Pakayak Launches Travel-Paddler’s Dream With Passionate Innovation

Long, sleek, fast. Assembled and ready to travel, 14 feet of high-performance personal-powered sea-going vessel. Apart and nested for easy transport, just 3.5 feet. No tools needed, no parts to lose. Store it easily, take it anywhere. Made in the U.S.A. with a portion of all sales going to support and preserve the environment. Pakayak.

Team Pakayak. Left to right,  Day Moore, Zinelle Mackro, Doug Mackro, Phil Miller, and the nested Pakayak at the tidal Connecticut River. Photo: Anders G. Helm, MDP

Team Pakayak. Left to right, Day Moore, Zinelle Mackro, Doug Mackro, Phil Miller, with the nested and easily transportable Pakayak at the tidal Connecticut River. Photo: Anders G. Helm, MDP

From the company's Kickstarter campaign. Image is linked to the complete video.

From the company’s Kickstarter campaign, which exceeded expectations. Image is linked to the complete video.

“Pakayak goes everywhere, stores anywhere. Carry it on your back, take it in your car. Paddle it like a traditional hard-shell kayak.”

What is a Pakayak. Image courtesy of the Pakayak company.

The idea was born when Doug Mackro, inventor and founder/partner, an avid kayaker, was whitewater kayaking.

“At the time we spent a lot of time loading and unloading them from our vehicle roof into our garage to do one river trip,” he recalled. The efficiency of space he noticed when looking at a stack of ice cream cones and also Dixie cups, gave him the notion that a kayak could be made in parts that fit into one another.

“If the parts could nest together, you could pack them and travel much easier,” he said. “It took a long time to do something with that concept, really took my wife encouraging me to move forward, that it was a good idea and we should do it.”

“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.”

So the journey began.

“Our first goal was to find out if was a product that could be produced in the market – could it be manufactured,” he said. “Initial thoughts on that, yes, that it was possible to produce what we wanted to make. The second thing was had it been done before, was there a patent restricting us? We did find out that it looked good for a patent; so our first push was the application for a patent, which we did put in in January 2012.”

Awarded a U.S. patent, they next sought and applied for an international patent, also awarded.

“You have to apply in each country for which you want to do business. So part of the process is defining what countries are our market. We are getting a lot of interest from Australia, South Africa, South America; Singapore and Asian countries. We already have Switzerland, Denmark. Norway is interested, they are a big kayaking community. Our product has a pretty broad appeal and we have to define our best markets.”

Major features and benefits?

The Pakayak performs identically to the best kayaks on the market,” he said. “We have a high-performance, sea-going kayak, but one that is easy to transport – and weighs just 55 pounds. We have the fastest assembly-disassembly on the market, under five minutes.”

That targets a broad range of people from beginners to hard-core kayakers who wish to explore the world fueled by their own curiosity.

“The Pakayak pushes a button that hasn’t been pushed yet. There are inflatables and packables out there, which are unfortunately not as good in paddling characteristics as the traditional mono-hull versions versus a skin on frame – which is the stretch rubber over a frame or an inflatable. The problem is that in an open-water environment, such as the ocean – they don’t have the tracking and paddling.”

The company’s Kickstarter campaign? Over the top in funding, with an original goal of $427,325 exceeded. Bonus for the company is Kickstarter’s “Project We Love” endorsement – not paid for, no strings attached, just pure support and enthusiasm for this creative venture.

View a video that shows ease and speed of assembly of the Pakayak, plus the final total linked here.

Team Pakayak is now Doug Mackro, CEO and founder; who designed the Pakayak. Zinelle Mackro, co-founder, vice president, marketing and IT; Phil Miller, vice president, manufacturing and operations; Day Moore, vice president, sales and public relations. All four are passionate about the outdoors and sharing that joy with others.

“Our company is also dedicated to giving back to help the planet. Our first model is named the Bluefin after the endangered bluefin tuna, and we going to be giving a portion of our profits, when we are up running, back to the foundation to help conservation efforts and keep that species alive and well in our oceans.”

Being passionate about the outdoors and keeping it healthy and beautiful means a dedication to other aspects of products such as a one-point production assembly and ship location to minimize their carbon footprint.

“We can put about 385 boats in a tractor trailer if we bulk ship where 38 conventional one-piece kayaks would fit in the same tractor trailer and we can ship in pallets to locations. We can also point ship to anyone’s home.”

“While Pakayak was officially formed in 2014, Doug Mackro (inventor and founder/partner), an avid kayaker was thinking about a packable kayak for many, many years. About four years ago, after testing his idea out (on Day Moore’s handmade but sadly broken CLC Kayak) and having success with the mating surface Doug and Zinelle (wife, Internet maven & founder/partner) decided to push forward. After testing the mating surface again on a plastic boat (Doug sacrificed his white-water boat, aptly named ‘Frankenstein’) they were satisfied and at that point, Doug and Zinelle turned to two enthusiastic supporters, Day Moore (partner) and Phil Miller (partner), both of whom brought their various backgrounds and experiences to bear. From here they formed Pakayak LLC and began to create the company in ernest. After more than a year of designing in SolidWorks, building the brand, and developing the first 3-D printed 1/4-scale model, bugs were worked through and the second, 3/4-scale 3-D printed model was made and tested. In March of 2016, the team received their first four production prototypes and began debugging, assembly, and outfitting; by May, they were testing these prototypes…”

“Everything right now is Team Pakayak, with four individuals doing the work, myself, my wife, Zinelle, Phil Miller, and Day Moore. With the Kickstarter campaign, we will have the money to launch all the necessary tooling and our first production run. It will literally put us in business. We will be manufacturing kayaks with that money. Made in the U.S.A.”

A sealed, watertight bulkhead fore and aft of the cockpit – three watertight sections – is part of the boat’s construction.

“So if you are offshore, and if for any reason your cockpit fills up with water – by a rogue wave or a mistake – you can sit in the kayak and bail that out and while you are still afloat and continue to paddle back home. It also means that if you are knocked out of the kayak for any reason, your kayak floats in such a manner it is stable and rigid enough you can climb back up from the bow or stern and get in. Our kayaks also feature reflective safety lines.”

“Our boat is designed to handle the most extreme conditions that can be thrown at you. Sealed hatches, spray-skirt ready, you seal yourself in that boat and if you know how to Eskimo roll, you can paddle 25 to 30 miles off shore.”

Made at every level to be a safe vessel with aviation-quality clamps and fittings – anyone heading out must be aware of conditions, weather and their own abilities. That’s just common sense smart. So knowing how to do an Eskimo roll – a rolls over under water and back to upright – is vital.

“If you lose your paddle it can be done with just your hands. Bottom line, if anyone is going to go offshore in a kayak and you get serious about it, in cooler waters especially, you should know how to do an Eskimo roll,” he said. “Go to a rolling clinic and practice. Any good kayak shop will offer a rolling clinic. It’s important to know how to do this if going more than 100 yards off shore.”

Pakayak logo.Note: Expected retail price is $1,695; Kickstarter supporters receive a discount. A “Mac Daddy” wheeled backpack bag to transport the nested kayak, suggested retail $250. For FAQs and other information, the logo at left is connected to the official company page. Pakayak LLC, P. O. Box 130, Higganum, CT 06441.

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