Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Folding Boats

One of my friends at Canoecopia asked me why I have three boats. My response was because I sold two. I'm down to my Valley Aquanaut HV, a CLC 17 LT that No. 2 son and I built, and my Feathercraft Big Kahuna. This is the boat that that Dubside, noted Greenland afficianado, learned to roll in. I am heading out to New York City tomorrow for a long Easter weekend with some buddies from Madison and to visit that very same kayak building son . I'd like to take the Feathercraft but the cold weather, a Yankees home stand, and the certain pursuit of some good cask ale will not leave much time to paddle. I always thought it would be cool to paddle around Manhattan and plan on doing it sometime, just not this time. Manhattan Kayak Co actually does a 3.5 hour paddle tour around the Statue of Liberty,, which I would really enjoy assuming the anti-terrorist forces out there recognized us as friendlies. I've taken the kayak on a number of business trips and its worked well to get me some exercise, attitude adjustment, and to keep me out of the hotel bars after the days work is done. The most interesting and exotic trip was Puerto Rico. The photo is from a beach on the La Cordillera islands off Fajardo, PR. I had paddled out there from the harbor and kicked back on the beach for the afternoon. Putting the thing together is a definite conversation starter since most of the kayaks there, if there are any, are sit on tops. I was fairly cautious since my knowledge of tides and currents is rudimentary at best but there were plenty of boats and people in the area so my behind was covered.

While at Canoecopia I also checked out the new Trak folding boat. I don't need anther one but this thing has some very interesting characteristics. It fits like a regular kayak, seems very strong, has no sponsons to blow up, and you can change the shape of the rocker like an trimming an airplane. Very cool. Derrick Mayoleth tested one in the pool at Canoecopia and has some video on his blog. The Trak website is

Let the paddling season begin!


Silbs said...

First, I have no idea how Dubside rolls that sucker. I've never been in one, but it looks...I don't know...heavy? And...I would hold off on a Trak until the bugs are worked out. I believe Derrick managed to trash the one he tried (in one sessions). Of course, normal men don't do in a kayak what he does :>)

Alex said...

Actually I've rolled Dubside's Kahuna as well as his new Wisper. The Kahuna rolled very well and the Wisper rolls ridiculously well. Both kayaks are so stable that once you get them rotating, they literally pull you back up to the surface. Of course his boats are heavily modified to facilitate rolling as well. I'd love to have a Wisper in my fleet someday.

DaveO said...

I plan on some serious Kahuna rolling attempts and have contacted Feathercraft, who hooked me up with the lower back brace and thigh braces. I didn't realize it when I was in Vancouver but I was right across the street from the Feathercraft plant, drinking beer at the Granville Island brewpub. Damn it! Would have been fun to tour.