Bow line length? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-11-2011   #1
 
norcal, California
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Bow line length?

What length bow line would you recommend for a 14' raft? Thanks!

(First time outfitting a raft, more newbie questions sure to follow)

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Old 04-11-2011   #2
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Mesa, Arizona
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Twice the length of the boat: 28'
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Old 04-11-2011   #3
 
Kayenta, Arizona
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45-50 foot

barcolounger,

I am sure there is some magic formula for this, but I am un-aware of such a thing. I am a relative newbie myself and I personally utilize a much longer rope than just 28 feet.

I row a 14 foot rig and we always have a 45-50 foot bowline bag. I would think that with most rivers, you would be fine with only a 28 foot rope, but often times we find ourselves stopping or camping along rock edges with-out sand to pound a stake or trees to tie up to.

This past trip there was a night I had to climb way the hell up on the beach past some sandstone to get to a place where I could pound in a stake and tie-up. In my humble opinion it would not hurt to have a little more than just 28 feet.

Bucket
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Old 04-11-2011   #4
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I'm with ya' Bucket, but I don't like to have it attached to the boat. I carry extra rope that I can add if needed. I prefer having it but stored away....keeps it from being a bother when you don't need it.
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Old 04-11-2011   #5
 
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Aurora, Colorado
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I use a 50' throw rope. Works great. 75' would be even better, but I don't have one.

Kim
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Old 04-11-2011   #6
Fry
 
The OC, Colorado
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For you rock climbers out there, and I am sure you already know, but rock pro works to hold boats...
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Old 04-11-2011   #7
 
boulder, Colorado
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I use two 50' sections, one on the bow, one on the stern attached to the D rings with locking caribiners. This way, I can combine the two for longer length if necessary, tie off both bow and stern parallel to shore as an option, or use them in a z-drag if necessary. Whatever length you choose, make sure the rope floats so you don't snag the bottom unexpectedly should your line get loose.
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Old 04-11-2011   #8
 
Golden, Colorado
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Carry 2. The short one (20-25') is the one you use on the river, the one your passenger jumps to shore with to hold the boat.

The long one (who knows) is for when you get to camp and want to tie up to the tamarisk that is 80 ft. away.

There are two purposes for having the river running bowline as short as possible: 1) much easier to restuff the bag after you get going again, 2) safer because the less rope you have the less you have to hang yourself with

I have a buddy who basically drowned when his leg got tangled in a bow line that self deployed at a bad time. He came back to life with some heroics. I don't trust bow lines at all. I guess the safest might be to not attach the bowline until you are ready to jump to shore, but I haven't gone that far. I keep it attached in a bag.
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Old 04-11-2011   #9
 
Kayenta, Arizona
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Good Point

Ture,

That is a great point about having a shorter line for landing...especially with passangers. A number of times we have had difficulties landing while rafting with people who were not as experienced or comfortable and I could see how it could lead to a bad situation.

Glad your friend recovered, but god, what a lesson we all can learn from this. I think a short line for landing is a must and I will use my longer rope bag for tying up at camp.

Good info.

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Old 04-11-2011   #10
 
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My preference is to have at least 50' and would prefer 75'. Stowed in a bag and with a secondary loop clipped to the bag handle to decrease the chance of entanglement and accidental deployment.

I usually retire my throwbags to bowlines after a season or two and this also gives me a second throwbag in a pinch.

-AH
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