Saturday, 28 April 2012

Running On Water

The Vibram, FiveFingers barefoot running shoe, is one of the most unique innovations in footwear produced in the last ten years. The FiveFingers shoe mimics the motion of running shoeless and allows the wearer to feel and respond to the surface they travel over.

But it takes some time to get used to. Wearing soled shoes for your whole life makes you walk a certain way. Adjusting to the FiveFingers is a process, not an overnight transition.

The reward is worth the awkward first outings. A shoeless jaunt to the store can easily become the highlight of your day, as your feet experience the dynamic surface changes between your home and your destination.

'FiveToes' Seems More Appropriate

Moving from a fiberglass kayak to a skin kayak can hold a similar feeling of trepidation.

Fiberglass owners are separated from the water surface they paddle over, so it is natural to feel overwhelmed when transitioning to a skin design. Some paddlers may experience a need for the security that a rigid hull provides, but the aluminum framework provided by a Feathercraft is just as strong or stronger than a hard bottom boat.

The thrill comes from feeling the motion of the sea beneath your kayak. The skin actively responds to varying sea conditions, cutting through swells and absorbing wave energy.
If you haven't tried a skin kayak, you haven't really kayaked.

See for yourself!

Test-paddle a boat at our Feathercraft Factory or approach one of our worldwide kayak dealers. We promise you won't want to ever go back to the hard 'sole' of a fiberglass boat.

The Highways of Venice

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Wash After Wearing

A Feathercraft kayak is an amazing boat, from its traditional Inuit design, to its ability to fold, to the welded skin that eliminates water seepage. BUT, like any boat, car or bicycle, it does require basic maintenance.

It is important to rinse your kayak after ever foray into the ocean. The easiest method is to leave your kayak assembled and use a garden hose to completely wash the outside skin.

If any seawater has pooled inside the kayak, use a sponge to dry and then rinse thoroughly with fresh water.

You can also use a mild detergent and a soft scrub brush to clean the welded urethane skins.

Allow the skin ample time to dry before storing.

If you plan to disassemble your kayak, rinse the frame separately after removing the dry skin. 

You can lubricate the spring buttons and inserts. We suggest using a Boeshield T-9 lubricant.

Take care of your boat and it will last you a lifetime.

Don't Forget to Sponge the Interior

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Skin Welding

The largest organ in your body is your skin. It wraps around your skeleton in a seamless weave of cells that protect your inner organs. At Feathercraft, we wanted to replicate the same seamless characteristics in the design of our boats. Fabric welding technology has allowed us the opportunity to create an exterior skin that eliminates water seepage completely.

The outer skin of our kayaks is made of two parts: the deck and the hull. In the past, Feathercraft stitched the Cordura deck layer to the hull.

With the advancement of urethane fabrics, we are now able to weld our Duratek hull layer to a polytech deck layer, using radio frequency welding technology.

Radio frequency welding joins polyurethane fabrics by exciting the molecules and creating a permanent bond. This bond acts like a gasket creating a water-tight seal between the two fabrics.

The end result is an exterior skin that is completely waterproof. Pretty amazing eh?!?!

Exciting the Urethane Molecules 
(Like Dancing - Without the Awkwardness)

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Connect with Feathercraft

I hope you are enjoying reading our weekly blog.

We are trying to cover a wide breadth of topics, from local classes being offered, to environmental concerns, to kayaking functions, to our own product line.

We feel a blog is an unobtrusive way of supplying information to the kayak community.
So far, it has been a pleasure to contribute to. We appreciate all the positive Feedback that readers have shown us on Facebook and on Google +.

If you have any kayak related events that you would like us to share on our blog, you can email us at We would also love to hear about any recent trips or expeditions, especially if they involved a Feathercraft kayak. Send us your photos and your stories and we'll publish them on our blog.

For day-to-day updates, follow us on Twitter or befriend us on Facebook

Curious about our skin kayak designs? 
Connect with us.

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Friday, 20 April 2012

Kayak Spotlight: "Khatsalano"

kat-sa-la-no - A Coast Salish term meaning "Lord of the Lake"

If you love speed, graceful lines and Greenland-style paddling, the Khatsalano is the kayak you belong in.

Built around the traditional skin kayak concept, the Khatsalano is intended for kayakers with good rolling and bracing skills. It carves turn with only a slight lean and has a fast cruising speed.

The lines of the boat are reminiscent of a Lawren Harris painting, sharp but fluid angles that reflect the environment they travel over.

With its narrow fit, the paddler and the boat become one.

For the intermediate paddler, Feathercraft has produced the Khatsalano-S. This kayak is cut fuller than its skinnier sibling. The sponsons sit higher, making for a slightly wider beam for increased stability. You don't have to have a black belt in rolling to paddle this boat.

Interesting Fact: Greenland-style paddling reflects the original needs of the Inuit people. 
In case of a harpoon line entanglement, Inuit paddlers needed to be able to roll their boats with ease. 

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Hope in the Salish Sea

Whales fill us with hope. If something so big can flourish here, maybe in time the smaller and less obvious parts of the puzzle can too.
-Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun

This quote is taken from a recent article in the Vancouver Sun. The article focuses on the surprising resurgence of marine mammals in the Salish Sea.

The Salish Sea is a 7,000 square kilometer body of water that includes the Juan de Fuca Strait, the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound. Within this territory is a complicated ecosystem that has seen a considerable amount of damage since the arrival of European settlers. Overfishing, commercial whaling, pollution, habitat destruction and climate change have all affected the region.

Concern for the marine mammals in this area began nearly 50 years ago when scientists started tracking and recording the dramatic dips in population. When the alarms sounded, measures were set in place to increase the numbers by limiting and in some cases banning commercial hunts.
Management of fish stocks, in regards to whale population, became important. Habitats were protected and pulp and paper mills that bordered endangered marine habitats were shutdown.
Marine life became a major concern for not only the scientists working on the West Coast, but also the residents living here.
And now for the good news.
Since the 1960s, the population of harbour seals, which once numbered as low as 15,000, is now over 100,00. The number of humpback whale sightings is up. The stellar sea lion population is thriving. And while the number of resident killer whales is down to 88 in the Salish Sea, the number of transient killer whales passing through our waters is up dramatically.
An increase in large mammal numbers means the smaller marine animals, further down the food chain, are increasing as well.
There are still 113 species of marine organisms that are threatened in the Salish Sea, but the increase in the larger mammals gives us hope. 

Interesting Fact: It takes 660 chinook a day to feed the resident killer whales in the Salish Sea. 

Feathercract. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Navigation Lessons

Navigation is an important tool for sea kayakers of all abilities. From recognizing landmarks, to studying tidal charts, to using a compass, any paddler who intends to leave shore should have a basic navigation tool set.

If you're looking to upgrade or start from scratch, there are a variety of courses available to improve your nautical precision.

Here are two options for those living in Vancouver, Canada:

  • David Dreves Kayaking, a tour, rental and instruction company, is offering a variety of courses both on the water and on land. 'Coffee shop' sessions offer information on marine forecasts, compass work, chart reading and trip planning. Each session is $20. The spring schedule has not been posted.

  • Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak is offering a theoretical and practical navigation course for intermediate paddlers. The course is a full day lesson, running out of Whytecliff Park, in West Vancouver. The first half of the day is spent learning the skills, well the second half is spent putting them into practice. This course costs $120. It is being offered on June 30th and again on August 11th.

Hope to see you in the classroom!

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.