Feathercraft Whisper

I’m considering getting a Feathercraft Whisper and doing some travelling with it. Feathercraft says it takes about 20 minutes to assemble, but I’m betting that’s hype (and/or lots of practice). Does anyone actually have one of these boats? If so, how long does it really take you to put it together? To repack it? Thanks for any info.

Kahuna and Khats
20 minutes for the Kahuna, 45-60 for the Khats.

A friend
has one and I watched/helped him assemble it. Took about 45 minutes the first time but we had to backtrack. (after reading the instructions for the first time) I think 20-30 min. is reasonable after you have done it a couple of times. It’s pretty straight forward.

What’s wrong with the Khatsalano
I had a Khats. I hated it. It’s too heavy to travel with on planes that limit your baggage which rules out pretty much every carrier within Europe. The boat takes forever to put together even if you practice. 40 minutes if you work on it over adn over again. I was finding about an hour and a half and afterward I was exhausted, covered in sweat and had scrapped and bruised knuckles from extending those damn poles.

It’s a fun boat to paddle, but for travel look at something smaller and lighter and easier to put togther. The new ones look like they might fit the ticket.

Wisper assembly times
I watched Dubside assemble his (sponsored) Wisper the first time he did so, and it took about 45 min. if I remember correctly.

At the end of the long weekend, with more practice, he said it took him about 10 or 11 minutes. He actually timed it and quoted minutes and seconds, but I can’t remember the exact number.

me and the Wisper
I’ve written a review of the Wisper, look in the review section-but to answer your question on assembly…its simple, straight forward, and yes its something that improves over time.

Currently my Wisper is sitting assembled, has been for 2 weeks and I’ll let it go for another week before taking it apart…this based on a suggestion by Dubside who told me that the skin would take on the form if left assemble for a while and thus ease future assemblies.

But some assembly clues if you get a Wisper:

  1. get off you butt, when up on the knees you will have more angle for more forec when pushing the bars in place
  2. relax about the number of holes your trying to get the pins into, the number will increase in time as the boat is used/stretched (that sounds funny because the skin is not supposed to stretch, more so after time more of the skin is allowing more of the metal to seat.
  3. the instructions are right in that it is much easier to work from the opposite side.
  4. there are some small steps that can be ommitted depending on your intended paddling conditions…example, say i’m off to the pool for a rolling session, the boat doesnt have to be as snug as when you are going to do that 2 mile open water crossing
  5. get the bow hatch, yes it will mean more splash onto your face in certain conditions but it will also ease the positioning of the bow longerons and chines
  6. relax when you are putting it together, do you really have to race,do you really have to beat the 20 min. mark?

    I’m lucky in that mine can stay assembled as long as i want, or really as long as FC recommends, so know this, if you own an FC boat you are supposed to dissasemble every now and then and when you do you are supposed to lube the joints, so maybe its not a boat you can just forget about…but if you drop 3K on a boat do you want to forget about it?

    Remember the Wisper is a compromise boat, a little longer and it would have been a Khat with the consequent time in assembly; wider and it would have been a Kajuna with slower speed…ask youself why you want a folder before you get one.

    There are times when I’m traveling and want a boat with me but not on top of the car, times when I want to fly with a kayak but dont want to fly a boat that weighs 60 pounds…remember you will have to fly the accessories too!

    I’ve already done a mod on the rib behind the cockpit to facilitate the layback rolls, ask if interested.