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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 8:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:43 am
Posts: 10
Location: Sheffield, UK
Hello everyone.

We recently got a secondhand Folbot Greenland II and it doesn't have a spray deck/skirts. We are totally new to this so I have a few questions I was hoping you experienced folks might be able to help us with:

1) Are a spray deck and skirts essential?
We are going on a sea kayak trip around the Lofoten in June/July but won't be paddling if the weather is bad.

2) If yes, I found this one on Amazon - is this the simplest way of solving this issue? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O5VP77Q/_e ... VA2OURW0Y2
We live in the UK and this doesn't ship to the UK so I'd have to send it to a friend in the US and then have them send it to us so it's not ideal.

Any other suggestions or advice very welcome!

Sophie


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 12:21 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 118
Hi Sophie,

You know your weather conditions better than I would, but I would say that the deck/skirts are essential unless you are paddling on a protected lake or bay. You have to prepare for the unexpected, especially in a kayak with such a large cockpit area.

The Folbot deck from Amazon would be the simplest solution, but as you said, not that easy for you to purchase. I believe some Folbot owners have made their own decks. It might not be that difficult given that it's a flat area, but you would have to sew some type of hoop into the deck to attach the skirts. There might be some information regarding this under Folbot in the board index.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 6:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:43 am
Posts: 10
Location: Sheffield, UK
Hi Jeremiah,

Thanks so much for your quick reply! I did have a look through some older posts about making your own decks/skirts, but to be honest my sewing skills are non-existent and I don't feel like I know enough about what's required to ensure I don't end up making us a death trap!!

OK, so I will start hitting up my American friends to see who can help me out.

Thanks again :)


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 9:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:38 am
Posts: 86
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Hi Sophie,

You should keep a watch on ebay and the classifieds section of this site too.

I never got a spray deck for my Greenland II but then never did any serious expedition-style paddling in it either. I know some owners complained about the fit of the standard Folbot GII splash deck for "sagging" in the middle, which is why many Folboaters made their own, I guess.

I did buy a tuck-under splash cover from Long Haul for my Klepper though. It was a well-made piece of gear.

Maybe Mark at Long Haul could modify one for you for your Folbot. Would need a different kind of attachment, though, because of the way the GII coaming attaches to the hull compared to the Klepper.

Good luck. Paddling the Lofotens sounds like quite an epic adventure. Isn't there some sort of mean inter-island current there that islanders call "The Troll" or something?

cheers

Paul

_________________
Feathercraft Airline Java
Nortik Trekraft, awaiting the river's embrace
1960s Klepper Aerius II, now gone be the star in a Special Forces movie
Folbot Greenland II, now at a new home on the Southern Cape coast


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:43 am
Posts: 10
Location: Sheffield, UK
Hi Paul,

Thanks for your message. I have a search saved on ebay for it, but nothing has come up yet. Being in the UK it seems this sort of thing doesn't sell very often. Or maybe I'm not searching for the right thing/looking in the right place?

I've actually just found a post on a thread about rudders and found that Flatwater said "My years in the Folbot world have told me that almost no one uses the spray deck.
Folbots are so stable that, unless you like paddling BIG water, you won't ever need one. I have them for all three of my boats and have not used them yet." So now I'm wondering if we'll be ok without one??? We are utter novices and will not be going out if the weather looks even remotely worrisome.

And thanks for the luck, I think we'll need it! Haha! We somewhat recklessly agreed to this trip last summer thinking we'd have months to sort ourselves out and get prepared but finding a secondhand boat in the UK took ages and we are still very unprepared. Got a 2 day sea kayaking course booked in just over a week which we are hoping will make us competent enough.

I've not heard of the current called The Troll, but maybe it's where the Trollfjord is? One to avoid if so!! Hoping the couple we are going with who are route planning will know about this stuff. We will be staying in the sheltered parts as far as I am aware heading from Narvik to Tromso via a little detour of the Lofoten.

Thanks again,

Sophie


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 1:24 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 118
Hi Sophie,

Just a few more thoughts. I now remember that the details on the homemade spay deck for the Greenland II was from the now defunct Folbot Website forum. It was beautifully made and very functional. At least there is the Folbot section in this forum and it is full of useful information from Folbot Greenland II owners (it appears that you have been going there).

Yes, your kayak is very stable and you will appreciate that the more you use it. There is another reason for the spray deck/skirt combination beyond protecting yourself from big seas. It will give you that added protection when the weather doesn't cooperate. I've sat in my kayak many times during rain storms, warm and dry because of my rain parka and spay skirt. It can be a very serene feeling and it beats running for cover.

You're taking a sea kayak course. Good for you! It shows a commitment. I think many people give up on kayaking because they aren't prepared for what they may encounter and find things miserable. You could do very well without the spray deck and I'm not saying you won't. But in the future you may decide that it is right for you.


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:38 am
Posts: 86
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Hi Sophie,

I am not a cold water paddler and there are far better, more experienced kayakers on this forum who will have much better advice than me.
(Also have a look at the kayaking safety section -- lots of unbeatable, hard-learned knowledge there.)

I would say, though, that as stable as the GII is - and it is like a barge - having a spray deck is less about keep big water out (which it probably won't) than keeping that constant drip-drip-drip of icy water off your legs and out of the boat as you paddle.

It'll also go some way to keeping you a little warmer when in the boat, I would guess. (I used mine on my Klepper only once, while paddling offshore in Mozambique, and by the end of the day we had decided to dump it because wearing it was like sitting in an oven. Then again the air temp in Moz was 35 degrees C and the water around 22 degrees :shock: )

The crucial thing you need for your kayak are inflatable buoyancy bags fore and aft. Folbot had good ones. I used to add more buoyancy by cramming sections of pool noodles into the hard-to-reach crannies in the bow and the stern, around the buoyancy bags - my thinking was the more water you keep out of the boat in the event of a capsize, the better.

I learned that the hard way by rolling my Klepper on a windswept estuary while sailing and we had left all the buoyancy ashore. We could not empty the boat and had to swim it a mile to shore.

We also kept a pair of bailers -- 2-litre plastic Coke bottles with the bottoms chopped off -- permanently tethered on short bits of paracord to the number 3 and 6 ribs.

The third piece of gear we never went paddling without was a 15-foot-long sling made from single a piece of rock-climbing sling with the ends sewn together which we used -- with middling success -- as a double stirrup -- one each side -- to hoist ourselves back into the (usually swamped) kayak. After a capsize you want to get back in the boat as fast as you can.

It's good that you are doing a course, though. That is crucial. The thing is to be confident about handling your boat in all conditions without being cocky -- because cockiness and small boats and big water are a poor combination.

The things is also to have lots and lots of fun. Sea-kayaking is a gift from the gods. In a beautiful, living thing like a folding boat, on beautiful water, it's one of the finest things you can do.

Happy paddling.

cheers

Paul

_________________
Feathercraft Airline Java
Nortik Trekraft, awaiting the river's embrace
1960s Klepper Aerius II, now gone be the star in a Special Forces movie
Folbot Greenland II, now at a new home on the Southern Cape coast


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 1:57 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:19 am
Posts: 66
Hi Sophie,

If you do remain interested in creating your own spray skirt or having someone else create one for you, PM me. I can provide pictures, and measurements for early (snaps) or later (velcro) Greenland II spray skirts. The factory spray skirt is rather basic and could definitely go for some improvement if you can work with someone creative and crafty. The original circular hoop is rather odd to get in and out of.

Hoosier Paddler
GIIx2, Kodiak, Edisto, Citibot


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:43 am
Posts: 10
Location: Sheffield, UK
Wow! Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and helpful replies.

I'm going to do some (more) research to figure out the best option for the spray deck/skirts. Hoosier Paddler - thanks for the offer of pics and measurements. I'll see if I can figure out if anyone I know could make us one and pm you if I do.

Thank you again. Feeling equal parts excitement and trepidation now!

Sophie


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:50 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 607
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Reed in the UK say on their website that they will make you a custom spray deck, so I suggest you try them
http://www.chillcheater.com/decks-and-hatches

I've bought Greenland Paddle parts from them and have one of their spraydecks. Their Aquatherm material is lightweight but warm and durable and their customer service is outstanding.

Good luck with this!

PS Great advice about the floatation bags! Don't forget to take hand operated bilge pumps and paddle floats either.

_________________
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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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:25 am 
faltbootemeister
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:36 pm
Posts: 241
Location: west burbs of Chicago
For some perspective on the Folbot spray deck/skirt setup:
It is not water tight. The perimeter is held onto the washboards by Velcro, so where it jumps over the star knobs, there are gaps for water to enter. So no Eskimo rolling for you. :)
As has been mentioned, it's primarily to keep out rain and paddle drips. That can be crucial in cold weather.

As has also been mentioned, the GII is so stable that you will probably never have problems unless you go out in conditions beyond your own skill level. Until you become expert paddlers, the boat will handle conditions that you should not be out in.

Also mentioned was flotation bags. If you're going into rough water with the potential of being swamped, float bags are critical. The GII is a giant bathtub and you'll never be able to empty it in rough water. A swamped GII will take on new water faster than you can pump or bail it out. Many paddlers use a sea sock in singles, but I've never heard of one for a GII. So fill all empty space with BIG float bags.
Here are some suggestions which could help you search for similar bags in the UK:
http://jeeps-folbots-etc.co.nf/folbot/f ... ation.html
Commercial web sites constantly change - the NRS link is different so search for "canoe end bag" and work with the dimensions given.

By the way, that Folbot system you linked to is a fair price but shipping to UK will kill the deal. Have you searched Amazon UK?

_________________
Five Folbots - Super TSF, two GIIs, Kodiak, Gremlin


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:43 am
Posts: 10
Location: Sheffield, UK
Just wanted to say thanks again for all the info and update you all that we just spent 2 fantastic days off Anglesey learning to sea kayak and it was the BEST!

Didn't have a spray deck, but despite not perfect weather it was fine.

Feeling so much happier and more excited about the trip to Norway now :D :D :D


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:09 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:57 pm
Posts: 44
Sophie,

We have an extra skirt for G2 and can ship to UK from Canada. Please feel free to PM if interested and we can work something out.

Thanks,
Vitaly

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Thanks,
Vitaly

2003 Feathercraft Big Kahuna - Red/Black
2009 Folbot Kiawah EXP - Yellow/Black
2015 Folbot Kiawak - Yellow/White
1990's Folbot Greenland 2 - Yellow/Black (sold)


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