Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-05-2014   #1
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
To the old salts: Bucket Boat rigging

Hey everyone. Thanks in advance for the time and thought you put into any responses.

I started out in self-bailers, where I always pop the thwarts out if I'm going to be rowing gear. I like to get the weight nice and low and use all available space, yada, yada, yada.

I picked up this sweet old Avon Pro standard floor a number of years ago for a song. She comes out on larger trips where I need to use the whole fleet or when I blow an I-beam and need a repair... I love the raft, and I typically rig it for extended trips just as I would a self-bailer, by popping out the two thwarts. Now, I see all these old steel frames--sometimes with old rubber--for sale on Craigslist that are designed with seating areas on top of the thwarts and it really has me second guessing my rigging. So here are my big questions:

Will the boat perform better with the thwarts in and the center of gravity a little higher, or should I continue doing what I'm doing? Could the thwarts increase carrying capacity? What do the folks who have worked the Big Ditch or other rivers in standard-floor rafts have to say?

Thanks again.

jakebrown98 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2014   #2
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
I row bucket boats, primarily hypalon Rikens, pretty much exclusively. I've never removed the thwarts. My frames are simple frames that go on top, sort of in front and behind the thwarts, so that people can sit on the front thwart and be protected by the back one. I sling my gear on straps behind the front thwart and it can't get any lower or it would be sitting on the frame.

Hypalon boats are sort of floppy anyway, and I've always thought that having the thwarts in made them a bit more ridged side to side, but that is probably just my imagination.


DanCan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2014   #3
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
We never messed with the thwarts on the buckets we rowed, but remember most of the time it was a Udisco, and the thwart wasn't supposed to come out. They did sometimes, but they weren't supposed to.

When I put together my cataraft it had side tubes running the length of each tube, low on both sides. I talked to the manufacturer about them, and they said the point was stability (these were originally designed as pull behind ski toys) but also for flotation; amazingly, the two side tubes had almost the same carrying capacity as the main tube. (I've posted a picture of it before around here somewhere)

I also think the bucket floor increases capacity some as well.

So with all that in mind, I'd count on the frame for rigidity, and would not be afraid to pull the thwarts to increase capacity. Load that dog high and wide and see how she does!
Schutzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2014   #4
mcoper8901's Avatar
Salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 96
Bucket boats are awesome.

1. Lose the thwarts
2. Fill that space with beer
3. Profit
Keep it Steep
mcoper8901 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2014   #5
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
mcoper8901 is right on. I have maybe 10k miles on Campways and Rikens boats (not "bucket boats" - self-bailers can best be described as "self-fillers"). Thwarts just take up space, they add nothing in terms of buoyancy (as long as your floor doesn't leak).
Rig your weight (beer! and maybe required items like firepan...) as low as you can and forget about piling people or gear on top of your frame.
In other words, you`re doing it correctly already!
Why would you change...
Whatever works for you, and beer pretty much works for everyone...
B4otter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2014   #6
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
Thanks for the responses, folks. Good to know I'm not committing some horrible taboo by popping the thwarts out.

I guess my uncertainty comes from thinking about how that flat floor reacts with weight in it. I feel like self-bailing floors carry a fair bit of weight even when you keep most of the gear off of them. Self-bailers do tend to ride higher in the water with the same weight in my experience.

Having the thwarts in my Avon might help to keep that floor pushed down in the river and increase my displacement. . . Maybe. Thwarts would also displace a lot of water in a big swamping, but I guess gear and beer rigged low would do the same thing. I'm pretty comfortable relying on my frame for rigidity.

jakebrown98 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ever seen a thick foam floor for a bucket boat? HELP! kvrdave Kayaking | Gear Talk 6 05-25-2010 09:40 PM
to flex fix an old bucket boat? caloot Whitewater Kayaking 0 08-22-2009 10:32 PM
Bucket boat Palo Duro River Access & Safety Alerts! 0 06-12-2009 11:47 AM
10.5 Hyside bucket boat, oar rig down the Grand...? Chrisakus Whitewater Kayaking 14 08-17-2008 11:36 AM
Numbers in a 15-foot bucket boat at 2,550... uryan75 Whitewater Kayaking 4 06-12-2006 09:58 PM

» Classified Ads
2" Seat Riser Kit for NRS...

posted by penguin

Ever feel like you sit low in your NRS oar frame? I did, so...

14' steel raft trailer

posted by groovy

hand made steel welded. This was a commercial trailer used...

Maravia 14 x 22 Cataraft...

posted by Music

2016 Maravia Custom Built 14 x 22 Cat... MEEEOOOWWW!! I...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:10 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.