About this project
Pakayak is the ultimate packable hardshell kayak. Go where you want, store it where you want, carry it on your back, take it in your convertible and paddle it just like a traditional hard-shell kayak. And, it's made in the U.S.A.
We think that kayaking is one of the best things you can do in your free time. Six inches off the shore and you are on an instant vacation. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to get your kayak, in most of the places that we live, to and from the water without a pickup truck, or a roof rack and a buddy to help you carry and lift your kayak. For those who live in the cities, it can be next to impossible.
So, we've developed the Pakayak. The Pakayak Bluefin 14 is a hard-shell 14-foot kayak that nests inside itself to 3 1/2 feet and packs into a bag.
We want you to enjoy a lifetime of worry-free paddling so we designed the Pakayak to exceed all of our requirements for strength, watertightness and product life. Each of the sections of our Pakayak connect with a tongue and groove interlocking shape that compresses a silicone gasket to insure a watertight, dry boat. Each tongue and groove intersection acts as a bulkhead to increase the hull strength at the connecting seams. The sections are held together by our patented clamping system.
Each clamp is rated to hold over 500 lbf (pounds of force) providing 2500 lbf of force holding the Pakayak together at the cockpit and 2000 lbf of force at the other sections. The silicone gasket is designed for years and years of use but in the event that it were to be torn or damaged, it can be replaced on the spot with no tools or glue.
These show our bomb-proof tongue and groove mating section and silicone seal. See how the clamp will look and work in the illustration video below. For a full description, please see the FAQs.
To show you in real time that the Pakayak goes together in under 5 minutes, here's a very rough, uncut, actual speed video of the assembly.
Below is a video showing the watertight bulkheads in a prototype.
See how our clamps pull the mating surfaces together to form a watertight seal then lock into place. Our latch has a safety catch to ensure that it cannot release unless you unlock it.
"During my 6+ hour test on a river in Connecticut and on the choppy Long Island Sound, I kept experiencing two opposing disbeliefs: When I saw the kayak all packed up, I couldn’t believe the unit becomes an efficient, floating boat. Conversely, when I was on the water, I couldn’t believe I was paddling in a sectional kayak. The boat is sleek, at two feet wide, and it is exceptionally fast. It glided through calm river waters with ease and accelerated on a dime. Though narrow, it’s also stable." GearJunkie
"At exactly two feet wide, the Blue Fin is plenty stable through wind-blown chop and the occasional rogue wave. It does not feel tippy, and I felt confident just sitting idle in it… As it is now, if you want a boat that combines portability with durability, the Pakayak is right for you." Outside Magazine
"...this could be a whole new class of kayaks that every brand comes out with and leaves us wondering how it didn’t happen sooner." theupscout.com
"There are many options in inflatable and foldable kayak designs. While functional, none of them can perform like a real hard-side touring kayak and that’s the main draw for the Pakayak Bluefin 14, which combines comfortable touring performance with an impressively portable modular design." coolthings.com
"The days of you having to tow your kayak on your car roof or hauling it in a cargo trailer are over, thanks to this kayak, which combines comfortable touring performance with an amazing portable modular design." technabob.com
Carry on your back to remote locations.
Check it on a plane and take it on vacation.
Store it in your condo, apartment or dorm room.
Pakayak tracks, handles, paddles and performs just like the best hard-shell kayaks on the market today. Check it out! The first video is in Florida and the second is in southern California.
Put on a spray skirt and roll away!
Below are the dimensions and details of the Pakayak Bluefin 14.
To help bring this ingenious product to the market, please support us by choosing one of the rewards on the right. Or, you can choose to skip the reward and just straight-up back us. Either way we are incredibly grateful for your support! Join in the evolution of kayaking!
Note: All Pakayaks will have a limited edition "I Backed" in the logo on the bow. Plus, as a special value for our supporters, all of our Kickstarter Pakayaks come with our “Mac Daddy Bag”, which will retail at $250! It will be made for us by a U.S. luggage manufacturer and will be the one bag that does it all! It will have:
- large wheels to handle most any terrain
- backpack straps to take it anywhere you can’t roll it to
- a sling strap to help get it in and out of the car
- and, will easily fit in your Pakayak while your paddling!
Most importantly, it lets you take the Pakayak AND your 4-piece paddle in one bag! Check out the bag in the photos and you’ll get the idea!
*Please Note - Additional fees will apply for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii. International shipments may incur extra fees depending on your location.
Team Pakayak is comprised of four partners: Doug Mackro, Zinelle Mackro, Phil Miller and Day Moore.
We each bring a completely different perspective and set of experiences to round out our company quite nicely. Doug is the inventor and designer, Zinelle creates the graphics and website, Phil manages operations and the manufacturing process, and Day creates the buzz, builds the carry bags and keeps growing our connections.
Doug and Zinelle embarked on this exciting endeavor 4 1/2 years ago. Day and Phil joined 2 1/2 years ago and we have all given our blood, sweat and tears to see Pakayak come to fruition. We four as a team are 100% dedicated to overcome any and all obstacles that may arise and bring this product to market.
Then, there are all the people who have helped us immensely along the way, giving countless hours of their time to help us get this far, we list them below. Now, you can help us finish the process and bring this product to market!
Check it out! Day is following a dolphin!
Give-back, eco-friendly and community are the three threads woven through the fabric of our company and the very framework of our individual lifestyles.
To that end, each Pakayak model will be named after an endangered marine animal with a percentage of profit from each sale (after Kickstarter) going toward efforts to save that particular species. Each Pakayak owner will receive information regarding the status of the named species and a way to monitor its progress. We would also like to provide updates on the status of the condition of our oceans to each Pakayak owner in the hope that awareness will foster stewardship. We also intend to join the member companies of 1% For The Planet in the future.
At Pakayak, we believe strongly in community. We have worked with a local high school's engineering department to design boat parts and accessories. In the future, we would like to work with local associations and organizations to bolster overall appreciation of nature and, more specifically, saving and cleaning our waters.
We need your help to bring Pakayak to the market. Check out the chart to see what funds are needed. Below the chart, you will find a more detailed breakdown of those costs.
What your backing will allow us to do
Your support will help us do so many things…Take a look! With such a unique product comes custom “everything” and we are constantly working to improve all the components to offer you you the best product we can.
You will be helping with:
There are many custom components for the Pakayak that have recently been improved and redesigned. As with any new design, these new components must be prototyped, evaluated and tested prior to ordering production tooling. These are the prototypes we still need:
- Clamps & Keepers - Fifth Iteration. These clamps are much lighter, stronger and easier to operate than all previous models.
- Subplates - These are what we need to attach our clamps to the boat and make it super sturdy.
- Bag/Backpack/Rolling Luggage - Nothing like this exists except the two prototypes that we’ve made in-house.
- Cockpit Pad & Seat Back - Because we want our paddlers comfortable, ditto above…
The molds for each of the 6 parts of our boat have been built, tested, corrected and modified - all funded by the Pakayak team - and additional tooling is still required prior to launching production. This is what we need:
- Foot Braces - Because “factory” foot braces won’t let our Pakayak pack, we have to have them custom made.
- Clamp Production - Because after prototyping is complete, we have to make a LOT of these little suckers for our first order!
- Subplate Production - Ditto! Yep, a LOT of these, too!!
- Cooling Fixtures - These are custom (shocking, we know!) they help to cool down the sections of kayak so that there is no difference between parts. This is crucial to the safety and buoyancy of our kayaks. We need these to make sure all of our parts are exactly the same size every time - today, next week, next year - or they won’t fit together or work right!
- Trim Fixtures - You get the idea…These are dies that make “cutting out” the cockpit and hatches fast, consistent and perfect.
- Gasket Development & Production - Our mating surface is so unique that no gasket currently on the market works, so we need to make our own.
Initial Start Up Costs, Materials + Inventory
- Material Inventory - You would not believe how much the special resin costs! We have to buy all of the colors six (6) weeks before production can begin and they are all custom colors, made just for us. That means we have to order and pay for a lot of it before we can make our first boat.
- Component Parts Inventory - We have to maintain an inventory for all the decking, rigging, bells and whistles, which also must be pre-ordered.
- Production Run - Roto-molding, cooling, assembly, and outfitting costs are huge on this first run.
Cost of Kickstarter Rewards, Including Pakayaks
Believe it or not, it costs a lot to produce all of the products we offer on Kickstarter. Check out the pie chart above to see just how much of the total this comes to.
* Special Note: Please keep in mind that the team has already self-funded the purchase of the six production molds, modifications and adjustments to those molds and all other costs to date.
Here's how we got this far.
Here's how we see our future once we get funded.
This team of four is certainly not shy on ideas. Ever ruminating on what's next, we are all certain of one thing...We want to make the Bluefin 14 simply the best kayak on the market, packable or not. Next on our agenda is to make swappable hobby components for fishing, diving, or so that you can bring Fido along. We also have plans for a section that turns the Bluefin 14 into a tandem kayak, plus some complimentary accessories for enhancing your kayaking experience.
To all the wonderful people who have helped us along the way: Hutch Perry - our personal angel. Cort Peterson - expert paddler, supporter, SolidWorks wizard and zen master. Kim Jacobson - Instagram goddess, supporter, do-er! Amazing significant others, James Fairweather and Joanne LoPresti Miller. Our amazing Director Scott Goodman and supreme Videographers, Videophotog Productions (Woooot! Dan and Cameron Foard and team: Bob Blomberg, Dan Casey, Ashley Crouch, and special thanks to Stuart Arnold for letting us film on his beautiful property). Guy Cazort, Des McEttrick, Michael Klein, Chris Cubeta, Al Guk, Jim Buys and engineering class at Avon High School, Jess Pagonis, Frank Duffin, Ann Nyberg, Tanja Moriarty, Missy Schlag, Erik Hesselberg, Mark Mirko, Christina DeFranco and team, UHART, Dassault Systems, Chelsea Caplan (for her incredible patience), Anna Rubino, Jasmine, Justin and Jason - for making us look good, Alison Grieveson, Cheryl Octavic at the Little City Campground, the manager at Branford Holiday Inn - for letting us test parts in their pool during the winter in CT, Andy Buzzi - for writing a song for us.
Foot Note: In case you missed it, below is the voice-over for our project video:
The four of us have been working on this project for 2 and a half years.
The idea for Pakayak was born out of the desire for a packable performance kayak. We wanted to build a rigid boat that was portable, light and easy to store, yet long, sleek, and fast, making its performance indistinguishable from a traditional high-end kayak.
Pakayak is the ultimate packable kayak. It’s a boat without the limitations of other portable boats like the folding models or the inflatables. While it is designed for serious adventurers, hardcore travelers and touring enthusiasts, beginners will enjoy its stability and comfort, too.
Here is how it works:
The hull design retains the paddling characteristics of a traditional kayak while allowing its 6 sections to disconnect easily and then pack inside one another to create an easily managed 3 ½ foot bundle. The boat can be assembled in under 5 minutes, anywhere, with no tools and no loose parts, making it the fastest assembly on the market.
Pakayak utilizes a resin specifically formulated for the kayak industry in the construction of our hulls. It is lighter, stronger and more UV-resistant than other resins.
The clamps and seals are constructed using techniques and materials common in scuba, underwater photography, and the aerospace industries. The interconnecting sections are not just water-tight, they actually act as reinforcing bulkheads, making the hull stronger and even more rigid than a conventional kayak.
In addition to the quality and craftsmanship of the construction, our mission is to help preserve the waters we paddle in. Our first model, The Bluefin, a 14-foot touring kayak, is named after the endangered Bluefin tuna. A portion of the revenue will go to programs to help sustain our marine ecosystems. Every aspect of our company from manufacturing to shipping is designed to have minimum impact on the environment. All manufacturing, assembly, and distribution, occurs at one facility to minimize our carbon footprint. Our shipping materials are minimalistic and use recycled products.
Imagine… a 14-foot rigid hull, high performance kayak that you can take with you anywhere! This boat can fit in your apartment, be checked on an airplane, stored in your closet, fit in an elevator, be loaded in your car and can be easily handled solo.
Lastly, we have tested our prototypes and are currently making improvements to our molds. Our manufacturing processes and supply chains are in place. We are prepared to start our manufacturing and, with your help, make Pakayak the best kayak on the market.
Our goal is to raise the additional funds we need to launch Pakayak. By contributing to this campaign, you will not only be supporting an American-made brand, but you will also be helping to protect the environment.
Thank you for all of your love and support, from the entire team.
Risks and challenges
The design is complete, the prototypes have been tested and our next steps include prototyping new clamps, creating cooling fixtures (which hold the pieces in shape while they "cure"), create trim fixtures, order gasket tooling and finally, produce the boats. We have spent countless hours with a designer and many conversations with our mold manufacturer, our roto-molder and our clamp manufacturer. These three companies are tops in their field and have a long relationship of working together. Each of them has been in the industry for over 45 years.
We are aware that there may be unforeseen difficulties that arise at the time we begin production. While we have made every effort to negate those issues, we want to ensure that your Pakayak assembles and performs without a hitch. We are confident that if any obstacles present themselves, the accumulated knowledge of this team and our commitment to see it through will overcome any bumps that might come along.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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