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Re: Skin-on-Frame: Tom Yost - Building a Folder *LINK* *Pic*

: Having said that I'd like to hear more about your boat, because I was very
: drawn to Feathercraft once I saw them, but of course they are very
: expensive. I already spent nearly 4 grand on the Klepper.


Your Klepper looks great. If you want to carry lots of gear, and want super
durability and stability, they are ideal.

First off, this is not a commercial response as the 250 page manual and 10
designs ( and growing) are free to anyone wanting to build one of these
boats. I view the manual as payback to a sport that has given me so much for
30+ years. Plus, I'm retired and plan to stay that way. ha!

Folding kayaks have long been built based on the Klepper model, and that's not
a bad thing. However, folders have not, with rare exception, been designed
with homebuilding ease and/or performance in mind. Performance being defined
by the speed and handling of traditional SOF's, S&G's and strippers so common
to this fine site. The manual was written to address the issues of low cost,
ease of construction, and good performance for both folder and non-folder

Feathercraft makes great boats, and has come closest to the performance
described above, but are still generally large volume, and fairly wide kayaks,
with the Khatsalano being the exception. Cost, for many paddler's, is

The folding kayaks in the builders manual use the same aluminum tubing and
HDPE plastic as the Feathercrafts, but with no stretcher bars and sponsons,
are simpler in frame and skin design. PVC is used for the skins as it's
inexpensive, durable, and available. A zipper is used for skin closure,
unlike Feathercraft.

: It seems like the hull and deck would be most difficult and expensive to
: make.

Skin Construction:

The skin is the most difficult area of construction, but is by no means
overwhelming. I found the all or nothing fiberglassing of a stripper far more
difficult. If you screw up a PVC skin, which is unlikely, just make a new one.
PVC is very forgiving, and inexpensive, to work with.

The big plus of homebuilding your skin is that once completed, you are an
expert at repairing it. Same goes for the simple frame construction and
repair. With an expensive commercial folder, it is only natural to worry
about your investment, but with a homebuilt, there is simply nothing to worry

Skin Costs:

18oz Coverlight PVC costs about $6.00 - $8.00US per linear yard ( 61in X 36in)
so it takes about 6 yards to do a narrow kayaks like the Sea Ranger, Sea
Rider, and Sea Raider. Total skin and Vinyl cement costs are in the $60.00
range. Take your time, don't expect perfection, and you will complete the
skin is 30 hours or less. In fact, Chuck of Pa. holds the record for building
a Sea Raider folder in just 10 days, and did a beautiful job.

In fact, Thirty Five homebuilt folders have been constructed in the past 18
months, mainly in North America, but also in Germany, Greece, and Argentina
among others. A Sea Raider LC is currently under construction in Riga,
Latvia. Many of these are first time kayak builders.

The hulls are built as one piece for ease of construction and durability, so
some small wrinkles can be expected. An 18oz PVC skin weighs only 7lbs or so,
and accounts in large part for the overall light weight 30 - 35 lbs.

: Tell me about assembly of your boat.

Assembly is covered in the manual. Look in the "Frame Construction Menu" and
click on "Frame Assembly". Thirty minutes is about average for assembly. A
little less with practice. It may take a bit longer to assemble than your
average Klepper, but the $3500.00 cost saving, is some consulation. ha!


The assembled folder can be transported on THule or Yakima bars and carriers
at high speed just like any hardshell. For airline or automobile trunk
transport a hard case ( golf or snowboard case) is recommended. Transport is
covered in "Main Menu" under "Transport". (6 pages)

To build these boats, you must be willing to try new materials and building
methods, and that has been the biggest stumbling block for many would be
folder kayak builders.

Quote for the day - "One test is worth 10,000 opinions".

Happy New Year,


Messages In This Thread

Skin-on-Frame: Tom Yost - Building a Folder *Pic*
Re: Skin-on-Frame: Tom Yost - Building a Folder *LINK* *Pic*
Folding Boats: My Experience
and my experience with folders ;)
Tom Yost = Excellent design *Pic*
Re: Tom Yost = Excellent design *Pic*
Re: Skin-on-Frame: Tom Yost - Building a Folder
and more "eye candy" *LINK*