FeathrCraft Java

-- Last Updated: Aug-02-05 7:38 PM EST --

Has anyone paddled this boat?


I am thinking of buying one for the van so I don't have to rack anything.

I wonder how it would handle the open coast, or a mild surf launch?

Check with
the paddlers over at http://www.foldingkayaks.org - click on the folding kayak forum link on the left. I think there’s also a review of the boat on either the long or short reviews page.


I think surf is the question mark
I have not paddled them, but have heard some second/third hand accounts that the Airline boats paddle pretty well but might be a little bit on the fragile side in bigger surf. IIRC, the question mark was whether you’d bend the metal bits when the surf tries to fold the boat in half.

I will check that out!

Yep. That is the Question, But…
I know going in that it can not stand a launch into 4-5’ shore break.

If it is going to be that kind of weekend, I quess I will just have to put some kind of short surf SOT or waveski into the back of the van and clean it up real well for the trip home.

I was thinking about this for messing around Elkhorn Slough, Bodega Bay, or Tomales Bay. Easy stuff like that.

Maybe short trips out of Santa Cruz Harbor with friends. It would need to keep up with sea kayaks, at least at a very casual pace ove short distance. If the Mars can do that, this should. I wonder how it would handle on open water?

As far as surf launch I know it would be very limited. Maybe off the beach on a very, very mild day, but I wonder if it could even handle that?

I read a review of this boat
somewhere. It sounded pretty good. Apparently it handled the rough water pretty well.

I’ve had my eye on this boat for a while. I never thought about the frame bending in a heavy surf launch. Makes sense though.

You know I’m really pleased with my Innova. I had a 3’ breaker land right on my bow and flood the boat. I stayed in it and the boat stayed afloat – though swamped. Extremely stable and comfy, and fairly fast for an inflatable. Going to take it down to the channel Islands in Sept.


Java Review

– Last Updated: Aug-03-05 7:40 PM EST –

I owned a Java...for a short time. Here are a few of my observations.

While the Java broke down to a reasonably small unit...it was still a bit of an unwieldy and weighty package...specially if you needed to transport it any distance. The duffle bag provided by Feathercraft was too big and that made for a very awkward piece of luggage when traveling on public transportation. The set up at water’s edge required a little practice. Developing a set assembly sequence did much to eliminate the aggravating task of having to undo some steps in order to move forward toward final assembly..

As could be expected, it is a “wet paddle”, so I’m not sure it would be the best in cold climate/water conditions. Having paddled a super-light weight touring kayak prior to acquiring this boat, I found the Java pretty slow and a bit clumsy. There is no way an inflatable could measure up performance-wise to a hard hulled sea kayak. I did not even try to take it for any long distance paddles for that reason. Because it is light, with a fairly high profile and little draft, the Java didn’t handle all that well in the wind.

The storage arrangement, such as it is, means all gear must be in dry bags if getting things wet is an issue. And you’d have to pack light if going for an overnight stay...there’s not that much space to put stuff.

All that said, it is still a “fun” recreational paddle craft best suited for day paddles in lakes, bays, estuaries and calm rivers.

Next time we get together, you can
try Jun’s Kahuna. It is alot more stable than the Khatsalano you tried on Tahoe. BTW Dick Dale is playing at the Silver Club in Crystal Bay Saturday.

Dick Dale
I told Kathy I really want to go. I will get online and check for tickets. Want me to get some for you and Jun?