Hullavator-struggling on a low sedan

Hi, bud16415

Thanks for responding. What a great community this is!

“It walks right up using the end to end method”. I didn’t understand, can you say more?

I was visualizing loading a kayak with the kayak opening facing up, using 2’ PVC pipes for pegs. Is there a better way?

What (exact) materials did you use to make it?

We practice assisted and self rescues at Greenland skills kayak camps with skin on frames (not much different from my Feathercraft or Pakboat folders). I’ve rolled a folder with some help at camp, also seen Dubside roll a folder, so yes it is possible with the lower profile models. Rolling was invented by indigenous paddlers using skin on frame sea kayaks, after all.

Most replica SOF’s don’t have deck lines like hardshells. But they are also way lighter and tend to be skinnier, so emptying them and reaching across from another boat to stabilize or right them is not as difficult as with a 50 to 70 pound glass or poly boat. And both SOF’s and the FC and PB folders have substantial inflated flotation inside the hulls which add buoyancy and stability,

I’m familiar with the SOF assisted rescue, I forget what the proper name is, sort of a modified “T”. You pull the SOF up on your coaming, rock it to empty it since there are no bulkheads, then the swimmer climbs up on your ‘yak and into their’s. A sort of seal launch off your coaming and everyone’s back on the water.

A SOF may be lighter, but it’s got a lot more H2O in it than a modern sea kayak under similar circumstances. And you’ve got a lot less to grab onto without deck lines.

I wondered whether you had flotation added, obviously folding craft don’t have bulkheads. SOF paddlers usually use sea socks and tuiliqs, too.

Dubside. That guy is unstoppable!

Interesting info. Thank you! It might be too fragile for me, and I imagine the Oru Kayak might have some of the same issues.

PakBoat’s PakCanoe skin-on-frame folding canoes, and similar ones made for 50 years by Ally Canoes, are much tougher and better performing than the various novelty plastic panel folding canoes like ORU. They’ve been used for decades by pro fishing and hunting guides and scientists to take by float plane or jeep to remote locations for use in wild rivers up to class 3 whitewater. instead of puncturing when they hit hard objects, the tough material just bounces off. They have rubber reinforcement strips glued onto wear areas like the keel and can be dissembled into a backpack or duffel bag. Also about half the weight of similar sized hardshell canoes and can be rigged with rowing frames and sails.

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There are several different rescue and assist methods that work with SOFs and folders. I’ve done “hand of god” and assisted side pull, even with my relatively short arms and upper body. With a well fitted spray skirt or tuilik, you don’t get any more water inside than with a composite or poly boat with bulkheads when you roll or balance brace. I don’t care for sea socks, though I have two, but I do know SOF-ers who do use them successfully. There were 8 people who built their own SOfs at the Delmarva Greenland skills camp last Fall and the craftsman who led the workshop crafted slick tightwoven canvas socks for each of them that locked spline-style into grooves built into the bentwood coamings.

By the way, some people add non-stretch deck lines to SOF’s, anchored to reinforcement blocks in the frames. I have strong bungee cord with wood spacer blocks on the bow deck of my Greenland replica SOG that can hold a paddle crosswise for stabilizing. By the way, I find the low stern decks and low volume of Greenland style kayaks make them easier to cowboy mount than the high rounded decks of a lot of comp and poly boats.

Brian Schulz demonstrates SOF self rescue very neatly in the linked video. I’ve done this, though much easier with full flotation inside. My replica SOF has deck rigging like his. As you can see, you can set up a paddle outrigger on one, with or without paddle float, just as you can with a conventional kayak.

I have been using skin on frame kayaks for most of my paddling for 22 years now. I don’t launch without a pair of well-fitted inflation bags filling the bow and stern in them, and a spray skirt (since I use Greenland paddles, with their extra drip runoff, a skirt is pretty much a given.)

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With a canoe it is a bit different as there is a gunwale that makes a square corner to hook over the blocks attached over the poles. My poles and blocks I made from 2x2 wood.

The walking method I tip the canoe over upside down onto the poles sitting at an angle. I then walk to one end and lift it over the first block. Then the other end. It is easier for me though to just shove it up a step at a time saves walking back and forth. The blocks I put a ramp on the lower side will attach a photo.

When we use it to load her 10’ rec-kayak we can flip the poles over to the smooth side and she can easily just slide it up the ramps right side up. Keeps it away from banging the car and makes it stable and also removes some of the weight because it is a ramp of roughly 45 degrees.

As to a sea kayak I really don’t know if just the ramp would work, as we have never tried that. Her rec-kayak is likely about 50 pounds or a little less.

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Yeah, not a fan of sea socks either. I’ve never been able to hop up over the back deck even in my GL style Pygmy. I heel hook and that means a paddle under deck lines.

I guess I brought it up because newbies looking at foldables should be aware that new skills might be needed. It’s not a criticism of foldable boats, rec boats have peculiarities too. I’ve watched L3 paddlers struggle to do an assisted rescue of kayaks with no deck lines.

With so much being purchased on line and the decline of dedicated kayak stores, there’s often some “you don’t know what you don’t know” involved and no knowledgeable sales person to feather it in.

Part of the value of forums like these, right?


Yes! (to the usefulness of forums.) You make very good points.

I have yet to use it, but at one point I measured the circumference of my SOF hull behind the coaming and made a water knot loop out of 1" tubular webbing (from my old climbing gear stash). I thought it might be possible to wrap it around to use as a mounting stirrup (like a kayaking etrier!) or to choke off for securing a paddle for bracing or re-entry, or even just a handle for juggling or keeping hold of a swamped boat while in the water.

I actually have several Rube Goldberg-esque paddling gizmos for which I have made rough versions, and have been meaning to make a week-day trip to beta test them at the local shallow sandy-bottomed lake inlet launch where my friends and I do rescue practice.

I apologize for not reading all the comments. Put me as a vote for, "if your car is that short you should be loading it direct on the car. "

Clever idea to add the ramp to the lower side of the blocks.

I didn’t have the ramps the first go around and when wanting to just shove it straight up loading solo it wanted to catch. When unloading it didn’t seem too bad as you have the weight helping. I normally use the extensions to the roof bars for two canoes or a canoe and a rec-kayak. With the extension bars on there is room between the car and boat to stand and pull the boat up rather than push. When unloading alone I use the ramped blocks but if the two of us are unloading I will put the bars on upside down with the smooth sides facing out and we each take an end and just let it slide down.

It gathers a lot of attention in the launch site parking lots from people struggling with heavy boats and also people offering to help me load. It then becomes a case of it being much easier alone than with a well-intentioned helper pushing from one end causing the boat to cock. I kind of know now when unwanted help might come and have asked a few times please watch but its easier to do alone. Even then people like to jump in and lend a hand.

I know what you mean about well-intended helpers. Quite often someone will see my canoe and ask if I would like some help loading it on my car. I make sure to thank them for asking but tell them that I have a system and it is actually easier to load it by myself.
I went for a nice paddle on the Intracoastal today (including a swim in the Gulf). When I got back to the ramp an older guy pulled up with a Kayak on his car. He was about to unload it and I asked him if he needed a hand. He said “no thanks, I have a system”. I had to smile. That is what Bud and I would say. :slight_smile:


Brian Schultz’s video is awesome. Thanks for posting.

Curious how you got turned on to the skin-on-frame path.

What got me into SOFs? My first touring kayak in 2002 was a Feathercraft skin on frame folder, since I wanted something light that I could easily take with me on long distance travel. I also studied North American Archaeology as a major in college so I had long been aware of the history of indigenous skin boats. I started looking into modern replicas of those and found a link to a guy in Oregon who built them, interesting fellow, an American engineer and avid sea kayaker who became a real Buddhist monk and was building skin on frame replicas to raise money to built a meditation center. I acquired one of his West Greenland hunting kayak replicas in 2009 and have been happily paddling it ever since, going to traditional skills training camps with it.

It needs a new skin by now which I will probably do over next winter, now that I have the workshop space for an 18’ boat.

By the way, Brian has probably hundreds of excellent videos on kayaking and on building all kinds of boats. That self rescue video was one of his older ones – his videography is much better now.