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Old 07-03-2015   #21
shredder-scott's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 257
Originally Posted by ppine View Post
There is a lot of intuitive appeal in using rescue ropes for a Z drag. I don't think a working strength of 2200 pounds is enough. Loaded rafts can easily weigh 1,200 pounds or more and then you have the force of all of the current in a wrap. 4000 pounds is a lot more like it.

I want to respond.

The strength and length of a rescue rope(s) one should carry is a personal choice.

When choosing rescue ropes a wise boater will consider the total of weight of the boat it is likly to be used on, the with of the river, how other boats in your group are set up with rescue gear.

I run small r2 rafts and 13-14 foot paddleboats on narrow steeper such my 2,000+lbs 50 foot nrs pro waist rope does offer adquate stregth, and length for use in rescue and mechanical advantage systems... due to short length it is unlikly to be usefull in a 3:1 z drag....but it would work for a 4:1 pig rig,, however, given a choice I would I use my use my 5,000lb 75 foot NRS probag for a mechanical advantage setup.

If I was running full loaded oar rigs, on big rivers...I would likly carry a 150-200 foot higher strength rope...a 7- 10,000 lb rope I think would work....I would also carry larger pulleys to work with the larger diameter rope.

But this thread was about rescue ropes and gear that was carried ON YOUR BODY....there is no way that I know of to safely carry 150 feet of large diameter rope on your body while running class IV -IV rapids.....These ropes need to be secured in both yours and others in your groups hopefully there is a rope that is NOT in the raft that is in trouble.


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Old 07-05-2015   #22
Minden, Nevada
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 52
I am happy to be on a forum where people know what they are talking about. Good comments above.
The fastest way to weed out people you do not want to run rivers with is to start a conversation about rescue.
I have rafted with several people once on a day trip, but never again.

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Old 07-05-2015   #23
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 175
Just a few thoughts on what I've read. One of the most important rope qualities on a z-drag is the stretch. A climbing rope that has 20% elongation is about worthless. I don't know if throw bag / rescue ropes are generally static lines or dynamic but you should check the "elongation before breaking" number before you use it in a pulley system. My 5/16" static line has a breaking strength of 4400 lb and 4% elongation.

I've heard a lot about breaking strength and weight of a raft. The force on a rope is how much pull you can put on it. Makes no difference if its in multiple pulleys or if your trying to pull 10 tons - tension is tension. There is very little dynamic force in a z drag. I figure each guy can pull at most 200 lbs so: 5 Guys x 200 +50% dynamic factor x 50% safety factor gives 2250 lb if five burley guys were honking on it.

Finally make sure it floats! My first static line sunk like a rock and that created a lot of problems in rigging. My current Blue water line floats anf is a lot easier to work with. Just my 2 cents
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Old 07-05-2015   #24
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 361
FWIW, I went with the 75' 4400 lbs throw bag. I'm not 100% positive it's static/low elongation, but I checked the specs online and they list the polypro version (which I did not buy) at 6-8% elongation and called it 'high', which they don't say about the SpectrA version I bought... so I'm assuming it's lower.

I haven't had to use it and hope I never have to, but it attaches to a quick deploy belt I can wear on me (which I like), and it's heavy so it throws well (which I also like).

I'm happy with the purchase.

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