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Old 06-06-2016   #1
Brigham city, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 21
Motor rigs / Boat Formations

I have an upcoming deso trip that we are going to motor. Ive had a motor for two years now. Currently I have only 3 boats coming with us, I was worried how a motor rig would handle being three wide, also being wider than its long.
would adding another boat to the front improve handling or speed? Or would running 2 in front and 1 boat pushing be better? Any experience?

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Old 06-06-2016   #2
richjz's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 12
You'll be fine

We run 3 wide all the time. I've done it on Cat and Deso. Try to keep them evenly weighted to avoid spinning. Leave the oars in the outside locks or pins or whatever you use to help out with maneuvering just in case.

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Old 06-06-2016   #3
aka The Curmudgeon
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Hopelessly Stuck in Yesterday, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 322
I've tried many and the 2 in front, 1 in the back (kind of a "Y") is great. Steering is good, visibility is good, etc.
Don't Wanna Die Askin' for Another Chance
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Old 06-06-2016   #4
over the horizon
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Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 267
What's your problem again? Too few boats to push?
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Old 06-06-2016   #5
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Put em in a line. Strap the frames stupid right, with boats partially stacked on each other. Passengers up front as far from hat noisy moor as they can get. Take turns on motor duty, or leave it unattended with a kill string and steer manually from the front.

(Note there is a learning curve on this, but it will pay off once you figure it out.)

Again, all connections are frame to frame; no D rings whatsoever.

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Old 06-07-2016   #6
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
Like dave said, 3 in a line. It will take a little getting used to steering but will be the most efficient by far. Momentum is a factor of length vs width. Wider than long is about the least efficient way to run.

Heres what I run...

2-3 boats, 1 wide, end to end

4+ boats, 2 boats wide then end to end. I have run a 12 stack 2 wide and 6 long. 6 long is probably about as long as I'd want to steer around but I havent had more than 12 boats on a single motor rig trip. Always had 2 rigs on bigger trips.

The tighter you can get it frame to frame the better it will steer. Sloppy rigs will steer unpredictably and terrible, straps will break, etc.

zach baird
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