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Old 05-09-2007   #1
coloradopaddler's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 206
An umbrella for a raft?

i've got a rafting issue and am looking for some guidance. i am getting my baby barge ready for the san juan and need to provide some shade for the little one. i've seen umbrella holders that clamp onto the frame, but do i need a heavy duty umbrella or just a picnic table kind? i think that i can make the clamp part. the tractor umbrellas that i have seen are almost two hundred dollars though. is that necessary. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks.

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Old 05-09-2007   #2
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
Cascade Outfitters Whitewater Rafting Equipment: Beach Umbrella

Cascade Outfitters Whitewater Rafting Equipment: Umbrella Holder - attaches to your frame

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Old 05-09-2007   #3
coloradopaddler's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
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thanks, that was exactly what i was looking for. i had actually seen that holder on that site and couldn't remember where i had seen it. they are both on the way, now to rig up a mist pump!
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Old 05-10-2007   #4
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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If its not too late, there's also the potentially cheaper option of a Speedrail T-Fitting with a 1' - 1.5' section of pipe that you can set into the T-fitting when you need. When not in use, you can simply pull out the pipe and turn the T-fitting so the open end is facing downward. Check Target or WallyWorld for a simple $10 - $15 beach umbrella.

If you have the umbrella mounted in the rear for yourself (maybe you'll want the wife and child out of the splash zone), you'll want to make sure you have full range or motion with the oars before setting off. Having two umbrellas is great for desert trips in the summer - one up front and one over the rower is also a great way to go:

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 05-10-2007   #5
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RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
I've been thinking about the same type of set up, only using some PVC fittings, a nylon tarp and some bungie cord/straps. I would use 4 1.5in PVC T's (note: outside diameter of NRS unbendable pipe is 1 5/8in) with the upright reduced to 1in mounted to the frame (and hoseclamped using the above mentioned piece). Then add uprights of 1in sch 40 pvc and 1in side inlet 90's to make a square roof. I would glue some connections and use some tab lock pins in order to make it set up/down friendly (where it meets the T's and some on the square roof so that it breaks into about 8 sections). Then use a standard sized tarp over the top with cams or bungies holding it in place.
I have seen this used, but have not built one yet. As I do more desert runs, it seems that this setup would give better coverage and with a nice stuff sack could be set and torn down and stored quite easily.
If anyone has a better way to make this please let me know.
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Old 05-10-2007   #6
Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 62
Go to your local bar and ask if the Bud rep has been by. If they say NO ask to by a patio (BUD) umbrella off of them for 20 bucks.
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Old 05-10-2007   #7
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Grand Dysfunction, West Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Thoughts on the umbrella itself: Have noticed that wind sometimes becomes an issue, as it somehow sneaks up on us. Gee, with twenty folks on the barge and no one paying attention? The umbrellas that have a two fabric pieces consisting of an upper round portion over the donut fabric piece let air go through them sideways. This way, when it's breezy, they don't torque all over the place. The grab-em'-off-the-bar-patio umbrellas tend to catch air and want to dislodge or remove themselves in unannounced winds.

What it comes down to... it's no fun until you have to have someone hold your beer while you are diving after an umbrella. Anyone want that t-shirt of mine?

Oh, one more thought. Two friends of mine have retrofitted theirs with marine style bimini tops. While pricey new (checkout used gear on the coasts, maybe?) they are hard to beat, especially when you also have the fabric that goes around the perimeter in case it gets *really* nasty. Great shelter, but pricey, as mentioned.
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Old 05-10-2007   #8
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168
Marc and Judy at AAA in Denver have umbrellas and holders in stock.
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Old 05-10-2007   #9
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 191
I've made the same kind as Andy, if you have a NRS frame it will cost around $20 for parts from them. It's way stronger then the one from Cascade ( I have one also) and you can put up a bigger umbrella in the homemade one. I use the umbrella that came with my deck furniture, it's wider then the raft, sweet shade.

Have fun!
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Old 05-11-2007   #10
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Summit, Colorado
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Travel in style, my friend.

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