Vintage Models

 

The one constant has been change. And there have been many changes since the first Feathercraft were brought to market in 1980. Here is the development time-line from the beginning to modern-day.

Folding boats have been around since the 1800s. They were heavy, cumbersome, and packed in multiple bags. Feathercraft was the first to introduce lightweight aircraft alloy framework, with the complete kayak fitting into one bag.

A frequently asked question is “How old is this kayak?”

Here is how the serial number “mostly” works…
– The last three digits (example: 404) means it was built in 2004.
– Models prior to 1998, may only have the year of manufacture listed as two digits at the end of the serial number (example:  96). This number would be written on a tag sewn to the underside of the deck, at the stern of the cockpit.
– After the year 2000, the serial number seemed to go through some aberrations for a couple of years. The last three digits were sometimes something like this:  200. This would mean it was a welded skin, made in the year 2000.

REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR CERTAIN OLDER THAN 1998 VINTAGE MODELS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE

K1 Expedition

1980: Length: 15′ 10″  Beam: 25″  Weight: 48 lb   We started with a variety of hull materials: Hypalon, Feathertex (a lightweight urethane), or butyl rubber. By the mid-80s, the hull was exclusively Hypalon in North America. Deck fabric was 1000 denier nylon Cordura with a 2 oz urethane coating on the underside. The built-in spray skirt was a 420 denier single coated nylon. Zippers were protected by a double-fold with a Velcro closure. Hulls were glued. Decks were sewn. And the two were sewn together. Eventually, seams would require seam-sealing. Zippers proved to be a weak point: from over-loading gear to sand clogging the zipper teeth.
REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE

1990: Design is updated with the addition of a fibreglass coaming. No more zippers. Introduced bow and stern access hatches. Before this, hatches were unheard of in a skin kayak. The fibreglass coaming allowed the use of a traditional style spray skirt and a sea sock.  The use of a sea sock in a skin kayak was also revolutionary. Kayak length and beam remained the same.
REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE

1998: The frame and skin were redesigned, and remains the shape of today’s K1 Expedition. The bow became upswept, making the kayak longer at 16′ 6″.  Beam remained at 25″. Frame design eliminated the center aluminum welded cockpit “cage” and welded bow and stern keel ends. Even though the kayak became longer, it was lighter in weight due to stream-lined frame design. Introduced sewn urethane fabric decks, sewn to the Hypalon hull.

2000: Deck and hull fabric both changed to urethane, allowing the deck and hull to be welded together. Now the skin was sealed, and water-tight and is know as our Sealskin Technology.

2006: Replaced fibreglass coaming with built-in coaming system.

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The second model to be introduced, naturally, was a double.

K2 Expedition

1980: Introduced in 1980 with zippered deck and built in spray skirts; basically a stretched version of the K1 Expedition. The length of the original Feathercraft “shack” was 19′ 3″ from the wood burning stove to the opposite wall. This dictated the length of the original.
REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE

1990: Design change to fibreglass coamings, along with bow and stern access hatches. Frame design changed to incorporate both round and square aluminum tubing.

2000: Changed skin fabric to welded urethane Sealskin Technology.

2003: Bow became upswept, increasing the length to 20′.

2006: Replaced fibreglass coaming with built-in coaming system.

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ST Expedition – Discontinued  1996

1985: Length:  13′ 6″ Beam:  27″ Weight: 48 lb  Introduced specifically for our Japanese market for portability and river paddling. The frame design incorporated square and round tubing for an extremely strong and rugged kayak. With the change in the market, discontinued in 1996.
REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE
FRT/ST Expedition Assembly

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K-Light – Discontinued in 2000. Brought back briefly from 2008 to 2011. Discontinued  2011
REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE

1993: Length: 12′ 10″  Beam: 25″  Weight: 29 lb   Introduced with a tubular aluminum coaming and lightweight skin, it originally weighed 29 lb. Another revolutionary change to folding kayaks. The lightest folding kayak, with the few frame parts. Our best seller by far.

1994: Incorporated the fibreglass coaming design.

1995: Discontinued the lightweight skin and offered only the Hypalon hull with nylon Cordura deck.

2000: Made only a few welded skins beginning of 2000. Replaced the K-Light with the Kahuna models.

2008: Encore! K-Light returns for awhile, with built-in coaming. Discontinued in 2011, replaced by the Kurrent.

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Khatsalano

1995: Length: 17′ 10″  Beam: 23″  Weight: 45 lb  Following the lines of a West Greenland design, the Khats is a high performance kayak, comparable to any hardshell kayak. The first few production models had no sponsons, which proved too tippy for even advanced paddlers. Incorporated air sponsons to the skin, offering two widths. A narrower beam Khats for the advanced paddler; or a slightly wider version, the Khats-S, for intermediate paddlers. The first skins used a polyester deck fabric sewn to a hypalon hull.

1996: Changed to a urethane fabric for the deck.

2000: Sealskin Technology introduced—urethane deck welded to urethane hull.

2006: Replaced fibreglass coaming with built-in coaming system.

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Klondike

1998: Length: 17′ 10″  Beam: 31″  Weight: 76 lb   Introduced for family paddling or large trip solo paddling.

2005: Replaced fibreglass coaming with built-in coaming system.

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Kahuna and Big Kahuna

2000: Length:  14′ 10″  Beam: 25″   Weight: 35 lb  The Kahuna models were the replacement for the K-Light – made longer with an upswept bow. Offering two cockpit sizes, small and large. Introduced the same year as our welded Sealskin Technology.

2006: Replaced fibreglass coaming with built-in coaming system.

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Wisper

2005: Length: 15′ 7″ Beam:  23.5″ Weight:  37.5 lb  Originally offered two weights of skin for the Wisper model. In order to keep the design elegant, yet simple, there is a skeg, but no rudder.

2006: Lightweight skin discontinued, as the 2 lb weight saving was not a major advantage for most customers.

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Wisper XP, S & L

2009: Length: 15′ 7″   Beam: 23.5″  Weight: 40 lb  The Wisper stern was changed to accommodate a rudder. Two sizes of cockpits are offered, small or large.

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Heron

2011: Length: 17′ 7″ Beam: 24″  Weight: 54 lb  The latest addition to our line is a large volume, fast cruising, touring single.

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Airline Sit-on-Tops, introduced 2001

Another “Feathercraft First”—A line of folding sit-on-top kayaks.

Gemini – Double

Length: 18′ 0″   Beam:  30″  Weight:  48 lb

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Java – Single

Length: 15′ 4″  Beam:  28″  Weight: 33 lb

Primarily a single, with the option of adding a 2nd seat.

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Jetstream – Discontinued 2012
REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Length: 19′ 3″  Beam: 20″ Weight: 45 lb   The first folding surf ski. Discontinued in 2012.

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Uno – Discontinued 2006

Length: 12′ 2″  Beam: 30″  Weight: 25 lb  A short, fat single. Discontinued in 2006.