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Old 04-12-2015   #1
Tucson, Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Question About Shared Rental Costs

Fellow rafters and kayakers,

Planning has started for a 6 day Deso-Gray trip. The trip consists of four people, one with a kayak and three who will ride in one raft. The kayaker owns a kayak, PFD, and dry bag. The remaining three own no gear. A raft package, four PFDs, three dry bags, kitchen gear, and groover will be rented.

Given that the kayaker is supplying their own kayak, the calculation of the rental costs seems more complicated. The kayaker will mostly be in their kayak during the trip except for one or more of the flat water sections on the river where the kayaker will ride in the raft. The raft will be transporting the kayaker's food, water, and gear for the duration of the trip.

Everyone agrees that the kitchen gear and groover should be divided among the four trip participants. The three people who don't own PFDs or dry bags agree to pay for their own rentals.

But what is an equitable division of the raft rental? Divide it among the three rafting only participants? Divide it by four because everyone needs the raft to transport all the food, water, and gear? Should it be somewhere between those two? What is typically done in this case?

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can offer here.

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Old 04-12-2015   #2
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 326
The kayak provides no support for the trip. If the raft was full and the kayaker was not going to ride in the raft at all then the kayak would be extending the capacity of the trip by one body, but since he will get in the raft in the flat water (like they always do) the presence of the kayak provides no support to the trip whatsoever.

The kayaker should pay his share of the raft rental

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Old 04-12-2015   #3
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
Divide the whole rental by four. If the kayaker complains, you don't want him on the trip. The kayak does nothing for the trip as a whole (assuming he's not rescuing you) and the raft is a necessity unless the kayaker wants to haul ALL his own shit,( figuratively and literally) 25% of group gear/ food/ beer/etc.

I would never complicate the trip accounting on behalf of a kayaker.

I brought a raft/gear on a grand canyon and still paid my full share of the trip even though there was rented rafts/gear.

I think legally, it has to be done that way.
zach baird
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Old 04-12-2015   #4
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
split it 4 ways.

On other trips where rafters bring a personal $10,000 rig and truck and a kayaker can still get away with their $500 setup it will balance out.

And I agree. If the kayaker puts up a stink this is his last invite.

This is coming from a rafter AND kayaker. Without the raft the trip doesn't happen.
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Old 04-12-2015   #5
I'm right 50% of the time
brendodendo's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
Tell the kayaker you'll give him $50 credit. Also let him know that he is in charge of cleaning the groover after the trip and that he has to provide 2 times the amount of beer than other participants. Even then, he will drink your beer.
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Old 04-12-2015   #6
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
I disagree about kayakers not providing any support to a trip. Lots of kayakers will do plenty to pull their weight in camp and can also be a great addition to the trip while not taking up any space in the raft. The kayaker may even be the one chasing down the raft and getting folks out of the water in the event of a mishap.

That said, it's a shared cost trip and the kayaker's gear will be riding on the raft along with all their food and poop. Speaking of food, it's typical for kayakers to work up a lot more appetite on the river than the folks sitting on the raft and I've even seen a "kayaker factor" of 1.5x used when figuring out how much food to buy. If the outfitter's doing a food pack, there'll be plenty of food, if you're buying your own, you'll probably have lots more than you need anyway and the kayaker will help minimize the amount of leftovers.

And don't let any kind of "rafters vs. kayakers" attitude (or ANY kind of self-righteous attitude for that matter...) get in the way of having a great time together. Every river trip should have a few kayakers and I feel like something's missing if there aren't at least a couple along. Not only that but from the sound of your group, you may need all the on-river experience and knowledge you can get. Maybe y'all should consider renting a SUP as well. Depending on what the water's doing and the temprament of your group, Deso would probably be a great place to have one.

Split your cost for everything but the PFDs and drybags evenly. You'll be amazed at how cheap the trip is for each of the participants considering the experience you'll all have. If anyone complains just show them the cost of an outfitter trip down Deso - that'll shut them right up.

Have a great trip!

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 04-13-2015   #7
Tucson, Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Thanks to all of you! I appreciate you guys taking the time to share your wisdom here.
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Old 04-15-2015   #8
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 148
My general rule is everybody pays the same. When I run trips I normally don't even let folks buy beer --- I take care of everything and divide by # of people regardless of what gear they may already have.

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Old 04-16-2015   #9
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
You just can't let a Kayaker dictate some special accounting rule for this kind of thing. As noted above, if they make a stink about it, invite them to find another way.

Plus, Kayakers are infamous for always, but always, taking the last beer.
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Old 04-16-2015   #10
Las Vegas, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 97
I think you have gotten some good advice so far. The way I look at it is pretty simple. Do you need all of the rental gear to make the trip go? If so, then divide it equally. Pretty good rule of thumb. It gets more complicated when you have a combo of owned and rental oar rigs, but if you need all of the rigs to make the trip go, then it is an equal split. Same with damage deposits. On longer trips where you outfit some or all, I always have folks pay an upfront damage deposit. Easier than going back after a trip if someone breaks an oar or whatever. In this case, the folks who pay a full share but bring their own rig should get reimbursed by the group for damages to their personal boat. Say they break an oar, it is automatically a group expense. Same with vehicle shuttles. Group expense.

Just my thoughts...

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