Questions about Gulf Island routes and currents

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by thunderseed, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    AD wrote: Smaller dry bags in the ends allow good use of those spaces. Larger dry bags can be used closer to the center of the boat. The stern area will hold a lot more gear than the bow. Good place for your sleeping bag and tent. As you become more experienced at packing, things will fit better and you will find ways to pack more efficiently, nesting cooking gear, using your body weight to fully compress a dry bag as you roll the seal closed, etc. Folders are tougher to pack well than bulkheaded boats with hatches, the tradeoff for having a boat that can be collapsed into a bag.

    Forgot a trick I have never used, but others recommend: at home, in the living room, assemble frame, sans skin. Bungie as needed so it remains intact. Test fit your dry bags and other gear within the framework, shifting stuff to make best use of space. Then make a sketch or take a kayak selfie so you can duplicate the arrangement on the beach.

    Perhaps I lost a lot of the hair I don't have on my head because I never used this little trick. :lol:

    Something else I forgot to mention. Schlepping multiple small dry bags up and down the beach truly is annoying, as you mention. A large mesh duffle, or an Ikea bag or two, allow you to make a couple trips instead of many. I favor the mesh duffle because it takes up little room, and can be stuffed in underdecks at the last minute during loading, filling some little cranny, nook, niche, hole, gap, recess, void, whatever.
     
  2. designer

    designer Paddler

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    In reviewing this tread, I noticed you were going to spend some time on Wallace Island. I'll keep the "why" a mystery but you may want to bring some drift wood or a shingle size piece of wood (no bigger than an license plate. Could be smaller) that has your name, the name of your boat (if you names it) and the month/year on it. As you explore Wallace you will understand why.

    Hope your lake time works out better than your Tree Island experience - but so much better to have those experiences closer to home.
     
  3. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    That sounds very interesting LoL, I'm guessing people leave their mark there.

    Yeah, well the whole reason I'm doing the comox lake trip is so I can mend out those problems with my kayak so I'm not expecting it to be a good time, it will probably be a very frustrating time LoL.
    Being close to the lake will give me easy access to take it apart, try it, take it apart, try it as many times as I need until I put it together the right way.
    I don't know why I'm having such difficulty with it when everyone else seems to think it's easy as pie.
    Somebody today mentioned having the things inflated on the side differently might be causing it to be off balance too. I'm just hope I'm doing something stupid and it's not a defect in my product. I'm going to soak my kayak in my bathtub tonight. Haha that sounds so weird, but its skin keeps getting incredibly tight on me. Maybe the sun does it?
     
  4. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I don't know the answer to this, but are there 2 different possibilities here?
    one) just stuffing small bags betw frame and uninflated sponson as much as possible and then inflating. The low pressure will equalize where gearbag is not. Or
    two) replacing the whole 'sponson' with a long inflatable dry gear-bag, moderately filling with gear and then blowing up after closed?

    If these extra gear bags just take up that little extra too much space as they do for me, one trick I often utilize is to make gearbag necklaces or shoulder bags: All one does is to unclip one or two drybags and loop those open ends thru all the web-loops of the other drybags and then sling them all over your shoulder(s) or around the neck (for difficult carries). If you wish to be creative, you can make long long bag chains by unclipping more. As an alternate when I remember, is to just use my tow belt and loop thru all the drybag loops and then put around neck or a shoulder.
     
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Mick,

    The sponsons on her boat are integral to the design and critical to uniform tensioning of the skin. The skin needs to be centered before anything else happens, hence the elaborate procedure to make that happen. Once the skin takes the correct set, it all gets easier on subsequent assemblies.

    Typically, one has to deflate the sponsons to get the zippers back open for packing gear, so on reinflation, they will help hold things in place, as you describe.

    The boat is a Folbot Cooper. I own hull number three, vintage 2003. Hers is a superior craft, with a more durable hull, a better tensioning system, and a better coaming.

    Sabrina,

    Normal for the skin to tighten up as it dries. Use the 303 on the inside of the hull for easier insertion of the frame. When wet, see if things are easier. Should be. Also make sure the tensioner is in relaxed position when inserting frame. I think the sequence in the link I sent you should help. One you want is called Folbot Cooper Manual, I believe.
     
  6. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Okay thank you I'll follow these tips when I'm at comox lake, hopefully I can book a campsite tomorrow or the day after!
     
  7. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Haha nice, I love that idea! I am going to do the necklace/chain thing for sure, that is perfect!
     
  8. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    I should practice arranging all my gear at home, that's a good idea, also ill look for a mesh duffle bag!
     
  9. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    You go, girl! Let us know how it turns out. I have certainly had my travails assembling mine. Funniest move was the time I had the frame reversed inside the skin. That does not work at all!
     
  10. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Haha I haven't done that one yet.

    Well, here's a few pictures of my cooper from the tree island trip, in the first one you can see the skins very uneven and not snug as it should be and maybe even the inflation thing on the side is uneven but it was managable that day, the next day it's like it shifted over even more and got a lot worse and just wanted to go in a circle and because I left it unzipped overnight after taking out my camping gear as you can see in the other pictures, I couldn't zip it up when we left the next day in the evening because it got too tight, it took forever. In the last picture you can see that the skin looks very wrinkly at the bottom too and I'm not sure if that's normal.
     

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  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Ah, those photos help quite a bit.

    In the first photo (of the bow) looks like the skin is shifted to the left on the frame. The key way to tell on assembly is that the zipper has to run exactly atop the central longeron when you zip it up. If it is not exactly on top, the boat will turn one way or the other. After zip up of both fore and aft zippers, fold down the velcro flaps and inflate the sponsons fully. The zippers should remain centered over the longerons. Pop off the flaps and check. Also there should be the same amount of hull reveal at the sheer, both sides, which was the clue in the photo which told me the skin was not exactly centered.

    Shifting the skin to center it I always do by pulling on the deck flap and pushing on a frame while lifting and lowering the boat a bit off the ground. Sometimes takes a couple goes before the zipper will be centered. Helps also if the inside of the hull has been freshly 303ed to make it slippery. Centering can be frustrating.

    The last photo, in profile view, shows big wrinkles in the center, and it looks like the skin is shifted toward the camera aft of the cockpit, while the skin forward is either centered or a little bit shifted away from the camera. No wonder the boat turned! I suspect it was really difficult to get things buttoned up after the boat sat out overnight open, although deflating the sponsons should have made it easy to rezip, nonetheless.

    Could also be the sponsons needed some more air, but even full inflation would not have removed them entirely. Always takes as much mouth pressure as I can muster to get them full, but one should never resort to compressed air, even what a bicycle pump can produce.

    Al this centering stuff gets easier once the hull has taken a set. If you can, get the hull on exactly centered, at home, and then leave the boat out in the sun to dry it out. Then let it sit, assembled, for a couple days.

    BTW, the boat looks great, and seems like you have packing sorted out ... not much on deck. Where is the spare paddle?
     
  12. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    Thanks greatly, I'll go see what I can do for the next couple of days at comox lake and I'll let you know how it goes.

    P.S. that's packing without a lot of food LoL so I still need to practice loading it up with the amount of food I want to take with me too.
     
  13. stevenf

    stevenf Paddler

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    Those big wrinkles around the cockpit of the Cooper are a "feature" of their new hull material. No matter how tightly you tension the frame and inflate the sponsons they will still be there.
     
  14. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Seriously? I only have experience with two types of hull material on the Cooper. The original such as on my boat, which is softer than the second generation stuff, which was a hypalon similar to what they used for many years, but a bit thinner for lower carry weight.

    I found the link to Elvaloy, which supercedes the light hypalon in use ca. 2004 -2012, right here: http://folbot.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/ ... -material/ It sounds more abrasion resistant than either of the two previous skin materials.

    But I don't understand, Steven, why changing to a different hull material would lead to large wrinkles. In my experience with some 4 or 5 folders, wrinkles are almost always due to improper tailoring or improper alignment of the skin on the frame. Sometimes inadequate inflation of the sponsons, or unadequate tensioning in the longitudinal system, in the Cooper's case, the jackscrew near the stern can cause wrinkles.

    So are you saying that the material is the cause, and not tailoring, etc? Is this something you have experienced on a boat you own?
     
  15. stevenf

    stevenf Paddler

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    Dave, I can't say for sure, but I don't think I've ever seen a photo of one of the new elvaloy hulled boats without those wrinkles. And mine has them every time, no matter how full the sponsons are and how much I've reefed on the tensioning screw. Seems to be just something in the material, which is not as flexible as hypalon imho and maybe the tailoring. But the wrinkles don't really indicate that the boat is under-inflated or under-tensioned.
     
  16. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Hunh. You're right.

    I Googled around a bit and found a couple photos of other Elvaloy hulled models that did not have hull wrinkles, but, as you describe, all the Coopers with the Elvaloy hull had wrinkles in the center, some more, some less. My guess is that the deck material is preventing the hull from stretching sufficiently. IOW, the deck is too short, by a couple inches. That is a tailoring issue. The wrinkles do not seem to extend under the water, so they do not affect performance. But, they should not be there.

    Note to thunderseed: just get the skin as tight as you can, and dead centered. Ignore any wrinkles. Does not hurt the boat. Maybe in time the deck material will stretch a bit and the wrinkles will go away. Damn wrinkles make me grumpy, though! :wink:
     
  17. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    I am not very happy with the wrinkle defect in their boats, but above all it is still a very attractive boat and if I could put it together properly, it would be an amazing, fast boat that is perfect for me.

    Unfortunately what good is a boat that I can't use.

    I think my trip might end up being postponed. :(

    I tried to set it up a few times again, with the help of my mom, I managed to figure out how to center it properly but the skin wouldn't go on again.

    I was planning on leaving in 5 days but I still can't get the skin over my kayak's stern. It literally seems 1 inch too small in length. I did get it on before but that was only because I soaked it AND used force, I don't want to have to use force to yank it over the stern or it'll break the zipper, which is already very marked up.

    I have a few last resorts before I decide to return it or exchange it.

    First I'll try soaking it for even longer than prior attempts, then I'll put the skin on perfectly center. Then, I'll ask my dad for help when he gets here. As a very last resort the Folbot customer service recommended using a hacksaw to reduce the length of the bottom keel longrun. They said if I end up screwing it up they'll just send me another keel. I don't know if taking a hacksaw to it would be a smart idea.

    I really love my Cooper. I'd hate to return it, but if I were to exchange it, it would take another month for it to get here, and then there goes my summer plans.

    If I return it, I'm sure my parent's would lend me the money before it gets here so that I could have time to go buy another kayak so that I can do my gulf island trip this summer. But in my giant hurry to go on my trip and just settle with another kayak I'll be forsaking what I originally desired, which is to have my Cooper, and there will always be trips, I can kayak and camp any time, it doesn't just have to be during this summer.
    I'm just really bummed out because I was really hoping to be able to do my trip this summer.

    I don't know anything about other kayaks.

    The only ones available here are inflatables and hard shells. The inflatables are just ugly and I'm sure they are much less durable than a folbot. A hardshell is going to make me reliant on my parent's to drive me around, which they don't want happening so I think that is out of the question.

    I want one that is like the Cooper, a long sea kayak that looks nice, meant for expeditions that is also fast with decent storage.

    I guess I shoudn't return it. I'll try to make it work no matter what, and if I have to I'll exchange it... even if that means having to wait a bajillion years for it to get here.
     
  18. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    You could rent a hardshell locally for your trip and then worry about the Cooper afterward. Just make sure that the warranty/return is not limited to 30/60 days or whatever.

    Realistically, you are going to need a vehicle of some sort to get that folder and your gear (PFD, sprayskirt,spare/immersion clothing/pump, water,etc. etc.) to the water even for a short paddle, let alone a multi-day camping trip.
    For myself, assembling/disassembling a folder would be a big negative; and would need a lot of advantages to tip the balance away from a hardshell kayak (unless I was flying someplace where I couldn't take/get/rent a kayak). But, I can see the appeal.
     
  19. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Probably the best route. If you hacksaw off an inch or so of that bottom longeron, I think you will be good to go for assembly. The metal is soft aluminum and will cut easily. If there is a plug in the end, just remove it after the saw job and stick it into the open end of what remains. You should be able to tell quickly whether this works. I assume the jackscrew tightening system will still tighten the skin afterwards, yes?

    Call Folbot and check on the return policy before you do anything. Rental of another boat will run likely 150 bucks a week, maybe more.

    You have weathered a lot of frustration over this. You should be proud of your tenacity.
     
  20. thunderseed

    thunderseed Paddler

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    The customer service guy said that they would send me a new pole if cutting it ends up ruining it and that they would take care of anything that needs to be done to make sure I can get my folbot working, now I'm not sure what the return policy is, but I'm pretty sure if they are wiling to just give me another keel longrun it wouldn't be a problem. I'll ask them before I cut it anyways.

    Maybe the problem is the sun keeps shrinking it. So maybe my attempts to stretch it out and soak it before would have worked if the sun wasn't so hot and didn't dry it up so fast. I wasn't storing the skin inside either. It is very hot out too. After I've let it soak in my bathtub for a while longer I'm going to try and put it together indoors instead of out in the sun. Maybe that'll make a difference.

    If I can get my folbot working, I will be very happy.

    Yeah, renting is always a possibility but it's pretty expensive. I'd definitely have to lessen the length of time I planned to be out.