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Old 12-10-2009   #1
Calgary, Alberta
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3
Deflating floor for big water?

I was reading Colin Fletcher's book last week about his trip down the Colorado source to sea. Good book. He mentions deflating the floor of his SB raft to add stability by making it sit lower in the water. Does anyone actually do this? I can see it working in principle but rowing or paddling a uber-soft floored boat in big water sucks. Just curious if anyone else has tried this method.
I can see it being useful when your floating down against a headwind, the river having more boat to grab.

Anyone have any comments?


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Old 12-10-2009   #2
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,405
Soggy floor boats can track really well, and aren't a big deal if you have a boat full of gear and a floor in the cockpit. Your boat will bail slower, and feel heavier in the rapids, but on the Colorado it's all about how you set up for the rapid anyway. It's just a matter of personal preference I guess.

When I came to the Poudre and had to raft flows of 50-100 CFS in August I learned quickly to partially deflate my whole raft to help it slide over and around rocks. I run a soggy boat at low water, for opposite reasons of the above comment, of course. I guess the point is, rock hard isn't always the answer for rafts.
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big water

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