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 Post subject: Pouch E-68 (Single 2000)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:08 pm 
I'm buying an E68 next week, and am experiencing some enthusiasm in form of research

I've already translated and read everything on M.Gunkel's site pertaining to this model, have read the model pages at http://www.pouchboats.com/e68.html , have googled and read a number of newsgroup exchanges, and would like to hear from other paddlers who own or have paddled an E68 as to the boat's handling characteristics in chop and on rivers. Also, do you use a sprayskirt - why or why not?

The Folbot Cooper appears to be similar to the E68 - frame assembly outside the skin, skin opening through the cockpit for frame insertion, tensioning device, etc. The Cooper does appear to have the cockpit located further back, and has a narrower beam, of course, an entirely aluminum frame. I think there's also a Feathercraft boat designed along similar dimensions if different assembly method.

Thanks,

Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:41 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
Congratulations on your prospective purchase. Researching these sorts of things does get the enthusiasm pumping.

I don't have any specific comments on the E68. I'd be interested in hearing how you came to decide on the E68 vs the other wood frame singles that are available. A while back I spoke with the owner of Seavivor, who mentioned that he had a new single coming out. It was to have dimensions similar to that of the E68 and LH single. That was months ago and nothing has surfaced.


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 Post subject: Why the E68
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:12 pm 
Paul wrote:
I'd be interested in hearing how you came to decide on the E68 vs the other wood frame singles that are available.


Suffice it to say that what sold me on the boat, besides a price for which I will long be grateful, is that the frame assembles outside the skin, has dimensions and construction that'll probably render it suitable for large lake crossings and exploration (in addition to two approximately 3,600 acre lakes in the immediate vicinity, we've got another nearby that's about 10,000 acres, as well as to two rivers close by).

Also, comes with a rudder and deck rigging. If the photographic evidence is to be believed, the E68 can be used in surf (which I'm not planning to do) or on the ocean (which I think I may do).

The model is still sold by Pouch, so replacement parts should be available, if needed.

Anyway, it's a used boat that appears, in some respects, to resemble the Cooper, predating the introduction of that performance oriented Folbot - and I've had the Cooper dream two or three times.

The E68 is pretty heavy compared to the Cooper, but anything under sixty or so pounds isn't really much trouble to carry a short distance compared to that Folbot square-stern I had for awhile.

Because I'm a rank beginner, I'm expecting that I'll undergo an adjustment phase, of sorts, as I learn to paddle the longer, narrower boat. I'm really looking forward to comparing/contrasting it's characteristics with those of the Puffin II paddled as a single. Different boats designed for different purposes, but it's always fun to observe, experience, and reflect upon stuff like that.

Because my digital camera perished in Alum Creek Lake, I won't be able to add any photos to my gallery, but can promise that I will try the forum's patience with a number of posts about the boat, once it arrives.

Happy Monday,

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Why the E68
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:29 am 
Chris, 27" wide boat is a totally different creature from 24". I wouldn't therefore compare E68 to Cooper. The only similarity is that frame is assembled outside the skin, and, may be, tensioning system (I don't know about this). I wouldn't compare anything to Cooper, for many reasons.

You woud better think of E68 as something similar to 28" Longhaul MK1 or 26" Feathercraft K1.

May be E68 (new) is cheaper than K1 or MK1 - I don't know, since prices are e-mailed per request. As I have noticed, keel strips in E68 are optional (although rudder is standard), and this may easily cost $100 or 200 at the factory. These strips are needed on any folder, unless you are paddling only sandy shores in unloaded boat, or launch and land only at the dock.

If price is a concern, there is Folbot Kodiak - it is shorter than E68, but roomy enough for, say, 10-days supply of food and water. May be more, - it depends on season and area (i.e. amount of clothes, water loss through sweating etc). Definitely, 10 days with partial water supply. I thought about it for a while, but I prefer my boat to be dry and with a maximum reliability of all the parts, and in this respect Feathercraft beats other aluminum frame kayaks, - but this comes at a price.

Regarding those weights, - it's hard to believe that 27" wide 16.6 ft long E68 with Hypalon hull weighs 53 lbs (or 42 lbs with PVC skin), unless they have saved too much weight on frame and skin, which would've been a bad solution. MK1 doesn't weigh 65 lbs, K1 - 51 lbs, and Cooper - 31 lbs, as specified by manufacturers of these boats. You may safely add another 7-9 lbs to those weights in specs, - then you'll arrive somewhere close to what you will have to drag up ashore with keelstrips, seat, rudder, packing bags or floatation bags etc. With some bilge water you may add another 20 or 30 lbs very easily :-) . Very few folders can be carried on a shoulder without much suffering. I had a 25" folder once that weighed 57 lbs with rudder and everything else (including very light backpack), but 16 ft hull and not optimal location of the center of mass, plus not optimal location of frame and cockpit parts made carrying it on a shoulder a pain, even if there was no wind.

Alex.


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 Post subject: Shoulder Carry
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:53 am 
Yeah, you're right, I'll probably not try to shoulder carry this boat, although that's what I've done a number of times with the Puffin. And biilgewater, I forgot the bilgewater :| Oddly enough, it always seems to be raining right in front of me when I paddle.

This E68 has keelstrips already.

As to my possibly ill-advised comparison - well, I've never actually handled yet either boat, but, aside from wood v. aluminum, beam, weight, and cockpit placement, the E68 and Cooper appear similar to me based upon photographs I have seen. A rear tensioning device probably solves a particular problem common to boats with frames assembled outside the skin, inserted through stern slit. E68's tensioning system uses a different arrangement than that of the Cooper.

In addition to the recurring Cooper dream, I've been thinking about the Folbot Kodiak, but at this point, even with Folbot's summer sale extended through the end of this month, I was unable to honestly justify the expense of a new boat to either my wife or myself.

Anyway, the boat will hopefully arrive by the weekend.

Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:01 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
I've watched an E68 being assembled, and have paddled one. They are very nice-paddling. Haven't paddled any FCs or Folbots, so can't compare with them, but the Pouch's hullform is one of the best. I found the interior fit a bit tight, but some might prefer that (and many are smaller than I am). The frame is really solid and stiff-- I think that is where the weight is. If you look at pictures of the frame I think you will see what I mean-- strength and rigidity were priorities in designing the frame, not weight.

None of my boats have keel strips. I can see their value, but my boats do pretty well. The PVC Puffin 2 has survived a lot of cement and metal edges-- while loaded.

_________________
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:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:08 pm 
Used Kodiak can be bought for $700-800 in a good condition, if you will set your mind on something like this, and parts will be cheaper than those for Pouch.

I don't have recurring dreams of Cooper, since already had a boat (L1) that had most of Cooper's features - tubular ribs with separate C-clips (weak point), relatively light skin albeit with keel strips (in L1), but too narrow to protect properly if misaligned (Cooper has strips optional, but skin is too light); poor seat; inconvenient or unreliable solution for loading/uloading cargo - unreliable Velcro-ed deck on L1 and inconvenient to use zippers on Cooper (need sponsons deflating/inflating) to use them as cargo holes, - and probably, leaking, as most of zippers ; problems with tracking - too much rocker and too upswept bow in early L1, resulting in a lot of windage, and recently reported tracking problems with Cooper in choppy and windy waters - its profile is low, but may be excessive frame flex or non-optimal location of the center of mass is to blame (L1 was incredibly stiff). When Cooper showed up first, I already sold L1 and bought much more expensive Kahuna (compared to $900 that L1 cost me), and did have a regret that Cooper wasn't available earlier, but now don't feel this way any more.

Cooper is, of course, easier to assemble than L1 (any boat is easier than L1), and except for the first version of skin, the choice of materials in Cooper is good, AFAIK. Cooper can be bought with Hypalon skin now, which is good, on one hand, but lowers the benefits of compact and light boat for air or train travelers. Folbot's payload is usually rated conservatively, and 250 lbs payload of Cooper could really be almost the same as 300 lbs of Kahuna, still for exploring some long routes this is a bit tight limit, so in this respect E68 should be better (and more stability in rough conditions).


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 Post subject: Windfalls, waiting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:04 pm 
I feel pretty happy so far with my decision, got a good price and will be able to afford spare parts, if necessary.

I did seriously consider the Kodiak, but could not find one within my price range by the time I found the E68. My acquisition of a modern Folbot will have to await a windfall.

The boat isn't scheduled to arrive until Monday, 8/29. UPS tracking shows the package weighing in at 65 lbs. That's including rudder stuff, seat, heel plates, and a sprayskirt. Waiting for something like a boat is as difficult as waiting for stuff was when I was a kid.

Alex, I think it was you, on this or another forum, who said it was incomprehensible that someone would find cars as interesting as boats. Since first getting a folding boat, cars have lost a lot of their interest for me, and if I had not already agreed to purchase that 850, would have kept the 740, and would now be saving up for some undervalued, rural water front property.


C.


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 Post subject: First Assembly
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:34 pm 
Tonight after work I assemble this boat for the first time, correctly, without looking at the instructions. The frame maybe could have been a little straighter in the hull, and I should have attached the heel-plate rail and the seat bottom to the keel prior to inserting the frame into the skin. Live and learn.

I was surprised at how easy it was to put the boat together. I am amazed that what at first appeared to be a bunch of sticks, when joined, make a sturdy and beautiful structure that is easily handled.

I've put a few snapshots of the boat in an album on the photo gallery page.

Soon I will paddle this noble craft for the first time, baptizing it with some of the lakewater down the road.

Hopefully the boat's character will provide an appropriate name. Currently I'm thinking "Ana Ng" might be a good choice, but dunno. Already had a boat named "Redboat".

Ciao,

Chris


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 Post subject: What a Boat!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:57 pm 
Many thanks to Ralph Hoehn for selling me this boat in the first place, as well as for invaluable advice. :D

This morning I paddled twice as far as I normally do of a morning in about the same amount of time with less effort and less fatigue.

What a boat - it's really a thing of beauty - I could look at it all day. Sadly, I have to keep it stored disassembled.

The E68 is much less initially stable than I'm used to, after paddling about a mile or so, I felt confident in my ability to remain upright with the boat. I was able to confidently lean the boat during a turn. The E68 has a long glide after the last stroke, and tracks straight.

While crossing the lake against the wind, I noticed a tendency to "weathercock", I think it's called, however not to the same degree as my other boat. Next time on a lake, I think I'll try out the rudder. Even without the rudder, I was able to lean forward, keep my head down, and make good progress.

The kayak handled small wind chop, some larger wind swells, wakes with predictable ease. The frame could be felt to flex slightly when paddling into some chop and wakes.

I had trouble keeping the sprayskirt (first time I've used one) attached in back during what, for me, approximates aggressive or spirited paddling. Sprayskirt did keep me and the boat dry. I'd have to say the only water in the bilge is what I brought aboard in and on my shoes.

This is my first completely decked boat, and, with the sprayskirt, it was not uncomfortably hot. The day's temperature is about 85 degrees F.

This boat is very easy to assemble, but does take longer than the Puffin II. I very much like the deck rigging, which held a dry bag with wallet and phone, as well as the Wal-Mart bag containing a snack and a bottle of water.

I can't wait to try this boat on one of our local rivers, and plan to take it with me to Memphis this month on a training junket, so may be able to paddle a really large river, if time permits.

Now must return to the mundane world of home ownership and its attendant duties.

Soyez Sage,

Chris


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