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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 15
i have had the wisper for a couple of years - paddled in large river and bay settings. it is a beautiful looking boat which is comfortable for me though i am on the chubby side - 5'8" and 200lbs. it is not the fastest of boats and I can't readily sustain a pace beyond 3 knots. when i push hard mine seems to make a scratching sound at the bow which suggests to me that i have reached the speed limit of the boat. it does weathercock though i am mot sure it is any worse than my aquanaut rm lv and adding the skeg does improve tracking though i usually go without. all in all it is nice boat but comes with some performance compromises compared to a full sized hardshell.


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:15 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
It looks like I'll have a chance to paddle the Wisper and Kahuna next month in Florida. Ken Fink who is a Feathercraft dealer in Maine has a winter home on Tampa Bay and keeps a couple of Feathercrafts there and has invited me to paddle with him. I have to remind myself that whatever folder I buy, it will be an adjunct to a couple of hardshells that are probably faster and more efficient than either the Wisper or Kahuna. I am attracted to the Wisper from an esthetic standpoint but, if one follows the concept that "form follows function", the Kahuna or, for that matter, the K-Light might actually be a better choice and there is a better chance of finding good, used examples of the latter two at favorable prices. The Wisper seldom seems to turn up on the used market.


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 282
For smaller to medium sized paddlers (5'5"-6'), I think the Wisper is probably the best folder on the planet. Some might argue for the one of the larger expedition boats, but unless you're a larger paddler (over 6'), the Wisper seems like a more nimble, versatile kayak.

For us smaller paddlers the larger Feathercraft models would probably be a bit unwieldy. A few months ago I sold my Folbot Cooper (very much like an economy model of the larger Feathercrafts), for exactly that reason; for someone my size (5'9") it was very difficult to roll, and just felt too larger overall.

The Wisper is my dream kayak, but I just can't justify spending $4K on a kayak. If I can find a used Wisper for around $2500, I'll probably pull the trigger. I understand why a new Wisper is so expensive, I just can't justify the price in my mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:02 pm 
I've paddled hardshells before and, yes, they are faster. However, speed is relative and it's not necessarily the point of having an easy paddle.

Consider being in an environment where the wind isn't as calm, the waves are coming from all directions....I have experienced it and can say without a doubt that I felt far more comfortable in a folder than in a hardshell. I wasn't moving as well in the hardshell because I was too busy bracing every couple of minutes and, frankly, scared silly. In a folder, of which I now have a Klepper Aerius II and a FC Wisper XP, I found the stability gave me the piece of mind to concentrate on moving forward.

I rarely paddled in a mixed group; it's usually with other folders and even inflatables or just with hardshells when I paddled one as well. But I do recall a time I was on a large lake and the wind kicked up pretty quickly. We were trying to get back to our put-in and lo 'n behold, I was ahead of the hardshell. Once we all got back in safely, his first comment was that he spent nearly half that time simply ensuring he wouldn't capsize.

FC and Kleppers are definitely expensive. The way I see it, my sanity and my life is worth far more should I be silly enough to get caught in inclement conditions. I will venture out into the open waters more often once my paddle skills catch up to the the FC kayak. But it is nice to know that I have one of the best (for my smaller frame and less than stellar paddling ability) folders when the time calls for it to show its true colours.

On an unrelated note, I was looking at a Kayaksailor rig for both my FC Wisper and Klepper Aerius! A sail suitable for both downwind AND upwind? Sign me up! Unfortunately, I have yet to hear back from them after a couple of emails and that has really soured me on what after-sales customer service would be. My first correspondence was back in December; still nothing. Too bad. So now it's back to the more economical Pacific Sails or another vendor. The trick, however, is to find one that does both upwind and downwind and won't be too much for a lighter kayak like the Wisper. Any ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:21 pm
Posts: 67
As for a sail, check out "Sailboats To Go" I use their rig on my FC Klondike. It is an upwind lateen sail and comes with stabilizers ( amas, akas )
It cost me $750.00. Works great, both up wind and down. It should work even better on the A2 Klepper.


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:20 am 
I just got my FC Wisper in today. First impression was the backpack was bigger than I thought. Not too heavy. It seemed good quality. It was very difficult to assemble. I was sick at home and sweat a lot trying to assemble most of it. Hope that would improve with practice. Wish the instruction was more detailed with more tips as well. One of the "indestructible" cross rib was damaged a little when I struggled to push it in. It's still freezing outside so I might use the assembling as exercise in my apartment.


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:37 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Filbert, congratulations on your new Wisper; may it give you much pleasure. I am down in Florida now, not more than an hour's drive from Feathercraft dealer, Ken Fink. Ken is very enthusiastic about getting me into the Wisper but also has a Kahuna and a K-Light ready to paddle. I hope that I find the Wisper such a good boat that I would be happily to sell off my Caribou and QCC 600, making the Wisper my do-it-all boat. That would help justify the stiff Feathercraft price tag. So far, the only thing I know about the Wisper that I really like is the 37 pound hull weight. That trumps 50 plus pounds any day.


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:12 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 282
orchido wrote:
FC and Kleppers are definitely expensive. The way I see it, my sanity and my life is worth far more should I be silly enough to get caught in inclement conditions. I will venture out into the open waters more often once my paddle skills catch up to the the FC kayak. But it is nice to know that I have one of the best (for my smaller frame and less than stellar paddling ability) folders when the time calls for it to show its true colours.

Yeah, an argument can definitely be made for justifying the expense. Also, if you look at the FC web site about the manufacturing process, they are an environmentally responsible company: Whenever possible they obtain materials from sustainable sources, recycle everything, and minimize the environmental impact during the manufacture. That makes me feel better about the price tag.

On the other hand, for $4K USD, I could get a decent used car ($3K) and a Pygmy Boats wood kayak kit ($1K) for the same price. Then I'd have a car and one of the best kayaks on the planet: wood kayaks are lighter than fiberglass (and much more beautiful :D ) and last decades.

But then again I like not having the expense and upkeep of a car, and without one a hardshell just isn't practical. Decisions, decisions, decisions...


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 15
congrats filbert! the assembly definitely gets much, much easier. the first few times were brutal for me. ralph diaz has some pretty helpful tips in his book about folders. particularly helpful for me were: 1-shaking the entire assembly briskly intermittently during the assembly process (one hand gripping the coaming at the front of the cockpit and one at the rear), it did seem to help things "settle" and 2- my favorite one- getting in the cockpit and pushing the bow and stern assemblies out with feet on the crossribs (#2 and #5 I think). This made it much easier to get them out to the ends though you do have to repeatedly check alignment during the process. if the rib is significantly damaged, i am sure they will replace it if you let them know.
i have had a couple of issues w my wisper and they were very responsive.

with respect to peace of mind, I remain undecided. i have been in tippy hardshells but find my aquanaut lv rm quite reassuring and, since i got a well used beater, i don't give a second thought to running over hard pointy stuff while landing or launching while i am extremely cautious with my wisper which i bought new and seems more susceptible to puncture...


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 Post subject: Re: Feathercraft Wisper
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:30 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
Filbert wrote:
I just got my FC Wisper in today. First impression was the backpack was bigger than I thought. Not too heavy. It seemed good quality. It was very difficult to assemble. I was sick at home and sweat a lot trying to assemble most of it. Hope that would improve with practice. Wish the instruction was more detailed with more tips as well. One of the "indestructible" cross rib was damaged a little when I struggled to push it in. It's still freezing outside so I might use the assembling as exercise in my apartment.



Congratulation on your Wisper. I'm sure you'll love it once you have assembly down to a science. If I could make a suggestion, remember this; If you find it is very hard to get the piece you're working on to assemble, something is out of place. I have assembled my Wisper hundreds of times and the only time I struggled was when something was not in it's correct place. Try not to rush it, take a deep breath and review everything you've done up to that point. You will often find which piece has popped out of it's slot or gotten crossed over.

Happy paddling.

_________________
Feathercraft Wisper


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