Pakayak arrived!

Wow, well I didn’t expect it to come so fast! Arrived in less than a week. I guess since they’re in CT and I’m in MA…

Yes the carry case is a bit unwieldy to get started but once it’s moving it’s pretty easy and smooth. That said I may try wheeling it around a block to see how viable it is to take to work from the Cambridge docks.

The biggest issue I see for the distance I’d be wheeling is the case stands 3.5’ and so comes up to my chest. That’s a bit large… I may want to throw together a custom wheelie to move it on it’s side, making it far lower to the ground thus more manageable.

Anyway, we’ll see.
Meanwhile, I need to start thinking about how to mod the cockpit for better padding. I’ll need thigh and hip contact, and it will need to be removable. I’m also considering a foam pad for under the seat to lift me up a bit too, though I don’t feel like it needs to be too high.

Any advice on what kind of foam to use, where to buy it and what to use to secure it? For instance what about industrial strength velcro?

Another reason it should be removable is I’ll need to replace it as I lose weight too…

So, in case anyone is interested, here’s some initial pictures. I know, it’s not a really nice touring kayak. But for what it is and what it’s meant for, I think it’s nice and is designed pretty well. Then again as a novice I know my opinion is also not worth a while lot. :grin:

Very nice and clever indeed! Please keep us informed of your impressions and experiences with outfitting, storage, hauling and paddling. I hope it exceeds your expectations.

How do they keep the cockpit dry? One of the splits happens right in the cockpit, and it looks like there isn’t a front bulkhead on the cockpit section (it looks to be part of the next section forward).

Don’t raise your seat too much, as they could affect balance in the boat.

Hi! Good question!

My pictures don’t really illustrate the tongue and groove interlock system they use, which they claim is actually taken from scuba and aerospace applications.

If you look at some of the first pictures, you can see there’s a groove around each piece. Inside that groove is a foam gasket that doesn’t hold compression form. The opposing end has a tongue that fits into that groove and compresses the gasket to form a watertight seal. That connection and seal is then held in place by spring-loaded clips, each rated to hold up to 300 lbs on its own. Each section has an increasing number of clips around it to hold it in place, relative to the size of the section being held. The small ends each have three clips. The bulkheads have 4 and the cockpit has 5.

The tension from the clips and the amount of stress the support means you can stick each end on a chair or saw horse and have a person stand in the center of the cockpit and the kayak will hold together stiff and strong.

When you take it apart, those gaskets will relax back into their original shape. Of course like any foam, eventually they will wear down or can become damaged. In that case you can buy replacement gaskets.

Something else you can’t see is that where the coaming lip connects there are two special pegs, which themselves have strips of the same foam to seal that crack. these also help to make sure you have the cockpit sections properly aligned before securing the clips.

The clips all have a safety latch so that they cannot come undone on their own. The latch must be fully engaged in order to release the clip, and even then it takes some strength to do so.

Lastly, should the situation call for it or the paddler want one, the cockpit takes a standard Seal size 2.2 sprayskirt. Other sprayskirt makers apparently make a standard size that fits as well, it’s just that the Nylon ones Pakayak sell come from Seal. They give you the info you need to order from anyone else if you prefer tho.

Both bulkheads, front and back, are watertight as long as the hatch covers are correctly closed. The front one starts at 45" down, at the base of the foot pegs.There’s room behind the paddler for storing the rolling case or if you can leave that in your car easily then a daypack or whatever. But that isn’t really dry space any more than holding a daypack in the foot well in front of you.

I can take pictures of the system next time I set it up. :slightly_smiling_face:

Closed cell foam (minicell) is what’s used in cockpit outfitting. Normally secured using Weldwood Contact Cement.
http://kayakoutfitting.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=15&zenid=6a40f00ad7f60d3e6f41682fb5965093

The challenge is going to be that split cockpit. If you meet up with sing or johnnysmoke, am sure they can give good advice after seeing you in the cockpit. Otherwise seek it at the NSPN session.

For temporary adhesion while testing out cockpit modifications, I’ve found heavy duty Scotch double-sided tape works well. It’s what I used for temporary hip pads in my Prana for a few months, before I received the appropriate Current Designs hip pads.

Awesome! Thank you!

What makes you say that? The split itself actually happens just below where the knee rests, for me. Thigh would be a gout two inches back from the split and hips and seat are back by the backrest.
So the split itself shouldn’t interfere with anything, not would I be making contact there.
There is also already padding to cover the split lip. Potentially more padding could be added to that…

I get that it’s an easier question to answer when in person tho.

Unfortunately there can be no permanent adhesion of padding for this kayak. The added padding will block the nesting ability of the pieces, rendering that pointless. Anything I put in will need to come out in order to pack up the boat and then be re-set when I put it together again. But if Double sided scotch take worked temporarily for you, then that gives me hope that industrial velcro may be a viable option here.

Thank you for your reply, Rookie! I will definitely seek out guidance at the event and also from Sing and Johnnysmoke if they are interested in offering thoughts, in person or not. =)

One thing to consider in this regard, though a very little bit of adjustment, if really necessary (deck way too high on you, for instance), may be okay, and perhaps necessary.

Any little bit you raise your seating position in the cockpit raises your center of gravity relative to the boat. Even small adjustments in this area of “fit” can lend the boat a baseline of decreased stability.

My first boat (which I still have – a Current Designs Caribou), came with a molded fiberglass seat. My first impulse at the time was “Simple! I’ll just install a comfy gel pad onto it!”. Even though it didn’t raise my seating position by much, and it turned out to work quite well for me, I did have to adjust my relationship to the new feeling of relative initial balance.

Addendum: One advantage women generally have over most men in kayaks is our natural lower center of gravity, simply due to body type. :slight_smile:

Addendum II: Another “natural advantage” I just thought of – boat control is generally more about nuance of technique than it is about brute force strength. :wink:

Is that the Bluefin 14 or the 142? I’m a supporter for the 142 and they were expecting to start shipping those near the end of March from the last update.

I had checked out the Pakayak that was on display at the Kayak Shak at the Fish Creek marina in Saratoga Springs when I was there last summer and was rather impressed with the design and structural details. It’s actually sleeker than other modular plastic kayaks I have seen (like the Point 65 models). I don’t think you need to apologize for it at all. It looked to me like a pretty competent hull design.

One potential safety drawback to the boat is that it lacks non-stretch perimeter lines (obviously difficult to have on a segmented modular boat). The scooped out coaming and the low stern deck make it look like a cowboy self-rescue would not be difficult. But not having a snug cord to grab onto around the gunwales would make some maneuvers difficult.

I will suggest something very low-tech that might be helpful in modifying the fit: I have used the closed cell foam “pool noodles” (that you can get for a couple bucks each in virtually any toy, hardware or variety store from Spring to late Summer) to snug up the fit in overlarge cockpits. I have a number of different cross sections and diameters of them. I have found I can loop one or two thinner round or slightly hexagonal noodles behind the seat back and tuck the top one under the coaming on either side to reduce slop around the hips. They are easy to cut to fit using a serrated bread knife (the long jagged kind you would use to slice a loaf of bakery bread). I have also sliced the larger diameter noodles in half lengthwise to use as padding material and for thigh supports.

Not as permanent a solution as carving minicell, but a cheap material to experiment with that might help you determine how much material and where to place it for what you need for final fit before you invest in the fancy stuff.

Looks really great! My only concern is the joint in the cockpit. Provided it really stays sealed, it seems like an excellent solution for traveling with your boat. It would get some long looks popping up on the baggage carousel at the airport. Wonder if the TSA would try to unpack it to inspect it?

Cool boat.

I am usually done with my weekend outdoor activities by late Sunday afternoon/early evening (and getting mentally ready for another Monday). If you interested, we can schedule a Sunday to bring that new-fangle pak boat over and figure out the outfitting. I have plenty of spare foam - minicell and other types - and tools to to work with in my garage. I suspect the approach would be to shape foam and to adhere temporary with sticky hook and loop (velcro) material (which I do not have).

sing

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That looks like a really amazing product. I’m really excited to hear how it paddles!

I do feel like the cockpit is a touch on the high side for me, but then I think I need to get it on water to be certain of that before I go trying to add any height. I know it will change the center of gravity for the boat so I do want to be quite conservative if I do decide to do that, but if as I suspect I am a little low in the cockpit I think adding a little bit of height will help my control more than hinder it. Particularly with the addition of real contact at the hips and thighs.

It is true about our center of gravity as women. :grin:
As to technique, I have a lot of learning to do there. But something I have really enjoyed about paddling kayaks is it reminds me a lot of horseback riding. Balance, subtlety of movement, awareness of surroundings and a strong connection to your “ride” are needed for both.

Hi Met! It’s the 14.

I had planned in my budget to get one later this spring, but then they went on sale for $500 off - probably in anticipation of the release of the 14.2 - and I couldn’t resist grabbing that deal.

The 14.2 looks even nicer than these! Good upgrades, better molds and a little more legroom for really tall people. I bet it’s going to be great! Please let us know when you get it and what you think when you paddle it?

What color did you get?

@willowleaf , that’s a great idea for using pool noodles. Seems like they would serve well too for making a template to work from when making a final minicell pad.

I hadn’t considered the lack of non-stretch lines, but yes good point. I have already been thinking about adding a few more stretch rigging lines… I wonder f it would be viable to add a kind of removable gunwale line too? I’ll think about how that might be done…

@Paddlinpals I have a feeling that at 58 lbs it would be too heavy for the baggage carousel. :grin:
More likely it would end up in the oversize and overweight pile off to the side. I’m sure TSA would have a field day with it. :smile:

@sing thank you so much! That’s very kind and generous. I would very much like to take you up on that, though it’s going to be a few weekends before I am free to do so.
The makers do offer some minicell foam pads for hips, thighs and knees. It was out of stock when I bought and now is not on the website, but I contacted them and they say that the pads they offer come with industrial marine grade velcro to attach them… At the very least I can tray and buy some of that, or perhaps they will get the padding back in stock soon and if it looks to be viable I could get a set for potential modding.

I’m really gratified other feel the boat and design is nice too. I know the designers worked really hard on making something true and still viable for a long time, they’re sea kayakers and have built custom kayaks themselves for years. I was nervous because there’s really not a lot of mention for them on this site or in this community, despite them having been in production for 4 years now.

I have test paddled one once and can vouch for the seals - at least on the boat I tested. :grin:
It was a short paddle tho, and some time ago. I felt it handles quite well at the time. That said I really am looking forward to getting in and really giving this boat a real run. Hell, I’m excited enough that I’m tempted to splurge on a drysuit just to get out on water early, considering the warm air temps and lack of ice we have right now. I will try to be more patient than that, but it’s so darned tempting! :laughing:

Hi S4,

Yes I saw the big discounts on the 14 and was tempted to ask Pakayak if I could get the 14 and cancel my 142. But then they updated the Kickstarter backers and said they would likely start shipping in March instead if June.

I think I would be happy either way. I got the surf color just like you. I’ve never kayaked before and decided to take up sea kayaking as I retired last year. Looking forward to getting it and starting this hobbie.

I plan on joining their Facebook page once I get mine as they need your hull ID before they let you join.

Good luck with your new Pakayak.

Nice!

I think you’re probably better off with the newer model. I would have gotten it if I had the space in my budget. Maybe some future year.

I joined the FB page just the other day. Not a ton on there about modding yet, but lots of fun stuff and the creators are very responsive on there too. Maybe I’ll see you on there!

Welcome to the sport by the way!

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This is the advantage of a folding kayak for travel. Packed and unpacked, my 12’ Pakboat Puffin (24 pounds) and all the gear and clothing needed to haul and paddle it on my trip to England in 2017. Bag was under 48 pounds and within the 62 unified inches dimensions for a single free checked bag! at the time. I had the rest of my clothes and stuff for the trip in a carry-on sized backpack so I paid no luggage charges for the trip at all. The cheap rolling duffel and gear survived all the rigors of baggage handlers with no problems other than about 4" of the zipper stitching coming loose on the side pocket, which I can easily fix (and could have happened on any flight no matter what was packed in it).

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Marcus Hill made custom thigh braces for his Pakayak prior to his trip he took last year:

It looks like he is preparing for a bigger trip this year:
https://youtu.be/IGH1m5_foCE

Ha! He actually replied to me with pictures of this in the Facebook owner’s group about his padding mods!

He says he hasn’t actually used anything to stick them there either, not even velcro. He says they mostly stay in on their own if he needs to make a wet exit but on occasion they do come loose.

What he shows in this picture is something I’m really interested in doing for myself.