Sizing up a Boat

There is a lot of speculation and opinion surrounding the correct fit of Feathercrafts and the limits of body and footsize, most of the questions surround the Kahuna, Whisper, Khatsalano and K1 kayaks. People are wondering if they’ll feel comfortable or even fit some of our sleeker kayaks.

Some of the basic parameters we must consider are foot size, leg length, waist and thigh size. Two kayakers will be used as models, Dan is 6 feet and 175 lbs with a shoe sixe of 9.5, and Evan is 6 ft 4″ and 215 lbs with a shoe size if 13.

Is there room for your feet?

Foot size has to be considered when looking at a kayak; you have to have room enough to feel comfortable and be able to control the kayak. Deck height is the perameter we will look at first. Deck height was measured 105 and 115 cm from the seat back, 5 cms from the keel bar.

K1 Deck heights at both distances is 28 cms.

Wisper Deck heights; at 105cm = 27cm, at 115cm = 25cm

Kahuna Deck heights; at 105cm = 27cm, at 115cm = 25cm

Khatsalano Deck Heights; at 105cm =21cm, at 115cm = 19cm

One thing to note is that people with longer legs tend to have larger foot sizes, and hull space tends to decrease with distance from the cockpit. Another fact to note is that Feathercraft now uses a pivot foot pedal system which enables you to utilize the full deck height. The sliding foot track system was mounted on the chine bars, which meant that 4 cms of deck space was lost to bar and foot pedals. A boat using these Pivot foot pedals has considerably more foot-room than the same model with slider pedals. See the following pictures.

The new Pivot Pedals allow for better bracing as well as more foot-room.

Evan can comfortably fit every boat except the Khats, whereas Dan has no problem with any of kayaks.

Slider foot pedals. Old school.

People with a foot size larger than a Size 13 will need to change out of their shoes to go paddling; water shoes or neoprene socks allow for a lot more foot room.

Leg Length

All of out boats can be configured to fit people of varying leg-length (I see some forum debates sprining up here! Prove me wrong, I dare you :D). The slider foot pedals can be unbolted and reversed to add 10cm, and the Pivot pedals can be moved to the very ends of the foot track and still operate with full actuation (I see a need for a few measurements here, check back Monday).
There is only one kayak that has a true limit for people with longer legs; the Klondike in the doubles configuration. People over 6′ 2″ might find that their feet hit the seat in front and will have very little rudder actuation as a result. I recommend a K2 for people with very long legs.

Waist and Thigh Sizing

Perhaps the hardest to quantify and measure

……….will finish soon!………

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