Any body have any experience with the Pakboat Quest series mainly the 135 and the 155 models. I had a nice conversation with Alv today so I may take a ride there to check them out. I am currently a hard shell person, so this would be new territory for me.
I think you’ll be surprised
I’ve not had a chance to see the Quests, but have an XT-15 (similar design) and an older Puffin. Even coming from using hardshell boats, I think you will be pleasantly surprised how nicely a Pakboat kayak paddles. And lifting one is a revelation when you’ve only experienced hard boats.
Be sure and let us know how your demo goes – unfortunately there is no dealer nor chance to try the new models in our area.
Pak Boats is located
just 15 minutes from my home and I have never heard one bad thing about this company. Well respected folks making a very interesting and useful product. Especially for people that spend a lot of money flying hard shell canoes all over the arctic.
I would like to take a little car ride there and test paddle them to see if they will work for me. I currently have a lightweight composite pack canoe and a Kevlar yak. I think the Pakboat might be an interesting addition to the fleet at a reasonable price. I was wondering how they do when car topped on saddles?
car topping folders
I have cartopped folders for a decade, from Feathercraft and Pakboat. They do fine – I have found that upright J-racks work best because they transfer the load to the sides rather than putting pressure on the longerons (the front to back long tubes of the frame). Plus the semi-inflated sponsons (the inflatable tubes that give the skin rigidity and add flotation) cushion the skin.
(Never leave a folder in the sun or on a car without releaving some of the inflation in the tubes because the air can heat up and rupture a tube seam. Easy to repair but a pain in the butt.)
Also the way that you run the mounting straps over the loop at the top of the J-racks allows you to strap the boat on without deforming it a lot. But I also hauled my first folder, a Feathercraft Kahuna, for thousands of miles of highway driving on cheap molded foam blocks and it never hurt it. Saddles should be fine – just don’t whale too hard on the tie down straps so that you deform the frame.
Even though folders are much lighter than rigid boats, you still want to be sure to use bow and stern bumper attachment lines. Because the boats are so light they catch wind easily and can shift on the car if not tethered fore and aft.
I’ve loved my Feathercraft folders but at one third the price the Pakboats are probably the best bang for the buck in any folding kayak. And they are quite a bit easier to set up and really easy to load with gear for overnight trips. You’ll love the inflatable seat, too. Nice to have adjustable lumbar and thigh support.
the feel of folders
One aspect of folders that people who have never tried one can’t appreciate until they try it is the feel of them, the contact with the water that you have. Instead of “fighting” the water as a hard shell does, a folder flexes somewhat with the pressure of the waves and forward movement. It gives you a whole new sense of being in the water and it also means the kayak absorbs a lot of wave energy, making for a smoother, more solid feeling ride in rough water than you get in a hard shell. In fact, i have found when paddling with others in hard shells, if conditions are rough I can paddle faster than my companions because I am not having to brace as much as they are. I’ve been hit broadside by huge rogue waves and boat wakes and my folders just pop over like a cork.
There is an excellent review of the Quest 135 on folding kayaks.org. The boat appears to be an excellent paddler but seems to involve a lot of assembly steps.
I read that review it was excellent probably the best I have ever read.