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 Post subject: New owner,old folbot...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:10 am 
Hey all,
Found a Folbot Glider, unknown vintage, under tarps at a boat salvage place here in San Pedro, CA for $200. Been looking for a folder for my sailboat but this might still work so it looks like I've gotten myself a bit of a project.
Red deck white hull well used but stored under cover. Vinyl skin with some cracking and a couple of tears on deck and below the waterline (on top of the stringers). Wood interior in pretty good shape with one broken longitudinal stringer near the aft seat. Parts of an old sail kit with aluminum rudder, full tiller and tiller/rudder fitting and a pair of leeboards. Shadow of old Florida registration nos so this one has done a bit of traveling.
Pics tomorrow.
See if I can freshen her up and do some paddling... just slid her into the water at my slip for a moment and my friend and I thought we heard an audible sigh as she glided for the channel on a little breeze.


PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:58 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:55 am
Posts: 574
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
Dreadnaught wrote:
my friend and I thought we heard an audible sigh as she glided for the channel on a little breeze.

Lucky boat, to find an appreciative owner at last. I hope you'll be happy together.

Not in Oxford any more...

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:50 pm 
Sheesh dude,

That's my old hometown! I totally wish I had a kayak when I lived there.




PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:21 am 
Thanks for the welcome guys! You've got some nerve, Chris, leaving San Pedro!
No luck with pics yet. Saw your post Mary regarding shrinking pics but my uber-basic notebook is no help and neither is Facebook (where there is a pic looking at the boat from the stern). I will get set up on flkr so I can send stuff along.
I didn't put the primo original seatback cushions in the shot. They are a really nice red and yellow that gives me the color scheme for the re-skinning. That the Glider does not fold will simplify that process and the repair of the broken stringer. Varnishing is another story!
Since my sailboat is named Molly B her new tender has been christened BLOOM.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:41 am 
If it doesn't fold, and skin is done for (sounds like it is), carrying a small plastic kayak on board wouldn't cost much more and would probably make life easier. This is what many yachties do, to my observations - carrying one or two small plastic kayaks in in addition to inflatable dinghy. I am not sure that with semi-permanent exposure plastic boat (polyethylene) will last longer than non-folding skin-on-frame boat, but it definitely can take more abuse and needs less maintenance. OTH, if you enjoy big projects, this will be almost like some ship that you've built with your own hands...

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:11 pm 
You are right Alex... not very practical and I appreciate the reality check... something this site is good for I've noticed. On the other hand I already have the sistering done (an old sail batten some closed cell foam and a couple of white oak strips, $0 invested so far). Today I will get a wetsuit patch kit and some vinyl paint for a temp fix so I can start using BLOOM. I'm ordering a Sailrite sewing machine in two weeks and will hunt down some naugahyde and see where it goes from there. Since I don't feel like doing a complete restoration I will find practical inexpensive fixes that don't hurt the boat should someone ever want to restore it.
I don't think BLOOM will work for the serious cruising we have planned in 2010 so a folder is on the list. I have a flush deck 32 ' which will give me tons of deck space for assembly so I think an expedition style 2 seater would be great... any recommendations?
Money is an object so it will have to be used...

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:08 pm 
32 ' which will give me tons of deck space for assembly so I think an expedition style 2 seater would be great... any recommendations?

Those occasional folders that I've seen on board were Folbot GII (Greenland II). Perhaps, because it's less demanding in paddling and assembling skills than FC K2, and cheaper than FC K2 or Klepper AEII. If you come across some ancient AEII - that might work same well. Similar to GII, only with wooden frame, canvas deck, poor seats on older models (cheap one will be old, for sure), and more expensive spare parts in North America. Expedition-wise, AEII has a better reputation than GII, but I think this is largely due to its longer history. GII dates back to mid-90-ish, and AEII - 60-70ish (and its predecessors date back to 1950 or so). If your "expeditions" are something less serious than trans-Atlantic voyages, GII will do. Check Buy/sell section of the

As to patching/painting old hull - you know, like they say, "paint it nicely... and take it to dumpster". Old hull might not be worth time and materials to restore it.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:54 pm 
Thanks Alex... like the "Paint it nicely..." quote and you are probably right. I will take one pass at it and see. You can say told ya so when I whine about wasting my time. I think the varnishing will be almost as tedious as the re-skinning job so I will float the Glider if I can and use it some before I go on. The sewing machine is for sailmaking projects so it's not being purchased just for this.
Appreciate the direction on Folbot models. Helps in deciding what is most important to us in a folder AND whether or not it would be possible to rely on a kayak alone. I have a hard shell dingy now that I like but it would be nice to be able to keep the deck clearer.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:30 am 
Site Admin
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Astoria, OR

Those old vinyl hulls can be a major PITA to restore. Several Folbot devotees have restored Gliders and (especially) Supers, using modern versions of the vinyl (aka PVC) skins. Hit Yostwerks for sourcing the hull material -- better selection and quality than you will likely find at the local upholstery shop. And, check in at the Folbot Forum for tips from others if you want to save some steps.

As far as how suitable a folder is as a tender ... big old YMMV. I know a couple sailing cruisers who have gone that route and ultimately they all stuff them away while making miles from major port to port crossings, and assemble on some relatively flat surface (marina or beach) for use as actual tenders. They do not tow well on rough stuff.

One buddy used a G II as his fishing tender off a houseboat roof. Talk about davit hassles!

One drawback of folders is they are not as easy as a poly hull to slide off the deck or over a handy rail.

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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:49 am 
Hey Dave,
I just registered at the Folbot Forum and will be jumping in. As you say, it looks like there is a lot of great experiance there.
I'm one of those who don't like towing a tender so the folder situation might work well. I have space under my big quarter berth for stowage. If I'm just going to the local islands then it would get strapped to the lifelines; I can see how a plastic kayak would be better able to deal with that and I certainly don't see the viability of leaving a folder on deck during long passages. I hate having stuff on deck in those circumstances anyway.
Anyway I'm a sucker for looks and whatever the limitations, the Glider is sweet looking, seems like a stable platform for two or for hauling stuff to and from shore (a big use) and a decent little sailor so for the moment... If I put some time in I know plenty of folks who would be happy to find a place in their kayak quiver for her later. Thanks for weighing in! See ya over at the Folbot site...

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:15 am 
Tom Yost's website is a must to read for re-skinning foldable and SOF kayaks. I don't know how easy would be making the whole new skin for the first time (it would be difficult, to me). But painting or varnishing old hull is not just tedious, - it is largely useless. If water barrier on the fabric below waterline is severely damaged in many places - cracked, peeling off etc - paint and other coats won't work.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:30 pm 
Thanks for Yost connection Alex. At least there is the benefit of the not so recent rise in popularity of lightweight homebuilt kayaks... interesting methods and materials. There was a Wooden Boat Magazine article awhile back that I passed along that laid out the process of building and skinning up a kayak. Did you see that one?


PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:07 pm 
Oh, there is plenty of big and small boatbuilders websites and magazines. I'm not a boat-builder myself. It took me a few days of reading Tom's site and scratching my head to come up with minor improvements on commercial FC folders. There is a nice forum for homemade kayaks (not folders): Mostly stitch-and-glue, but there are other designs as well. If they don't have any advice on hand, they will tell you where to look.

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