Assembling a Klepper - It's a Snap !
The assembly of your Klepper quickly converts closet-fitting bags into an ocean-going adventure seeking kayak. The assembly record is well under two minutes, owners casually assemble their boats in 10-15 minutes. First-time assembly takes longer as the frame parts take on their natural curves. Disassembly typically takes half of the assembly time.
A unique patented Slide 'n Snap fitting ( see above) makes Klepper Kayaks the easiest and fastest to assemble and disassemble. Every Klepper has between 28-32 of these Slide 'n Snap fittings for fast and easy assembly, even under the most adverse conditions and from the arctic to the tropics.
Klepper Aerius Two-Seater
(27 wooden parts, 2 seats, 2 backrests)
A Klepper Aerius is of simple, mature design, and is very easy to assemble. Looking at a framework below, you can see the general arrangement of parts. The framework will be assembled in two halves, each one is then inserted into the hull. All parts marked with red color will make the front half, all parts marked with blue color will make the rear half of the boat frame. Exception: 7 ribs are used in numerical order (l through 7).
Assembly of Front Half of Frame (7 parts with red markings and rib 1 and 2)
Unfold the keelboard. Insert the wooden bow piece (b) at the twin-headed rivet into the slot at forward end of keelboard. Spread the keelboard fork, using both hands, guiding with both thumbs, to let the bowpiece pins snap into the holes in wood (1). From below, insert the two rods (with red caps) with hooks into fitting (d) of wood bow-piece.
Mounting two gunwales:
Left and right gunwales are interchangeable (f). Near the front end are red letters (Vorne-Bow), flat woodplates face the inside of boat. Lift a gunwale with both hands, insert curved metalfitting into slot on wood-bow (2). Now insert the second gunwale on the other side.
Find deckbar (e) with red cap. On wood bow, lift up metal track, slide red fitting into slot on bow, holding deckbar slightly lifted, then press down metal track.
Take two rods (no color marks) with sliding sleeves, insert the plain female end over the male ends of the rods already in place. Sliding sleeves point toward center of boat. Take crossrib 1, place it on keelboard at #1 location. All numbers on all ribs always have to match keelboard numbers, and be visible together. Snaplocks slide over tongues (click). Take rib 2, place on keelboard in spot #2, engage locks. Fasten locks on side of ribs to gunwales, then press rods into black rodholders, located on bottom side of ribs. Finally, engage tongue at end of deckbar to snaplock on top of rib 2. Front half of frame is assembled.
Assembly of Rear Half of Frame (7 parts with blue markings and rib 6 and 7)
Rear half has parts which look almost
like front parts, but rear half of boat is wide. Connect rear keelboard to rear stern piece, using both hands. Insert 2 blue rods with hooks, attach 2 blue gunwales, add blue deckbar. Place rib 7 in location #7, place rib 6 in location #6. Lock up deckbar on top of rib 6. Remember:
number on rib always matches and faces number on keelboard.
Place Frame into Boathull:
Always look for a favorable level
place, such as grass, a planking pier. Lay out boathull all the way, 17 feet long. Hull is larger than woodwork, thus no forcing needed. Rear end of hull has a metal rudder bracket. Lift up front half (about 15 lbs.) and slide gently (to avoid damaging the air sponson pockets) into front half of hull, watching that sponson pockets rest evenly along the gunwales. Lift up rear half (about 14 lbs.) and slide gently through large cockpit opening towards the rear of boathull, again, watch sponsons. In center of cockpit, wooden parts will overlap. Lift up sections of keelboard (3),and
connect wooden tongue with metal horseshoe. Place your flat hand on the joint, and press down with feeling - then hold down to avoid popping up. Gunwales are hinging inward, connect wood tongue to horseshoe, press outward with flat hand: pull filler tubes of sponsons through wood structure to avoid squeeze.
Now find the last two rods (51 in.), on one end slide female over male sleeve, in the center pull sliding sleeve over short male, and locate head of screw to be visible
, in order to avoid screw from rubbing on boathulls. Finally, place ribs 4, 5 and 3 in that sequence.
Placement of Cockpit Coaming:
Coaming consists of folded wood parts (k, 4) and a metal mastbracket with masthole. Look under mastbracket, see T-fitting. On deck is a grommet, through the grommet you should see a rectangular hole, with a little pulling. Hold coaming at a 90 degree angle
to the boat axis, and insert T-fitting into hole. With feeling, swing coaming (horizontally!) to settle over cockpit of boat. Spread coaming apart. At location of ribs 3 and 4, T-fittings are now pushed through grommets, to rest exactly in top excenter levers. Lock down excenter levers (5).
Swing rear sections of coaming towards cockpit, attach T-fittings to top of rib 5, and join rear-end fitting to hook on top of rib 6. When all T-fittings of coaming are attached, push (press) from above thick edge of deck into groove of coaming starting at the mastbracket and going back on both sides.
Sternpiece of Coaming (Boomerang):
Side with 4 screwheads has to face cockpit. Push one end downward into track, until screwhead settles into notch. Hook up 4 grommets over 4 screwheads, then press other end into track, settle screwhead into notch (6).
Placement of Seats:
As you cannot look under the seat, it is best to place one finger at snaplock, and one at tongue in rear. Line up snaplock, let rear tongue drop into oval hole, and with a tap of hand from front to rear, snaplock should engage (click) and rear end tongue moves under wood. If you use seats with a variable position, you must first assemble the bottom pin into the track and then you insert the front pin by opening the screw again.
Attachment of Backrests:
Front backrest is longer (17 3/4 in.) than rear backrest (16 in.). The endcaps can turn to open and close. Open endcaps slide from front to rear over T-fitting, then close with a quarter turn (5).
Inflation of Air Sponsons:
It is almost always done by mouth, place two fingers on filler tube and squeeze after every puff. Normally 11-12 puffs per sponson should do. Watch center seam on forward deck to achieve even
inflation. Consider inflating first sponson halfway, then second sponson fully, then fill up the first one. See center seam move!
Important for good center positioning of skin: On top of forward deck left and right of masthole are two D-rings, underneath D-rings below deck are two metal hook fittings. These have to engage below the top strut of gunwale. This is most important for sailing to transfer pressure to frame, or D-rings might rip out.
when filling sponsons properly for good shaping of hull be aware that air expands with temperature: in the cold air will shrink in volume, in hot sun air will expand up to 10 %. Mouth inflation can never do harm, inflation with very simple footbellows is done with caution. Never
use compressed air.
Attaching a Rudder Assembly:
A good position for the footpedal is when you are comfortable, knees slightly bent, and the footpedals are nearly vertical. Loosen black starnut on foot pedal, open up moveable jaws on bottom, rubber pad is heel rest and faces operator. Easiest: take out front seat, the keelboard is narrower there, attach to keelboard and slide back towards rib 4, pad could overlap rib 4, now tighten black starnut. Hook up elastic bands. Rudder blade: carry to stern rudder bracket, match up teeth, slide crosspiece into top notch, push rudder pin from above, there is a little catch spring (8). If a rudder pin feels tight, stick it in several times.
Rudder cable: attach hook at rear to holes in crosspiece, run chains through grommets of boomerang (rear of coaming), stick plastic sleeve into grommet like a cork, attach chainlinks to footpedal, and even out rudder to be in a neutral position. Rudder lifter: Hook to hole in top of rudder blade, run line through rudder pin toward D-ring on right deck. You generally have to untie knot at slider, put through D-ring, and retie knot. Wise paddlers attach a security line (shoelace) to prevent loss of rudder pin!!
Taking Boat Apart:
Let air out of sponsons, which slackens boat skin. Take out seats, backrests and stern of coaming. Use white rings (I, 6) to pull edge out of coaming slot. remove coaming, remember 90 degree turn-out! Remove ribs 3, 4 and 5, then 4 rods. Open up gunwales and keelboard, dis-engage. Now slowly pull out rear half, then front half of frame to prevent damage to air sponsons or pockets. Take apart in reverse order of assembly.
How to Pack Boat into Bags:
Logically all long parts go into long bag. Place bag on ground and load from side: put keelboards on top of each other, hinges first, gunwales side by side, hinges first, coaming on top of keelboards (some wrap a towel around), bundle rods and deckbars, paddles fit into bag. Hull bag: fold up hull first, pull bag over hull. Place soft sides of seats and backrests against hull, then add ribs, bow and stern, other small items.
Folding a Boathull:
1) Newest method for hulls with
multiple keelstrips - hull is flat on clean surface, widest part about 37 inches wide. Grab seam on side, and fold in lengthwise about 7 1/2 inches. Now hull is 24 inches wide, all keelstrips are still flat on the ground. Take bow to center, take stern to center, about 1 hand apart. Fold once more from ends, and then once more. Bundle is now 24" X 27".
2) Conventional method for hulls with only 2 keelstrips or no keelstrips: Fold once lengthwise, taking seam to seam, thus cloth touching cloth. Start from bow, fold into 2 ft. folds to center; go to stern, fold into 2 ft. folds to the center, then once more. Bundle is 23"X25".
Transportation on Boat Cart:
1) Boat packed in bags - place long bag on cart first, then hull bag, then rib bag, run belts through loops on side of bags, then cross-over and buckle up.
2) Boat assembled: Place boat cart under boat below rear seat, run 2 straps around boat and buckle on top.
For Owners of Quattro Models Only: (4 Air Sponsons)
Inflate 2 upper sponsons first, then 2 lower sponsons. Full inflation of lower sponsons will result in a flatter, rounder hullshape. You can therefore slightly change underwater shape of hulls (7).
Special Instructions for Owners of Aerius Single-Seater:
Has 26 wooden parts, 1 seat, 1 backrest (only 6 ribs). It is a very
good idea to see all joints, all locks, all angles beforehand, and make yourself familiar by doing a woodwork assembly once (without hull), and even let it sit a while.
Front half assembly starts with 7 wooden parts with red
markings, similar to two-seater but deckbar is hinged at first, and deckbar has a crosspiece. Place only
rib 1 in the front structure, swing deckbar crosspiece, let it rest into upper round holes to spread.
Rear half assembly starts with 7 wooden parts with blue
markings, then place rib 6 and rib 5 into structure, then add two rods with sliding sleeves.
Slide rear half into boat hull first, then slide front half into boat hull. Add the 2 rods (no markings) to the front rods with the male sleeve. Connect keelboard (3), then connect gunwale boards with flat-hand pressure, outward and slightly
downward (you are giving rocker to the boat!)
Connect rods with sliding sleeve in center of boat. Place rib 2, 4 and 3 in this sequence into framework (bottom, then spread, then sides), coaming (90 degree swing-in!), add sternpiece of coaming, tuck edge into groove, inflate sponsons, add seat and backrest.