Too bad I can't paddle to work...
August 20, 2012 1:11 PM   Subscribe

A potentially great kayak-buying opportunity. What should I be asking?

Hi all,

I have an opportunity to purchase a floor model of a Folbot Aleut. What's more, I'll likely get some in-person free help from a pro in putting it together for the first time, which is not usually the case with this brand and is a big motivator for me.

I should probably add that I've been out in a kayak in various bodies of water (quiet rivers and lakes, choppy but protected sea water) on average once a year. So I am firmly in the newb category. What's been stopping me from doing more is the lack of my own boat.

I have NO plans to do any whitewater kayaking, but I would need something that is sturdy enough to take it out in places like Cape Ann and the Plum Island area.

I've read some reviews of this model online so I'm already aware of some of the ups and downs (a sea sock is a really good idea, as is a foam seat with this particular model; would also like a skirt and rudder). I have basic questions like shipping weight and return policy covered.

What else should I be asking?

P.S. I've decided on a folder because of high theft where I live. I doubt that even a roof rack would be safe, let alone a kayak. The notion of being able to put a whole kayak under my bed is also very appealing since I'm short on storage space.
posted by Currer Belfry to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you sat in this kayak? If there is any way at all to try one out, do it. They're very different from each other. Some of them my butt doesn't even fit in comfortably, or my legs are too long, or the kayak is so shallow that my knees can't move at all and my feet eventually go numb. You get the picture.

Also, what are you planning to use it for? I can tell you from experience that trying to use a river kayak in the San Francisco Bay effin' sucks. (You can get out into the bay, but you can't get back in.) The opposite might be true as well. Do you want maneuverable? Or do you want stable? That will make a difference, too.

It looks like a lovely kayak, but no matter how awesome, if it doesn't suit your needs, don't get it.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:55 PM on August 20, 2012

I would be interested in how to keep the fabric in good condition and how long it is guaranteed. Should you be hosing it down after trips on salt/fresh water? Also, how many pounds it can take and still be stable. Also, for safety, should you be putting floats in it for added buoyancy in case you take on water/flip.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:56 PM on August 20, 2012

Do you get to test-paddle one? Kayaks also vary widely in how well they keep true as you paddle, and how much distance you can get with an average stroke.
posted by megatherium at 2:35 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

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