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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:39 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
After messing with my Java trying ( unsuccessfully) to get it together, 2 words kept entering my mind... Good Riddance :twisted: .... Never had issues with the Java before. Had been packed away all winter. Will work on it tomorrow after a good paddle in another kayak

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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:00 pm
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I just read this whole thread...actually stumbled across it because I was googling assembly times for the Quest 150. I was definitely a little surprised about how long it took to assemble compared to my Folbot Cooper. I can do the Cooper on my own in 20mins out of the bag. First attempt took two of us well over an hour for the Quest 150. I highly doubt I could ever get it down to sub 40mins on my own. Time will tell! That is definitely a drawback. 20mins was totally worth it for an hour of two or paddling for some exercise in the city where I live. Closer to an hour and it's not worth it for anything other than a full day or an overnight on a proper kayaking trip.

Talking about the Folding Kayak market, as two young people who just purchased two Pakboat Quests, I definitely see a future market in folding kayaks. I think they are such a brilliant idea. I lived 12 hours from the nearest ocean in the the prairies of Canada...but have more than got my money's worth out of my Folbot taking it on paddling trips to Hawaii, Thailand, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast of BC on many multiday trips. The pakboats my girlfriend and I purchased are for a 12 day trip in Glacier Bay, Alaska this June. And I have many more future trips in the back of my mind (Colombia, Madagascar and even the Amazon). I think they are such a fantastic bit of equipment and I can't believe the market is dwindling not expanding.

My only explanation is that marketing is VERY poor for folding kayaks in general. It is difficult to find information, there are limited resources (this website being the exception) and even manufacturers seem to be more in the business of making boats and keeping quiet than really looking to sell and promote their products. I think the person who mentioned that some social media 'influencers' were needed to promote this industry are totally right. There aren't even many good trip reports and posts/photos/info about cool trips people have done with their folding kayaks.

I'm a professional videographer and take decent photos too...it's definitely occurred to me that I should put more of an effort documenting and promoting some of the trips I've done that have been made possible by folding kayaks!

Also I don't mean to bash the Quest 150...I am super excited to paddle it. I love that it is lighter than the Cooper (my m ain reason for purchase), and the price point isn't that bad. I just wish assembly was less fiddly and faster. I definitely think boats in this price range is where the market would be at. The Feathercrafts of this world (beautiful as they were) are always going to be a tough sell for someone who uses it just a few trips a year. Which is where I think the real market would be for folding kayaks.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:23 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)
Pakboats doesn't maintain their site very well, but they have some good tips for speeding assembly. If there is a particular sticking point for you, I recommend calling Alv (the owner) and asking whether he has a better way of doing it.

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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: Sad news
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:16 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1231
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Well, I did get The Java together and while I was in Portland earlier this month, I picked up a K Light with seal skin in great condition. Truly a very portable kayak and really easy to assemble. Wife approves and Paris is unscathed. Last time I got a K Light, my dog ended up as a main dish....

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Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Innova Helios 380
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Feathercraft K-Light


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:54 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 282
booewen wrote:
...Also I don't mean to bash the Quest 150...I am super excited to paddle it. I love that it is lighter than the Cooper (my m ain reason for purchase), and the price point isn't that bad. I just wish assembly was less fiddly and faster. I definitely think boats in this price range is where the market would be at. The Feathercrafts of this world (beautiful as they were) are always going to be a tough sell for someone who uses it just a few trips a year. Which is where I think the real market would be for folding kayaks.

I had a Quest 155, which is just a little more difficult to assemble than the 150. After I became familiar with the process, I was able to casually assemble the 155 in about 30 min, so I'd think you can probably assemble the 150 in about 25 min with a bit more practice.

But, yeah, assembly time for the Quest was a major hindrance for me. Kayaking in general is too elaborate for most spontaneous outings; the additional assembly time for folders makes it even more problematic.

If someone wants to partake in quick outdoor exercise, kayaking is far less efficient than activities like hiking, running, and cycling. Even Alv at Pakboats stated that assembling and disassembling a kayak before and after each use isn't very convenient. So if folders are generally intended to be left assembled for the entire paddling season, they aren't really more advantageous than hardshell boats for the majority of paddlers. Unless they have limited storage space, most paddlers with a personal vehicle don't have a compelling reason to have a folder over a hardshell.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:12 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Apathizer is likely correct in his opinion that kayaking is both an inconvenient and inefficient form of exercise especially if the kayak is the skin-on-frame folding kind. But, for me, carrying a boat all neatly stowed in a duffle sack in the back of the car beats traveling at interstate speeds with it strapped to a roof rack. Then there is the weight factor. Now well into my seventies, schlepping my 31 pound Feathercraft Kurrent from car to launch site is less onerous a task for my dilapidating body (and if you have yet to experience the vicissitudes of the ageing body, rest assured, you will). And there are a few other less pragmatic considerations to the SOF folding paddlecraft: the pleasant sensation as the boat's skin and bones flex slightly as it moves through the water, the sound of rain falling on a taut skin deck or just the pleasant feeling of that same deck as it's warmed by the morning sun.

But, that said, I would likely find assembling the Feathercraft each time I wanted to spend a few hours on the water a burdensome task and that would discourage using it for less than a full day's outing. I bought the Kurrent mainly to use in Florida waters during the winter months and, so far, we've been able to rent a condo with a garage where I can keep the boat fully assembled and out of harm's way for our entire sojourn only having to disassemble it a day or two before we pack up and head north in the spring. If this were not so, I'd probably look about for an inflatable, something that I could just pump up and paddle though I'd likely regret the compromised performance of the more barge-like inflatable. Perhaps Gumotex will develop an inflatable along the lines of Feathercraft's late Aironaut. Most of the performance of a folder without the hassle would be a good thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:10 pm
Posts: 73
There is too much focus on the effort of assembling a folder. Folding kayaks travel assembled on top of a car just like hard boats. The difference between folding and non-folding is not that a folder has to be packed after use. The real difference is that a folder can be packed if it needs to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:40 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Transporting a folder for short distances is certainly OK but driving long distance at interstate speeds is taking a risk. Even strapped securely to the roof rack, a boat traveling atop the car at 70mph and suddenly hit by a strong gust of cross vectoring wind is subject to enough force to cause deformation of even the strongest aircraft aluminum tubing where a monocque composite hull is unlikely to be so affected.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:22 pm 
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My experience is that there is no limitation about distance traveled. I also find no problem with speed. I have traveled with a folder on the car a lot without problems - and without cradels or anything fancy like that, but there are some things i would pay attention to:
I'd want a good solid roof rack, and I like as much distance as i can get between the roof rack bars.

While you can use a sedan, a wagon is better because of the longer roof line. And tighten those straps well, but place the boat so that straps and roof rack bars are close to where the is good support (ribs) inside the hull.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:43 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Thanks, Alv. Good, practical advice especially about spacing the cross bars as far apart as possible. i might add that it's better to minimize the distance that the forward one-third of the boat extends in front of the leading crossbar. This will help minimize the levering force of wind shear on the bow section of the boat. In other words, no more than 1/3rd of the hull forward of the first cross bar and 2/3rds aft.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:37 pm 
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I agree. For travel, it is better to have more boat behind the roof rack bars than in front. But the most important ting to keep in mind is that a folding boat is not a boat that in always packed after use. It is simply a boat that can be packed when needed.

After many years of selling folding boats, we have talked to many customers. We find that the folks who really love and use their boats, are the ones that keep them assembled and treat them as lightweight and comfortable craft. The fact that the boats can be packed is secondary - but it is an important benefit.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:22 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
Posts: 282
Alv wrote:
I agree. For travel, it is better to have more boat behind the roof rack bars than in front. But the most important ting to keep in mind is that a folding boat is not a boat that in always packed after use. It is simply a boat that can be packed when needed.

After many years of selling folding boats, we have talked to many customers. We find that the folks who really love and use their boats, are the ones that keep them assembled and treat them as lightweight and comfortable craft. The fact that the boats can be packed is secondary - but it is an important benefit.

Fair point, but there are compromises with folders as well. It seems like folders don't have the same range of characteristics as hardshells. Specifically, most folders have very littler rocker due to their inherent design and structural characteristics. Trak is an exception, but the exorbitant price is a barrier for many paddlers, esp since they have only a "one size fits most" model.

As Jake points out, transportation can also be problematic. For those with a small, compact vehicle, transporting a rigid kayak can be problematic. It's easy to transport an unassembled folder in such a vehicle, but then you have to assemble it.

So I guess my point is that the elaborate nature of kayaking in general is an entry barrier for many potential new paddlers. This is especially true for those without a vehicle, which is becoming more common with increasing urbanization.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:06 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
Posts: 394
Location: Coastal New Jersey
Perhaps it comes down to two camps of paddlers: those who can find storage for an assembled folder between excursions and the increasing population of kayakers who dwell in an urban environment or a condominium/apartment where such secure storage is unavailable. For those would-be paddlers who simply don't have such an option for a folding cockelshell, an alternative paddle craft needs be found. To that end, there seems little choice save an inflatable bagboat even if that means putting up with a barge-like, poorly performing craft. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:00 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
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Location: isles of scilly UK
I have had klepper aerius 2s for 40 years and even when I had the space to store them assembled I always put them together at the start of a trip even for a few hours, and took them apart at the end. To me assembly has never been a chore, in fact I enjoy it, demonstrating to interested onlookers can be very rewarding. And of course every time the boat is taken apart a mini inspection is carried out even if the owner never thinks of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Sad news
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:30 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:42 pm
Posts: 453
I also take pleasure in assembling and disassembling my craft at each outing. It does mean the Kleppers and the Tyne Prefect, each of which goes together in around 20mins, get a great deal more use than my other folders. The Ally pack canoe is the most problematic, taking a wearisome hour to put together--paddles great thereafter, but what a chore! Consequently it gets used very rarely.

Leaving the skin out to dry properly after an outing was a deal less problematic when I had a bachelor pad. My wife doesn't seem to be able to ignore a 16' long rubber hull draped across the living room (which only goes to show that men are from Mars and women from Venus or something ;-) ). I think possession of a garage or a large canoe-shed at the bottom of the garden might help solve the problem ...


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