3 across the front? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 3
3 across the front?

Hello all - I am in the market for a 15 ish raft (mostly oar use) for my family of 4. Looking for some advice for those that routinely have three passengers across the front/between the tubes on a board or table top. I am down between the aire 146dd, Otter 150, and JPW 15 diminishing tube design. Price point for the quality, roll ability/storage, and weight (moving this myself in large part) have led me to those three.

For those who have the 146dd, form your experience, is there a reasonable amount of space in the front to accommodate 3 across on a board - or is it not so great? There are a lot of factors going into my final choices and each has a give and take but the passenger space between the tubes may narrow this down further. Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
 
bighorn1478@msn.com's Avatar
 
lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
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I have never done it in a raft, but I have in a cat. For them to not kill each other you need 18" per person, 54 " total. That will still require outside people to have one leg on the tube. I think 36" in between the tubes at the very least . My cat had 42 and worked out not bad on a class 2+ river. I would never do a class four with that seating arrangement. Too hard in my opinion for the outside rafters to stay in the boat. JMHO, take it or leave it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
I have 3 in front on a 13' raft. Its only 30" between the tubes but a bit more with my top extended to the outside of the frame. Granted the tallest is my wife @ 5'2 and a 4 and 5 year old, quite a bit smaller. Works well for now, but i can see next year becoming an issue.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
 
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 286
I’ve done it a handful of times in 14ish ft. rafts. It’s not the end of the world or a big deal really. One of those trips was even a week long, fishing hole hopping type deal up in remote AK with 3 other big dudes. Nobody batted an eye.

Allot of times, in the easy stretches, people will triangle up. One on the bow facing backward and two on the right and left side tubes. Makes talking to each allot more comfortable, as well.

Other ideas, go double side rails and run a board out to the edge of the raft for more sitting area.

Also, if you are a sane, non Better Camps and Gardens packer then look at rigging gear forward of the rower. I’ve rolled this way for years so I can do week long trips while fishing people out of the bow and stern. Works awesome if you can discipline your packing. You can then add a stern mount swivel seat and then it’s 2 in the front, rower, and 1 in the stern. Just move the stern person forward for big rapids so they don’t get launched. You can still add a few bags in the stern too. Just floor level though.

Here’s a couple pics from last season to give you a rough idea of rigging forward of the rower. Couldn’t quickly find a multi day stern mount rig pic so you’ll have to use your imagination.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
 
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 122
I did 2-3 across on an old 16' Avon bucket for many years.
You say you have some youngsters aboard, learning the ropes?
The best seat in the house is atop the "GMC" (Giant Mound of Crap) right behind the driver. Driver is between your knees and you hang onto the cargo net like a bronc rider. You're up where you can see everything, up out of the spray, and it's a place you can brace. When you're through the rapid you can sprawl out on the load and go to sleep while somebody else drives the thing.
I use this as the chickenseat, though it takes some convincing. NEVER call it the "chickenseat" ... always tell them it's the high-rider or the best and driest seat, which it is. I use it as a teaching tool, wherein the new student calls the shots and watches as the driver makes his mistakes for him. The high seat gives the best current/rapid views. It's a rare boatman who uses it, but it's the fastest place to learn. Switch them as you like, with the new boater starting off either on the oars or atop the pile. Once the student has the hang of the strokes and their effect on the boat with the current, put her on the oars with the next beginning student up there. This free's you up to get onto another boat with another beginner. Your mileage may vary, but I've found the stroke caller atop the load is mentally engaged, practicing the strokes and seeing the immediate effects on the currents. You can always keep one eye on their progress and take over as necessary.
Besides, it's the quickest way for me to resume my favorite spot ... sprawled out with my hat pulled down over my eyes. Don't worry; they'll wake you up if there's any questions.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
 
SWCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 80's
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 33
I’d look at the wider 14/16 foot Hysides if you’re wanting to put 3 across the front. I could probably squeeze 3 smaller people on my 146dd. Maybe...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
Also a big fan of putting the future/oldest kid in the back with the gear to observe the river. Also, if that one falls out, I have replacements...on a serious note, my small 13' boat is too much for my 10 yr old to row, so looking at a phatcat or storm for her to make the boat feel bigger. Nobody wants a smaller boat....ever....
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
 
bighorn1478@msn.com's Avatar
 
lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,189
Quote:
Originally Posted by 907Floater View Post
Also a big fan of putting the future/oldest kid in the back with the gear to observe the river. Also, if that one falls out, I have replacements...on a serious note, my small 13' boat is too much for my 10 yr old to row, so looking at a phatcat or storm for her to make the boat feel bigger. Nobody wants a smaller boat....ever....
I have a nephew rowing a phat cat since he was 14, runs hells canyon, mf, etc.

loves it. Runs it as a play boat and a personal gear boat
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Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
 
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Ft jones, United States
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 83
Growing up boating, our family raft was a 13'6" Campways Miwok. 4 people on that little boat likely explains why I was in an IK on the Middle Fork by the time I was 9 years old. 🙂
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