Vintage Folbot ID and part sources

I just bought this blue/red tandem Folbot on ebay:

It is simply described as 16’ x 3’ 1963 vintage FolBot and that it folds.

I did notice a tape or stitch at its bottom, as shown in one of the eBay photos. But seller claims “no leaks” and offers free return. So I bought it anyway.

Can anyone kind advise me parts sources for that folding kayak or for vintage Folbots in general, in case I need them in the future? I imagine it won’t be easy, since Folbot is not in business anymore and mine is a 1963 model?

Identifying its exact model and parts compatibility with other models will also help and be highly appreciated.

I did see a single folding Folbot at local (Houston/TX) classifieds, but missed it by a few days. It was sold at around $150 (as buy it now in person)! I offered $210, but mine was the 4th offer (and was too late), I think.

Thank you very much!

I think it is a Folbot Super.

@string said:
I think it is a Folbot Super.

I built one in 1980, but it wasn’t a folder.

Thank you very much, String! I did not realize its model name is Super; I saw it in another eBay listing that does not fold.

Do you happen to know where to buy parts for it?

The “tape or stitch” I was referring to may be an original design, meant to protect the kayak bottom. I saw a similar strip on another Folbot.

I’ve owned 6 folding kayaks (though no Folbots) – they all had/have reinforcement strips stitched and/or glued along the keel line. That is a pretty typical design feature. Many of us add additional reinforcing as well – doesn’t hurt to have a “sacrificial” surface if you often paddle gravelly rivers or launch on concrete docks.

The best resource for information on Folbots is the free folding kayak forum: There is a specific forum for Folbots or you can ask questions in the general discussion. Searching through the Folbot archives can be useful as well. Folks on there often post links to Folbot parts that they find available in local sources and they sell odds and ends in the classified section.

I just checked and there is a guy who recently found an old Super in the family barn but apparently it doesn’t have a functional skin that fits. Maybe he would sell you the frame components for spares,

Thank you very much, Willowleaf. I have registered at that forum and send a PM to Kevin.

6 folders?! Are you assembling a Ninja army to take over the world or what :wink:

What other brands do you have or know of, besides Folbot, PakBoats and Klepper? I would like to find a used tandem/triple folding canoe in the future, preferably at around $1k, shipped to or picked up in Houston/TX (For $2k, I could buy a new PakCanoe).

I owe you a big one. Lunch/dinner on me, next time you come to Houston. zzffnn at h0tm8il .

You helped me a lot in 2016, in making decision in buying my modular Lego kayak “Snap On Top Kayak”. We still use it a lot in local waters (it paddles quite well) and plan to add another piece to make it a triple. However, it does not fold small for long travels and is slightly heavy at 75 lbs for an assembled tandem.

Ally is another maker of folding canoes, very similar to PakBoat’s PakCanoes (which are excellent in their own right.) I have seen some used PakCanoes turn up for sale both on paddling sites and Ebay at various times over the past couple of years for $900 tp $1500.

In terms of folding kayaks, with the loss of Folbot and Feathercraft the sources are limited now. There is Trak but those are strictly high performance solo sea touring models.

Some of the newer drop-stitch models of inflatable kayaks are getting good reviews, including the Sea Eagle Fast Trak series, which includes a triple model – you can get a whole 3-paddler package for $1149 to $1549 (depending on the accessories chosen). Looks like an interesting boat and you can even get a kit to convert it to a solo rowing shell:

In terms of the “ninja army”, 2 of the folders in my “fleet” are a pair of older Puffin Swift Pakboats in like new condition that I picked up cheap on Craigslist last summer. They were part of one batch that had defective sponsons but the owners missed the factory recall to replace the parts, which are no longer available, so I have to make new sponsons from scratch to restore them, after which I plan to sell them off for a modest profit. Making new sponsons is not that hard and I have all the materials, just haven’t got around to that project yet.

Actually, I mis-counted, I “only” have 5 folders right now. I had another Pakboat but sold it last year (it actually belonged to my ex boyfriend and I sold it for him.) I should probably sell the 12’ Puffin too but it’s got some sentimental value and it’s only 24 pounds which makes it very portable. I took it to England last year and it fit nicely into a rolling duffel with all of my paddling gear and clothing inside and was still within the dimensions and weight for free baggage. Perhaps if one of the Swifts proves to be a cool boat once I have them seaworthy I will keep one of those and sell the Puffin 12.

Thank you very much , Willowleaf.

What other paddling web sites would you recommend? I live in Houston, TX, if that matters (some strictly local forums may not work for everyone, if seller does not want to ship).

I have looked at all Sea Eagle and Advanced Elements models with drop stitch panels. Even considered a local listing of TC16 canoe for $1000. But it is still an inflatable (and weights 60-70 lbs). I worry about air leaking. Sea Eagle support did tell me that fishing hooks and knife will still puncture TC16 (especially the inner side panels, which are difficult to protect), even though bottom panel can be protected very well. We can try to avoid hooks and knives, but getting a $1000 canoe without possibility of fishing is not appealing to my family (my wife and kids do fish, even though I only do photography and exercise).

Sea Eagle do not sell replacement drop stitch panels, though Advanced Elements seem to. But AE sells solo drop stitch model(s) only.
Also drop stitch models are so new that I cannot find cheap used one easily.

Folders seem to be more puncture resistant, which I like.

I have noted the brands of Ally, Feathercraft and Trak. Thank you! In used market, Trak is still expensive, but who knows what will turn up in the future.

If you see a reasonably price tandem folder or have one for sale, please let me know zzffnn at h0tm8il.

I built my Super in my garage in Crosby , Tx while working in Houston. I’m glad other people knew about where to look for parts.

Is there a forum for folding canoes?

So I look through all major makers at . Ally seems to offer a tandem at $1500 with free shipping, though I don’t know if that applies to USA. That is $500 cheaper than PakCanoe.

Other than Ally/PakCnaoe/Sea Eagel, I don’t see a folding tandem canoe option at less than $2000 USD.

Fujita (who sells folding canoes in Japan for unknown cost) lists a US dealer at their web site, but the web site does not work anymore.

Did I pay too much ($600 shipped) for the 1963 tandem Folbot Super?

If shipping cost is around $100-150, then there are at least 2 listings on that may cost similar or cheaper. I did email them.

I may still be able to cancel that eBay purchase.

That is a little high for an older Folbot, though if it has all the parts and is fully functional it isn’t bad. There just is not much demand for them. I have seen them languish on Craigslist ads for as little as $200, but usually being sold by people who know little about what they have and who can’t vouch for condition or completeness. There is no “absolute” on what a used boat should go for – it is only worth as much as someone wants to pay for it.

Thank you for your very help and quick reply, Willowleaf.

$200 for a tandem folder? That is great price. I saw a solo Folbot for $150 locally and it got sold very quickly.

Shipping is actually around $180, assuming 65 lbs weight, 30" x 20" x 20" package, with USPS. More with Fedex or UPS, for a private individual, I guess. USPS won’t let us ship a longer package (36" won’t work, for example). Same weight but smaller package at around 25" length will reduce cost to around $130.

In view of the shipping cost, foldingkayaks. org, over the past 8 months, has only one tandem folder listed for less than $600 shipped. I am waiting for seller’s reply (if it is available at all).

That eBay listing is not a terrible deal, with shipping included for $600, I guess. Even though it is not a very good price either. I am certainly much happier with that purchase than my original alternative - I was going to buy an Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 tandem (low pressure, not AF high pressure frame) inflatable. It got sold with bidding that ended at $310 shipped.

I am guessing the 1963 Folbot (65 lbs?, 16’x3’x unknown height) may paddle better than my modular “Snap On Top Kayak” hard shell (67 lbs, 12’9" x 24.2" x 10.6")?