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Jim Heter
147 SW Jefferson, Sheridan, OR 97378

Thanks for your interest in my new PakYak design. Look for these web pages to be expanded throughout January and February of 1999 as the plans are refined.

Bob Hicks edited my original letter when he printed it in MAIB and ended up calling it a PakBoat, but my name for it is PakYak. The one you saw a picture of in MAIB is my latest design and the only one of its kind so far.

About ten years ago Bob and I paddled around a pond near his home in two of my previous model, and he took some pictures and wrote an article about it, so we have some history together. Those were 10’ boats that folded to about 2˝ feet.

I designed the new one because I had a new idea for folding that packs up even smaller than before. It is a 12’ boat that folds to about 25" x 15" x 7", nice back-pack size. (And that includes the paddles. Sevylor was nice enough to come out with a double-bladed paddle that breaks down to 2' lengths just when I needed it.)

The unique thing about my PakYaks is that the frame really folds, instead of coming apart in a lot of pieces like most of the others. (I made my very first folding boat the "old" way, from pictures of a Klepper frame, and found out a little sand or salt can bind up sleeve joints, and fumbling through a pile of loose stringers for the right piece can be a nuisance too, so ever since I've tried to minimize that in my designs.)

My new frame is made of Baltic birch plywood and aluminum angle bar. The skin is nylon canvas. The pictures will give you a better idea of what it looks like. Further contstruction details are here.

Then you can tell me what your interest is. Let me know if you want plans to build your own, or if you want me to build one for you, and we'll work something out.

If you want to know more about the older models, let me know. They don't fold quite as small, but they can set up a little quicker because the frame stays inside the skin.

This is me with the PakYak on my back. The pack cover is also the spray skirt. The skin serves as padding so the frame isn’t right against my back. A fanny pack is clipped on at the bottom as a waist band, and can stay clipped to the skirt when set up so I have quick access to its contents (including two water bottles, you can see the white top of one below my elbow).

In the picture below I’m beginning to set it up, inserting the frame in the skin. All the joints are hinged, so no preliminary assembly is needed.

Below the set-up is just about complete. You can see how the quarterdeck unzips, handy for “cargo”.

Overall the boat is about 12' long; the cockpit is 4'.