Transporting rafts - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-01-2014   #1
 
Smithers, Alberta
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Transporting rafts

Hello fellow boaters. I have been rafting for a number is years on and off. We are finally getting our own boat. A 14.4' Sotar SL with an Eddy out oar frame.
We have a trailer that we are going to be transporting it with however there will be times that we are going to be towing a holiday trailer. When that happens I am thinking of having the whole raft and oar frame on a rack on the truck. We have a canopy on the truck so the raft will sit on a rack above.
My question is, has anyone transported a raft like that. If so, how do you load and unload. I am thinking of maybe putting a winch up top and then a couple of pieces of removable pipe from the rack to the ground for the raft to slide on and off of.
Thoughts?

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Old 01-01-2014   #2
 
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 32
I have contemplated this before and have failed to come up with a viable solution. I have a 3/4 ton 4 wheel drive with a shell and would like to put my 14' Hyside raft on top but the total weight with the frame and all seems to be the biggest issue unless you have 2 men and a small boy around all the time to hoist it up on the roof.

I used to put my 12 foot fishing cats up on top of the shell but they were around 120 pounds total weight with the frame and all. Plus I was younger back then!

The only solution I have come up with is to put the frame on top of the shell and deflate the raft and rool it up to put in the back of the truck.

I am curious to see what others have to say.
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Old 01-01-2014   #3
Old Guy in a PFD
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,106
Gotta ask yourself; is the cure worse than the problem?

I mean, you chuck the rolled up raft in the truck, strap the frame on top, and off you go. How often will you have to do that?

Or, you can spend the winter designing some Goldberg thingy to hold your raft on the roof of your truck and lift it off and on easily.

Then you can spend the next winter building the Goldberg thingy, and maybe you'll find out it doesn't work as advertised, or the cops take note and find a reason why you shouldn't do it, or the raft abuse from being up there isn't acceptable.

I always subscribed to the first rule of river.
You know, keep it simple.
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Old 01-01-2014   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 373
The best solution I have found is to run a piece to 3/6" plate on top on the bed rail in the horizontal position. you make it stick out far enough that it is where the upright piece of the rack attaches. This method allows you to build the rack as an exoskeleton. As far as loading, I weld two sets of brackets on the rear cross bar to attach two 24" rollers. The roller can be found at material handling suppliers.

To load you have two people on the front handles lift the nose up and sit it against the the rack or topper. Then continue to work the boat in to the most vertical position you can get it. Then everyone moves the the back and lifts the stern, but keeps it low to achieve a large angle of attack and maximize the effect of the roller. Then finally 1.2.3. push and she lands in the middle of the rack.

It will realistically take at least 3 people to load and 2 to unload. If you want to talk about designs or anything else contact me through my business. [email protected] If you want to come down for a rogue trip in southern Oregon I could do the build while you were on the river.

Happy NY
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Old 01-01-2014   #5
 
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bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 168
I deflate and roll my boat up on any drive over an hour,highways are a prime place for random flying objects to shiv your boat prison style while on the trailer and bam you are out $5 large,i would just put your frame on the roof and throw the boat in the back rolled up,not to mention your fuel consumption is going to be beyond horrible with a boat on your roof towing a camper lol
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Old 01-01-2014   #6
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,784
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrafter View Post
I deflate and roll my boat up on any drive over an hour,highways are a prime place for random flying objects to shiv your boat prison style while on the trailer and bam you are out $5 large,i would just put your frame on the roof and throw the boat in the back rolled up,not to mention your fuel consumption is going to be beyond horrible with a boat on your roof towing a camper lol
Best advice above,

I have put my raft inflated on top of my truck/canopy when doing day trips for shuttle back up on the N. Umpqua. Can only do about 50 mph max. Bad idea for long distance.

Roll and put in truck with frame on the top is what we do for multiday travel. Not a problem. Seriously how long does it take to blow up and rig, no big deal.
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Old 01-04-2014   #7
 
bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 38
before I built my trailer, I would roll up my 14ft 8in sotar break down frame and oars stuff in back of my wifes mini van. drive 100miles to the big hole river best fly fishing in sw mt. drag it out inflate assemble frame oars cooler boxes all in about 20min by my self. not that big adeal
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Old 01-04-2014   #8
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 731
I heart trailers lol. For your setup, I think it would be easier to roll it up that come up with a rooftop solution. It sounds like this won't be common for you, so you could surpass the point of making it worth the effort to keep it inflated pretty fast. If you aren't pulling the RV very often then put up with the hassle every once in a while. If you love to tinker, proceed...
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Old 01-14-2014   #9
 
frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 75
I roll my boat so that I need to rig it and can not help with the shuttle.
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Old 01-15-2014   #10
 
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Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob larrabee View Post
I roll my boat so that I need to rig it and can not help with the shuttle.
Smart, very smart!
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