Grand Canyon Rigging for a 15' in Sept.. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-12-2016   #1
 
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 19
Grand Canyon Rigging for a 15' in Sept..

Running a 15' NRS in early Sept on the Grand (1st time and longest raft trip to date for me) with no passengers and thinking about rigging options with weight and volume issues in mind. WE are are a party of 16 with 9 boats (mostly 14's, a 16', and an 18')...out for 23 days....trying to imagine the amount of food, bags, and crap but can't see it all yet.

I am using an NRS frame with 3 bays (cooler, dry box x2) plus cock pit.

1. It seems like I would want a lot of weight up front for ballast in light of no passengers. What are others' thoughts on loading the boat for bigger water and stability versus being lighter and more maneuverable especially with this river in mind?

2. Ever used extra water jugs to fill and empty depending on the type of rapids being run that day?

3. I do not have boxes competing for space with me in the cockpit. I am thinking about pros/cons of space for me versus space for crap. Thoughts?

4. Anyone have an awesome crap holder right in front of them for very easy day access while you are rowing -- like a mesh dish rack that closes and straps in well...for sunscreen, maps etc...

5. What is your best advice for back country margaritas on day 20 and does the river really cool your beer well enough?

Cheers and thanks community! - Bongo

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Old 07-12-2016   #2
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 390
One could write a small book detailing all the tricks of the perfect GC oar rig. I say just keep a balanced load, push downstream, and if you have plenty of room in the footwell keep an extra 20 mil or two for the boatman's closet. Whiskey, bring extra whiskey...
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Old 07-12-2016   #3
 
Livingston, Montana
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 61
Great organizer for exactly what you are describing, made by awesome folks in Flagstaff.

Junk Drawer with Zipper Pocket, Wet Dreams River Supply
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Old 07-12-2016   #4
 
90Duck's Avatar
 
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 290
Here is my 14' rigged for flip at the scout for Hance. There is a 5 gallon camelbak water bladder backpack in the very front, a Yeti 120 cooler strapped into the footwell below the small yellow pad, a kitchen box under the larger yellow paco, NRS Big Sky 146 under the blue paco (with a soft-sided NRS cooler as a "trunk" to put helmets and such in on top); the cockpit has a Canyon 22 cooler as a day cooler on one side (under the silver foil), and a 5 gallon Scepter water jug on the other, another drybox I sit on, then the Pacific River Bag full of all the rest. My wife rode along on the paco lounge up front. A folding Bimini top is that thing across the bow.

You will end up using every available space for something. Check the raft porn thread for a picture of all the boats in our group from above and mine with the convertible top up for shade.

I got a Captain's Quiver from Cascade River Gear as a Father's day present just before leaving for the trip. It works great for containing and providing quick access to miscellaneous stuff that can get wet.

Captains Quiver Mesh Bag | Cascade River Gear

Have fun on your trip.
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Old 07-12-2016   #5
 
OC, CO
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Balance your boat, I would not run extra weight. NO DRAG BAGS! The eddies in the Grand Canyon are heinous. I kept my boat aired up on the hard side, kept her balanced front to rear, side to side, and hung NOTHING out of the boat into the water.

The rapids are NOT the hard part of the Grand Canyon! It's the damned eddies after each one.
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Old 07-12-2016   #6
 
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Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCFry View Post
Balance your boat, I would not run extra weight. NO DRAG BAGS! The eddies in the Grand Canyon are heinous. I kept my boat aired up on the hard side, kept her balanced front to rear, side to side, and hung NOTHING out of the boat into the water.

The rapids are NOT the hard part of the Grand Canyon! It's the damned eddies after each one.
+1 on this. I quit dragging on the river after the first day and just dropped it over the side while in camp. This was after losing several perfectly good beers to breakage (lesson: always remove the rigid six-pack holder) that ended up leaving me short on beer and a bit grumpy by day 15.

The water is plenty cold enough for beer the first week or so, but then warms up enough to be just adequate towards the end. The solution for cocktail ice late in the trip is to ask the motor rigs if they have any extra. They will generally oblige since by the time you will need it they are nearly done with their week-long trip. They should still be running in Sept. We got 8 blocks of precious cocktail ice from motor rigs over our last 5 days. These were especially appreciated for G&Ts at that point since I'd run out of any beer due to drag bag breakage!

Those swirling eddy lines are absolutely brutal.

Have fun!
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Old 07-12-2016   #7
 
San Jose, CA, California
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+1 for balanced.

I would also suggest going light. The heavier the boat the more energy it takes to row. And it you have 280 miles of eddies to row uphill out of.
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Old 07-12-2016   #8
 
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,012
When I rowed solo I had my gear on a platform in the front bay. I figured I had an extra 180+ lbs of my weight biasing the stern so it would help equalize the balance a bit.

A debated filling jugs for Lava but it's not gonna help. 100 lbs of static weight won't make a difference in the rapids of concern. Use your body dynamically and row aggressively.

I loved being solo in my boat for 15+ (wife hiked out St Phantom) days in Jan. Camp allowed me to be social while the boat allowed me to enjoy the solitude.

Have a great trip.
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Old 07-12-2016   #9
 
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 163
My fave ballast is a couple kegs... but that's in December

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Old 07-12-2016   #10
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Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,154
Ya man, don't drag anything while running, saw my friends have a good entry turn into a long surf this spring, cause of a drag bag. Only have run higher water Cat so far, not grand, but the more I boat, the less I believe in extra weight being good.
2. Skip the extra water jugs unless you need them
3. I really like having a rocket box on each side of me, easy access, plus if you run a floor, side tables.
5. Ice picks with a wood board are awesome for breaking block ice, just don't perforate yourself in the middle of nowhere!!!

Have fun!
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