PakCanoe Design Print E-mail

The first PakCanoes were made in 1995. Since then, they have been continuously refined into the rugged wilderness craft they are today. PakCanoes draw on over 30 years of experience with folding canoes in demanding wilderness settings.

In designing the PakCanoe our goal was to make a canoe that would be superior in safety, performance, convenience, and aesthetics. We think you will agree that we have been successful.

PakCanoe hulls are formed by a reinforced PVC skin held under tension by an interlocking framework of tubular aluminum. Seat positions adjust to trim the canoe. Because the PakCanoe hull is flexible you stay drier. Its flexibility allows it to ride over waves rather than crash into them and take in water. The canoe will absorb severe impact and usually slide over or by rocks with no damage where fiberglass, kevlar, or aluminum canoes crack or get hung up. In this respect, the PakCanoe behaves much like ABS boats weighing 20 - 30 lbs more.

Disassembled the PakCanoe stores in a 35"x18"x14" bag, small enough to fit in even the smallest car or closet.

Unique "Dual Shape" feature
The 15, and 16.5 foot PakCanoes have the option of two alternative hull shapes. You can have a wide, relatively flat bottom canoe with excellent stability for family use or fishing. By replacing 5 cross ribs in the PakCanoe 150T you turn it into a deeper and narrower backcountry/whitewater solo canoe. Note: PakCanoe 150T is a wide and stable sport canoe. 150, and 165 are deeper and narrower backcountry canoes with great whitewater performance (a 150 was used to run the Grand Canyon). If you'd like both options, a conversion kit containing the needed cross ribs is available.

Individual Parts:

1) Canoe Skin

PakCanoe skins are made of a heavy-duty synthetic fabric coated with high-abrasion-resistance PVC. Under each frame rod is welded a heavy-duty wear strip to further enhance abrasion resistance. Thinner reinforcement strips are welded over the gunwales. At each cross rib position a reinforcement patch is welded on the inside of the gunwale channel. At each end of PakCanoe skins a stainless steel D-ring is factory installed half way up the stem to provide an anchor point for ropes. The low placement of the D-rings improves stability during lining in challenging rapids.

2) Closed Cell Foam Pad

A foam pad covering the bottom under the frame eliminates pressure points where the skin would rest directly against the frame, and the effect is a great improvement in abrasion resistance. This medium density polyethylene foam is 1/4" thick and is attached to the canoe skin with a strap at each end to hold it in position. When the canoe is packed, the foam is rolled up with the skin.

3) Frame

Most of the frame parts are made of 5/8" diameter medium-strength aluminum tubing (really high strength grades are too brittle). Shock corded sections fit together to form all longitudinal rods, and parts are color coded for easy assembly. To minimize the potential for rod connections "freezing" (corroding so they can't be separated), we have built in a little extra space in the joints. The joints feel a little loose, but this has no effect on performance, and it it is likely to save you some problems. Shock cords are terminated at each end in a way that makes replacement easy if that should be needed.

Cross ribs and stems are bent to shape and have plastic hardware installed with pop rivets. The plastic clips interlock, and in some cases lock to each other. Lockable clips grab the gunwales securely, and latch clips on two longitudinal rods connect to the ribs on the bottom.

The stems are the most vulnerable parts of the frame. From 2011 the stems are made of 3/4" diameter aluminum that the keel fits inside of. The new larger dimension resists damage much better than the 5/8" did. Because stems are most often replaced, spare stems are adjustable to fit just like the original ones did.

4) Air Tubes

Air sponsons between the skin and the frame greatly facilitate assembly. The frame is easily assembled with minimal tension in the skin. As the air sponsons are inflated they tension the skin and provide rigidity to the hull. Under way, the sponsons act as built-in fenders to protect the PakCanoe sides from damage.

Placement of air sponsons along the sides improves safety by reducing the amount of water in the canoe after a capsize and stabilizing it once it has taken on water. Each sponson has 3 air chambers so a puncture will not affect the canoe's performance.

5) PakCanoe Seats

From 2008 PakCanoe seats are similar to seats found in most rigid canoes, except that PakCanoe seats can be installed at several heights, and they are adjustable fore-and-aft.

Other versions of PakCanoe seats are adjustable to support sitting or kneeling positions. The change can be performed with one hand in 5 seconds - in or out of the boat. To trim the canoe, the seats can be moved to several alternative locations.

6) Pump

The efficient yet compact double action pump attaches to the valves and makes inflation easy.

7) Repair Kit

A PakCanoe repair kit includes repair material for canoe bottom and sides as well as easy-to-use contact adhesive.

8) Storage Bag (35"x18"x14")  

The storage bag is made of heavy duty polyurethane coated fabric and closes like a sailor's duffelbag. The bag's bottom is padded with a foam pad to protect the rods' shock cords.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 11:47