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Old 06-19-2008   #1
Richmond, Virginia
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 51
AIRE Raft Owners!!!!

Quick question.... when rigging from paddle raft to oar boat do you all remove thwarts, or just leave them deflated?

If you just deflate them do you or can you put coolers or gear bags on top of the deflated thwarts. I have a row frame that will hold a cooler and want to know if I can just leave the thwarts deflated and put my frame and cooler on the boat.

Also wondering if you Aire boat owners without frame chafers think I should put some on my boat..... Are they really needed?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-19-2008   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
The thwarts have never been on mine, but they come off super easy right?

If you're going to paddle it again soon, maybe you could live with them under your stuff. Maybe use a vacuum to get them super flat?


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Old 06-19-2008   #3
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brendodendo's Avatar
RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
In my super puma, I pull the thwarts to run as an oar rig. I do not have the depth to just deflate them and put the cooler over the top. I am assuming that you also have the lace in thwart system. Big hint: Use a sharpie and mark the holes that you take your thwarts out of. I marked mine in the most used thwarts placement on all 3 thwarts. Then I can put them back in with out having to guess where I had them last. If I am running an R4 overnight and want more room for gear, I adjust the thwarts based on the markings (ie: 4 lacing holes forward or back)

I find that relacing in the thwarts is pretty easy in the front yard with the boat blown up. Thread strap down through floor lacing, turn boat on it's side and and push strap back up through floor lacing.
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Old 06-19-2008   #4
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
I keep the thwarts outta mine 99% of the time. But,thats just cause i prefer to oar everything. I imagine it wouldn't be that deep though with em in
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Old 06-19-2008   #5
Richmond, Virginia
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 51
Nice tip with the sharpie... will definitely have to do that...
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Old 06-19-2008   #6
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
Are you running a center frame or stern frame. I have a stern frame and I leave the thwarts in for both paddle and oar setup. I just moved my stern thwart far enough forward that I can put on the frame and the cooler goes in front of the frame but behind the thwart. This way, when I have passengers they can sit on the rubber thwart instead of the frame.

When used as a paddle raft, the guide sits just in front of where the tubes turn up in the stern. This has worked fine for me and eliminated taking the thwarts in and out every time I decide to use the frame or not.

On a different note: I think having the thwarts in there all the time gives the boat better stability and rigidity. When I strap the frame on, the straps are pulling the tubes into the center of the boat. The thwarts stop the side tubes from flexing too far into the center. This can be accomplished dry boxes and coolers but I only run a cooler in the back, not the front. One of the best things about the AIRE boats is that they are very rigid and therefore track well and are very responsive. I think taking out the twarts would effect that.
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Old 06-19-2008   #7
Richmond, Virginia
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 51
Running a center frame.... I own a puma so no real need for a stern frame. Good insight though. Question about a stern frame.... do you longer or shorter oars with a stern frame in comparison to a center mount? Just curious...

Ya this is my first raft or inflatable period and I have tons of newbie questions.... I posted about a portable power for electric raft pumps too if you guys have any insight on that....

This site has been SO HELPFUL.

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