Manufacture of folding boats
All of Nautiraid’s kayaks, canoes and coracles can be dismantled.
It only takes between 15 and 30 minutes to take a kayak out of its bag and assemble it. This great feature means transport (in cars and on public transport) and storage (on sailing boats, in apartments, etc.) is much easier. Nautiraid kayaks offer the same hydrodynamic characteristics as rigid boats while being as practical as an inflatable.
The wooden frames are all made from French ash wood. The ribs, stem and stern are cut from boat-quality Finnish birch plywood. Ash is used from the start of the building process due to its tension which means it can be bent and return to its original shape. This wood is used for archery bows and tool handles, and was previously used for tennis rackets and skis. Ash is a fibrous wood that bends well and is hard to break. When it does break, it is not a clean break but a long break, meaning it can be easily repaired with lashing when necessary. Our wood is cut high up in the Alps, then air-dried before being machined. As such, we think this frame is the most suitable for expedition kayaks because when you are far from civilisation you can always get by with a wooden frame.
Wood floats so a wooden frame helps keep the kayak afloat if it fills with water. The ash parts receive three coats of dipped varnish. The birch plywood parts get four. The Finnish birch plywood we use for ribs is 12mm thick and comprises 9 cross-laminated layers. This wood’s durability is illustrated by the number of years a wooden frame can be used for. Sometimes we put a new skin on frames that are already 25 years old!
Wooden frames need little maintenance as they are mostly protected by the skin. When, from time to time, a part needs replacing, it is generally the centre keel or exposed cockpit parts. A simple light sanding and one or two coats of varnish, and your frame is protected for another few years.
The metal hinges and joints are made from stainless steel and can withstand seawater without corroding.However, we recommend rinsing your boat under fresh water before repacking it. Always store it in a dry, well ventilated area to avoid mould and rotting. Varnished wood has a particular style that adds charm to the wooden frames.
All Nautiraid single- and two-seater models with wooden frames pack into 2 carry bags (except Raid I 416 – 1 bag).
Nautiraid kayaks’ aluminium frames help reduce both cost and weight.
Changing to an aluminium frame for the same model saves about 1kg for a single-seater kayak and 2kg for a two-seater.
All of Nautiraid’s aluminium frame folding kayaks fit into one single carry bag. The aluminium alloy tube frames of Nautiraid folding kayaks are protected with a minimum 15μ anodised layer. The frame tubes are 20mm in diameter and 90cm long (maximum). The tubes fit into each other like tent poles and are held together by internal elastic, to form sets of predetermined lengths. The solidity of aluminium tubes may be greater than birch rods but once a tube gets bent it must be replaced – it cannot be repaired.
And don’t think that an aluminium frame requires less care than a wooden one. In fact, to avoid corrosion you must regularly oil the connecting parts and disassemble the frame. It takes a bit more time to assemble an aluminium frame folding kayak because the frame is not preassembled like Nautiraid’s wooden frames.
However, it can be easier to understand how to assemble it the first time. The Nautiraid folding kayak’s ribs are made of 12mm thick polypropylene. They are more resistant and less prone to distortion than polyethylene ones at temperatures over 20°C.
Nautiraid offers a wide range of customization.
The kayaks and canoes in basic specs feature a 1100 Dtex PVC hull from German performance fabric manufacturer Mehler. For intense use (expedition/paddling in the tropics and through icy landscapes) you can chose on Naraks, Karan and Grand Raid an Orca Hypalon (CSR) hull by Pennel. Hypalon provides better resistance to tear than PVC and greater dimensional stability (no shrinking in negative temperatures). The deck can also be customized with paddle pockets for attaching emergency paddles, longitudinal carry handles, two round access hatches, lateral stowage strips. You can chose the options you like with our kayak customizer.
The Stabilair is a unique feature of Nautiraid kayaks. The two inflatable bladders sit alongside the kayak.
Other brands of folding kayaks use these inflatable bladders to tension their kayaks, but put them inside. With Nautiraid, because they sit outside this does not affect the structure if they are pierced.
Stabilairs have three functions: they boost the kayak’s rigidity, minimise rolling and the risk of capsizing, and make the kayak unsinkable. They are an important safety feature. The polyurethane internal bladders inflate in only a few minutes and are easy to replace.
The Expeditions seats with inflatable backrest are definitely very comfortable. Because Expedition sometimes means long hours spent sitting down paddling. They can be purchased (for an extra cost) to boost the comfort of standard seats.
The inflatable seats also make the folding kayak even more unsinkable when filled with water. When deflated, they take up almost no space in the carry bags.
All our kayaks come with a 5-year warranty.