Project image
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$9,608
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
38
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 31 2013 11:59 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated July 31, 2013

Kokopelli Packrafts

Explore the great outdoors in a 5 pound inflatable raft, small enough to carry in a stuff sack, durable enough to handle whitewater.

Kokopelli Packrafts

Explore the great outdoors in a 5 pound inflatable raft, small enough to carry in a stuff sack, durable enough to handle whitewater.

$9,608
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
38
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 31 2013 11:59 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated July 31, 2013

About

Our vision is to create the opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to explore nature in its most serene settings. We set to accomplish this goal by bringing awareness to the rapidly growing sport of packrafting, and by creating 3 unique high quality packrafts at an economical value.

History - We are three friends that grew up together in high school and after years apart during college and our early professional years, we have reunited in Denver, CO. We were introduced to packrafting through a neighbor and quickly fell in love with the sport. We have started to design and test multiple different styles of packrafts using our Miller Weldmaster hot air welder out of our garage. Every boat produced out of this project will be made by hand, by the three of us out of our buddies' garage.

With that said, quality and durability will be of utmost focus throughout the project.

Design Process - Our story begins over 6 months ago when we received our Miller Weldmaster hot air welder. We began working to design and create prototypes that we would later test during peak runoff  here in Colorado. After many long-nights, discussions, and drawings we came to a conclusion of a designing a split-tailed packraft which would enhance the tracking ability (how straight the boat moves through water while paddling) and maneuverability in flat water settings. The first sketches of our newly envisioned packraft are shown below.

Initial Packraft Drawings
Initial Packraft Drawings

We took this initial concept and began producing prototypes. Approximately eight weeks later we tested our first boat at La Jolla Cove outside of San Diego, CA. Our team was ecstatic. The boat performed well but we knew we had work to do.

La Jolla Cove, San Diego, CA   3-9-2013
La Jolla Cove, San Diego, CA 3-9-2013

Our first challenge was that the weld between the back-center pontoon and the side pontoons proved too difficult to replicate at the quality which we required. Therefore, we went back to the drawing board. After additional long nights of discussing possible solutions, we made the decision to take the front half of the packraft, create a mirror image, and use it as the back half of the packraft. We then built three prototypes of the new design, each a different length in size, from our smallest 5' long 'Hornet' to our two person canoe style 12' long 'Twain'.

The Hornet, the Renegade, and the Twain
The Hornet, the Renegade, and the Twain

After many series of tests including small fast water streams, larger calmer rivers, and flat water lakes, we realized the smaller, single-person packrafts did not track as well as our original split-tail design. The two-person 'Twain' performed very well on lakes due to the weight of an additional paddler and its longer profile in the water. We were pleased with the 'Twain', but we continued our design quest to produce a high performance single-person packraft.

We are currently in the process of testing new designs that will help our two smaller packrafts track and maneuver well in flat water settings. Our most recent prototype retains the front end design, and flips the back end of the boat upside-down (previously upward sloping) allowing the tail to protrude approximately 4" into the water creating a natural skeg to help tracking and maneuverability. We envision our 'Hornet' and 'Renegade' to include this downward facing tail-end (see below).

New Design with downward facing Skeg
New Design with downward facing Skeg

As mentioned, it is our goal to design and create three unique packrafts and build each by hand. Below is a description of each packraft that will correspond to the rewards offered as part of our Kickstarter project.

The Hornet - will be our smallest packraft will be less than five pounds, and can be rolled up into a sleeping pad size stuff sack. It will be useful for activities such as fishing alpine lakes and river crossings.

The Renegade - is our medium sized packraft and will be a slightly larger than the Hornet. It will be approximately 5.5 pounds and will have approximately a 10" longer footprint. In addition to handling river crossings, and being a great fishing platform in backcountry settings, this boat will also be able to handle Class II and III whitewater.

The Twain - our third boat will be a two-person inflatable canoe packraft. It will be great for lake fishing as well as Class I and II river travel. This boat will be approximately 10 pounds in weight and would fit into a day backpack. The Twain will be approximately 12' in length and will fit two paddlers in comfort.

*Each packraft reward (Hornet, Renegade, and Twain) will include an attachable kayak seat, a stuff sack that doubles as a dry bag while you're on the water, and an inflation bag. Paddles are not included.

Internal Storage & Spray Deck: We are currently working on an internal storage compartment within the tubes of the packraft. This will eliminate the need to store your pack on the front of the packraft. This will lower the boats overall center of gravity which will make it much more stable in whitewater rapids. We are working with some design folks and are confident we will be able to achieve the goal of this feature in our Hornet and Renegade rewards.

We are also currently working on designing a spray deck for the packrafts. However, we will likely not complete the spray deck for the 1st generation packrafts. Once we complete the spray deck, any backer can send us their packraft and we can install the spray deck (with the purchase of a spray deck) and send the packraft back.

Note: We have built prototypes of each boat, however, these will not be the final packrafts as we are in the process of minor design changes to each of the three boats. All of the dimensions and weights provided above are approximate and may change slightly throughout our final design process. The changes will not be significant and are being made to improve the overall performance of the boats.

In addition to the packrafts, we will be offering smaller rewards that include a trucker hat we designed with our company logo, a collapsible dog bowl with the Kokopelli Raft Co. logo, and a dry bag with the company name and logo created from the same material as the boats.

Timing- We set to fulfill all of our rewards within 120 days of our funding date. We have limited the number of packraft rewards due to the fact that we are producing each boat, gluing each valve, cutting every piece of material, and welding all seams by hand. We will ship the packrafts as they are completed, on a first come, first serve basis (in order of donation date). We expect to have all boats shipped by November 30th (in time for Christmas).

Risks and challenges

Procurement - We have procured a number of the supplies we will need to accomplish our goal. However, to produce a sizable number of boats we will need to order several large rolls of material. Our current supplier estimates lead times, however, these cannot be guaranteed. A delay in procuring key inputs could delay our production schedule.

Production Schedule - We have built several prototypes to date, however, we plan to approach the production of our three packrafts in an assembly line style process. This will help create efficiencies as well as improve quality. Since we have not produced a large number of packrafts in this manner, we only have estimates of the time it will take to complete a batch of packrafts. Additionally, this is our passion on the weekends/weekenights, as we are each committed to full time jobs Monday through Friday. We have budgeted a safety margin of time to complete the boats which should help minimize the risk of an extended delivery time.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Get your shade on with a Kokopelli Raft Co. Trucker Hat.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Receive a Kokopelli Raft Co. dog bowl. Keep your dog hydrated with an easy to pack collapsible bowl.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Take your pick of a yellow or teal Kokopelli Raft Co. dry bag. Color requests will be taken on a first come first serve basis while supplies last.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Kokopelli combo Swag: Chose any two of the trucker hat, dry bag, and dog bowl.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Get 8 hours of training on packrafting basics. This reward will be offered for August 24-25 20 miles South of Denver, CO. The participant will be responsible for travel costs to the site of the training. We will provide a packraft and paddle for each participant. We will meet at 11 AM on Saturday morning at Sedalia, CO. We will provide basic instructions on packrafting safety. This will be followed by 3 hours of on the water training. We will provide dinner Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning. Each participant should bring appropriate camping gear for Saturday night. Sunday morning will include additional on the water paddling practice. The class will dismiss at 11 AM on Sunday morning.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Get 8 hours of training on packrafting basics. This reward will be offered for September 14-15 miles South of Denver, CO. The participant will be responsible for travel costs to the site of the training. We will provide a packraft and paddle for each participant. We will meet at 11 AM on Saturday morning at Sedalia, CO. We will provide basic instructions on packrafting safety. This will be followed by 3 hours of on the water training. We will provide dinner Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning. Each participant should bring appropriate camping gear for Saturday night. Sunday morning will include additional on the water paddling practice. The class will dismiss at 11 AM on Sunday morning.

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    Pledge $475 or more About $475

    The Hornet ("aka the Renegades little brother"); lighter, quicker and mom's favorite. At approximately 4.8 lbs, this packraft that doesn't have all the room of the Renegade but better satisfies the hunger of a backpacker. D-rings for gear and a carrying bag that doubles as a dry bag make it a pack easy essential to your outdoor experience.

    Includes seat, inflatable floor, and inflation bag.

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    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    First edition Renegade Boat. Are you ready to test the waters? The Renegade is a 5.5 lb boat that comes with a waterproof bag to act as a carrying case and waterproof bag. D-rings strategically placed to make sure your gear stays with you. It's like exploring the outdoors in a Cadillac but paying for a Pinto.

    Includes seat, inflatable floor, and inflation bag.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    The Twain ("aka the Double Double") Kokopelli's two person raft allows you and your pal, gal or cooler of your preferred beverage to enjoy getting out on the water. A 12' boat that weighs only 9.5 lbs is the ultimate for getting out on the water with 2 people. The boat comes with multiple D-rings to keep your gear strapped in as well as carrying bag that doubles as a dry bag while you're out on the water. This boat tracks much better on flat water than its two counterparts making it a great option for getting out on those hard to reach wilderness lakes.

    Includes 2 seats, 2 inflatable floors, and a blow up bag.

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Funding period

- (26 days)