There are some new packraft designs that I would like to add to the DIY Packraft shop, but building and testing prototypes takes a fair amount of time to do right, and spare time is in short supply around here. Since there are a bunch of you who have already completed one DIY Packraft and have expressed interest in building more, I had an idea for how we might help each other out:
- First, you must have already built at least one DIY Packraft. This is important because I’ll need your feedback about the changes, so no exceptions. The previous build can be any model, from a kit or plans. It doesn’t have to look perfect but I’ll need to see pictures.
- You’ll contact me to say you want to be a DIY Packraft kit tester, and tell me what type of packraft you’re most interested in building (standard, whitewater, ultralight, 2-person, etc.).
- I’ll add you to the official DIY Packraft Kit Tester list, and I may ask you to sign a non-compete agreement, because I’ve already had issues with people trying to make money from my ideas.
- When I have a new design that suits your needs, I’ll ask you to send me a refundable deposit (in case you don’t complete the kit), and then I’ll ship the kit to you.
- You’ll complete the kit in a reasonable amount of time – say, one month or less – and then ship the completed packraft back to me along with any comments about what you like and what you think could be improved.
- I’ll do some non-destructive testing (a.k.a “paddling”) and make my own notes about performance, ergonomics, handling, weight, capacity, packed size, etc. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks.
- Lastly, I’ll send the packraft back to you and refund your deposit, minus the shipping cost.
How do we benefit from this arrangement? Well, I save time by outsourcing some of my prototype construction to you, you get a free packraft, and everyone else gets better packraft designs – it’s a win-win-win!
What do you think? Can you see any flaws in this plan? Would you want to test a new design? Leave a comment below!