Folding Kayaks Forum

Another A2
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Author:  dostoy320 [ Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Another A2


I picked up a 1980 Aerius2 off of Craigslist a few weeks ago. The seller acquired it in a cabin purchase, where he found it stored assembled in the basement. No idea how long it had been down there, but it definitely saw usage at some point. It came with a sailing kit, paddles, and some of the original documentation. The sails were stored in a garage on the property and are pretty much destroyed by rodents.

The frame is in great condition. The canvas deck is solid but pretty dirty, with some annoying paint spatter from what I assume was a painting project in that basement at some point! The hyperlon hull is still pretty supple, but there are quite a few bad patches on the underside.

My wife and I got it out on our neighborhood lake last weekend. Neither of us has much kayak experience, no tandem experience, and no folding experience. We found it easy enough to control with the rudder. Syncing up our paddle strokes will take some getting used to...

As I expected, it leaked pretty badly. I have the necessary adhesives and patching material on the way from online suppliers.

I've been consuming posts on this forum to get up to speed on owning a folding kayak, but I have a few questions:

1) With the spontoons fully inflated, will the Aerius2 keep from sinking if capsized and full of water?

2) I've read that the original paddles are not worth using and that we should get something more modern. Is this necessary? Does anyone have a paddle recommendation for novice paddlers in a A2?

3) The few more modern kayaks I've used have all had straps, bungee cords, etc on the deck for storing items or at least holding the paddles. Our A2 only has 2 D-rings, which judging by their location I'm assuming are for securing the sailing mast. Is there a reason there aren't more attachment points on the deck? Can they be added? What should I do with my paddle when I'm not holding it??

4) There is a disintegrated bit of orange rubber/plastic around the T-fitting where the coaming attaches to the frame. Any idea what this is/was? Was there originally a sort of washer that went between these two components?


A few images:





Author:  mje [ Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

I’ve never flooded an AII, but I did once flood an AI. It remained afloat, and I was able to slowly paddle it to shore and bail and pump it out.

Author:  gbellware [ Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

Dostoy, welcome, and congrats on your "new" kayak!

You will learn a lot as you go, but here is my $.02 regarding some of the first questions you have...

1.)sponsons are used to tension the skin on the frame, they are not intended to provide floatation. That said, I am sure they would help a swamped boat stay afloat, as Michael suggests. I don't really know if a swamped Klepper would sink without air in the sponsons, and I would not recommend field trials to find out...

2.) original paddles are useable but they are far from ideal. But you won't know what is ideal for you until you get some experience with the boat. Paddle length (and that will vary based on your paddling position in the boat); blade type; material are all highly individualized. Take your time, borrow some paddles, see what works for you.

3.) D-rings, yes you can add d-rings if you are handy with a sewing machine and you can rig some deck lines for safety and convenience. That said, I have never seen anyone add paddle pockets, but it might be possible. A great resource is Mark Eckhert at LongHaul Kayaks. He might have a solution or be able to fabricate something if it is important to you.

4.) orange rubber/plastic: this is a pliable fender washer that fits between the combing and the slot in the deck bar. It is important to keep that joint tight and to prevent wear of the deck where it meets the underside of the combing. You can replace it with a rubber washer, I would go on a scavenger hunt at Home Depot or some such hardware store.

Hope that helps, enjoy!


Author:  dostoy320 [ Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

Thanks gentleman!

I'll do some swamping tests in shallow water and see how well the spontoons keep it at the surface.

I just picked up some pretty serious-looking adhesive from West Marine this morning and will focus on patching the hull before anything else.

While I was there, I scoped out some paddles. Oof. Those things are not cheap. I guess I'll see how I get along with the originals for a while...

I really appreciate the responses and general knowledge/experience from you guys!

Author:  john allsop [ Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

The old style klepper paddles do work ok, I used them for many years on rivers and lakes, eventually the ply started to separate that is when I bought better ones. The one I like best for my A2 is made by Nautiraid, they call it Eskimo, it is a take apart and I have the longest they make, I like long paddles some members like shorter ones something you have to try out yourself to see what you like. An experienced canoer when asked how long should the paddle be, he said one that reaches the water. When you make patches round the corners, this helps. Personally I wouldn,t fill my boat with water, in over 40 years I have never swamped my Klepper. Just buy two air bags one for the front and one for the stern, inflate and TIE in the frame. For SAILING I use a long single blade canoe paddle so there is no blade in the air to hit the sail. The photo I have attached is the blade end of the Eskimo paddle.

Author:  dostoy320 [ Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

Thanks John. I suppose I'll skip the swamping and look into getting some air bags. Is it pretty straight forward to figure out which ones are suitable for the A2?

Weather finally improved enough this weekend to spend an afternoon replacing the failing patches on the hull. The material I ordered from NRS doesn't match, but whatever, as long as the water stays out I'm happy.

I took my time rounding corners and following the adhesive instructions carefully. The repairs seem very strong.


Author:  Caspar [ Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

As I feel, there are some slight misinformations among the answers, I'd add my 2 cents as well.

First of all... nearly every wooden frame folding kajak for itself is able to swim (right below the waterline though) and will not sink, unless you have loaded it with stuff. Said that, it all depends on what and how much you have loaded, no matter if it have sponsons or not. In case of the AE2 you can rely that it will stay afloat even with normal touring package. If you want to add even more savety, then I can suggest, you just use simple inflatable beach balls for children, which costs almost nothing, but does exactly the same as expensive stuff - and just put them into the front and rear tip before putting your frame into the hull.

Preparations for deck lines are not common with older (vintage) folders. I suppose, its because people back then didn't need as much stuff as today. :D
I for myself dont like it either to put much pressure force onto the canvas. The danger of damaging it... and even if not - it will deform, which is ugly anyway. The AE2 does have lots of space in it. Usually enough for tours.

Nice to see, that you have patched the holes nicely. I hope you got material based on rubber (not PVC), and that you used some kind of vucanizator - just like on bicycle tires?
Your boat has a (organic) rubber hull, thats the reason, why its already looking so used. Rubber is dissolving over time by UV light and heat. It first gets greasy and sticky and then it gets hard like carton, the coating fells off like powder and it gets leaky and unfoldable (thats gonna be the inevitably future of your hull as well). Not hard to imagine, that glueing new patches on a dissolving underground wont get you very far.
Judging from your pictures, I'd say, your hull is good for another few years with ease and the patches directly on the hull will hold (if done correctly, mentioned above), but the ones on the keel strips might fell of again, as they dont look in good shape (which is normal). Make sure, those stipes are still holding well themself - or exchange them. The hull beneath them might be in a good shape, as it never has come in contact with UV light.

Keep the rubber out of the sun, if you can. And you might look for the so called Klepper-Milk to rub it in 1-2 times a year. It helps staying the rubber soft and nice. An old lady needs its lotion. ;-)

Author:  Caspar [ Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

P.S.: Your boat is datable to been build between 1965 and 1973.

Author:  dostoy320 [ Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2


I appreciate the detailed replies!

It's interesting that you date the boat between 1965 and 1973. I was assuming around 1980, but this was based only on some dated literature that came with the boat. The original owner had passed away, and the man I purchased it from listed it as 1980 (again, probably based only on the literature which could have been acquired years after the purchase I suppose).

Is there anything obvious you can point to that dates it in that range? I'm quite curious.

Thinking it was 1980-ish, I assumed the hull was Hyperlon, which as I understand it is not PVC OR natural rubber? The patching material and adhesive I used were sourced from NRS, following this guide:

Maybe I've made a mistake in going that route, although the repairs feel very solid. The adhesive and process of applying patches seemed very similar to what I remember using as a kid to patch inner-tubes before all tires when tubeless... (scuffing the surface, the smell of the adhesive, etc...)

My thinking is that if I can get the hull watertight enough to get a bit of use out of, I can gauge how much I enjoy the kayak. If my wife and I find that we love using it, I'm not opposed to shelling out for a new hull since the frame is in great shape and it's generally such a beautiful craft.

Photos of literature just because:


Author:  john allsop [ Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

Dos,s the nose and stern pieces have lightening holes as show in the attached photos. My 1976 A2 dosn,t have them but the old A2 I have from the late 1960,s has them. This might help with the date, I don,t know the exact date when Klepper eliminated the holes. They also removed the metal round the leading edge and trailing edge. I have just looked at the photos of your assembled frame, you do have the lightening holes. Try and get some comfortable seats as it can be torture after an hour or two, also when I had a hole through the skin I put patches on the outside and on the inside.

Author:  Caspar [ Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

Hypalon, or CSM correctly is also a kind of rubber. I don't know if it still contains organic rubber or not, but in general it can withstand UV light much better. However, both rubber materials can be vulcanized in the same way, so you did nothing wrong. ;-)

There is a very detailed listing in the database. If you can read german, then you might check yourself:


Author:  xeniv23 [ Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

Concerning swamping/filling an AEII: When I was first learning to sail my AEII I had no sailing experience. Multiple capsizes ensued.....I am happy to report that the sponsons will support the boat and two people as they slowly make their way to shore to empty the boat and do it again. Eventually we figured out that we could partially empty the boat in the water if we got out and were then able to pump out and reboard. All good fun.

Author:  john allsop [ Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

For sailing an A2 I use outriggers, without them you will be over many times.

Author:  xeniv23 [ Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Another A2

Capsizing/swamping an AEII. When I first bought mine in '84 I had no idea about sailing but I had a sailing kayak. Just make sure that you are in warm water when you are learning. I eventually figured out how to jibe without going swimming. It was an epiphany. Anyone else had that experience? Anyway, it will float just fine full of water, even in fairly rough conditions, with just the sponsons. Stay close to shore until you have it figured out. If you already know how to sail it will be just fine. I have recovered the boat/pumped out and continued without going to the beach but it took some learning.

I have been the happy owner of a Kayaksailor 1.6 for 4 years now and find it to be an easy drama free fix for the sailing habit.

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