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Old 01-23-2011   #1
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
The Art/Science of Rigging

Hi all, I am new to the Buzz. I have been a kayaker for the last five years and our two kids have reached the age where they can now enjoy river trips. Yeehoo! I have enjoyed the first part of this winter acquiring new and used gear. I purchased a family rig, a used 16' self bailer and a four bay frame. The maiden voyage for me and this rig will be Deso this May. I will also be raft support for two kayakers. I will be carrying everything in my rig. What are some methods to the rigging madness. I have all the right gear including a large yeti cooler and dry box an eco safe groover as well the fire pan and some 20mm rocket boxes. I hope this thread invokes some thoughts of the river on these chilly January evenings. Thanks.

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Old 01-23-2011   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 154
There is definitely an art to it, but it's hard to say without seeing how it goes together. It's something you'll figure out as you go, or at least that's how I did it. You'll try it one time, one way. You won't like something, and you'll tweak it either on river or the next time. And so the process goes until you have something you like. Try a dry run. Blow up the boat, put the frame on, boxes, cooler, etc. You'll at least have an idea and will be able to start somewhere.

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Old 01-23-2011   #3
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
Thats a good idea. As far as the groover goes I'm thinking put it on the bottom of the pile in the stern. Then strap all the dry bags etc down and the thing shouldn't come out. Thats my main concern is strapping/holding odd shaped stuff in the boat like fire pan, propane tank, groover.
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Old 01-23-2011   #4
Stiff N' Wett's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 446
I made a wood beavertail for my stern to put all the hard odd shaped things like fire pan, ammo boxes, water jugs, and groover. I'm about to glue some extra d-rings to the inside of the stern tubes to have lash points to hold all that heavy stuff down tight. Start heavy and then pack soft bags on top. Last winter spent lots of nights in the garage trying to figure out how I was going to rig all the normal things and come river season I did it totally different, someone once told me that I will never get it right and I will be screwing with it and changing for the rest of my life, so I guess keep that in mind. If you want to get your oars dialed in you could head out to a local lake in late April and get that figured out before your long Deso trip.
Good Luck!
Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.
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Old 01-23-2011   #5
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 16
I agree with everyone else, it takes time to figure out your rig. The hardest part is figuring out where to put the hard, odd shaped objects. Beaver tails are a must in some cases, it will save unnecessary wear on your boat floor (I put ammo cans, water jugs and the fire pan back there). Another very useful thing to have is a drop bag. Since it sounds like you have a 4 bay frame, with only one cooler and dry box, you probably have one/space for one. This I usually store my chairs, pump and any other odd, hard to tie down stuff (ie. trash/can bag). On top of this drop bag, cut out a wooden platform (can even make this into a table and backboard), tie down some pads and voila! You have an awesome sitting area and storage compartment.
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Old 01-23-2011   #6
go2water's Avatar
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 38
Set it up in the garage..try a few different arangments.Play with it.
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Old 01-23-2011   #7
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
I do have a smaller compartment in the very front of the frame. I plan to buy/make a river table to cover this compartment and to sit on. A drop bag under the table would be perfect. Not sure what a beaver tail is. I'm thinking its a cargo floor made to keep gear up off the floor.
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Old 01-23-2011   #8
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by go2water View Post
Set it up in the garage..try a few different arangments.Play with it.
this is what i did when we bought our first boat a few years ago. it was a pain getting all that crap off the shelf and putting it back, but it was better than doing it on the river. try to load your boat where it is just a tad bit front-heavy.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 01-23-2011   #9
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
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A beaver tail is just a hard floor for the stern, most commonly made of plywood. It hangs off the frame and stern tube drings, so all of that gear is kept off the floor. As others have said, it is very nice for lashing down weird stuff. I drilled holes all over mine, and threaded rope through those holes. This way I have many loops throughout the floor to use to thread straps to, no matter what/how I've rigged back there. I've thought of extra stern d rings, but instead I still use the outer one to hand the beaver tail, then I have a small one that goes to an o-ring that i use for the rest. Keep in mind that your beaver tail will be hanging, so you do need some straps/rigging over the top of the gear to hold it in place in case you flip. Soft over hard, as others have mentioned, works great. It's especially great for a nice big dog bed.

Play with your rigging this winter, get all of your crap and rig and rerig. Then expect to want to change it within an hour on the river. Every trip we take we rig different, mostly because we are taking different things. Sometimes we're assigned the fire pan, sometimes not (for example). Drop bag with table over the top is great too, fire pan, chairs, roll table, etc etc etc.

Have fun!
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Old 01-23-2011   #10
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
I know lots of folks run beaver tails, I really don't like them. On the grand my rig came with one but I ran it up front to keep the weight up where it should be. I think that is the danger with it in the back - you end up stern heavy.

run a four bay frame with a drop frame behind.
bay one - table ( I have room under but no drop bag for it yet) room for two or three passengers big dry bag on either side of the table.

bay two - large dry box small dry bags and tent bags go on either side. Firepan and camera case on top - I usually make sure I don't need to get in this one.

Bay three - captain's boxes and my feet. Once you have these you won't go without them.

bay four medium seat box - one the ends of the box I put small rockets, small propane, "crash bag"

drop frame - for the cooler. room on either end for a big dry bag too. Or large propane or water jugs. I stack my chairs on top of the cooler. wrapped in our camp tarp. Also room for a large dry bag on top of the cooler. If you do this and want to get in the cooler you need to rig up everything that goes on the cooler as one unit. So two straps and you are in the cooler kind of thing.

I also think about having the heaviest things in the boat the closest to the middle unless I am trying to counter a really heavy cooler in the back for example. Then water jugs go to the front. If I have two big guys up front water jugs to the back with the charcoal. That kind of thing.

Watch out for oar clearance and sharp edges anywhere in the conceivable rowing area. And....what happens when that oar gets caught in the eddy/hole and nearly throws you out of the boat. This would be the extreme limits of oar leveraged/knuckle contact possibility to be aware of to try to keep from breaking your hand.

Any bag or box that I really care about I figure out how to get two straps on. I don't know the class you will be on, but that applies more to class 4. The rivers I take my kids on I don't usually think about having to double strap but it's not a bad idea.

I have also started to use my recycled zip lock bags to pre-label straps for: all frame straps, cooler straps, spare oar straps, front table dry bags, etc.
I don't like to leave my straps on the frame during transport if they are outside as the wind causes extra wear and tear and fraying.

Learn a clove hitch for straps and think about rigging things so you can tighten the straps from the cockpit. I use the clove hitch to make sure straps can't slip to end up with the buckle on a corner, under a passenger's butt or where you can't hit em with a knuckle.

That's about all I have for now. I dig a tight rig.

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