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Thread: PakCanoe 150

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    260

    Default PakCanoe 150

    Maker's Spec

    Max Width: 35 / 86cm
    Gunwale Width: 33 / 84cm
    Depth: 13 / 34cm
    Weight: 49lb / 22kg
    Length: 15 / 455cm
    Capacity: 650lb / 300kg

    Maker's Write Up
    PakCanoe 150 is best if you like to paddle solo but want to have capacity for two people and camping gear for a week. It has good speed and tracks well on flatwater, yet performs well on Class III whitewater.

  2. #2

    Default I have this canoe...

    I am pleased with it. It is a bit fiddly to set up, but for me it is the best option.

    It feels a bit 'tippy', but once you get used to it it's not noticeable. I generally solo paddle in it, but occasionally have someone along, either way, it's very manageable.

    I've used it on river and loch trips and it's performed very well, especially in choppy water.

    I've packed loads of gear in it for camping trips.

    Jac

  3. #3

    Default

    Very interesting Jac, do you mind if I ask how much you paid for it?
    PKM
    Mobile Adventure Prospector 16

  4. #4

    Default Hi peter

    I paid 1,250 for it. Got it from Knoydart in Penrith.

    Jac

  5. #5

    Default Have Canoe, will travel

    I bought my 15' PakCanoe off Ebay, and to be honest I was a bit nervous about how it would handle.
    I should probably start by outline my experience first to give some context to my review. I am basically a novice in an open canoe. However I have a lot of experience on the water both in pleasure craft (narrow boats/barges) and windsurfers with some kayak thrown in. I've had a few hours tuition on moving water in an open canoe and loved it.

    Okay, so firstly cost: 750 off ebay - which has to be a bit of a bargain.

    As for the contentious assembly / disassembly, I have found it pretty easy. My last attempt was 30 minutes to assemble and 20 to dis-assemble (my third try). The guy I bought it off said he'd managed to put it up in 15 minutes - which must be going some!
    Really, if you have any practical skills, it's no bother at all. If you struggle with DIY and view furniture from ikea with dread, then this is probably not for you, otherwise, don't sweat it.
    I was actually disassembling where a bunch of kayakers were pulling out, and by the time they finished faffing about with spray decks, carrying boats across fields, and generally negotiating their way to the trailer, I was packed and following them. It's probably a bit longer, but then, there's no lifting stuff on/off roof-racks, putting racks on/off the car, putting the canoe away etc.

    So how does it handle. This is probably the bit I'm least qualified to talk about, so take what I say with a pinch of salt.
    It tracks reasonably in the water, but not brilliantly. I suspect the ultra light weight construction (you can carry it in one hand or easily on a shoulder) determines most of this characteristic, with the boat feeling like it's sitting on top rather than in the water. I have put a 5 litre water canister in the bow paddling position when alone to improve the upstream performance. I'm paddling with a (probably terrible) J-Stroke solo, and finding it pretty reasonable without too much correction. She does slip sideways beautifully though, so maneuvering round obstacles seems nice and easy.

    The construction of the canoe means that there are convenient thwarts to clip dry bags to, and the lack of need for flotation bags (the sides are inflated) improves legroom at the front. I suspect this allows the canoe to punch above it's length in the tandem stakes. It is a little cramped at the front, I took a friend out who is about 6', and he didn't have a huge amount of room up there.
    Tandem, the canoe feels very different. It's weird. okay, it's got 2 12 stone guys in it, so that's going to affect things, but it's when you hit chop that the freakyness starts. The closest thing is something like an inflatable white-water raft. Because the boat is flexible, the boat follows the water shape, this is really strange, but I expect you get used to it.

    I took her down a small weir on a backwater (about a foot and a half), and caught the bottom on the concrete channeling as I went through. Worrying all the way to pulling out, I checked the bottom and couldn't find a mark. So pretty sturdy stuff.

    Anyway, that's enough for now, I'll upload some photos in a bit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    3,944

    Default

    you got yourself a bargain, Ben_P
    your assembly time seems about right, 15mins as the guy quoted sounds a bit stressful.

    when you paddle it solo, do you sit or kneel in the centre? if that's the case there should be no need for the water canister and you can adjust trim instead by moving your position back or forward a little.

    the keel does indeed have a bit of flex which may be unusual in the beginning but once you get used to it it's no disadvantage. paddling it tandem with no weight in the mid section doesn't give great handling, though. it makes the ends (where you guys sit) sag down a bit with the mid section of the keel curving up a little. not good for maneuverability, and exaggerates the effect of the mid section feeling 'loose'. if you have space you could move the seats closer together - or just add a heavy lunch bag

    you might find my observations here of interest:
    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...k-observations

  7. #7

    Talking

    Lowlander, yeah, I think the 15 minutes would be something of a mission.
    I'm paddling from the rear seat - on the 150T PakCanoe, the seat won't fit the centre position (without some modifications), and I don't really fancy kneeling on those rods for extended periods! I will probably get in touch with PakCanoe or their dealer over here to see if I can get the conversion kit for the Solo version of the canoe.

    To be honest, it isn't much of an issue paddling a 15' boat from the rear, but I expect it would be a bit nicer in from the centre. Just the little matter of more money . I'm planning on doing a few overnight trips with camping gear next spring, so I'll get a better idea of how to load her down. The weight I have available for trimming atm is a bit trivial for a tandem canoe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    3,944

    Default

    you shouldn't need a conversion kit. if you have the bucket/pedestal seat (the older model pakcanoe seat) it can be placed in the middle position, attached to a rib the same way as at the ends.
    the newer style bench seat can also be inserted in the middle but you may need to get one that's wider than what you have in the stern or bow. don't know for sure as i haven't tried these yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Yalding, Kent
    Posts
    2,623

    Default

    Took my newly acquired 150T out today for a first run. The boat came with some longer rods for the rear seat which allow you to extend the width of the rear bench seat for solo positioning. Pics below show how I have set mine up. I kneel so have set it up similar to a kneeling thwart and being able to angle the seat down works well for this. This has my knees just behind the centre cross rib but I had some thick foam in anyway which made it comfortable.

    Initial thoughts are quite impressed with the handling characteristics compared to a rigid hull. Plenty of secondary stability leaned over. Easy to spin around, probably helped by the rocker from my seating set up. Likes to turn on an outside edge. Reasonably quick going forward, a bit less glide than my rigid boat of the same length but certainly nothing that stood out.

    I also wanted to know what it paddled like on moving water and managed to spend some time at Yalding while there was a decent release so a good G2 environment (without rocks). Had no issues with breaking in, out, s turns and ferries and felt stable with offside forward paddling edge across the flow. I didn't notice much flex and I treated it pretty much like I would a rigid hull and in the main it responded how I would have expected my rigid hull boats too (prospector style).

    I was on my own but will try and get some footage of it in action on moving water to give a better idea but initial impressions are it handles well.

    One thing that was very obvious was how much my paddling style involves using the gunwales, either running the paddle shaft along or prying. Longer term I'd be concerned about continued rubbing/prying damaging the vinyl sleeve so might think about some additional protection there. I think some sort of additional covering that I can maybe velcro on might be something I'll look at.

    I plan to paddle it predominantly solo and although I gather it's a bit wider than the 150 I didn't notice this and don't envisage wanting to make it any narrower.

    Assembled twice now on my own. First time 1hr 10, today 50mins. Expect to get down another 10 minutes to about 40mins but some bits like threading the poles through the gunwales are a bit fiddly on your own and would be much quicker if there were 2 people. Other than that no issues putting it together.

    Nice and light to pick up and move around off the water.

    So far appears to be an impressive piece of kit.





    Last edited by elveys; 30th-April-2016 at 07:30 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    20,433

    Default

    Great little review, John, looks and sounds really good. Seating definitely better than the Ally, everything else sounds not dissimilar.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Eastern England
    Posts
    1,118

    Default

    Agreed. Excellent review. It would still be good to have a folding boats get together to compare one of these days ...
    I have an Ally 16.5DR with bench seats rather than the tractor seats. I'm very happy with the way it paddles, but would be interested to see whether the inflatable sides make it easier to construct.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Yalding, Kent
    Posts
    2,623

    Default

    I have only assembled/dismantled a couple of times but from what I have seen the inflatable sides made little difference to the assembly process. There is a step in the instructions where you lightly inflate the sides before fitting the crossribs. I say this as I forgot to inflate them until the end on the second time I assembled! Tried to summarise the key steps so I can laminate and remind myself in case it's a while between assemblies.

    1)Roll Out skin
    2)Fit gunwale poles (Red)
    3)Fit gunwale ends
    4)Fit the keel
    5)Fit Yellow poles
    6)Fit Blue poles
    7)Lightly inflate tubes
    8)Fit centre crossrib
    9)Slide in side support pole between lower air chambers
    10)Fit remaining crossribs
    11)Inflate tubes fully
    12)Fitseat/seats
    13)Fitend caps

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    3,944

    Default

    i guess with the colours you mean labels or stickers, not colour of the poles which are all anodised yellow.
    as stickers will come off, it's good to learn recognise poles by length: if i lay them out on the ground, longest to shortest, before assembly i can always grab the one i need.

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