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Old 03-23-2015   #1
Jackattacky's Avatar
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 99
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2
Storing 9.5 Tributary on car roof?

Hello Mountain Buzz community!

I am a fresh new member after lurking the last few years. My GF and i bought a 9.5 Tributary last fall and are in love with rafting! We are excited to get out a ton this season but have a question that I have not been able to find the answer to. We live in a little apartment in Aspen and have zero room for storage. Last fall we would inflate and deflate the raft for every outing and keep it in the trunk of one of our cars. I am planning on making a pool noodle cover for my ski rack on my old Trooper to get it around this season. I am curious if it is OK to leave the raft strapped up there as our storage solution. I know it would need to be kept at a lower pressure, but would that amount of sun exposure damage the raft at all? What are your recommendations for us? Also, while we're here, i would love any other tips or knowledge you have for the Trib that i should be aware of. Thanks for the help!

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Old 03-23-2015   #2
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PhilipJFry's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 401
I'd keep it covered when it's at home. My AIRE cat is 21 years old and looks brand new, but I've seen some from 2003ish that look like they are 40 years old just because people leave them out all summer. I'm sure the exposure will wear on it over time, might not show much the first year, but it will later on for sure. I prefer to take care of my equipment. if you have a garage, you can hang it from the ceiling to store it and park under it. (just an idea)

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Old 03-23-2015   #3
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 390
I found out the hard way that the stock roof rack on my Trooper was only rated for 150 lbs. It was only held in by 8 small sheet metal screws.

An inflated boat full of snow weighs a whole lot more than that. Also be aware that the wind load on a rooftop boat at 50 mph is significant AND can apply force in the up direction...
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Old 03-23-2015   #4
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
One more recommending you keep the boat rolled and in the trunk. I've seen folks driving around with inflated boats on the roof, but only when they were shuttling back to the put in for another lap, not for the whole summer. The high altitude UV won't be good for the material and the wind drag may just pull that rack right off the car once you get out on the highway. An inflated boat going over the passes will also puff up quite a bit and then get squishy at the bottom.

With a good 12 V inflator and a small top-off pump you should be able to air up that little boat in no time anyway. Also, get a tarp to lay the boat out on for inflation and deflation (so you don't roll it up with sand and grit in it) and use it to wrap up the PVC boat with when it's rolled to prevent abrasion damage.

Have fun - I bet this little raft will be a blast!

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 03-23-2015   #5
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
I have a similar sized raft and have stored it for short periods of time (several days up to a week) rolled and in a vehicle. My raft is glued and not welded so I'm always leery of the high temps inside the vehicle during summer months when it's parked in the sun. I try to store mine in the garage out of the sun where the temps are no so extreme.
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Old 03-23-2015   #6
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
Car topping is fine but not for storage. When I transport my cat on top of my beater jeep, I always run the straps through the doors. This way you'd have to rip your roof off instead of the stock rack.
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Old 03-23-2015   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 140

I would worry about somebody stealing the boat off the roof if it was left out all summer.
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Old 03-23-2015   #8
dafewillis's Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 143
We lived in a first floor condo in steamboat from 04-10 and I stored my one man pontoon rolled up under our ground level deck. Don't know if that's an option for you, but thought I'd mention it.

Sent from my Z970 using Mountain Buzz mobile app
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Old 03-24-2015   #9
2kanzam's Avatar
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 461
I roll everytime, so it's doable and I'm not so sure that alot of the "don't roll your boat for storage" propaganda is a little overblown with modern boats. A 12v pump ought to have a small boat like that inflated in just a couple minutes.

...OR you could tell the GF you have to do some work on it...or measure somethings etc and just inflate it in the living room. After a few weeks of "working on it" she'll forget it's there and it can double as living room furniture from then on! Set the precedent now!
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Old 03-24-2015   #10
Jackattacky's Avatar
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 99
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2
Thank you for all the knowledge! Here's my plan. I will buy a 12v pump and mostly keep it in a car and will get a tarp for help with cleanliness and covering. I will also definitely strap it through the car body when it is up there. I am also planning on treating it with 303 spray to help protect it when it is out and about.

One last question that i might be able to get answered on this thread: We want to customize it and are wondering what the options are for painting the boats name and a little design are? The boat's name is Azulita- little blue- thought you guys would like that.

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