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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:45 pm 
forum fan

Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:05 am
Posts: 10
It seems Feathercraft is downsizing their line considerably. As a K2 owner it worries me as far as future parts availability; right now on their website most sponsons are listed as sold out. I called to get info but they're still closed for the holidays- anyone have any inside information on what's going on?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:17 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
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Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
Oh, wow. A definite "What's going on?".

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


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:41 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 275
Even though there's a bit pricey for me (by a bit a mean way too), I hope they aren't in trouble. Hopefully they're just streamlining, and phasing out redundant and/or models that aren't selling very well. Hopefully they'll offer an explanation soon.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:24 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1225
Location: Anchorage Alaska
I grabbed a couple of sea socks for The Kahuna. Kind of a sad sight..

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:55 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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A third party observed that Doug Simpson isn't getting any younger. Does anyone here know what Doug Simpson's age is? He's been running Feathercraft for 30+ years... If no apparent heir...

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


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:21 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 387
Location: Coastal New Jersey
I'm surprised that FC's most recent addition to its line, the Aironaut, seems to be gone, too. It seemed like a very capable inflatable and I had entertained the thought of buying one. Ah, well, one less temptation to bedevil me. I'll now be able to focus my attention on what Gumotex has to offer. Anyway, though it looks like Doug Simpson might be trimming ship a bit, I doubt that there's much threat of FC's immediate demise.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:05 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 112
third party observed that Doug Simpson isn't getting any younger. Does anyone here know what Doug Simpson's age is? He's been running Feathercraft for 30+ years... If no apparent heir...

The thought of Doug retiring is sad but if you look at the assembly video for the Aironaut he looks like the same Doug Simpson that sold me a K-Light back in '95. Maybe they are just scaling back as some have suggested. Still, this, along with Folding Kayak Adventures (major FC dealer in the States) closing shop makes you wonder. You certainly don't get any answers from the FC website.

Yeah Jake, I thought about an Aironaut too. I know it was a popular kayak in it's short time. Maybe I'll go back to entertaining the idea of owning a Kurrent. This is certainly giving us something intriguing to ponder over during these cold winter months.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:09 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 112
Sorry Chris, I have to learn how to give credit to your words. I can't just copy and paste.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:09 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
Hi J-- no worries at all

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:53 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 810
Location: atlanta, georgia
No surprise that Feathercraft thinned the herd, but I am surprised a bit by the Aeronaut. I had a chance to visit with Doug a few months ago and he did mention that they needed to reduce their lines to the ones that were most popular. And he showed me how ridiculously difficult the inflatables were to fabricate, they may just have been too expensive to make. But now there are no doubles!
I would not draw any conclusion that the company is not healthy. They pretty much fabricate to order, which is about as efficient a way to run a business, in my experience.

Oh, and a belated Happy New Year to Chuck and all the rest of this fine community.

Best,
g

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

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:00 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 387
Location: Coastal New Jersey
According to Dan who does the FC blog, the Aironaut production has been halted only temporarily until they can switch to a "lighter and better" hull material. Sounds good!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:39 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 112
Thanks Jake, I figured the blog might have some answers, then I forgot to look for it. The Aironauts future sounds interesting but l don't see FC going away from urethane, and you can't get much lighter than the current model. We'll see. But it certainly is good news that the Aironaut will still be an option for anyone looking for an inflatable.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:38 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 387
Location: Coastal New Jersey
I tried calling Feathercraft today and got a recorded message saying that the number had been "temporarily disconnected". Rather odd.

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Feathercraft Kurrent 2.0 (Pippin)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:42 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 387
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Got an e-mail today from Theresa at FC. According to her, the Aironaut has been discontinued as it was uneconomical to produce.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:03 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 810
Location: atlanta, georgia
That makes sense, but it is disappointing. The Aironaut is such an exceptional boat, I was lucky enough to check it out and see how it is fabricated. It is a giant step ahead in our very small market but, unfortunately, it requires so much labor that its cost is way out there. And, like the Klepper carbon frame, it costs more to make than the market will bear. Oh well.

g

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"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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