I bought my Greenland II new in 1994. 18 years later I'm still using it frequently. Mine has polycarbonate cross-frames unlike the metal frames they have now, so I can't comment on what a new Greenland II is like.
I've never had any problems with my boat except when it was new, it was too tight to assemble. I shaved 1/4 off the bow frame. It's still tight, but that's OK.
It doesn't have a hypalon keel like Klepper, but I've only had scrapes, not punctures. Putting it together can bust your knuckles sometimes, but little "helper" tools can be used (I bust my knuckles when joining longerons with the aluminum slider). To me, that's almost nit-picking. I give for-pay tours almost every week through Newport or Mission Bay in SoCal, so it gets good use. It's a good boat for that because of the openness and size of the cockpit. A boat with two little holes for the occupants would freak un-experienced passengers out with claustrophobia. Greenland II is the right boat for people who want a tour in comfort. It can be a butt-buster after 8 hours on a full-day tour, but what isn't after 8 hours? I also do half-day tours.I own a 1998 and have had none of the problems mentioned.
The frames are in no way "brittle". Mine have been subject to significant abuse and I would pronounce them amazingly flexible. There is little oxidization on my boat - but I do rinse the salt water off of it almost every time. Stainless rivets or screws on aluminum are not ideal, but aluminum screws or rivets would be too weak. Large sailboats use stainless screws in aluminum masts all the time. There can be pitting but this is almost always minor, in my experience. It's not a problem.
The boat is very well made. A bit slow, as one would expect with the design. That is why I also bought a Folbot Cooper. I am extremely happy with it.Addressing Scott's 5 of 10's review (April 2001).
The man is correct in his review for when that boat was made. I sold my old super to buy the Greenland when it 1st came out and experienced all of the problems he did. The early version had a lot of bugs to work out. The plastic was brittle and would break just as he described and the frame would become loose with age due to dissimilar metals oxidizing.
Back then they used stainless steel rivets that would oxidize in the aluminum long runs. True, they would send replacement parts, but it took a while for the better ones to appear. I even had to buy a new frame, at cost, because of the oxidation problem. And then there was the amazing shrinking skins...
But that was then and the bugs have long since been worked out. So Scott, here's to ya, you weren't the only victim. Of course you got to realized that Folbot was dead in the water, literally, and Phil Cotton came along to hand rescue just in the nick of time...The Greenland II is a tough, lightweight folding double that has the capacity for extended tripping. I have owned mine for 2 years and have used it on a number of saltwater trips here in BC, ranging from 3 to 7 days, and I have plans to push it to longer trips as soon as I get the time.
I bought the GII after using a friend's Klepper double and realizing that folding boats had some real advantages: the ability to store them in a closet being a big one. The things that sold me on the GII: it is very light for a double, it assembles easily and in reasonable time (25 mins solo), it is priced lower than the competition, and it comes with a lifetime warrantee. Those things still impress me, especially the customer support offered by Folbot, a company that is truly customer-oriented. No kidding -- these people want you to be happy with their product.
Now that I've paddled the boat for a couple of years, some other things impress me. First, the boat is very easy to load/unload for tripping and it swallows a ton of gear, thanks in large part to its deck zippers. In this respect, it behaves more like a canoe than a kayak. Second, the boat loves the rough water, handling chop, swells, and rebounding waves with aplomb. It's not a boat for major surf, but it will ride out breaking waves in comfort and give you confidence on those exposed crossings. Finally, it's tough. I think this boat will last as long as my friend's 20-year old Klepper.
Downside? It's slower than a skinny composite double. I travel at about 3 knots in good conditions. All in all, the boat is a workhorse, well suited to wilderness travel with lots of gear.When I unpacked my GII the first time, my first thought was, "These guys have got to be kidding". Depending on plastic slots to hold alu connections didn't appeal to me. My qualms on that issue turned out to be well founded. The #5 plastic slot in the keel piece got chewed up by the alu connection. Also, I've never been able to assemble the boat (solo) in less than an hour.
So why an 8. I love the boat. I've paddled in Lake Superior and off the coast of Mount Desert Island in Maine. I always felt secure and stable. I solved the chewed up plastic slot problem in the keel by using a plywood floor.In my opinion, for the money, you can't beat my Greenland II exp. I've had it on the ocean, on lakes, and rivers and its stability is amazing. Even my wife, comments on how secure it feels. The paddles that come with it are obviously for backup only, since they are clunky and heavy, and the company says this in its literature.
I absolutely love the sailing rig even though the outriggers look a little like training wheels. With the outriggers attached it is virtually impossible to overturn the boat and they do their job while not giving any noticeable drag. The only negatives I have are its slower nature and the fact that the sailing kit tends to make you a lazy paddler. Having owned a 18ft catamaran sailboat previously, I can attest to the fact that the sailing kit works well, even in high winds. Before buying my first GII, I test drove a friend's for a week in Northern Wisconsin, and in Lake Superior. The stability, ease of assembly, and touring capacity almost sold me. I had three minor beefs, and even though I wasn't a customer yet, I wrote to Folbot to ask about the issues. They responded quickly and told me that all three issues were taken care of already in their new model. I bought.
Two years later, with a second GII under my belt, I'm still in love with the boat and the Folbot experience. The GII has proven its worth on expeditions, sailing, solo "exercise" paddles, and as a photography platform. It's most comfortable and handles best when loaded double, but for a large person it is a perfectly suitable single (with the conversion kit). If you want to roll a kayak, the GII is probably not for you. If you want to paddle in comfort, with great capacity, be able to sail, and virtually never fear capsize, then the GII is a good choice.