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Old 04-07-2010   #21
Salida, Colorado, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by Awoody View Post
I had a buddy swim on Joe Wright last year and had to chase his boat until it pinned. As it ended up I was the only person on the correct side of the river to access the boat, I attempted to pull it loose by hand (I could wade out to it relatively safely), then with a straight line to the grab loop from shore with no avail, I set up a simple 3:1 and pulled it out with almost no straining at all. So that experience was pretty slick and saved a good bit of time being able to do it solo like that.
I never like it when this happens but I think that was me. I had a bruise on my arm the size of a grapefruit after the swim which slowly drained to the tips of my fingers. Thankfully by the time I got to my crew, my boat was on the shore waiting for me. You had the z up and down in 15 mins or so made the situation much more manageable. Thanks again, Phil

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Old 04-07-2010   #22
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 176
Me an a buddy kinda have an unofficial "business" helping stuck or sunk boaters. Z-rigs are a nice portable way to get mechanical advantage, just remember that the 3:1 4:1 etc are theroretical. Friction reduces the mecahnical advantage severely as you try to go higher. I haven't had much sucess using anything over a 4:1. I personally like using a come-along. You can buy aluminum ones and they let you control the addition or subtraction of force in a more controlled fashion. If you don't have one handy a couple of Gibbs accenders can help do the same thing with a z-rig. Remember to use static lines for your rope or your just putting all your effort into stretching the rope. Once we had to use 4 or 5 come -alongs and 3 z rigs to get a dory off the bottom of the river

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Old 04-08-2010   #23
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
These are great! Sounds like some of these were epics. Thanks again for posting your experiences. I am learning from all of them.

Keep them coming.

-Kilo Charlie

"Earn more or want less"
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Old 04-10-2010   #24
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
What about Kayakers? Any good stories?
-Kilo Charlie

"Earn more or want less"
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Old 04-10-2010   #25
peterB's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 567
In general kayaks speaking, any MA is used when you have less than four people. Four or more and you are pulling from the wrong angle. I seem to paddle with a minimum of 10 so if the rope holds up we could pull down a building. I learned that lesson on the South Merced. We pulled with 9:1 from two different angles, broke one rope, then me and another guy got out and pulled from a third direction and it popped right off. I have used 3:1 on gear rafts mainly to right them after they flipped.
friend of the fork, knife, and spoon
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Old 04-10-2010   #26
Silverthorne, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 93
clear creek

those of you who guided on clear creek last season probably saw at least one z-drag on guide ejector. boat after boat after boat would get wrapped in that rapid at low water last season. . . shit was hilarious
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Old 04-10-2010   #27
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
Probably the most important tool you have when unpinning a raft or kayak is your brain. Instead of trying to outmuscle the river, can you use the rivers force to your advantage? Think aikido philosophy here: "If I lift up on this corner of the raft, will the current pull the other end around/over the rock?" and so forth. Think it through before you do anything!

When unpinning a raft I believe simple is better: A z drag is usually a last resort. First is the old fashioned pull, using the above principal, followed by letting air out of various tubes/floor (same principal - use the rivers force). The sea anchor made of a cooler is a pretty cool idea but I've never tried it. Sometimes muscle (Z-drag) is necessary but try other options first if possible.

Another thing: If using a Z-drag, it's best to equalize the pull force over multiple anchor points (D-rings or frame) on the raft to keep from breaking one of them. Do this by running a rope or hoopie through various points on the raft in a closed loop and then attaching the pulling line (the rope from shore or the Z drag) to this line with a carabiner that is attached in between each anchor point. (This is a little hard to explain without a visual.) This can help minimize damage to the raft. Remember to only use anchor points that help pull the raft in the direction you want it to go.

Hope this was helpful and hope you never have to use any of this stuff!
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Old 04-13-2010   #28
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
Does anyone else have photos of their pins/wraps, with or with out z-drags
-Kilo Charlie

"Earn more or want less"
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Old 04-13-2010   #29
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 88
Here's one for you.

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Old 04-14-2010   #30
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Whether you're a kayaker or a rubber rider you should know how to build a z-drag in a minute or two. It's scary to suggest, but people do get pinned with their boat. Everyone needs a whitewater rescue course.

If anyone wants to take our beginner through advanced 2-day course on the Poudre, (swr/wwr level 2) send me a PM for details. It's Sunday/Monday, June 20-21. We'll be camping and boating in the evening too. It's the best time of year up there and the class is only $195!

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rescue, ropes, swiftwater rescue, wraps, zdrag

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