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Home built folder

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:10 pm
by kensuem
Some Summer we are having here in NZ,pouring hard yet again!!!In view of that I decided it was time to document my attempt at a folding kayak.
As per my posts in the Introductions section,I had bought a frame for a Klepper type folder,but once assembled realised I had no hope of sitting comfortably in the cockpit.So it was back to the drawing board,and the klepper frame was sold to another enthusiast ,who is going to make a new skin for it.
Then,browsing through this site,I found Tom's Falco folder.At first glance i thought it would be ideal for me,but after more study decided I needed something a little wider,a little longer,and with a more comfortable seat.
I alredy had the 680gsm fabric[truck curtainsider fabric]and a sheet of 6mm ply ,and from there on it was trial and error.
The basic idea is similar to the falco,with plywood sides,but mine has a glued in section at both bow and stern[each 1200 long],
and a centre section 1800 long that is removable.Since my first trial I have put a hinge in the centre of these pieces to make it easier to assemble.
Alluminium J mould[sold as gutter mould]is fitted to each of these centre sectins,and this supports a frame to take the plywood seat and backrest for greater comfort..Alluminium tube is used for a full legth keel,and small blocks attached to this hold the hinging frames against stops on the opposite side instead of velcro.
A deck ridge was made from 3x1 pine,and this slides in the same as the keel,but is then rotated to latch on to the frames.The coaming is supported by bent alluminium pipe ,through loops of fabric.
I had a fair bit of teasing from family and friends[one of whom offered to send me a packet of Blue Tac from the UK],who all thought it would leak.
However I am plesed to report that there was not a siongle drop of water in it after a 45 minute trial!!!
Tracking is good and it seems fairly fast.Also comfortable and most imprtantly,easy to get in and out of.
Assembly time would appear to be about 10 minutes at the moment.Folded it takes up more room ,and has more parts than the Falco,
but folded size wasn't one of my criteria.
After the trial i added two deck hatches,similar to the Falco,but just made from hull fabric in a 150mm tube.The top is closed by folding over and sliding on a split piece of plastic conduit to seal it.
Now for the difficult part of trying to add a few photos.
Many thanks to Tom and his falco for inspiring me to give it a go.
Ken Mitchell.

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:14 pm
by kensuem
Another photo of me proving it actually floats!!!!

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:22 pm
by berniem
Congratulations - looks great

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:54 pm
by Yostwerks
Nice looking "Falcoesque" folder :D

Enjoy, Tom

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:10 pm
by kensuem
Many thanks for your comment Tom,if it wasn't for your Falco ,I would never have given it a try.
Next problem is to find a name for it,after my UK friends comments, I am thinking of "Blutac"!!!

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:20 am
by siravingmon
Very nice :D What are the dimensions? I'd love to see a video of you assembling it, even a low quality phone camera one

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:46 am
by kensuem
Re Video, Will see what we can manage,could always leave the sound off,so you won't hear the bad language!!!! :lol:
Length--4400mm,
max beam--600mm at gunwales,
465 mm at chines.

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:56 am
by Chucao
kensuem

Nice boat !!! :mrgreen:

Can you take a closer photos showing the construction details.

what I like of your boat is that the skin is apart from the frame

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:52 pm
by kensuem
Re my home built folder,things have not turned out as expected.Last week I got set up to film the assembly .with my son behind the camera.
However we hadn't got far when I put my back out reaching inside to push the slides home.!!!
A couple of days later my son put it together and we had an enjoyable outing exploring local creeks.
Last Tuesday we decided to try a trip up the harbour to Kauri Point,involving going out about 1 klm to clear the shallows,and then about 4 klm up the harbour.
At that stage the wind got up and it took 1-1/4 hours paddling into a brisk breeze,with 300 to500mm waves,which were only about 1800mm apart.
This showed up a problem,in that my boat doesn't cut through the waves,but instead rides up over them and then crashes down before the next wave.
All this pounding caused a couple of the pieces of alluminium track.to come unstuck allowing the hull to flex quite a lot.
It really was quite a tough test for it,and by the time we got back we were both soaked to the skin ,as waves were breaking over the bows of both boats.
So it was back to the drawing board for the folder.I decided that the gaps between side panels,[which were required to ease the assembly],would always cause me problems in the choppy conditions that we get in our shallow harbour.
So, after much deliberation,I replaced the slides with fixed battens,resulting in a non-folding kayak!!!
The boat still has a big advantage for me,in that it is quite light, so I can lift it on a roof rack with no problem.
Come to think of it,why did I need a folder in the first place???
Still,it was lots of fun building it ,and I still have a boat which suits me.

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:06 pm
by DLee
Wow, quite a story. Really glad you made it back safely. Other than the weak links in your boat, did you see drastic performance difference between your design and your son's (I'm assuming commercial) boat in handling those unusual waves?

Nice picture.

d

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:17 am
by kensuem
My son,who has just come home to live with us for a while,was using the kayak I have used prior to building the folder.It is an old fibreglass slalom kayak which I paid $50 for, on an auction site.When I got it home I found I couldn't even get in it,so out came the Jigsaw,and we soon had a larger cockpit!!!
I then added a plywood coaming,and after a trial, bilge keels and a skeg to improve the tracking.
It is now quite a nice boat to paddle,reasonably fast,comfortable,and tracks well.It actualy performed well in the rough water,but the waves were going over the deck and breaking against the coaming.Actually he was having to stop and wait for me every so often,but part of that is down to the age difference,he is 38 and i am almost 69.I keep reminding him that he will get to my age oneday!!!
Large areas of the harbour are only 2 to 3 feet deep,even at high tide and I assume that is what causes the waves to be so close together.The shallow parts can cause other problems as on one occasion i had to get out and walk,even when 500 metres offshore!!!!

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:58 am
by Chucao
Glad you made it back safely. :wink:
Short waves choppy can be very demanding in a boat structure.

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:27 am
by siravingmon
So you're on the upper Waitemata? I remember it getting really choppy from Kauri point all the way to Bayswater in an 18 foot trailer sailor I was on only 30 years ago :-)

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:25 pm
by kensuem
Hi Simon,
Sorry you are a little bit adrift!!!We are in Katikati in the Bay of Plenty,and on the Tauranga harbour.
I actually didn't realise there was a Kauri Point on the Waitemata,until I saw a bit about it on a Fishing program last Sunday.
It is great having the harbour right on our doorstep,but the shallow areas and high tidal flow can cause a few problems if you don't plan for them.
We are leaving shortly to explore a creek from Pahoia Beach,giving us the first 1 1/2 hours with the tide in our favour,when going upstream,
Will report later on how it goes.
Ken.

Re: Home built folder

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:49 am
by kensuem
After a gap of several months, this is the final report on my attempt at a "folder".
The creeks that I paddle on ,and even parts of the harbour, are full of old tree branches,
tree roots etc, and in the shallows there are often old stumps from Mangroves.
I had been nervous of this for some time, and in spite of watching for snags
I eventually poked a hole through the fabric with a tree branch when the creek was muddy after heavy rain.
I made it back down the creek with several stops to bale out water, but decided a fabric boat wasn't the best for the conditions.
So sadly "Bluetac" has now been dismantled to salvage some of the materials, and I have converted another old fibreglass kayak
to suit the paddling that I do.
Attached are photos ,as purchased[$70] and as now, with a larger cockpit, skeg, bilge keels, and a false bow to cut through the waves.