Resistance (was) futile

*Voyage-Air Owner's Club Note* Bob lives on a sailboat, is taking guitar lessons, and has an active Blog in the Seattle area. Recently, he discovered Voyage-Air Guitar. When you live on a sailboat, space is tight. Bob was thrilled to find a full-size acoustic guitar that fits into a compact space, with a super backpack-style case. In fact, he ended up calling it "...the ideal boat guitar."

Here's his Blog post: 

I couldn't resist.  I ordered an ideal boat guitar for myself.

It came in just under a week, shipped by FedEx in a huge box surrounded by lots of padding; it arrived in perfect condition.

Inside the box was the advertised backpack softcase containing the folded guitar.

  • First surprise:  it is light weight!

In fact it is amazingly light in weight compared to my Hohner and semi-hard case.  You (literally) can lift it with one finger.  Easily.

  • Second surprise: A quality backpack

This is not just a guitar case - it really is a quality backpack, designed from scratch to hold the guitar.  The surface that contacts your back when you don it has extra foam padding and is covered with breathable mesh.  For hand-carrying, there is a padded handle on both the top and on one side, should you prefer to carry it that way instead of wearing it on your back.  And there is a huge zipper pocket to hold music and easily your laptop as well.

Zip open the specially contoured top, and there is the guitar, perfectly happy but looking broken.  The strings are stuffed in the sound hole, and the neck rests on a specially formed padded support to prevent it from scratching the guitar top.

Remove it from the case and unfold it - the hinge goes slightly over-center so that it is not difficult to hold against the string tension.  While holding, tighten the thumbscrew.   The neck is a little floppy when it is folded, but once unfolded and locked down, it is as rigid as your guitar.  The hinge joint is almost invisible when the guitar is unfolded - a good design well executed.

The only other deviation from normal guitar design is that the nut is not simply notched to take the strings.  Instead it has bored holes to keep the strings from going too far astray when the guitar is folded.

Keeping in mind that this is intended for use on our boat, I bought the VAOM-02.  This is a little smaller than a full dr eadnought (it's an orchestra model), but it has a full sized 1-3/4" bridge and 25 1/2" neck.  What this means to me is that I won't bang it into things as much while moving around the boat.

  • Next surprise: It is easy to play

I'm not sure why this might be, but I would swear that this guitar is easier to finger than my Hohner.  And I'm not talking about the action here - I mean it is as if the strings have less tension or something.  Regardless of the reason, this guitar is a pleasure to finger.

And it sounds good.   No, it sounds really good.  Of course it would sound even better if played by somebody who knows what they are doing, but then we can't have everything, can we?

Final assessment (now based on actual physical appraisal):

This is the ideal boat guitar. 

Bob - Windborne in Puget Sound

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Backpack soft case

Backpack soft case

Looks weird, doesn't it?

Looks weird, doesn't it?


Stories From The Road

Owner Testimonials

  • 5star-100
    I received my VAOM-1C and boy does it sing!  I am the proud and happy owner of several top-notch Martins: a D35 Johnny Cash, a HD28e, a solid DCPA4R as well as a 1973 00-18. I also had a 2003 D18 which I sold because it wasn't so good. I was expecting the VAOM-1C to sound ok but not more. "Can't have the best of both worlds" I thought. Well, now I do. It is just exquisite, so melodic and yet with a surprising sustain and expressivity. It is a true jewel at a more than decent price! All the Best and THANK YOU!
    Jean-Dominique Michel, Switzerland - VAOM-1C
  • 5star-100
    My wife and I travel a lot and in the past have had issues with taking a guitar with me......they're either too bulky for the overhead compartment, or I have to let the luggage handlers toss around my guitars like they're a bag of beans. I recently purchased one of your VAOM-04 guitars, and I'm totally impressed with the sound and the playability of this instrument. My first choice is my Martins, but since I received the VAOM-O4 I haven't put it down. I would recommend this guitar to any player, even if you don't travel that much. I'm looking forward to my next trip. I may just spend most of the trip playing this guitar.
    Great Job Voyage-Air.
    - Tony H. - VAOM-04
  • 5star-100
    It’s considered a “travel guitar,” and it truly is a remarkably portable instrument; however, that label does it a disservice, because honestly, it’s a damn nice guitar. It just happens to have a nifty set of hinges that allow the neck to fold over on the top, making it far more compact and transport friendly. I love my Telair!
    - Anthony K. Sandy, UT - VET-2SBB
  • 5star-100
    I am pleasantly surprised at the quality and genius behind this amazingly compact, but great sounding guitar!! I work in the movie industry and travel quite a bit, and being able to bring my guitar as a carry-on wherever I go is just what I've been looking for! The overall sound is amazingly rich for its size, and the folding mechanics work like a dream! If you’re wondering if it's worth getting, the answer is a big YES!!
    - Nancy F. Santa Monica, CA - VAMD-04
  • 5star-100
    I bought a VAD-04 strictly for travel and light use. The day I bought it I paid a visit to United Airlines. As I was walking up to the counter the clerk said that he had seen these before and that there was no problem taking it on as carry-on. .I think that this is a great value and a nice sounding piece All in all it is a winner in my book. I’ve heard less sound from much more expensive instruments. I may mike it because I think it compares to my Taylor 814ce and Breedlove it surprised me!
    -  Michael, Columbus, NE - VAD-04
  • 5star-100 
    I travel a lot, and for years, I schlepped my heavy Goodall Jumbo, always worried about it getting damaged and stolen.  I recently purchased a Voyage Air guitar and love it.  Its light, gets on planes, and sounds terrific. It has made travelling with a guitar a no-brainer.  Even after closing and opening, it stays very close to being in tune. I recommend this guitar to anyone who likes to play wherever they go.
    - Stewart, Santa Fe, NM - VAOM-02