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
Backpack soft case
Looks weird, doesn't it?