Flip Lines - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-07-2010   #1
 
youngpaddler06's Avatar
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Flip Lines

Do you put both flip line bags on the same side of your raft? Would it help to have 4 on all corners? For a small boat would one in the middle of both sides work? Im planning on making them so cost is not really an issue.

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Old 01-07-2010   #2
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Baytopia, Colorado
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I personally don't run them at all they tend to hang up on stuff or trail out of the bag when you don't want. if you flip you can use a waist flip line or just use somebody's throw rope or some straps. if you do run them 4 is pretty overkill unless you flip every trip.
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Old 01-07-2010   #3
 
Eagle, Colorado
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Listen to Mania.

Pre-rigged flip lines are just more “surface area” to hang you up.

I keep some carabineers and Prusik type rope in my PFD to rig a flip line (and a 1000 other uses).

Also, my throw bag is accessible from the overturned boat to create a flip line or to belay the boat in after swimming to shore.
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Old 01-07-2010   #4
 
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I run flip lines, both on raft and cat. One on each side for the cat, it's light. And I'm going to try out some newfangled pre-rigged bungee system ones this coming year.

On the raft, I run 2 standard bags per side. Even unloaded my raft is pretty heavy, and if there's two people to flip it helps a lot. I like to run with the flip lines on because then they are there, for anyone, you never know if you'll get separated from your boat and someone else has to reflip it. Also two on the raft in case the people that end up with it aren't as/very strong or skilled at reflipping. Having the bags in place is also usually faster than having to get gear out of your pfd, or find your throw bag, etc. A lot of guides wear flip lines around their waist (as Mania mentions), so they can just unclip and use those, but I've not been inclined to do that.

I've seen the bags come loose more than once. It is key to rig them well so the rope doesn't come spilling out (been there, done that). I've seen lots of cool home-made ones that are much better than the nylon/cordlock system that is so common. One bag I saw the people made the bag, and then essentially sew it shut with just one or two stitches, which they'll then tear to pull the flip line. I'm not too keen on that myself, and plan to play with making my own this coming year for the raft.

Always attach flip lines to your frame, not your drings, especially if your boat is heavier.
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Old 01-07-2010   #5
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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I do carry a flip line in my pfd. I just thought that having them on the boat would make it easier. Good to know that you should attach the bags to the frame rather then the d-ring.
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Old 01-07-2010   #6
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I like flip lines on the boat, and here's why:

When you flip you're probably going to want help getting to shore. Your rope is probably under water. You can throw that flip line to your comrade for that eddy grabbing tow. I like the idea of lines on both sides. The only time I've flipped an oar rig with flip lines on it they happened to be on the convenient side. It took three of us to flip it back over, but only one line from a PFD because the other ones were ready to go. Next Grand trip I'll run them on both sides. I agree with lhowemt that they can come loose. You'll find a way to rig them so they don't though.

Oh, I just remembered you're running a 50 pound boat with a 40 pound frame. You're probably fine with what's in your PFD. You'll be able to flip it by yourself without too much gear in it. I'll leave the paragraph above for posterity.

Thanks for checking on the dogs today! Have a good trip!
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Old 01-08-2010   #7
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Go with the flip lines. The minor issues with them "hanging up" on something is minor compared to getting your boat upright quickly. Who has tried to reflip a loaded raft? Not quite as easy as one would think. Some folks can't even get on top of a flipped raft to reflip. This is something we practice at the beginning of every season.
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Old 01-08-2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyman View Post
The minor issues with them "hanging up" on something is minor
How do you know? a flipline coming loose is an entrapment hazard and might be less minor than flipping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyman View Post
Some folks can't even get on top of a flipped raft to reflip.
This is a great skill to have, but again depending on the situation it might be better to make a beeline for shore instead of trying to unflip your raft. If it's fully loaded a flipline is not going to help until the boat is worked to shore and several people assist.

We had a loaded boat flip in 209 on the grand. the boatman swam to shore (quite acceptable at least we knew he was out of the water). I followed his boat, used my WAIST flipline clipped his boat to mine and towed it to shore where several people were needed to unflip it.
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Old 01-08-2010   #9
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mania View Post
How do you know? a flipline coming loose is an entrapment hazard and might be less minor than flipping.
I guess it depends on the flip lines used. I have the NRS flip lines. In the past five or so years that I have been running them, they have never come out of the bag, and have never snagged on anything. I think good housekeeping on the boat itself, with loose rope, cam straps, etc.. are bigger hazards than my little NRS flipline bags. I can, and have seen issues with homemade type fliplines. You are right though, we should all be aware of potential hazards on our boats. Not only inside the boat itself, but outside also. A friend of mine leaves his tie-up line outside of the boat on the bow. I've mentioned that it could be an entrapment hazard. He thinks it is a bigger hazard inside the boat. Who is right? Both?
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Old 01-08-2010   #10
 
mountains, Colorado
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Some people love stuff. Personally, I'm working towards simplifying a bit, so adding more "stuff" to my boat isn't the direction I want to head in. In my pfd I have a very basic z-drag set up that also works to flip boats (I haven't had to use it...knock on wood...) Maybe if I did, I might find myself shopping for flip lines, but I doubt it. You also might want to look into those creature craft things (then you don't have to worry about flip lines). Which ever way you go, I strongly recommend that you learn how to flip a boat with out the aids.
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