Best low water craft for multi-day trips... - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-21-2012   #1
 
Kirkland, Washington
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Best low water craft for multi-day trips...

I always seem to run out of water for those multi-day trips in August & September, particularly on those non-dammed, irrigation drawn down permit free (at the end of the season) rivers like say the John Day in Oregon or the Smith in Montana. Have a "dream to row" 13' drift boat dory for docile Class I-II day trips and the occasional lake fishing and a 14'-6" raft for multi-days & whitewater. Raft frame skinnies down for white water or upgrades to a (3) person fishing machine with casting platforms, thigh bars and stern seat trailer frame with anchor. Neither work for low water multi-days. Need enough capacity for 8 day trips with 1 adult on board. Can go ultra-light like for a back-packing trip. What's my best bet? A small (12'-13') raft with a light weight frame and no anchor or 12' to 14' tubed cataraft rigged to haul gear. Prefer the cataraft option for maneuverability around obstacles like tree sweeps and exposed rocks and for its low initial cost but although it costs more the raft more probably drafts less. What say the gurus on Mountainbuzz?

You don't have to be the smartest person in the room - you only have to be in the right room.

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Old 03-21-2012   #2
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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older style Aire Lynx II or newer Outfitter II IK will treat you right on lower JD for 8 days. They hold a bunch of gear with 1 paddler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdconner View Post
I always seem to run out of water for those multi-day trips in August & September, particularly on those non-dammed, irrigation drawn down permit free (at the end of the season) rivers like say the John Day in Oregon or the Smith in Montana. Have a "dream to row" 13' drift boat dory for docile Class I-II day trips and the occasional lake fishing and a 14'-6" raft for multi-days & whitewater. Raft frame skinnies down for white water or upgrades to a (3) person fishing machine with casting platforms, thigh bars and stern seat trailer frame with anchor. Neither work for low water multi-days. Need enough capacity for 8 day trips with 1 adult on board. Can go ultra-light like for a back-packing trip. What's my best bet? A small (12'-13') raft with a light weight frame and no anchor or 12' to 14' tubed cataraft rigged to haul gear. Prefer the cataraft option for maneuverability around obstacles like tree sweeps and exposed rocks and for its low initial cost but although it costs more the raft more probably drafts less. What say the gurus on Mountainbuzz?

You don't have to be the smartest person in the room - you only have to be in the right room.
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Old 03-21-2012   #3
 
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Golden, Colorado
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SOAR - 14ft Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

My buddy carried this one on his plane for remote trips. He says it can carry a lot of gear. 62 lbs isn't backpacking weight, but 8 days doesn't give you many options.
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Old 03-21-2012   #4
 
Kirkland, Washington
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Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
SOAR - 14ft Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

My buddy carried this one on his plane for remote trips. He says it can carry a lot of gear. 62 lbs isn't backpacking weight, but 8 days doesn't give you many options.
Thanks, but when I mentioned backpacking I meant that I could go very light. I would not need to carry it on my back. Also, I am looking for something to row, not paddle. Perhaps a super wide inflatable with a frame?
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Old 03-21-2012   #5
 
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Ah- misunderstood. In that case, maybe the elevated floor style like the Star Bug series. It's supposed to draw like a cataraft.

http://www.starinflatables.com/mods/...p?idproduct=24

That's the boat I'd look at for low water and packing down into the Gunny Gorge, etc.
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Old 03-21-2012   #6
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BZN, Montana
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A kayak.
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Old 03-21-2012   #7
 
Kirkland, Washington
Paddling Since: 1972
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Row frame for wide inflatable kayak?

Know anybody that has concocted a row frame for a wide IK? Maybe that is the low water solution that gives you rowing power coupled with the most buoyancy (lowest draft for weight) and gear carrying capacity?
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Old 03-21-2012   #8
 
Kirkland, Washington
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Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
Ah- misunderstood. In that case, maybe the elevated floor style like the Star Bug series. It's supposed to draw like a cataraft.

Star Inflatables rafts and kayaks. Inflatable fishing boats, inflatable rafts and inflatable kayaks. Paddle rafts, Bug Series, row frames and accessories by Star Inflatables. - StarInflatables

That's the boat I'd look at for low water and packing down into the Gunny Gorge, etc.
So you are on the side of a small raft over a cataraft? The Bug is similar to the Puma and others out there. May very well be the best solution, but a small cataraft costs a lot less.
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Old 03-21-2012   #9
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Originally Posted by mdconner View Post
So you are on the side of a small raft over a cataraft? The Bug is similar to the Puma and others out there. May very well be the best solution, but a small cataraft costs a lot less.

a cataraft of the same length/width and similar load will overall will sit lower in the water than a raft of similar overal shape as the cataraft has a lot less surface area touching the water and therefore, less bouancy

A cataraft by defenition does not have a shallower draft than a raft. In fact a bucket boat can actaully have some of the shallowest draft as there is no water infiltration through grommets/lacing and therefore has overall more water displacement force.
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Old 03-21-2012   #10
 
Kirkland, Washington
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A cataraft by defenition does not have a shallower draft than a raft. In fact a bucket boat can actaully have some of the shallowest draft as there is no water infiltration through grommets/lacing and therefore has overall more water displacement force.[/QUOTE]

Understood! But less maneuverability. How about the fat IK with the row frame? Dumb idea?
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