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Thread: Alpacka Forager

  1. #1
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    Default Alpacka Forager

    Don't see much about the Alpacka Forager. 43" wide and over 10 feet long with oversize tubes and rated for 500 pounds of load with two paddlers. Just under 14 pounds. Made of fancy Vectran and comes standard with the in tube storage system. 2018 model has more lift in the bow but I found a Canadian dealer with a killer deal on a 2017 model so she is on the way. Made in America so no Canadian duty and so all in all pretty reasonable. I'll let you know how it works out.

    The owners of Alpacka built it as a hunting boat.

    https://www.alpackaraft.com/rafting/...ting-packraft/

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by North61 View Post
    Don't see much about the Alpacka Forager. 43" wide and over 10 feet long with oversize tubes and rated for 500 pounds of load with two paddlers. Just under 14 pounds. Made of fancy Vectran and comes standard with the in tube storage system. 2018 model has more lift in the bow but I found a Canadian dealer with a killer deal on a 2017 model so she is on the way. Made in America so no Canadian duty and so all in all pretty reasonable. I'll let you know how it works out.

    The owners of Alpacka built it as a hunting boat.

    https://www.alpackaraft.com/rafting/...ting-packraft/
    Great post! I’ve not heard of this boat. Will have to look at fabric specs; Sherrie makes a great boat!

    Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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  3. #3

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    I have one right now, was supposed to come to kodiak for a packraft bear hunt but didn't end up taking it.......testing it in the coming weeks!!

    Really like the layout and features....just need to actually use it and see whats up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I have one right now.......testing it in the coming weeks!!
    Let us know how it goes. I'll have mine in a week or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Great post! I’ve not heard of this boat. Will have to look at fabric specs; Sherrie makes a great boat!

    Mike
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vectran

  6. #6

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    This is the boat at the top of my list. The 400d Vectran version is closer to 13# (13# 3 oz. t be exact) and the 420d Nylon version is 13# 7 oz. I haven't decided if the Vectran is worth the extra $ ($2,250 vs. $1,595). I think the Vectran is supposed to be tougher?

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    I copied this from the net. Vectran is similar to Kevlar but a bit stretchier.


    BELTING CORD COMPARISON:

    KEVLAR® VS. VECTRAN®
    KEVLAR is family of aramid fibers having a unique combination of high strength, high modulus, toughness and
    thermal stability. These properties offer the means to increase strength and reduce the weight of reinforcement cord.
    VECTRAN is a highperformance multifilament yarn spun from VECTRA liquid crystal polymer (LCP). VECTRAN can
    also be characterized as a high strength, high modulus, and thermally stable cord with the additional benefit of
    excellent flexibility.


    KEVLAR has been used as a reinforcing material since the late 60's. VECTRAN became commercially available in
    the early 90's. When comparing the physical properties of these two materials, one can see that the break strength
    and elongation are comparable. Therefore, both materials can be used in similar applications, but one cord might be better than the other when specific properties or cost considerations are a factor.Within the standard operating temperature range of (-30 to 185°F) for urethane belting, both materials have no change in strength. If an application has operating temperatures above the practical range for urethane, silicone
    materials are an option. Silicone can be used in applications up to 400°F. This higher temperature range makes the
    cord selection critical.

    Above 200°F the mechanical properties of both materials change differently, so selecting the
    best cord for these higher temperatures is application specific.Another factor when considering cord selection is raw material cost. In general, KEVLAR is less expensive than
    VECTRAN. Even though VECTRAN is more expensive, it typically can be used without increasing the belt cost
    beyond practical limits. The major difference between KEVLAR and VECTRAN is flexibility. VECTRAN is on the order
    of 8 to 14 times more flexible depending on the style of KEVLAR.

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    We had my friends new 2018 Forager out on the Yukon the other day.
    Couldn't imagine using it for a Moose with 2 guys, but certainly a good Caribou rig. You'd want another raft along if on a Moose hunt.
    You'll be stoked on the Vectran, did you get the 200D or the 400D?
    We had 2 Vectran Gnarwhals on a 21 day trip last summer, and the Vectran really holds up, and makes for a very stiff hull. They were shrugging of some Limestone hits that left some marks on the PU Llamas. Definitely sold me on the advantages of Vectran over PU. So much so I ordered a new Gnarwhal in Vectran.
    Vectran PRs make great beds too!
    P1050728.JPG
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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    It's 400D Vectran. 20% off for the 2017

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    One forager couldn't pack a moose but I wonder if two could with one paddler in each. I figure it's equivalent to a PR49 so I think two could do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by North61 View Post
    One forager couldn't pack a moose but I wonder if two could with one paddler in each. I figure it's equivalent to a PR49 so I think two could do it.
    I reckon that would work, as long as drafting too much water wasn't an issue. The Forager would need some extra D rings to enable slinging some cargo nets to keep the weight off the floor. They aren't particularly wide either, so could get a bit tippy.
    Not an issue for Boo or Sheep though.
    That 400D is going to give you one tough boat.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  12. #12

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    I'm cautious about Vectran under the stresses applied to a fabric under heavy loads and speed. I do love the lightweight properties of these boats, and i do wish some impact studies were provided under 500+ lb loads to evaluate tear and puncture performance. I've learned there is a tipping point to the lightweight vs strength and durability argument as it relates to heavy load haulers and sketchy river scenarios.

    Look forward to your field trials!

    lb
    https://pristineventures.com

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    That's a really good point (no pun intended) re. performance with heavy weight. Alpacka does state that the Vectran, because of its rigidity, its more susceptible to punctures. I can totally see this, as with their new valve, you can get their tubes really rigid. Not an issue with normal PR loads.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I've not been a fan of the small inflatables as all-purpose hunting rigs, but it's clear that they occupy a solid niche that's outside my expertise.

    The only fabric I've seen used on the small boats that I would trust for puncture resistance under heavy loads is the Dyneema Are is using in their BAKRaft series. The stuff is almost bulletproof. Combined with the inner bladder system, which allows for field repairs with little more than a roll of urethane tape, it's hard to beat. The larger of the two boats is 10' long and weighs 10.5 lbs. You could easily stuff one in the bottom of your pack.

    Great discussion!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  15. #15

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    Is the 400 Vectran worth the extra $655 to save 4 oz. over the 420 denier nylon? I'm thinking not but would like to hear folks thoughts and opinions.

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    I went Vectran only because I got 500.00 off of a 2017 model at about the same price as a nylon 2018. I think it might be more prone to puncture (easy to repair) but less prone to tearing (harder to repair) than the nylon.

    From Packboat:
    Vectran® is a high-performance multifilament yarn spun from liquid crystal polymer (LCP), which is five times stronger than steel and ten times stronger than aluminum. In a packraft, Vectran® fabrics provide exceptional tear strength and rigidity (due to its lower stretch) than comparable Nylon deniers, which results in a stiffer higher performance hull. While a Vectran® hull is much more resistant to tears than Nylon, it has a lower urethane bond strength and its higher rigidity makes it slightly more prone to punctures. Vectran® is extremely challenging to work with and we have spent years developing techniques to incorporate this advanced fabric into packraft manufacturing. We offer Vectran® in the following weights:

    • 400-denier Vectran® – Our 400-denier Vectran® is the burliest tube fabric in our packraft lineup, but its also significantly heavier and bulkier than our other fabrics. It is a great option if you are looking for the toughest boat possible where weight and bulk are not significant considerations.

    Anyway I'll give it a go. I am too old to go down crazy white water and will likely use this little boat on fairly easy but hard to access runs. Still hoping to run into a heavier legend or x-stream on the second hand market but they just don't see a lot of resale.

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the come-back North61. Lots of pluses and minuses to consider when trying to select a boat......

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    Stu, IMO, unless you get a smoking deal on the Vectran, like North61 did, save your shekels and get the PU fabric.
    The PU is plenty tough enough, and the only really advantage is that you can get the Vectran hull very rigid, which does have advantages in whitewater situations.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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    I'd agree: Id go with the nylon fabric if buying a 2018. If I like the Forager I might just do that to have a fleet of two to manage a moose.

  20. #20

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    Thanks for the advise. I'm probably not going to pull the trigger until the fall. Maybe get a close-out deal.

    Or maybe something even better comes on the market. If Aire came out with something in Dyneema in a more suitable configuration it would be worth a hard look.

    I'll probably change my mind on what boat at least a dozen times between now and then, lol.

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