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Old 06-03-2014   #21
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If you wanted to get real fancy you could incorporate an extension spring into your strapping so it could expand and contract.

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Old 06-03-2014   #22
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I agree with your friend. Most damage to our boats happened while inflated transport. When rolled up make sure to avoid abrasion.

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Old 06-03-2014   #23
Rainy Northwest, Washington
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2009
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So have folks experienced any damage from trailering other than from overinflation?
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Old 06-03-2014   #24
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Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,661
As I stated in my overly verbose post above, I had a wear problem when the tubes rested on my roller. This probably occurred over the last 3 or 4 years. I'll reiterate that all the leading edges of my trailer are "gravel blasted" i.e. not an ounce of paint. Some trips we take (gravel road return from the Smith River in particular) if it's recently rained there will be inches of mud, sand and gravel on the trailer and coating the front of the boat. I would not agree that things don't hit the boat, but these boats are designed to be abrasian resistant. The only other thing I have seen is one buddy that got his knifed in his driveway once. Lives on the walking route from bars to college dorms... My experience includes a dozen friends that always trailer boats, hundreds of thousands of trailering miles over the last two decades. Not one issue that didn't involve over inflation or over ingestion of alcahol followed by some sort of "short cut"...
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Old 06-03-2014   #25
aka The Curmudgeon
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Hopelessly Stuck in Yesterday, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 322
Over the past 20 years of trailering rafts, I have had 3 "incidents". All were preceeded by the phrase "Here, hold my Beer. Y'all ain't gonna believe ths shit!"
Don't Wanna Die Askin' for Another Chance
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Old 11-25-2014   #26
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Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 18
I grew up with the idea that the boat could not be inflated with gear going down the road due to abrasion. But after watching so many folks that I raft with do just that, I thought I would try it. I had two seasons of complete paranoia for no reason. The boat sustained no damage. I have trailered it practically fully rigged and ready to put on the water with no damage. (I religiously check inflation and straps). You will find that this operation is very nice when it comes to pulling off the river. I rigged a setup that pulls from three D-rings from the trailer winch. I get the trailer as deep as possible and crank the boat up as if it were a drift boat. Once on dry land I get it road worthy and I am long gone when the "roll-up" guys are still fussing.

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Old 11-25-2014   #27
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Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
I Rolled my Sotar one time, and it sucked. I grew up rolling up Riken IK's and rafts up to 15' long, and they were easy. For my boat, I think it is much safer to keep it inflated as much as possible. It has been from Oregon to the Colorado on a trailer with carpet, the Rogue a few times, the John day a few times, etc on a trailer. I check straps and pressure when on longer trips out of the Willamette valley, and haven't had any issues. I think I'd have more issues with folded material possibly rubbing a hole than a nice long tube sitting on a smooth, clean surface.
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 11-27-2014   #28's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 498
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
If you wanted to get real fancy you could incorporate an extension spring into your strapping so it could expand and contract.
Liked your suggestion so much that it has become my winter project to mount springs permanently on my trailer. I travel fully rigged and almost always do. I have found If I'm inflated to 2#'s at 5,280 feet I can go to 12,000 and stay around 3 1/2#'s, which is a very safe pressure range for a Sotar boat. So the only stops I make now are for strap adjustments. I'm hoping that the springs will end the need to adjust on the road. Will report back after first trip.
The only damage I have ever had was when I was towing not rigged and a cat tube fell off on a interstate highway.
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2014   #29
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Sounds good! Keep us posted.
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Old 12-04-2014   #30
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
We have trailered rafts, sometimes double stacked, for long distances. This past fall we put a hole in the bottom of the top raft of double stack driving the Westwater shuttle, caused by abrasion on a cam strap buckle that was holding a table to the raft below. There are three other abrasions from cam buckles on the same table. Abrasion holes can happen quicker than you'd think.

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