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From: [Ralph Diaz] Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 18:39:04 -0800 Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] K-Light back from Baja Karen H. wrote: > I don't expect to be traveling to the east coast any time soon, Ralph, > but if you come to the symposium in Washington (Port Townsend, I think) > I'll bring my boat for your demonstration. In fact, I'll do the assembly > and let you critique! ;-) Well, I have not been out that way for that symposium since 1993. Maybe I will come out. > I have to stick with what I said about the boat being slow and hard to > control in some of the conditions in which we were paddling. > technique, but when the wind blows that boat insists on turning right > into it! > > The boat was incredibly stable, but making headway in a fairly strong > wind with a good rip current was a real battle when crossing La Partida. > My guys in the Sealution and Necky Narpa were struggling too, but at > least they were able to maintain a course and concentrate their efforts > on paddling. I was literally doing a sweep paddle most of the way across > (2, 3 or 4 sweeps on the right, one short stroke on left) to keep the > boat headed in the right direction and maintain some forward momentum. > It was challenging paddling for everyone, but the pointed bow and > sleeker design of the Sealution in particular seemed to be the most > efficient in those conditions. I think someone better qualified than I like John Winters might comment on boat design and weathercocking. But I do know that the first year or two of paddling I would find myself in the same predicament. I was in hardshells but that same zillion strokes on one side to one stroke on the other side. It just takes learning how to keep a boat going straight. > BTW, I'd be interested in knowing how others control the direction of a > rudderless boat in similar conditions. Also, any thoughts on the effect > of deckbags and other gear tied on the deck in regard to wind? You have probably started a good discussion here. I find that several things work for me when a boat wants to turn on me: 1. Choke up on the paddle with the longest part of the paddle on the side toward which you are being pulled. Choking up like that on the paddle creates a turn in the opposite direction that counterbalances the tendency of the boat to turn. 2. Slide one cheek (the kind you sit on not the kind you smile with :-)) toward the side toward which the boat wants to turn. This makes the boat lean on that side and creates a turning movement in the opposite direction. 3. With every stroke on the side toward which the boat is being pulled, lean the boat in that direction in the middle of your stroke. Again this creates a turn counter to the turning tendency of the boat. 4. Put a little bit more power in the stroke on the side toward which the boat is being pulled; again this is a sweep that will turn you slightly away from the boat's pull. That is the basic set of things to do. You do them in gradations and in various mixes. There are other variations too. If you do these, you seldom will have to double or triple up paddle strokes on one side. I learned these with the Klepper Aerius single which always wanted to turn into any wind of any magnitude or type. Great boat for learning such technique. I have not found the K-Light at all behaving in this way. My current Nautiraid 1 acts somewhat that way though. ralph diaz --Return to PaddleWise
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 09:47:34 -0700 From: ralph diaz Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] K-light Merijn Wijnen wrote: > Hi all, > Someone has given me a rather good offer for a used 5 year old k-light > (about $800 including 4-piece paddle, but that is converted from European > currency). As the seller lives a bit to far away to test the boat, I have > a few questions for the k-light owners on this list. > > Will the boat fit me, and leave some storage capacity for weekend trips > (tent etc., limited amount of supplies, weight about 25 kg (40 lbs))? That is an excellent price, whatever the year of manufacturer (the K-Lights began production in April 1993) Most definitely at your weight (listed below), you will have plenty of room for gear. I did an article awhile back on packing the K-Light. I weighed 162 at the time (now about 168). And I was able to load all I needed in the boat for 6 days of paddling/food. I could have packed more in the boat but I was limited because, for the article, I took only what I physically could carry in public transportation (city bus, huge terminal, commuter train, a walk to launch site) without using any form of cart. I think it appears on someone's webpage but I would be willing to fax it to you if you wish. After I did the article, I got several people sending me letters or email saying that they had camped out of the K-Light for 3 weeks in Alaska and northern climes that would have required bigger sleeping bag, more clothing etc. So it will work. It will, BTW, work for any small boat. You don't need a big boat to camp unless you weigh over 200 and therefore require more reserve capacity. > I am one of the long and skinny variety, my length is 1.94 m (6'6''), > feet size 13 (46 european), weight 80 kg (160 lbs). For comparison: > I like a boat with a tigth fit, esspacially in the cockpit, e.g. a Khat-S > cockpit is OK, K1 (old model) feels very wide. Feet space in Khat S is a > bit tight, in K1 OK. The foot pedals are certainly adjustable enough for your leg length. You can get more length by reversing them (a simple procedure: take the foot pedals and take out the bolt holding it to its mount then reverse the foot pedal portion) if needed. Your shoe size means that you will likely have your feet pushing up on the deck fabric. It will do no harm. If you angle your feet a bit (if comfortable) you won't have even this protrusion. The cockpit is not wide feeling at all. You can lock yourself in nicely in the boat. You can add padding to the sling seat near your hip if you want more snugness. There are all sorts of way to accomplish this in the K-Light. > Will the boat with weekend loading still be nimble enough to handle well > at sea in rough conditions? Within reason. Remember that you are in a boat just 13 feet long. Rember the scene in the movie "Jaws" where they first go out and see the size of the shark and one guy says to the other "I think we need a bigger boat!" Human nature generally dictates that at such times as rough sea conditions, one tends to want something longer and more substantial feeling around them. It will remain nimble. When I was writing that article, I launched at the same time with my fully loaded boat as a fellow in a hardshell who was just packed for a day trip. Within about a mile or so, he said to me "hey, that's a pretty fast boat." So I was not dragging him back. > Will the total loading slow down the boat so much that I will become a > burden for my hardshell companions? Depends on your companions. If they are skilled, strong paddlers in boat that are four and five feet longer than yours, then of course, if they speed up and go toward the max speed of their hulls, you will not be able to keep up. But if they stick to 4 or 4.5 mph, you will be able to. The K-Light, like many small boats, are agile and accelerate much faster than longer boats. But its top speed is not that of a much longer boat. ralph diaz --
From: elias.ross@... Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 17:41:27 -0700 Subject: [Paddlewise] Fitting a small paddler into a folding boat [I'm new to this list, I'll give a proper introduction later.] My chief paddling companion is my wife, who is barely five feet tall. She also lacks wide hips and finds most boats not for her size. I have had her try a few fiberglass hulls, such as the Pacific Water Sports Wigeon, and from what I've heard the Mariner Elan would be a good fit as well, but I've had my mind set on getting a folding boat for various reasons. I attended the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium with the hope of trying out some Feathercraft folding kayaks, but was fairly disappointed that even the K-Light was still a bit too big. The cockpit seemed to clear her elbows well enough but the foot pedals did not allow her to brace her knees near the cockpit of the boat too well. Having seen what people have done with foam and pads to create a proper fit was encouraging. It seemed to me adding velcro strips for removable hip pads might be a sufficient solution. It seems knee pads that weren't glued wouldn't be very strong. It seems like it'd be pretty much impossible to have her fit well in a kayak 25" wide like the K-Light, without having her bend her knees a whole lot. How much should a kayaker bend his knees? I usually have little more than a 20 degree bend, since my legs are quite long. One of the Feathercraft people said to just turn the foot brace around and it'd be okay, like they were afraid they really didn't have a boat for her size. And then I wonder if I should just give up on the whole idea and get a fiberglass boat and find a place to store it.
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 20:11:32 +0000 Subject: [Paddlewise] Small paddler in a folding boat, Try Khatsalano From: Rex Roberton Was there a reason you did not try the demo Khatsalano? It is 22 inches (56 cm) wide and 11.5 inches deep (29 cm). It had their new inflatable hip pads. I got in it on Sunday, blew up the hip pads and had a instant, custom fit. It was very comfortable! I've never been in a sea kayak "right out of the factory" that had such a nice fit. There were no knee braces but I did not need any because my knees were against the skin and the cockpit tube came across my thighs. My knees and thighs were very comfortable. With this instant, "custom" fit, I was easily rolling the kayak and was even rolling it without a paddle (hand rolls). I can't answer your question about the foot rests but I'm sure you could find a way to customize the foot rests for her. I'm 5' 9" so there was no problem for me. Try contacting Doug Simpson, the owner, through their web site (www.feathercraft.com, email at email@example.com) and I bet he will have a answer for you. I met him at the symposium and talked to him several times. Very nice and very helpful. Rex Roberton
From: elias.ross@... Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 18:20:32 -0700 Subject: [Paddlewise] Feathercraft Kahuna I also wanted to mention that Feathercraft had a new boat at the West Coast Kayak Symposium called the "Kahuna" (which is a pretty lame name, evoking images of Hawaii and surf dudes) that is the successor to the K-Light. The boat is merely a stretched version of the K-Light. According to what the dealer said, the Kahuna has two more feet of length, which would put it at about 14.5' in length. Feathercraft also had a variation on the Kahuna, called the Big Kahuna which had a larger cockpit. The price for the boat went up about $50 or so, and the weight went up only a few more pound. Alledgedly, they are coming out with inflatable waist pads for the seat. The dealer described it as a one-piece accessory that fit around the seat and could be inflated for a better fit. It's supposed to be in production now.
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 10:14:00 -0700 From: ralph diaz Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Small paddler in a folding boat, Try Khatsalano Since sometime in the 1920s, folding kayaks have occasionally been outfitted with an assortment of devices to snug in on either the hips, knees/thighs, or both. I have seen illustrations of these from that earlier period. In more recent years, individuals have adapted their own using pads from Banshee and other companies or devising their own. And as pointed out below, Feathercraft has a new device just being introduced now that should fit all the models as far as I can tell (I am having one shipped to me soon for a boat review). BTW, I have seen smaller people than your wife fit snuggly enough in the K-Light. It always amazes me how two people of the same size can have a totally different concept of looseness and tightness in the same boat. > cm) wide and 11.5 inches deep (29 cm). It had their new inflatable hip > pads. I got in it on Sunday, blew up the hip pads and had a instant, custom > fit. It was very comfortable! I've never been in a sea kayak "right out of > the factory" that had such a nice fit. There were no knee braces but I did > not need any because my knees were against the skin and the cockpit tube > came across my thighs. My knees and thighs were very comfortable. With > this instant, "custom" fit, I was easily rolling the kayak and was even > rolling it without a paddle (hand rolls). This is that new device. This insight from Rex also points out something that people are unaware of...you can very effectively achieve knee bracing by digging your knees into the deck material which will give a little and provide an indentation for your knees. > I can't answer your question about the foot rests but I'm sure you > could find a way to customize the foot rests for her. Everything can be fixed and modified in a folding kayak. If you enter the realm of folding kayaks, you will find a world of innovation and modification. We folding kayakers are doing it all the time and the ideas and tips raised are the grist for my newsletter's mill. best, ralph
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 10:14:13 -0700 From: ralph diaz Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Feathercraft Kahuna The Kahuna is somewhat a stretched K-Light but there are marked differences that hold a lot of promise. The length went from 12 ft 10 inches to 14 feet 9 inches. The weight is the virtually the same as the pre-2000 version of the K-Light (35 pounds the Kahuna; 34.5 pounds for the 1994-1999 K-Light). The price differential is actually $80. The boat clearly will have more capacity in terms of volume and weight. It will track well and, with a more sharply tapered bow, will do better in the water. Basically when Feathercraft managed to get the K-Light down to 31 pounds this year (a combo of new deck and hull material and RF-welding of seams), it made the obvious decision of "why not take the weight reduction gain and throw it back into the hopper to make the boat longer". Thus the Kahuna. Also borrowing from the situation the company faced in 1996 or so, it opted to offer two cockpit sizes. In that year, the company changed the K-light from the cockpit size of the K-1 down to that of the Khats. People were clamoring for the older size and the company was forced to make a few more. Now there is the Kahuna (Khats size cockpit) and the Big Kahuna that has the K-1 size, about 7 inches longer and an inch wider if I recall correctly. > Alledgedly, they are coming out with inflatable waist pads for the > seat. The dealer described it as a one-piece accessory that fit around > the seat and could be inflated for a better fit. It's supposed to be in > production now. Generally the seats in all the Feathercraft singles are the same in setup. So I can't imagine why any improvement could not be fitted into any of them with a bit of savvy and adjustment. The company is phasing out the K-Light. I could write a long ode to the K-Light but I will spare you plowing reading through one. But the K-Light remains a terrific boat and one should not hesitate to buy something of its magnitude in just a 31 pound weight form. Its speed and the ability to keep up with all but the most determined person in a much longer hardshell has always surprised both the K-Lighter and the guy in that sleek boat. It is manueverable, easy to assembly (if you have the knack), light to carry. Just a great boat whose performance belied its smallish size. The Kahuna is likely to be better yet. I saw one over the weekend but didn't get a chance to paddle it (it was at a hugely successful swim escort support a number of us were doing on the Hudson in a 7.8 mile swim along Manhattan's shoreline). But I will. ralph
From: "Matt Broze" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Small paddler in a folding boat, Try Khatsalano Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 21:18:32 -0700 Rex Roberton asked: >>Was there a reason you did not try the demo Khatsalano? << I'm going to be a buttinski and suggest a few reasons because they might not be obvious from a test paddle of any kayak in calm conditions. But first, one obvious reason not to try it might be the huge price difference. You wouldn't dare try it, you just might like it. Second there is the issue of weight, advantage K-light. For a paddler as small as described (under 5 feet) the Khatsalano with its 17-4 length and relatively stiff tracking is going to need a fairly strong paddler to turn it in a strong wind. I don't mean someone strong for her size I mean ultimate strength. She will be arm wrestling the wind and offering the wind a much longer lever arm to use against her. Further, with a stiffer tracking kayak (that can't be turned as quickly in the troughs before the bow clears the crest and again faces the full strength of the wind) you will essentially be allowing the wind to get a really good grip on you. When you are protected somewhat from the wind in a trough, if you can't make up more than the angle you lost to the wind at the crest of the last wave crest then a turn just isn't going to happen. The shorter more maneuverable K-light has a big edge here especially for a smaller, lighter paddler (or any one of more limited arm wrestling ability). It is not strength to weight ratio that counts here it is ultimate strength. The lighter paddler is at the further disadvantage of floating higher out of the water and therefore exposing more of the kayak to the wind. Gear weight in the kayak helps a lot here as the mass in the ends keeps the kayak from swinging around so quickly at the wave crest. The K-light cuts its wetted surface (friction) by being shorter and as Ralph pointed out, its speed can surprise a lot of kayakers, especially those saddled by the mistaken, but common, belief that longer is always faster (see FAQ's on our website for more details on this). The Khats cuts its wetted surface by being narrower so my guess is drag below 4 knots is probably pretty even between the two. Total useable gear storage space is about the same in the two kayaks as well so there is no advantage to either there. So the differences are price, weight, cockpit fit and handling in strong winds. The Khats's lower cockpit rim (same size as K-light's rim) and bridge truss style stiffening tubes/thighbraces does give a better fit to a smaller paddler but I'm sure much can be done to improve the fit on the K-light (if it really needs to be improved--which I'm not so sure of-- I'll bet that after owning a K-light for a while you will find it doesn't need as much modification as you think it does now). My advice is to get a K-light while you still can. The Kahuna promises to be the kayak that a lot of folks are looking for. More capacity/reasonable price and better suited in reserve buoyancy for heavier paddlers. I think Feathercraft is making a mistake to discontinue the K-light though. The Kahuna will cut into the K-light's market seriously for sure, but the K-light will still likely be the better choice for smaller paddlers. My advice would be to direct it more at smaller paddlers by shortening the footpads and narrowing up and possibly lowering the cockpit slightly. I vote to keep the K-light in the line and will tell that to Feathercraft the next time I talk to someone there. I threw out my back testing/lifting heavy stiff tracking kayaks on Saturday so didn't get to try the Kahuna on Sunday at the Symposium along with many others I wanted to try. Did you try the Sterns 1K-116 inflatable at $299. I tried many little recreational hardshell kayaks at the symposium on Saturday and was mostly disappointed. I was impressed by the Sterns inflatable, probably partly because it paddled way better than I had expected and had a comfortable "seat" (and partly because I was so disappointed in most of the other sub 12 foot kayaks I tested). Now if Sterns would get rid of the stupid fingernail snagging grab loops they recently added to the front of the once wonderfully smooth rub pad that protected my arms from the abrasive nylon on the rest of the tubes I'd be happier still. As it is I guess I could cut the grab loops away, the kayak is so light they really aren't needed (I heard they were added so that folks would use them rather than try to pick up the boat using the edge of the zippered spraydeck. My advice is beef that up with the same husky webbing used for the finger snagger handles and let them use it. $299 and packs down to about a third the volume of a K-light. Seems perfect for that plane trip taken for other reasons (than camping out of a kayak), but where you have a little time in a new local to explore a few of the local waterways. I suggested to Chris Cunningham that he ought to try it out. He even Eskimo rolled it. Matt Broze
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 09:48:31 -0700 From: ralph diaz Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Small paddler in a folding boat, Try Khatsalano Matt Broze wrote: > The K-light cuts its wetted surface (friction) by being shorter and as Ralph > pointed out, its speed can surprise a lot of kayakers, especially those > saddled by the mistaken, but common, belief that longer is always faster > (see FAQ's on our website for more details on this). I am glad you make this same point. Paddlers are lemmings in how much they follow some general concept like the one about length or for that matter the concept of width. The K-Light is as fast as many longer boats except perhaps at top speeds, but who can paddle at top speed all the time? The K-Light has the beauty of paddling almost effortlessly at a cruising speed of around 4 knots and has lots of glide between strokes. I do an energy conserving stroke (I am over 60 and not in the best of shape) in which I take a longer more powerful stroke with each paddle dip with a split second rest before the next dip. So if you see me paddling alongside another paddler, he is stroking much more than I am. The K-Light allows that because of its great glide between strokes. It is also relatively easy to get it up to speed as it is so light and agile with little inertia to overcome. \ Oh the point about width. Many of the folding kayaks are often some 4 inches wider than hardshells. But that is up high at the deck seem level where the sponsons flare out. If you look at the cross section that is actually being pushed through the water it is significantly narrower. If you get a folding kayak in which you don't sink it to the point that its sponsons are constantly in contact with the water, you have less to push through the water. > My advice is to get a K-light while you still can. The Kahuna promises to be > the kayak that a lot of folks are looking for. More capacity/reasonable > price and better suited in reserve buoyancy for heavier paddlers. I think > Feathercraft is making a mistake to discontinue the K-light though. The > Kahuna will cut into the K-light's market seriously for sure, but the > K-light will still likely be the better choice for smaller paddlers. My > advice would be to direct it more at smaller paddlers by shortening the > footpads and narrowing up and possibly lowering the cockpit slightly. I vote > to keep the K-light in the line and will tell that to Feathercraft the next > time I talk to someone there. I too am disappointed to see that the K-Light is being discontinued. For those with K-Lights that they wish to sell, the resale value should go up quite a bit. They will offer a premium package for some paddlers. I have not talked with Feathercraft about this much but I think what happened is that in effect they changed the model so much that it really needed a new name. The same has happened all along with the company's K-1. It has borne that name since the early 1980s but it has radically changed, so much that it could have easily been called the Granville (for the island in Vancouver where the factory is located) or anything else. At one point, it was not much longer than the new Kahuna (Kahuna 14 ft 9 in; the 1980s K-1 without coaming around 15 feet and a couple of inches) Even in 1998, the company changed the K-1 so much (length earlier had creeped up to 15 ft 10 in and then with the latest change to 16.5 feet; but the frame also was completely overhauled and the bow made to look like that on the Khats with a fine entry point) that in my review I stated that they probably should have changed the name because it was now a different boat. In a sense Feathercraft may just be wanting to recognize that the Kahuna is a K-Light so radically changed (significant length addition plus sharper bow, plus a significant frame change) that it is a new model. Matt mentioned something about Feathercraft should perhaps lower the cockpit rim on the K-Light and continue to sell it for smaller paddlers. In there lies a probably for Feathercraft. The K-Light/Kahuna are the only model(s) produced by the company that has injection molded crossribs (of polycarbonate) instead of being cut by machine individually from large slabs of polyethylene. The costs of the molds and machinery is so great that the Kahuna will have the exact same 4 injection molded crossribs as the K-Light. Feathercraft simply could not justify now reducing the cockpit height on the K-Light (which would require lowering the height of crossribs #2 and #3). BTW, the Kahuna looks terrific. Elongating the K-Light by two feet (12 ft 10 inches to 14 feet 9 inches) has made the boat look sleeker especially with its more narrow sharp and slightly uplifted bow. Changing only $80 more is also a plus. ralph diaz
From: "Wendy Ogaki" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Small paddler in a folding boat, Try Khatsalano Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 17:25:42 GMT I bought the Khats this spring and at 5'3" am still struggling to get a good tight fit in it. The foot pegs were positioned on the reinforcement bars but Feathercraft is going to do a retrofit for me to put them back on the chines. Without getting this correction, it's pretty difficult to brace properly. (I'm going to check with Feathercraft on those new hip pads.) I had tried various things to get a tight fit -- moving my seat up or would have to sit in an almost yoga position to get my thighs to be touching the sides of the boat which was a tad bit uncomfortable after awhile, even for an ex-gymnast. I'd say for someone 5', it will probably be way too big.
From: Walt Levins Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 15:07:01 EDT Subject: [Paddlewise] k-light I own a k-light and a pygmy arctic tern. I don't mean to ruffle any feathers but my arctic tern is definitely a faster boat. And I mean at cruising speed. Oh, the k-light is a great little boat and I keep it for its portability but in no way can it match my hardshell in performance. Just telling it like it is from my experience. Walt Levins Portland,Or.
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 16:05:25 -0400 From: Nick Schade Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] k-light It is kind of unfair to compare one given foldable with another given hardshell and then make a generalization about the whole class of boats. There are going to be hardshell kayaks slower than your K-light and a foldable could be made which is faster than your arctic tern. Even if the K-light was exactly the same shape as the Arctic Tern it could be some reason other than the soft skin which makes the boat slower. It could be because the rubber is rougher than gel-coat. Nick Guillemot Kayaks http://www.guillemot-kayaks.com/ >>>>"It's not just Art, It's a Craft!"<<<<
From: [Ralph Hoehn] Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 17:34:14 EDT Subject: [Paddlewise] Soft- and Hard-Shelled Boats Nick Schade writes: << It is kind of unfair to compare one given foldable with another given hardshell and then make a generalization about the whole class of boats. ... >> Hear, hear, Sir. But was this really a case of hard shell vs. soft skin? Walt did stress that he values his K-Light for its particular strength, namely its portability ... At about 6:45 pm, crossing 5th Avenue last Friday, I was almost run over by a tall, athletic looking male pedaling a folding bicycle against traffic on 36th Street. As I turned for the double take, I noticed a large black pack on his back with a Feathercraft logo. Could it be that this lucky person was about to pedal his bike to the banks of the Hudson, unfold his boat, fold up his bike and stow it, then paddle a while before reversing the procedure and pedaling home happy and relaxed? What a way to start the weekend! Would the guilty party own up, please? Best regards, The Other Ralph Ralph@PouchBoats...
From: "PeterO" Subject: [Paddlewise] Kahuna questions Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 18:15:34 +1100 Richard Best wrote > Anyway, in the end I bought the Kahuna. It's a > remarkable kayak: very portable, easy assembly > with a bit of practice, comfortable, stable and > quite fast enough G'Day, Richard and paddlewise, You mentioned your favourable experience with the Kahuna and this leads me to ask a few questions also. Maybe you can help? I've heard many good reports on this boat and have frequently been tempted to buy it except for one bad report from a local who was desperately disappointed because one of the ribs cut into his legs making it almost unbearably uncomfortable for him. As I'm still tempted and don't have access to try one out, can anyone tell me if this boat is likely to fit a 6 foot 1.5 inch 11 stone male. Also is it suitable for up to 20 knots wind and/or 2 metre sea (i.e grade 3 conditions by the NSWKC standards). Also how long does it take to assemble, disassemble, clean and stow away on an average day? All the best, PeterO
From: "Richard Best" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Kahuna questions Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 23:37:17 -0000 Dear Peter and all, Feathercraft make plastic tabs that velcro onto the crossribs if they dig into your legs. I don't use them, but the Khatsalano I tried had them, and they really felt comfortable. I'm 5' 10" and find the Kahuna quite comfortable, after finding the position for the seat sling that suits me best. I haven't been out in conditions as challenging as 2m waves etc. so I can't comment! It takes me 30 minutes to assemble, though I think I will reduce that with practice, and probably half that to disassemble. I spent about half an hour at home fussing over it, cleaning it up, and roll the skin back up later once it's dry. Best wishes, Richard
From: "Severn Clay" Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Kahuna questions Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 19:37:32 -0500 PeterO, I'm a 6'0" 190-lb paddler (I don't know that in stones) who recently bought a used Kahuna. It is my first boat, and I have to say that though I have little experience with many other boats, I'm quite happy with it. It moves very easily in the water, and is a very cozy fit (this is a normal, not a Big, Kahuna). I take it apart after every paddle, and assembly time is down to a leisurely 20-25 minutes. I bought it from a local dealer specifically because I could take a class in a demo boat and because he showed me how to assemble and disassemble it. The Feathercraft video is ok (and endearingly Canadian), but there is no substitute for the reinforcement of seeing the actual boat being assembled close up. It took me awhile to get used to the sea sock, but in chilly weather it gives the boat a pleasant sleeping-bag-like feel. The foot pedals do not feel as secure as I would like, especially through the sea sock (there was an article on fixing this in the last Folding Kayaker Newsletter, though no particularly elegant solutions [sorry]). I haven't had any problems with the ribs cutting into my legs, but the seat is remarkably adjustable and I have yet to identify what configuration corresponds to lumbar bliss (I got it once). The backpack is a bit heavier than I expected, and the straps aren't comparable to a typical hiking pack for comfort and fit, but being 6'0" tall is a bonus here because I CAN carry it fairly easily through the subways without a cart. It weathercocks a little, but nothing that can't be corrected by leaning. Can't tell you about the 20 knot winds and 2-meter seas yet. That, with many caveats, is my review... Best, Severn Clay
From: "drsm" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Kahuna questions Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 21:28:01 -0500 PeterO: I'm 5'11" and 145 lb. and just acquired a Kahuna this year. I like it a lot. It's light and takes maybe 30 minutes to assemble. I suspect the assembly time can be shortened to just over 20 minutes with practice. I've only had it out in 15 knot winds and 3 foot waves, but it handled well. I found it easier to maneuver than my old Skerray (probably due to weight and length considerations. The biggest pleasant surprise for me has been the seat--very comfortable. I do have to pack a couple things beside my hips to reduce a tendency to slide to the side in the seat, though. Steve
From: "ralph diaz"
Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Kahuna questions Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 22:19:51 -0500 Feathercraft has an accessory, Hip Fit Kit, that provides hip padding for those who feel they are sliding around in the seat or want to have extra hold for rolling. ralph diaz
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