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 Post subject: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:38 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Yesterday I had a free day so I visited FC to took the Java out for a test paddle. Just for future reference...

It took me just a few minutes to get comfortable with the Java. I expected it to have minimal initial stability, but not so. At least for me. Probably because both my old Wisper and the Safari are rather tippy boats... until one gets used to then. Actually I had the impression the Java is more stable than the Safari. This proved to be right when I practised a few re-entries off Kits beach. I didn't have to be too careful about capsizing over to the others side. Just a good kick and swinging the leg over is all it took to climb back aboard. No paddle float needed. Of course like with all SOTs there no sprayskirt or water to pump required... getting underway takes a matter of seconds. Very nice. Use a paddle leash though.

Paddling is a pleasure. It's not as fast as a Wisper. I would put it like a Kahuna in both speed and mannerism. Tracking, with the skeg deployed, is excellent... almost as good as the Wisper without skeg or rudder. But of course the Wisper tracks like it's on rails.

The Java is probably the most comfortable kayak I have ever paddled. The combination of the seat and the backrest provide excellent support. As with most SOT kayaks, if the legs fall asleep sciatic pain occurs one can easily stretch the legs out the boat, or just go for a swim.
Deploying the skeg is an issue. However, talking with Rob (Theresa and Doug were away) I suggested adding cable housing where the skeg lines pass between middle sponsons. He agreed it could be a fairly easy solution.

When filled with water, the Java drains a lot quicker than I expected, though not as quick as the Safari - understandably. It will not really be an issued.
As far as drying, Rob suggested turning the bow and stern, the two ends, inside out, in additionally to hanging it, like a bed sheet. This might speed up the drying process a lot.

Those strap-down nets at the bow and ster are sure handy. Too bad I found the straps way too short to store bulky items. That's an easy thing to correct at the factory.

Other all I was really impressed with the Java. It might be a wet ride in certain conditions; but the way I see it, here on the wet coast one has to dress for cold water anyway and wear a wetsuit or better still a dry-suit.

As usual, I found the staff at Feathercraft very helpful, courteous and with all my questions... very patient.

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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:22 am 
Very interesting. I've never looked closer at that that model before. Actually seems pretty neat. Light-weight, fast assembly and possibly similar performance as a Kahuna..

-How did you find the boats rigidity? Do the frame pieces around the air chambers make it feel less lika a regular inflatable?
-All needed gear for a 4-day camping trip w/o loading the Java to a very high center of gravity, doable?
-Does it come with thigh straps? (Or available as accessory?) Would be useful for surfing or other challenging conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:58 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 867
Location: atlanta, georgia
My $.02 on Java is that it is a great kayak for warm weather cruising, but I would not choose it for a camping trip. No spray deck means no protection and your butt will get wet from the water that comes in through the keel board slot. It is a great handling and fun boat, but I just think it has limitations on practical use.

g

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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:14 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:55 am
Posts: 575
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
Anyone interested in the Java might like to read this review:
http://www.whitbyseaanglers.co.uk/the-f ... ing-kayaks

It's written by a fisherman, who realises that the Java is not purpose-built as a fishing platform, but it's always good to get the views of someone who has used the boat.

Mary

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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:08 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Quote:
No spray deck means no protection and your butt will get wet from the water that comes in through the keel board slot. It is a great handling and fun boat, but I just think it has limitations on practical use.


Up here in the Pacific NW typical conditions are prone to make a paddler wet most of the times. SOT or not. A whole lot of paddlers wear at least a wetsuit and in many cases a drysuit. SOT kayaks are gaining popularity around here. Actually I have heard, now most kayak sales are SOTs. I paddle an inflatable SOT, and yes, if I didn't wear a wetsuit I would get wet and cold... but I wear a wetsuit, often a paddling jacket and drypants, and in most cases I'm quite comfortable. Of course I wore the same thing when paddling my old Wisper. Besides due to the SOT re-entry easiness (no paddle float or sprayskirt needed) I tend to practice re-entries more often than sit-in paddlers, who accidentally can be squeamish about getting wet.
I disagree SOT kayaks, like the Java or any good inflatable, has more practical limitations than any other kayak. Considering of course that kayaks themselves have limitations...

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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:22 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Quote:
-How did you find the boats rigidity? Do the frame pieces around the air chambers make it feel less lika a regular inflatable?


The Java feels at least as rigid as my old Wisper. Folding kayaks are flexible and the Java is no exception. One reason I prefer folders to rigid boats. BTW, the Java is somewhat of a hybrid between a folding kayak and an inflatable.

Quote:
-All needed gear for a 4-day camping trip w/o loading the Java to a very high center of gravity, doable?


On the test paddle I didn't load the Java with much. I might consider the payload somewhat between the Wisper and a K1, but much easier to load. One would have to remember to place heavier items on the bottom and lighter on top. Though this rule is true when loading any boat.
I don't see how, when properly loaded, the Java would loose stability... as it settles lower in the water it would pick up buoyancy from the wider part of the boat.

Quote:
-Does it come with thigh straps? (Or available as accessory?) Would be useful for surfing or other challenging conditions.


Yes it comes with thigh straps. As I find with my Safari, they are very useful to control the boat. Same as with any sit-in kayak I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:32 am 
Well, I've just bought a used one and I believe it's on the way even as I write this. Been looking for a Java for a long time, so I can't wait!

It is going to be my airmobile boat, to come on trips where kayaking is not the main focus but where I know I will get chances to head off for a paddle.

All my paddling is warm water - even on Cape Town's Atlantic seaboard, which is warm-ish - so I'm not too fussed about getting wet. Anyway, I started off as a trainee river guide in small rubber bloats so "inflatable" and "wet" are terms of endearment - in a GOOD way!

As for how folding kayaks flex, I really like it. Paddling my GII in a running swell and feeling the boat ripple and hearing it creak makes it feel alive.

cheers,

PK


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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:07 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Quote:
Well, I've just bought a used one and I believe it's on the way even as I write this. Been looking for a Java for a long time, so I can't wait!


Congratulations on the purchase. Let us know your impressions on the Java and if you can, post some pictures here. I'm looking forward to know what you think about it. :D
BTW, where is it coming from?

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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:08 am 
paraglia wrote:
Congratulations on the purchase. Let us know your impressions on the Java and if you can, post some pictures here. I'm looking forward to know what you think about it. :D BTW, where is it coming from?


Thanks, I shall do so. Need to find out how to post photos to this forum - I understand there's more of a process than just uploading them ...

The boat is coming from the US.

cheers,

PK


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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:31 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:55 am
Posts: 575
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
PK wrote:
Need to find out how to post photos to this forum - I understand there's more of a process than just uploading them ...

You need to upload your photos to a dedicated website. I use Flickr, but there's also Photobucket and others. It doesn't cost anything, you just need to set up an account with an e-mail address.

Once your photos are on a website, you can include them in your posts here. First, on your hosting site, get the photo in the size you want (usually medium). Right-click on the photo, click Properties, and they should include an address (starting http and probably ending .jpg). Select and Copy this.

When typing your post, click the Img button above the text box, and you'll get "img" and "/img" in square brackets. Copy the address of your photo between them.

Remember to Preview your post to check that it all worked.

Mary

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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:09 am 
Thanks, Mary, you've been a great help.

cheers,
PK


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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:34 am 
I have had my Java for a good 6 years and cannot say enough about how much I love the boat. I have paddle all over the place, from Cape Cod all the way down the Caribbeans. I live in NYC and do not own a car and most people don't believe me when I tell them that I carry a 16' long kayak on the back of my scooter (I do).
The Java is incredibly user friendly and easy to use, I bring it (with the 2 up kit) with me on our group camping trip to Lake George and people of different ages and experience levels all have a good time paddling it around. Its stable enough to carry my friend, his wife, their 3 years old, and their dog.
I added an anchor and used it as a snorkeling platform carrying equipment, cooler and my none swimming friend out for a tan when I went to the Punta Cana, and we all had a blast.
I have taken it on a 3 days camping trip to the everglades, it took some creative thinking to get everything to fit, I managed pretty well.
Finally, for any one whom might have some doubt as to how tough the Java is, here's an unedited (long) video me fighting through the waves on a day when I probably should have stay on the beach..
Well, may be its not terribly interesting. But I figure it might be interesting to someone who's seriously considering purchasing a Java.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvh797I6BJ0&feature=g-upl&context=G2076cb8AUAAAAAAAAAA


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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:13 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Great video. It must be a lot of fun paddling in warm climates.
Question: what's your preferred method for drying the Java? The Java does not dry that easily or quickly, and it needs to be washed every time it goes in salt water otherwise after a while it will start stinking.
I built a PVC tubing contraption I use as a drying rack so the skin hangs like a bed sheet with the bow and stern turned inside-out. Water drips down into a plastic tray for a couple of days.
This rack resides in my bedroom - I live in an apartment of course - and takes quite a bit of room. This method will only last as long as I live in a place with sufficient space to house my rack - I will be out of luck if I move somewhere smaller.

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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:31 pm 
I usually try to find a place where I can hang the java length wise over night, often time its guard rail of some sort but I also had dried it on a length of rope tied between two tree. It does take a while to dry completely and I usually just leave the skin un-rolled in my parent's basement for a few weeks after each time I use it.
I live in a tiny studio apartment so I know what you mean, the rack you had sounds like a great idea and I would probably do the same if I didn't have my parent's basement to store the kayak. Although I would probably go with black iron pipe and come up with some sort of wall mount so it won't take up any floor space.

Another Java owner? Its the first I heard of it! I get so many puzzled looks every time I drag her out. People do run for the hills when they find out how much it costs, good thing I got it before the more recent price hikes..


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 Post subject: Re: Java test paddle
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:35 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:43 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Yea, there aren't too many Java owners around. I have the feeling most Javas are located in the tropics and owned by kayak tour companies.
One place I thought would be good to dry my boat would be to hang it above the bath tub. This would require installing a horizontal bar close to the ceiling. I decided not to do this system since I live in a rental and I don't feel comfortable drilling holes through the ceramic tiles; I'm not sure how happy my landlord would be if something goes wrong with the installation.

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