's not cheap, but by all accounts he does a very good job. For gluing pvc see yostwerks.org.

I hope to see some blogs of your adventures in due course!
All the best,
Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:25 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 607
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Steve wrote:
As for these ecstatic customers...

I suggest you browse the many comments from Long Haul owners on this forum. Then read the comments about Wayland

Then you can play 'spot the difference'.

_________________
Simon

Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from England.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:41 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1080
Location: isles of scilly UK
Hello Steve. I don,t come on the site very often these days, although i moved from Canada to the Isles of Scilly and am within a 100 steps or so from the beach with other things going on i havn,t found time to go on the water in two years. Well you have bought an Aerius 2 frame and need a skin. If it were me i would buy a skin, try and "put the boat out", get a new one, in the end it,s worth it and the cost shock soon passes, heck a tv can cost more. About sails look at Pacific Action, their largest works well on an Aerius 2, it,s good for down wind and reaching, it will go into wind if the wind isn,t too strong and to boot if you want to make a sail it is probably the easiest to make, look at topkayaker there are good ideas on sails and their testing of them. As you have now seen there are many sails of different types so there can be a lot of reserch on these alone.If you should like to visit the Scillies, one of the best sea kayak places in the UK, If you want to come down i might just be able to help. I have 5 boats, 3 are folders plus a Triak and a Hobie.


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