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Old 03-30-2016   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Cataraft Streamers

I see pictures or videos of Catarafts with streamers tied to the end of their tubes. Like the ones in this picture... What purpose do these serve?
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Old 03-30-2016   #2
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
I've always assumed if you fall out, your boat would be back heavy so would go down the river ass first and you hopefully can swim and catch one of those straps to self rescue.

I've never used them, seems like a easy way to die.

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Old 03-30-2016   #3
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
They help to stay with your boat if you end up in the water. They're handy when you're 'coming in hot' to shore and people can grab the boat.

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Old 03-30-2016   #4
Rainy Northwest, Washington
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 460
There are definite risks and benefits. I only used them in and unloaded small cat in tap water where the risk of a swim without being able to hold onto the boat is greater than the increased risk of an entrapment. In my opinion it should only be a relatively stiff floating webbing comic never nylon which always seems to want to tie itself in a knot or tie a knot around something

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Old 03-30-2016   #5
Rainy Northwest, Washington
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 460
That was supposed to be tough water not tap water, damn voice recognition

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Old 03-31-2016   #6
18' Kodiak
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None Ya Creek, The Last Best Place...
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by thepudgeman View Post
What purpose do these serve?
Who knows? I personally would never have anything dangling in the water off of my Cat or Round Boat. But, I have seen this as well.
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Old 03-31-2016   #7
Crested Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 82
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 205
The streamers are all about being able to hold onto your boat in hectic situations.

I've only had a couple times where they really came in handy. Middle Fork Salmon at real high water, when the eddies are tiny little shoreline eddies. The practice of eddying out, jumping on shore and holding your boat in the eddy is much easier with a nice chunk of strap to grab hold of.
It's also great for recovering flipped boats in hectic situations. The metal rings on the end of a cat tube are just not enough to hold onto, and unlike a round boat we dont have a perimeter line at the ends of our boat. A 4' strap is an ideal balance of convenience and safety.
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Old 03-31-2016   #8
yesimapirate's Avatar
Denver-ish, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 741
Probability of this happening very often is gotta be uber low, but I had a strap dangling off the back of my round boat on the Rio Grande outside of Creede and the passenger in the back of my boat informed me of a snake that had climbed up said strap on it's way into the boat. Luckily he was not afraid of snakes, and removed the snake.

As far as the thread topic, I see entanglement risk being low vs being an aid in potential swim saving yourself situation. Probably wouldn't go to the effort to set them up unless in big or super technical water.

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Old 03-31-2016   #9
Searching for water....., Nevada
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 168
They are typically called "tag lines" and are to help stay you with the boat in the case of a swim. In gnarly water staying with the boat is important.

It also helps launching and landing in swift current when someone on shore can catch you.

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