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  Klepper/Long Haul vs. Feathercraft
  Posted by: Bill_Stevenson on Jun-18-13 2:34 PM (EST)
 

I threw Long Haul in here because it is similar to, but an overall updated Klepper style boat. Long Haul is made in Colorado by the former Klepper service center for North America. I sold my Klepper AE1 Expedition last year and bought a Long Haul MK1. The MK1 is the better boat. You can find my reviews of both boats in the Reviews section of this website. Feathercraft is made in Vancouver BC and is a very high quality boat too. In fact these boats are all unsurpassed in terms of quality. The K/LH would be more stable, but slower on the water than the FC. The K/LH would be considerably easier to assemble and disassemble and pack up. Without rushing it takes about 1/2 hour to assemble either K/LH, and almost twice that much time for comparable FC. My AE1 weighed close to 80 lbs, and my MK1 is perhaps 2 lbs. heavier. A comparable FC would weigh half that much. The K/LH uses very heavy and durable materials in the skin and the frames are wood with a lot of cross bracing for redundancy. FC uses much lighter weight urethane for the hull and a combination of plastic thwarts and aluminum tubes. For armed forces special OPs in the US the LH is the new standard. Klepper has undergone financial reorganization recently and that might have impacted their NATO contract, but the boats are still as good as ever. FC are long, sleek, and lightweight, closer to high performance fiberglass boats in performance. Truly a joy to paddle. The K/LH are more staid, traditional, but are modern works of art. In rough water I find that I can make better time in a K/LH because I am not constantly having to brace. But in smooth water a FC is much sleeker and faster. Again in terms of craftsmanship and quality all three companies are at the top of the heap. There are no better boats made, folders or otherwise.

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