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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:17 am 
Folbot Citibot in Melbourne, Australia

My name is Tim, and I live in Melbourne, Australia. Everyone in Melbourne knows that it is a great city, but not so many people realise how well suited it is to owning a Citibot! There are a few rivers flowing through Melbourne's suburbs, the main one being the Yarra. The city is centred on the mouth of the Yarra, where it enters the (usually calm) Port Phillip Bay. There are many train stations along the rivers and coastlines of Melbourne, and there are also bus and tram services that provide even more options for getting to and from our paddlable water.

I took my new Citibot out on Melbourne's beautiful Yarra River yesterday, and it was excellent. I was able to walk with it to my local tram stop, catch a tram to the train station, then catch a train to Collingwood, one of Melbourne's suburbs on the Yarra River. From Collingwood train station I walked to the river, where I assembled the kayak and launched it. I leisurely paddled the Citibot 12 kilometers downstream from Collingwood, ending up in the city centre 3 hours later. I then folded it up and travelled back home on a tram with it. It was a wonderful day's outing!

The section of the Yarra River that I paddled is generally very sluggish, and I was paddling into a light headwind for the day. It turned out that if I stopped paddling (which I often did for photo opportunities and snack stops etc.), the wind would blow me upstream, so that should give some indication of how slowly the river flows. I am confident that I could maintain my 4 km per hour speed on flat still water on a still day.

I should also note that I am 6 foot 3 inches tall, and about 165 pounds (75 kg) in weight, and I found that the Citibot worked well for me. It was comfortable to sit in and paddle, and the supplied 3 piece paddle functioned very well too. The kayak was easy and fun to assemble, though I must say that I can not do it in 10 minutes yet... Everything went together according to plan and fit together nicely, so I am pleased to say that the quality of the whole thing was excellent. The inflatable sponsons only take about 3 breaths to fill. The seat takes less. I quickly discovered that I had over-inflated the bottom cushion of the seat, but fortunately you can easily let some air out while you're sitting in the boat. Getting the dismantled boat back into the bag is easy enough, and I found that there was additional space in the bag for stuffing in a few extra items too. Carrying the bag on my back was no big deal. Yesterday I walked about 2 km with it on.

I am now cooking up ideas for expeditions in the Citibot. The luggage space and loading capacity will obviously need to be tested before I can get too carried away, so I will experiment with stowing a few extra items into the boat next time I go out in it. I reckon I could get a tent and sleeping bag in there with me, but I am not sure how much extra space I would have below deck for food and other stuff. I will probably have to place some items on top of the deck and use the webbing to keep it restrained.

In conclusion, I can happily say that I am very satisfied with the Citibot, and I am looking forward to my next outing.

Tim Fitton
tfitton@hotmail.com


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:51 am 
Looks like a good competition to those inflatables by Inova and Advanced Elements. Better paddling quality, roughly same price range.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:35 am 
Site Admin
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Astoria, OR
Tim,

Thanks for the report. Sounds like you have dosed out some appropriate paddling trips for the Citibot. I'll be very interested in what use you make of it for overnighters. Please keep us up to date.

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:28 pm 
Howdy folks. Tim Fitton here again. I have since undertaken another two outings in my Citibot, and have posted photos and discussion on the Folbot forum. You can see it all here: http://www.folbotforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=3138


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:48 pm 
Tim; get those keel protection strips from Folbot. Apply them along the keelsen and lower stringers, and fix the ends with Aquaseal glue (or any other Hypalon-compatible glue). Keelsen and lower stringers are places where 80%-90% of all hull damage occurs, no wonder you've got some hole. Affordable Folbot prices are based not only on marketing policy (cheaper items-> higher sales volume -> decent gross profit), - but also on "cutting corners". Have fun!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:28 pm 
Hey Alex

Thanks for the advice. I will follow it.

Tim.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:45 am 
Hey Tim,

One nice route is to paddle from Fairfield boathouse to studley park boathouse. It's a pleasent paddle and you get to see the crazy fruit bay colony on Yarra Bend - just be careful not wake them up...

:)

Guy


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:19 pm 
Hi Guy

Indeed I have already paddled that part of the Yarra, and I would definitely agree that it is a nice route to paddle. It is actually one of the two other journeys that I referred to in my post on the 13th November last year. Since then I have paddled that same route a few more times, and every time it is an absolute pleasure. On the Sunday just gone I paddled from Fairfield to Dights Falls (which is about a mile further downstream of the Yarra Bend boathouse), and stopped in at the Yarra Bend boathouse for lunch before continuing back up to Fairfield. It was gorgeous. I didn't see any turtles this time, but I did see a platypus for my first time ever in the Yarra, and also witnessed a 3 foot carp jumping about a foot clean out of the water. The bats are still there, and I had a few more sightings of the aqua coloured "pale-headed rosella" and a kingfisher. Unfortunately though the water level was lower than I had ever seen it before, probably due to the drawdown for extinguishing all of the recent bushfires in Victoria.

I should also note that the Yarra River downstream of there is also very nice. I have paddled all the way to the bay and then some to Williamstown and the South Melbourne pier (this is also documented on the Folbot forum that i mentioned on the 13th Nov, and i have uploaded some photos there too). I am yet to go any further upstream than Alphington Park (about a mile upstream of the Fairfield boathouse), but hopefully in the next few months I will have a crack at some of the stretches further upstream of there.

Loving my Citibot!
Tim.


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