There are thousands of small boats on the market to choose from. They are all designed to do different things well. White water, flat water, heavy haulers, long distance, speed, fishing, hunting, and the list goes on. If we reduce the number by setting aside boats with motors or sails we still have quite a few to consider. Now, if we take away boats that are rowed, (with oars), we have mostly canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards which all use paddles.
The K-Pak is designed to be paddled with a two bladed paddle, much like a kayak. It is a shorter, relatively wider boat and therefore limited to slightly slower hull speeds and will not track as true as a longer boat. It still does many things really well and has some key attributes.
The K-Pak is a “skin on frame” boat with an inflatable component. Skin on frame boats have been around since native Alaskans started building boats with bones, wood, and animal skins what could be as many as 4,000 years ago.
Klepper started manufacturing folding skin on frame kayaks over 100 years ago and is still in business today. Folbot, Pakboats, Feathercraft, Blue Hawaii, and others all manufacture and sell beautiful folding skin on frame kayaks with prices ranging from $1,000 to nearly $10,000.
So, what makes the K-Pak different? A couple of things that sets our boat apart is that we have a very light weight boat, not a true kayak, which assembles from a very small package, with minimal effort, in just 4-5 minutes, (it may take 2-3 tries). This is notable since many of the skin on frame kayaks mentioned above can take up to or more than an hour to assemble. We are able to do this because the frame, made from aluminum, is already inside the boat skin. Our patented design includes various hinges associated with the internal frame to help simplify the assembly process.
Only two “cross frames” are added to the internal frame during assembly. Everything else is already inside the skin. The K-Pak’s frame, when assembled, rests inside the seams of two pairs of inflatable tubes. These air tubes protect the frame and paddler from obstacles in the water, compress and align the frame to the outer boat skin, and provide flotation should it ever be needed. All four air tubes have their own Boston Valve and are brought up to pressure equally via an air manifold and pump included with each boat.