How to row a little boat - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-11-2009   #1
 
youngpaddler06's Avatar
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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How to row a little boat

So i have a mini me max (10.5') that i just got a frame for. I have taken it out a few times, mostly for fishing flat water though. I would like to start running some bigger rapids but am wondering how my boat will fair.

Anyone row small boats on big rivers that has some advice they would like to share with the world? I would think since you dont weigh very much that wholes and big waves could be an issue if you dont power into them. Do you just avoid all big holes, or paddle into them so atlease you have some momentum? Do you try to avoid backing away so you can keep momentium? How do you rig your boat so your weight is not so far back? Any stratiges when running rivers?

Any and all advice on rowing a small boat would be greatly appricated. Thanks.

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Old 12-11-2009   #2
 
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Smaller and lighter (unloaded) boats get tossed around a lot more. They are also more agile. So using that added agility to avoid big holes and waves is your best bet for staying upright. Also adding weight in your boat will increase stability. The normal rowing rules still apply - when hitting big stuff momentum is important. As is keeping your oars in the water to maintain angle and not get knocked sideways.
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Old 12-11-2009   #3
 
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Eagle, Idaho
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Line 'er up and punch 'em!! Should be easy enough to flip back over.

Seriously though, in a boat that size you should reasonably be able to miss anything seriously threatening.....unless you plan on running IV and greater where you may encounter an "unavoidable" hole.

Momentum is big, weight distribution is big. Think of loading your boat kind of like loading a trailer. You want most of the load balanced, if not just a liiiiittle bit more up front.

Big breaking waves....just make sure you square-up as much and as quickly as possible.
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Old 12-12-2009   #4
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This is Snaggletooth of the Dolores at 2,000 cfs. No problem for the mini me. The cooler was full of beer and I had a passenger.
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Old 12-12-2009   #5
 
Cisco, Utah
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How to row a little boat?

I know I've heard this one before...
I think the answer is; 'gently down the stream...'
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Old 12-13-2009   #6
 
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Northern Utah, Utah
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I have an NRS raft that is similar in size to the mini-max, closer to 10' and a few inches wider. We took it down the Middle Fork this past June at a medium high flow (5.85) and it was a blast. There is very little room for gear up front - we used a 5 gallon water jug and 2-3 drybags to give it some more balance with only one rower.

The only two flips were due to big holes (Velvet and Devil's Tooth). The small rafts are agile making it easy to avoid holes and big waves, and easy to correct when mistakes are made. Several times flips were avoided by digging in an oar or both oars and pulling out of it.

Best way to row is to avoid the big stuff and hero lines when possible - if you can, line it up and punch it hard and hope you make it.
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Old 12-14-2009   #7
 
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Delta, Colorado
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I have a mini-me with a lite weight frame . I did the grand a couple of years ago with only one flip and do the Gunny gorge and westwater often. You need weight in the front to make it slightly heavey there. The other thing is to move around to keep the boat in balance. Dont just sit there. Large boats crash through waves small boats ride through them.
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Old 12-14-2009   #8
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John the welder View Post
I have a mini-me with a lite weight frame . I did the grand a couple of years ago with only one flip and do the Gunny gorge and westwater often. You need weight in the front to make it slightly heavey there. The other thing is to move around to keep the boat in balance. Dont just sit there. Large boats crash through waves small boats ride through them.
So your saying it is important to be able to get off my ass to balance the boat with my own weight? Or do i just need to shift my weight while remaining seated?

How was the grand in a little boat? I may end up going next year and would love to row my boat. Did you have to skirt alot of the rapids?
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Old 12-14-2009   #9
 
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John,
I noticed when i looked at you pictures what a unique frame you have. I also noticed that you dont have a foot bar. Is there a reason for this? Advantages/disadvantages?
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Old 12-14-2009   #10
 
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You will have to move your ass forward in big holes. Push forward with the oars and shift you weight towarrds the front and duck down to keep the water from sweeping you out of the boat. No need for a foot bar in a mini and I carry mine into the gunny so weight is critical. My frame is 16 lbs. without the oar locks. Two people will have 55 lb. loads each for a day trip in the gorge.In the grand we had flows between 12000 and 42000. You will need to pick your lines.
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