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 Post subject: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:41 pm 
Hello,
I have been thinking about getting a folbot Greenland II and looked for the site but it is no longer up, nor is the forum. I wonder if anyone can tell me if it is still in production? there is a number with an answering machine that you leave your message on. Seems odd.
thanks joe


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:56 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 282
joe,

That does seem odd. At the risk of disparaging them, I'm a bit weary of Folbot these days. About 4 years ago the company was purchased by a new owner, and ever since the company seems a bit dicey. I suggest you read some of the threads in the Folbot section for more info.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:35 am 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:17 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Chicago
I recently tried to reach Folbot to ask about buying 15' sponsons--I was thinking of making a Tom Yost folding kayak. But I couldn't reach them.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:00 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 820
Location: atlanta, georgia
All indicators point to the company being gone. The fellow who bought Folbot a few years ago has blogged about his troubles. Last year he raised about $30k through Kickstarter (probably some unhappy contributors). The folbot domain is now available for purchase. My guess is that they went quietly so as to not disrupt REI and other distributor sales of existing inventory.

http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2014/08/26 ... -business/

Best,
g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990's A1 Expedition
2010 Klepper Quattro
Kayaksailer
Balogh sail rig, 24 + 36 HP
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:35 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Wow! Makes you wonder who's next. Feathercraft has cut their line as has Pakboat. You've got to wonder about the future of the folding kayak market and if there will even be a market. OTOH, inflatables seem to be doing OK. Anybody have a like new Aironaut that they'd trade for a like new Kurrent?


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:56 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 282
The article gbellware posted is from about a year and a half ago, and it only indicates the company is 'streamlining', but indications since then aren't very promising. Assuming they just went out of business without any sort of official announcement, that's seems really [naughty word] to me (pardon my language). I guess it just shows how relative a 'lifetime' guarantee is.

Jake wrote:
Wow! Makes you wonder who's next. Feathercraft has cut their line as has Pakboat. You've got to wonder about the future of the folding kayak market and if there will even be a market. OTOH, inflatables seem to be doing OK. Anybody have a like new Aironaut that they'd trade for a like new Kurrent?

There was some concern about Feathercraft, but owner Doug Simpson recently announced that they were doing OK. For expense reasons, they had to move their production (still in Vancouver BC) to a smaller building, but they're still doing OK.

It's my understanding that Pakboats owner Alv Elvestad is semi-retired, and runs the company as both a hobby and business. Consequently, he's not under as much sales to keep sales up as most other companies. Hopefully I'm not just a cockeyed optimist. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:08 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
This is amazing. Folbot was, perhaps, the second-oldest folding kayak company in business. Klepper has outsourced it's production, for that matter. 2016 is looking as deadly for folding kayaks as it is for celebrities...

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Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:19 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:17 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Chicago
I wonder if the European companies will do better--less room to store boats there and maybe a bigger demand for foldables.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:20 am 
forum fanatic

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:36 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Germany
Look here and use google-translation:

http://www.faltboot.org/forum/read.php?14,223147

New information on the Poucher Boote GmbH and their potential insolvency

I think Klepper lives / survives only by orders of the military!?

R.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:31 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
My understanding is that the military contracts are also a major revenue stream for Long Haul. With drop-stitch being developed, I'll fear those contracts...

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


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:09 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1105
Location: isles of scilly UK
Lets face it there is only a limited market for kayaks and more so for folders. Most people who come on this site want a good used cheap one which dosn,t help the manufacurers. And when one is bought new it lasts for many years,often 25 or a liftime with a few repairs and maybe a replacment skin. Most of us buy extra boats not because we NEED them but just for FUN and for use by family and friends. I know as i have three folders plus a Triak and a Hobie. Folbot were good, they were cheap comparded to Long Haul and Klepper and had a good following, unfortuatly a good following meant they had already bought the boats and more customers are needed every month in order to keep going, finding the new customers is the problem. At kayak shows the general public who don,t have a kayak compare folders (if there are any folders at the show) to hardshells and the hardshell wins if there is storage space at home, lots of people virtually treat their folder as a hard shell and keep it assembled all summer if not all year. We have all seen requests about roof racks for folders and requests for info about transporting folders on top of cars which is fine. To me too many people started making kayaks with a limited market and unfortunatly a number have to close.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:16 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 616
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
john allsop wrote:
Most of us buy extra boats not because we NEED them but just for FUN and for use by family and friends.

I resemble that remark :D

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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: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:36 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 1105
Location: isles of scilly UK
You actually sold some boats. Remember the one who dies with the most toys wins. Perhaps best not to die.we must work on that. Totally unrelated, at 79 this year i am starting a Ballroom dance club here on the Isles of Scilly and there is interest from the islanders, this years visitors will be welcome. I could actually paddle from Porthcressa where i live round Peninnis head and into Old Town bay as Old Town is where we will dance at the Inn. Get the maps out or Google. Have fun. Even if this should be in the Coffeehouse. I mentioned Peninnis head, here,s a photo a few weeks ago of the "head" in one of the winter gales.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:52 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 282
[I posted this in a different thread in the Folbot section, but thought it bared repeating on this thread.]

I think it's important to consider that prior to buying Folbot, Eric Thome new very little about folding kayaks, and probably not much about kayaks in general. I remember watching on interview with him shortly after the purchase. It seemed like he bought the company mainly because it was a convenient business opportunity. His family had been living in the NE, and wanted to move to the SE, largely because of better weather. His wife got a job in Charlotte, and at the time Folbot happened to be for sale, so he bought it with his investors.

Unfortunately it seems like he bought Folbot without knowing much about folding kayaks; both in terms of design and the unique aspects of such a niche' business itself. Consequently, it seems the company made a few mistakes, some of which seemed to snowball, and now the company is out of business.

Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic, but I'm a bit more hopeful for most other folding kayak companies because their ownership seems to be in it for more the right reasons. At Pakboats, I know Alv Elvestad has been an avid for about 40 years, so it's not only a business for him, but a genuine passion. The same seems largely true of Doug Simpson, founder/designer of Feathercraft. Prior to starting the company, he had a strong interest in outdoor recreation, including paddling. While Trak founder Nolin Veillard hasn't been in the industry nearly as long he also seems genuinely interested.

I guess my point in all this is that it's important to have at least some interest in the inherent basis of the business one is involved with. Sure, it's a business, and all businesses need to be profitable in order to survive long-term, but if ownership isn't all that interested in the inherent core of what the business does, they seem more prone to make mistakes and less motivated to persevere when difficulties emerge.
Just my 2-cents.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is Folbot
PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:36 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
Seems like a good 2 cents.

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


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