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Thread: Folding kayak

  1. #1
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    Default Folding kayak

    I saw this very cool non-wooden boat at the MASCF. Think of the places you could take something like this.

    All folded up, note the paddle comes apart, too:





    Rolled out and partially folded:



    Ready for the water:

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    just saw this too myself the other day
    the shape looks nice and it is a cool idea
    don't care for the price though

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    I have looked at then online.
    I own a Folbot.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    I looked into buying one a couple years ago because I wanted a portable kayak. The price was a deal-breaker for me, as I just wanted something to play around with and they don't make a double. I went with an inflatable. Still think they're super cool.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    seems like you could clone something similar for a fraction of the price.. might try folding this up in paper to see if it's accurate!


    edit: https://www.google.com/patents/US20110017121 - some pretty comprehensive plans..
    Last edited by jeffcapeshop; 10-17-2017 at 10:13 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    I saw this very cool non-wooden boat at the MASCF. Think of the places you could take something like this.

    All folded up, note the paddle comes apart, too:





    Rolled out and partially folded:



    Ready for the water:
    One of my students has a pair of those. I'd be interested in seeing one in the flesh, as it were.

    That said, he's choosing to build a Kudzu Craft Curlew kayak.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  7. #7
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    I looked at one in a store in Alameda California.
    Wouldn't get in one except in a swimming pool.

    Cute, but not worth your life.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffcapeshop View Post
    seems like you could clone something similar for a fraction of the price.. might try folding this up in paper to see if it's accurate!


    edit: https://www.google.com/patents/US20110017121 - some pretty comprehensive plans..
    You got to know how to create the folds (hinges)
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    True, but we have to assume some ability on a boat forum. And you can always just try again.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Wouldn't get in one except in a swimming pool.

    Cute, but not worth your life.
    Is that why they are so expensive - perception of drowning liability by the makers insurance co? I have seen several of these prototypes over the years and they look cheap to manufacture. For a discount I would be willing to sign a waiver that I am comfortable in taking an unscheduled 12 hour swim.

    The only thing I don't like is the sitting-in rather than on-top with self bailing holes. No eskimo roll practicing for me. Some SOT inflatables and modular kayaks offer self bail but don't pack quite as small. (self bail is different than the common drain holes with plug, as the floor should usually be above waterline to auto drain)

    P.S. they have a barely used and certified sale page with prices dancing around $1k https://www.orukayak.com/products/be...fied-pre-owned
    Last edited by rudderless; 10-18-2017 at 01:37 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by rudderless View Post
    P.S. they have a barely used and certified sale page with prices dancing around $1k https://www.orukayak.com/products/be...fied-pre-owned
    Wow, I scored a new one for that with free shipping. Other deals had oversize etc fees pop up at the last checkout page. Well, I wait to see if the vendor will honor order with actual shipment.

    This "beach" model has a large, almost SOT-like cockpit and poorer tracking. Rumor in reviews that it may sink if swamped, so I will clip a life vest to the crossbar. This should get me out on the water more often. A review claimed it turned out durable for knocks etc, but I think the "stainless" connector hardware will rust for me. Save a bit of drinking water to flush the salt.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    You got to know how to create the folds (hinges)
    Do you think they are more than just creased then? I've folded coroplast before (makeshift mudguards for my bike from "borrowed" signs..) and it's just like corrugated cardboard..

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    unsurprisingly the above image folds up nicely in paper



    I bet the hardest part would be getting or joining sheets big enough..

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    This assembly video shows extra pattern extensions and additions for making the boat stiff and waterproof https://vimeo.com/221633602 (I couldn't get this vimeo to embed for some reason). The Beach LT model has a HIGH weight limit, but without such swizzles might collapse easily. P.S. My discount ebay yak shipped successfully, I think from Oru HQ.
    Last edited by rudderless; 10-18-2017 at 03:48 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    I remember seeing them pitch this idea on Shark Tank.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffcapeshop View Post
    Do you think they are more than just creased then? I've folded coroplast before (makeshift mudguards for my bike from "borrowed" signs..) and it's just like corrugated cardboard..
    Well. The structure behaves similarly.

    The only thing about the Oru's construction that would concern me is the repeated folding of the "hinges", for lack of a better term, that make up the hull's shape. There is a limit to the number of bends that material will take. Removing some of the corrugation behind the skins will help to reduce the stresses where the material is bent, but the repeated flex to 90° angles has to take a toll.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  17. #17
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    There is a limit to the number of bends that material will take.
    Oru puts that limit at 20,000 folds with their material, sez https://www.orukayak.com/pages/faqs#Durability

    The hull of the Oru Kayak is made from a custom polypropylene with a 10 year UV treatment and has been rated 20,000 folds!
    We suggest you treat your Oru Kayak like a fiberglass boat, but don’t worry if you hit a rock...it’ll be fine!
    See their durability video on that page where the yak is hammered, thrown off a high roof, and slid over huge boulders while occupied without even bending. I also like their performance video just lower where it is shown surfing (so it is broach resistant?).

    P.S. If you go from the top right of that page to click "more faq" https://orukayak.zendesk.com/hc/en-u...139024-SUPPORT there are more durability and other very interesting facts.

    Last edited by rudderless; 10-18-2017 at 05:05 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Pretty nice if the assembly time is really only 10 minutes. I bought a folding kayak about 25 years ago (Seavivor) and while it's a great paddling boat, it takes the better part of an hour to put together. It's a different animal entirely, with a wooden frame and a ballistic nylon hull. As I recall, it was more expensive (considerably) than the Oru. Good quality folding kayaks have always been pricey.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Bark View Post
    Pretty nice if the assembly time is really only 10 minutes. I bought a folding kayak about 25 years ago (Seavivor) and while it's a great paddling boat, it takes the better part of an hour to put together.
    My beach LT should be here tomorrow, but they say it will take practice to learn a quick assemble. And the packup will be hard at first due to the stiffness. A Oru video shows how to kneel on it and arrange the packing straps in serial just like the way police double link handcuffs for fat criminals. That video is hidden in the same place Oru shows their hinge torture test, which is very simple if anyone here wants to test suitability of other material. BTW it is the Coast model rated for 10min assemble; Bay model rated 5 min and Beach 3 min!

    Below is an owner (?) review video of the Beach LT vs Bay ST model (both apparently upgraded this year) which shows a practiced assembly that is supposedly no slower than taking conventional kayaks off vehicle roofs with the unstrapping. Note the sponge for wetness in the Beach model - it has no possibility of spray skirt so he shouldn't bring his kid inside with him out in the waves. It's the right model for me because besides low price, the open cockpit lets me jump out to avoid decapitation in razor sharp shallows eskimo roll style. Big waves hitting shallows have made big open cockpit yaks the rule here, but normally with self bailers which Oru doesn't have.

    Last edited by rudderless; 10-19-2017 at 11:27 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by rudderless View Post
    Oru puts that limit at 20,000 folds with their material, sez https://www.orukayak.com/pages/faqs#Durability



    See their durability video on that page where the yak is hammered, thrown off a high roof, and slid over huge boulders while occupied without even bending. I also like their performance video just lower where it is shown surfing (so it is broach resistant?).

    P.S. If you go from the top right of that page to click "more faq" https://orukayak.zendesk.com/hc/en-u...139024-SUPPORT there are more durability and other very interesting facts.
    Would love to know how they validated that 20,000 fold test. They were showing someone swinging in a doorway using the material and had something like 1500 cycles, and nowhere near the fold angle that seemed to be part of the boat. Just sayin'.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  21. #21
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Would love to know how they validated that 20,000 fold test.
    Would seem anti-consumer if they did splurge money to verify mfr claim of a successful 20,000th fold when consumers only want a percent or 2 of that. Their closure snaps may be rated to a million clicks, but lab test confirmations are a waste because real life use may corrode mine in a couple salty years. Fresh water rinses are getting hard to find here due to attracting vagrant campers who anyway break the plumbing.

    They have been in real use a few years and experience is passed on in their excellent downloadable manuals that subfreezing temps can split the material. I dunno if this is related to their observation that the corrugations can draw in water, so let it sit inverted. I was worried about it degrading in a hot car, but they emailed me that can be ok within reason. Anyway, this boat should fill an interesting niche for me along with my several inflatable and modular kayaks with their own varying talents and vulnerabilities - why doesn't my medical plan pay for these as preventative therapy devices?
    Last edited by rudderless; 10-20-2017 at 07:34 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Here is a superficial review from a pool outing in Oru 12' wide open cockpit Beach LT folding kayak.

    The package seems bigger, heavier, ungainly, yet more rugged compared to the video impression. The carry strap slides off my squarish shoulder unless I put it over my head, then can be hard to get both sizeable me and it thru doors. If I turned it on narrower end then put wheels under it, it would match my 12' Hobie inflatable package which is manageable. But better yet put dual shoulder straps on it or buy their expensive backpack.

    The first setup is slow, fiddley, and sweaty since you are new to it and are fighting the tension of things that haven't loosened up and accommodated each other. The manual fine print says leave it assembled overnight. The takedown process is a snap even without practice... you are just releasing stuff that springs open and only have to worry about the accordion folds needing a slight side to side offset in the final meeting together (there is an arrow guide).

    I tried swamping it so you don't have to. Maybe I have 5 pounds of water eternally stuck in my corrugations now.. there is tape at the ends for hit and miss water passage. It really resists giving up last pockets of air, but I could imagine having to swim it into shore after a big wave dump into cockpit. The seat is surprisingly comfy. The deck is a little squashy for my weight to slide along while getting in, except along the triple folded cockpit sides which are very stiff.

    That tripling (of Beach model only) makes it maybe 5 feet wide when unfolded, so a big footprint of open space is needed. Or if the hull is totally unsnapped and upside down the thing looks like a long igloo ready for someone to sit (lay) out a rainstorm or camp overnight. Before an amorous couple tries that, beware it is translucent. Oru even sells solar led lights to light the yak like a giant lantern.

    Anyway it hand paddles well, as it's profile suggests. Some funny protrusions and folds on the hull, but that is the price of portability. More streamlined than most inflatable yaks, although SeaEagle has a line of super thin and sharp dropstitch inflatable yaks.
    Last edited by rudderless; 10-25-2017 at 11:26 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    thanks!

    i'd wondered about the pack size.. it does look slightly bigger than you'd hope (whatever the design, that kayak has to go somewhere i suppose!)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Author Paul Theroux would have loved this for his island kayaking in the Pacific when he carried a Folboat for his book "The Happy Isles of Oceania". We happened to meet him in Tonga and helped carry the large bags that the kayak was disassembled and packed in when taking planes from island to island. The bags were monstrously heavy and the puddle jumper pilots were loath to load them. He had quite a time convincing them... until he understood that a bit of money changing hands solved the 'problem'. I imagine there are so many places now, at least in the states, that rent kayaks that you could pick them up almost anywhere versus carrying your own. Even buy one off CL and then sell/give it way after you move on!
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    So that's me and my kayak in the original post. Yeah, it's pretty big and awkward to carry; I definitely wouldn't want to walk a long distance with the thing, especially if I also were carrying anything else. What I find it's good for, though, is as a "reserve boat" that I can easily keep in the basement and deploy as needed. It's served that role several times this year, where I've been taking my nutshell places and found that I had extra space in the back of the Jetta, so "Hey, might as well take the Oru..."

    Doing that usually turns out to have been a good idea!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    I was thinking of keeping it in FRONT of a full sportwagen as a reserve boat, either on or behind the passenger seat. I have a 10 foot inflato kayak that takes less space even with it's airpump, paddles, and pfd... but I think the heat while parked could part the glued seams.

    Anyway if Theroux used the Oru for his happy paddling book, he could have escaped the teen fisherman who nearly speared him for a thrill kill. He was hemmed in by shallow reef that would snag/hole his folboat, but probably could have slithered thru it at the expense of Oru's outer but not inner membrane. Also on another island IIRC he ran and hid from gangs of women who were practicing some yearly assault ritual against lone men, and I can't help but think he could turn the inverted, unsnapped Beach LT into an igloo hiding place (the long cockpit side extensions form a generous sidewall).

    Oh, the takedown time looks to be just a couple minutes. Assembly for me will at least be twice that. There is room to stash pfd and 4 part paddles in the folded up Oru if you can stand the weight. I just gotta make a pair of shoulder straps - do I sacrifice the existing strap or order reams of wide strapping from Amazon? If I turn the package sideways (Beach LT is narrower that way), some of the "storage" pockets will dump stuff out but at least I could get thru doors.

    Last edited by rudderless; 10-28-2017 at 03:47 PM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    More of the Coraplast folding canoes / kayaks are coming out now. This one is interesting
    https://www.hyparsmart.com/

    They all appear to be charging a lot for ‘intellectual property’ considering how cheap the base material is

    This is also interesting
    https://youtu.be/AIoLi_XCnBo
    Last edited by tink; 10-27-2017 at 02:57 AM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by tink View Post
    This is also interesting
    https://youtu.be/AIoLi_XCnBo
    Wow, so much innovation around the "sit-in" type of kayak seating, a paradigm almost entirely discarded in my region. Let's not forget the "sit-on" Kayacat which has entered production minus it's rowing option. Which means probably the majority of customers like me who ordered their fully featured model including rowing have had their paypal deposit aging beyond the 180 day period where you can dispute the charge. There is a closed facebook user group of Kayacat owners who settled for simpler versions at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1027...cation=ufi#_=_ .

    With all these options for hulls, what about the corresponding compact 4 part paddles? The cheapest route is a widely available 4 part aluminum shaft design under a variety of brands - the shaft bends for me and stays bent in hard use. You can't escape these crap things; I have had several sent here for free and unasked for. One set came with a kayak and Amazon sent another, presumably due to an unreported minor flaw on one I did order.

    Anyway the models I am most pleased with are discounted high end carbon fiber, There are only a couple major sources of 4 part carbon fiber paddles when I last googled, and one or both have half price sales for seasonal closeout and cosmetically blemished models. I don't really care how very light they are and am almost annoyed at their skinny shaft for which I have to fill out with gloves. But they are strong and stiff when you have to put in adrenaline strokes, and have this wonderful twang release of energy at the end of your stroke, kind of like an arrow release from a bow.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Folding kayak

    Quote Originally Posted by rudderless View Post
    I just gotta make a pair of shoulder straps - do I sacrifice the existing strap or order reams of wide strapping from Amazon? If I turn the package sideways (Beach LT is narrower that way), some of the "storage" pockets will dump stuff out but at least I could get thru doors.
    Amazon sells 10m rolls of nylon seatbelt material far cheaper than Oru sells a backpack. Amazon gave me a delivery day to stay home and receive it, which actually came 3 days further on. I devised both a rectilinear and diagonal way to fashion the straps that would hold this slippery as soap yak package (UV coating?) in sort of an open top minimal basket of strapping.

    I picked the diagonal because I could make use of the hard plastic footpads on the bottom corners - the seatbelt fits into a pre-existing slot there. I start with a horizontal loop 2/3 of the way up, then tie a square knot which is almost the only knot that holds slick belt. The strap ends form spread out shoulder straps by loosely routing them down into the footpad slots, then tie them up at the back of the horizontal loop.

    It is pretty comfy except indoors among hallways and doors. It would barely fit if it didn't hang a bit crooked and bang into everything every other second, so maybe only use outside on my 1 mile treks out and back. I may make other large gear baskets out of knotted seatbelt - conventional oversize backpacks are expensive and the strap stitching often comes loose.

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