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 Post subject: The old Aerius 20
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:54 am
Posts: 28
Location: Sweden
The Klepper Aerius 20 is an odd type. I grew up with one in the family. It was purchased sometime in the second half of the 1970:s (probably in 1976). My parents used to talk about how it could be sailed and that this was a model used by the armed forces.

The armed forces part always seemed slightly unrealistic to me, how attractive would it be to disassemble the thing, put it on your back and jog away to meet your enemy? The beast weights a good 43 kilos and doesn't leave much room to carry a gun and whatever more you might need when you paddle off to war.

Since my kayak-interest escalated this year and I read up on the Klepper-fleet I've learnt that it was the Aerius II that the swedish marines used into the 2000:s (under the name Kustjägarkanot 710B). It's not light-weight either but with its 27 kilos it can be carried for a bit.

The navy-connection was not all fantasies afterall, it turned out that the Aerius 20 was developed in the mid-1970:s French navy procurement. The contact went to Nautiraid but Klepper sold its competitor 1975-1978. The outer dimensions are the same as for the Aerius II but with much less parts it assembles even faster than the marketed ten minutes.

Early spring 2019 I dragged three large green bags of kayak home to see if I could make the old Aerius 20 paddlable again.

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The wooden parts were generally in good shape, but one rib was broken (once made by my father to replace the broken original) and another part of the frame along with some minor issues needed attention but nothing that couldn't be salvaged. It should however become clear that the Johannes Klepper profession as a tailor was an obvious advantage. A knowledge of fabric is handy when dealing with a kayak supposed to be held together by rubber and cotton.

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A rough life outside with sun and wasps had taken its toll on the skin.

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Second generation rib.

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Third generation rib.

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Old and new parts in harmony.

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This hinge is supposed to move in several directions and turned out to be a weak point. One out of four original hinges still working.

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Wooden frame in good enough condition. Next step, the skin.

More and larger images at https://skrymta.se/2019/07/18/klepper-aerius-20/


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