Most Recent Reviews
My only complaint was the seat; the Tsunami seats are exceptionally comfortable. I called customer service at Eddyline to determine seat options; very limited, none with adequate back support. However, they did explain I could remove the stock seat and relocate it and/or possibly replace it. There are six rivets holding the seat on each side with a small amount of epoxy holding the seat to the hull. After removing the rivets I was able to apply a prying pressure by hand and the seat broke loose. I moved it back approximately one inch, drilled three new holes in the support brace in the hull sides and secured it in place with nuts/bolts. I then ordered a seat insert which provides better back support.
Although I'm pleased with the overall quality and handling, the seat is disappointing. Possibly Eddyline will improve on their seats in the future. Frankly I would have been just as well off with the Tsunami which is much less costly, a bit heavier but with an exceptionally comfortable adjustable seat! Sadly it's difficult to know how a kayak will suit you until you've paddled it for several hours; this is not possible unless you find a rental kayak which you are interested in buying.
In conclusion, if back support and comfort is a factor in selecting a kayak, look at sit on tops or a Tsunami. Of course, our age is also a factor.
It's easy to paddle, handles very nicely, is fitted for an optional rudder, seat is extremely comfortable, fit and finish as good as any, and has both very good initial and secondary stability. I plan to also install a KayakSailor 1.4m sailing rig, which I highly recommend as well. Alas I digress, the 145 shares a unique hull design with all the Tsunami models; shallow "V" bottom with hard chines makes these kayaks track well, paddle nicely due to the narrow beam and long waterline. It turns well since you can lean it over with confidence to initiate turns. The three hatches/storage areas are sized to make getting items in and out easily. You can adjust the foot pedals easily too. The seat is a reportedly the leading design in the industry, which we agree.
When selecting a sit-inside kayak, we researched and discussed all aspects with owners, this site and dealers. Fit and comfort are very important, as is handling. Another factor is desired type of paddling(recreational, touring, fishing). The 145 is well suited for those less experienced or experts. We are pleased with the quality and design of the 145 and 135.
The major attraction to a Folbot folding kayak is primarily storage and portability; it serves this function well. Putting it together takes some practice, the instructions are very easy to follow. Repacking is a bit more of a challenge; again, practice makes perfect. We have the optional comfort seats and rudder. Both work well and aid both in comfort and handling. We also use 250cm kayak paddles which work very well; stock paddles are not as good. Solo paddling is possible with appropriate ballast up front. Folbot sells a solo middle seat, but we have not found this necessary.
Performance is basically a matter of paddling experience and coordination paddling tandem. This is where the rudder makes a difference; if you're not coordinating your paddling the rudder can keep you on track. The boat tracks well and will handle open water confidently. The decking and spary rail(cockpit coaming) does a good job of keeping you dry. At 62 pounds two can carry it fairly easily, although we have a Trekker cart for longer distances. You are limited to waters which are free of sharp rocks or oyster beds, even submerged tree branches can cause damage. For that reason, we avoid waters with these possible hazards.
For slow moving rivers, lakes, bayous and bays, it's great. The main trade-off is assembling/disassembling for transport takes time. Otherwise there are few boats that provide the stability and comfort in a tandem configuration for the price. Folbot has very good customer services for new and used boats; this is rare and to be considered.
The seat is comfortable and adjustable, although the line/cleat locking system takes some getting use to. I purchased a KayakSailor 1.6m sailing rig which is very high quality and very user friendly. I also purchased a Sealect kayak rudder, also high quality. I did have to add a separate gudgeon, modify the location of the control pedals and enlarge the rudder blade to obtain proper control for sailing. Once completed I tested it on a fairly windy day, it sailed fine. I did have to move the sailing rig forward to obtain proper balance, now it's much better. I can now sail or paddle. I find it moves easily paddling and I can achieve a nice speed without working hard. When the wind pipes up, I raise the sail and off we go. The boat handles waves and chop very well, even though the cockpit is large(20X80 inches), I have had no water splash into the boat.
Considering the price I feel this is an excellent kayak. There is enough useable storage space for camping gear with a weight capacity of 450lbs to take an extended trip. If I were going to go in colder weather, I would probably add a spray skirt.
One last comment, Harmony supplies all Perception accessories, and they're not the best quality. The rudder was poorly designed and didn't work correctly. I will say Harmony did refund my purchase price. I also purchased a traveling cover which seems to be decent quality.
Overall I'm quite satisfied with this kayak and would recommend it to anyone. Possibly if you are a more experienced kayaker you might be more interested in a more expensive kayak, but for a novice like myself, it's fine.
Happily, Harmony provided me with a full refund; I returned the system with my comments. I have replaced this system with SeaLect's system.