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Thread: Foldable vs hard canoe whitewater handling?

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    Default Foldable vs hard canoe whitewater handling?

    We are looking at the Pakboat and the Ally canoe for class 3 whitewater for two to three week trips. We have read comments re. durability. We also need reviews on how they handle in whitewater. Thanks.

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    I would go with the ally over the pakboat...better whitewater canoe....damp ride, tough boat...I wouldn't let it get sideways to a boulder in the current....you know, where the boat is trying to go around both sides at the same time...that would be the weak point on a "foldable" canoe....

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    We have a 16.5' Ally we use on remote floats. Great boat in every way for a pack boat. Likely taking mine to NW this Aug for dollies. Like any pack boat, the experience of the paddler and class of water must be factored in. For us, that means we will float class II rivers with confidence. Round rocks are better than sharp rocks. Common sense stuff like that of course. We have done two NW floats and one easy SW river in ours. The boat is capable of more with more experienced canoeist. 50 lbs in a back pack. Carries 750 lbs. Can't beat it for remote fly in trips. In the bottom pic, the canoe is the green bag. All parts to boat, 2 piece paddles, and repair kit fit in the bag. Takes about 30 minutes to put together.















    -Dan

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    I have a Pakboat 170 I have used for about 5 years. It's very good. It is flexible and will bend away from waves....it can be loaded to create more or less rocker and has been very rugged. I love it solo..the ends will flex and it stays very dry.

    I have heard on rivers with very sharp rocks the material can be cut. Never happened to me.

    Cliff Jacobson speaks well of it... 52 pounds it can be portaged easily.

    On a fly in trip it's a great money saver. On a truck in trip I take the Tripper. Fly in, lots of portages or Solo....The pak.

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    Thank you for your input on the Pakboat and Ally. I sure wish I could demo both downriver (or at all). The Pakboat seems more durable for shallow river sections. Is the Ally really stiffer in whitewater? I see good responses toward both of them. Maybe I can't loose.

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    Gillian, I have paddled both the pak and the ally....the reason why I prefer the ally is a trip I did in 99 on the Noatak with my then 72yr old father...we had a 16.5 Ally and the river was in flood. The canyon was as wild as I had ever seen....the Ally held up and delivered when needed with two large adults and a large amount of gear on board....I have not tested the pakboat like I have the Ally...

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    your question is foldable vs. hard. with that in mind, there is no comparison between the handling and durability of a hardshell versus a foldboat. the hardshell wins on all counts.

    if you looking between foldboats.....i have no experience with ally boats. i have a pakboat. they are good for what they do. the comments by previous posters on the pak i have also found to be true. one note, they ARE easy to slice open on sharp rocks. this HAS happened on my boat and on paks that have traveled with me. i mean SHARP rocks. depending on the river you are looking at you will need to be careful. i suspect the ally would have a similar reaction to rocks of that nature.

    one thing i suggest you look into is the grabner boats.

    http://shop09.grabner-sports.at/inde...ILDWASSER.html

    these are excellent boats, tough as can be and made as well as they can be made. they are far simpler to assemble and take apart. i have friends who have thousands of miles on there "adventures" with no problems. they aren't cheap, but what is.

    back to the premise of your post, if you have the ability to take hardshells on the trip do so. they beat the pants out of any softshell.

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    I dragged my Ally boat down Peters creek on a low water year and you couldn't tell it had ever hit a rock. I paddled a Pakboat for a day on the Sheenjek and didn't think it was quite as stiff as the Ally. I also worry about a boat with inflatable gunnels......seems like thats going to deflate some day. I love the Ally boat and have put some miles on it in class ll and lll. I've finally put enough time in with it that it's a little thread bare on the keel line and it leaks a little.......time for a keel patch. I'm looking for another Ally if anyone is interested in selling their used boat.

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