Advise on light weight boats

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sundaykayaker
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Advise on light weight boats

Post by sundaykayaker » Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:11 pm

Looking for advise on a boat I can use on Grade 3 / 3+
Main criteria being weight. The lighter the better for carrying around on land but will be fun on the water - for a 5' 5" - 80kg 55 year old paddler.

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DaveBland
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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by DaveBland » Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:22 pm

Zet Veloc, Small JK Karma or Nano would be the lightest for carrying. Unless you want a play boat.
dave

sundaykayaker
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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by sundaykayaker » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:07 pm

a play boat. not for looping though.. but for river running. something comfy. tried the wave sport. Nearly as heavy a Mamba

Hakase
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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Hakase » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:50 pm

sundaykayaker wrote:a play boat. not for looping though.. but for river running. something comfy. tried the wave sport. Nearly as heavy a Mamba
Assuming you mean the Wavesport Mobius (which, granted, you may not -- but that's their current playboat) it doesn't really get any lighter than that (and a Mamba is almost 1.5 times its weight).

14kgs is very light for a kayak, and the only way you'll find anything significantly lighter is if you look at competition spec boats (which aren't really suitable for what you want to do, and aren't going to be comfortable either). A lot of the weight in a boat comes from the outfitting, so you could make minor savings on weight -- but this would be at the expense of comfort.

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Slime » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:28 am

Hi, I was looking for a light boat to the same specs as what you are looking for and bought a Jackson Fun Runner on the advice of Anthony at Border Kayaks.

Basically a boat designed to be fast, responsive and fun on grade 3-4 but LIGHT. I had it out in the Alps in the summer and it handles beautifully, surfs like a dream, and at 17kg is so much easier to carry . It is not as light as my Dagger Juice which I think was around 14kg and which I paddled for some 8 years on most rivers around the world. But that was more for if you are into throwing a few ends and bow and stern dipping.

I have a personal gripe that over the last ten years manufacturers have gone the heavy = safe route so we end up with boats that give people hernias when they carry them - or they slip and drop them over cliffs, - is that really a safer boat? Most customers are mainly going to be using their boats on grade 3-4 so why build them like tanks?

I have an open canoe - an Old Town Pack - made of Royalex that was designed to be light and that weighs 14kg - lighter than almost any ww kayak you can buy. This shows it can be done and that there is a demand for light boats. I was bending ears at the Paddleshow along these lines but it is a chicken and an egg situation where the manufacturers err on the side of perceived safety.

Happy paddling,

Pete Knowles

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Adrian Cooper » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:31 am

Some playboats are now being made in composite materials which will mean they will be ultra light.

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Seedy Paddler » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:12 pm


Hakase
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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Hakase » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:55 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote:Some playboats are now being made in composite materials which will mean they will be ultra light.
Seedy Paddler wrote:8kgs light enough - http://vajdafreestyle.com/en/Kayaks/Whi ... IS-series/
Like I said above, these are not suitable for what the OP wants. They're not really appropriate for river-running -- definitely not class III scrapey UK ditches -- and they're not going to be 'comfy' either.

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Seedy Paddler » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:07 pm

Like I said above, these are not suitable for what the OP wants. They're not really appropriate for river-running -- definitely not class III scrapey UK ditches -- and they're not going to be 'comfy' either.
That being your opinion and not related to any fact! Hull shapes are similar but cast in composite. I paddle a Vajda slalom boat on Grade 3-4 and find the boat as comfy if not more comfortable than many of the plastic river boats I have tried/own. I spent many years as a youth experimenting on Grade 3-5 water and on Scottish ditches in composite long before plastic came to the fore. If you want lightness then composite will provide, however it is more fragile if you are bouncing rocks, you have to be able to read the deep water line. If you want plastic then you are between 15-20kg for a boat. I am sure the OP has more idea what he is looking for than you opinion, as they say have a look and have atry then slect what suits you..

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by DaveBland » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:30 pm

...have to say I agree! Me and my buds spent many a year paddling all sorts of stuff in lightweight slalom boats - including Alps trip way before plastic. Okay they were a bit, er, modified in length, and duct tapped to buggery, but they hold up well if you are paddling in the flow. I really miss the responsiveness of no weight.
dave

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Hakase » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:40 pm

Seedy Paddler wrote:
Like I said above, these are not suitable for what the OP wants. They're not really appropriate for river-running -- definitely not class III scrapey UK ditches -- and they're not going to be 'comfy' either.
That being your opinion and not related to any fact! Hull shapes are similar but cast in composite. I paddle a Vajda slalom boat on Grade 3-4 and find the boat as comfy if not more comfortable than many of the plastic river boats I have tried/own. I spent many years as a youth experimenting on Grade 3-5 water and on Scottish ditches in composite long before plastic came to the fore. If you want lightness then composite will provide, however it is more fragile if you are bouncing rocks, you have to be able to read the deep water line. If you want plastic then you are between 15-20kg for a boat. I am sure the OP has more idea what he is looking for than you opinion, as they say have a look and have atry then slect what suits you..
I won't dispute composite craft can be paddled on some grade 3-4 waters. However, I've paddled plenty more that would be unsuitable if you wanted the boat to last you any decent amount of time. There's a reason competition freestyle boats are a rare sight on most rivers -- I don't think they'd be suitable as a general use boat. Again, I won't argue that a composite boat isn't fine for running high-volume runs, most Alpine runs, or even the right kind of lower-volume river, but there are definitely cases in which one would not be appropriate and I would not want one as my only boat.
I know that composite was the standard in the past, but at that point you weren't paying £1500+ for a boat!

While you -- and in fact I -- might find the streamlined outfitting found in composite boats comfortable (definitely if it's well-fitted), I don't think it's what the OP is looking for when they said 'comfy' (I imagine they were thinking more along the lines of Liquidlogic, Dagger, or Wavesport outfitting).

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Hakase » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:08 pm

Just wanted to apologise for coming across quite abrasively -- that wasn't my intention! I'm just saying what I think suits the OP's purposes best.

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by sundaykayaker » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:04 pm

Composite boats & the "Ditches" :) in Wales
Hum. would they survive? Would I?
I know u can pick up a 4m Slalom boat for next to nothing and I have seen "kids" use them on the upper T.
I would love to try this with a few mates on throw lines Just in case :)

Vajda - Top class. not sure I could afford it ? I would hate to take it down say the Seiont. with its numerous weirs. and hear the scraping sound of Carbon on Rock? but would love to try it if some one has one going cheap :)

Zet Veloc, Small JK Karma, Jackson Fun - Yes those would be a possibility.

I agree with Slime... Keep bending the manufacturers ears please. As a penance the designers should be made to carry there own designs up and down steep banks to teach them lessons... and the answer is not to "Man up" its only 20kg.

ITS 20 kg.. loaded on to a very small surface area. I am sure u can do the maths on the pressures being exerted on the shoulder bone.

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Hakase » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:48 pm

sundaykayaker wrote:Composite boats & the "Ditches" :) in Wales
Hum. would they survive? Would I?
I know u can pick up a 4m Slalom boat for next to nothing and I have seen "kids" use them on the upper T.
I would love to try this with a few mates on throw lines Just in case :)

Vajda - Top class. not sure I could afford it ? I would hate to take it down say the Seiont. with its numerous weirs. and hear the scraping sound of Carbon on Rock? but would love to try it if some one has one going cheap :)

Zet Veloc, Small JK Karma, Jackson Fun - Yes those would be a possibility.

I agree with Slime... Keep bending the manufacturers ears please. As a penance the designers should be made to carry there own designs up and down steep banks to teach them lessons... and the answer is not to "Man up" its only 20kg.

ITS 20 kg.. loaded on to a very small surface area. I am sure u can do the maths on the pressures being exerted on the shoulder bone.
Roughly 20 kPa, at a guess (20g/0.01). If you're experiencing pain due to pressure, I think your problem could be solved through other means than a lighter boat -- try carrying in a different position, or failing that adding extra padding. When I first got my boat (a Necky Jive -- and that thing is made of bricks compared to modern boats) I thought I'd never be able to shoulder-carry it. After fitting hip pads, and a few months of carrying it, I found it easy to carry for long distances and now I have no problem carrying it even when loaded with all my river kit. It may just be a matter of getting used to carrying boats in this fashion, though I hesitate to add that I'm rather a lot younger than you are and may just have adapted quickly.

I think a significant proportion of the weight in modern boats, from what I've heard, comes from the outfitting. If you're willing to sacrifice adjustability, you should be able to save on weight -- for instance, stripping out the full plate footrests and the metal runners for them and just replacing it with foam might help (not sure how good an idea this is!). I believe Dagger and Pyranha also offer lower-spec outfitting options that will probably be somewhat lighter.

When it comes to playboats manufacturers are aiming for as light as possible -- so with what's currently being achieved, the lightest you can expect (in plastic) is probably the 12-14 kg of current generation playboats.
sundaykayaker wrote:Composite boats & the "Ditches" :) in Wales
Hum. would they survive? Would I?
As I said, I don't think so. The upper Tryweryn is perfect for slalom boats. Something like the Upper Wye is anything but (admittedly I've only done it when low -- case may be different at other levels, but had I done it in a composite I'm sure it'd be a write-off). I feel like having a composite as your only boat would limit you too much in terms of what runs you could do, but if you have the money and the storage space having one as a second boat would be great.

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by Steve Agar » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:19 am

I'll echo Slime's suggestions. We are now a Jackson FunRunner family. Light and responsive for a plastic boat, but an ideal river runner that allows you to play where you want as well (and that's after many years running plenty of grade 3 stuff in slalom boats (and spending a similar amount of time mending them). Comfort is also a significant factor, and slalom boats lose out every time these days.

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Re: Advise on light weight boats

Post by DaveBland » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:59 pm

Can't find it now, but it's bookmarked on my work 'puter… but there is an article or two about lightening boats. Drilling out the seats and swapping out footplates etc. I'll post a link when I find it. If you are not paddling serious hard stuff, doing something like that could lose you 5kg from your boat. Not sure how far to go before compromising strength…
I did a half-hearted strip-out of my Stomper and lost quite a bit of weight. Didn't have the motivation to start drilling holes in the seat etc, but would have been good. Maybe over the winter break…

EDIT: Found it! Good thread here with links to two bits of info.
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... lit=+light
dave

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