Quick question on raft support! Thanks! - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-03-2019   #1
Spokane, Washington
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Quick question on raft support! Thanks!

Newbie here! Just bought a 143D with NRS frame. Looking at trailers and most likely will make a custom out of a C&B 6.5'x12' high wall utility trailer to resemble something like the Sawtooth jobbies. (I don't want to spend that much from them at this time)
My question is; can I trailer the raft with only the tubes being supported (two 20"X12' supports on top of the rail system I would fab) and not the floor? I figured with gear and coolers positioned underneath I could support it with gear alone, however, not sure if I should do more for support. Thanks for your time and knowledge to share!

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Old 01-03-2019   #2
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lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
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Quick answer, Yes. Just do not load heavy gear on the boat's floor.
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 01-03-2019   #3
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Ualapue' / High rockies, Colorado / Hawaii
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I have never been a fan of traveling more than short / day trip distances with a boat fully loaded. I never load my boat for a multi day or long drive. I just dont love it. Many people do it and seem to be ok. It does not take much to support an empty boat.
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Old 01-03-2019   #4
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Kalispell, Montana
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Quick answer, Yes. Just do not load heavy gear on the boat's floor.

Yes, I do it all the time. I have a lightweight (for a car hauler) trailer that is 6.5' wide at the siderails. I bolt 2x12's to the top of each rail, and carry my 156R or 13.0Trib on the board rails.

Coolers and dryboxes (and bikes, ammo cans, kayaks, oars, etc) go under the rafts on the floor of the trailer.

Like 1mauisurf, I prefer not to haul heavy weight in my raft. Part of this is driven by the shape of my trailer, but I don't think I'd haul the raft loaded even if I had a flat deck.
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Old 01-03-2019   #5
Denver, Colorado
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I did it for years, just can't load up the floor. But, I got to say, I sold that POS trailer and got a flat trailer and I would never go back. I think Id rather have a good trailer than a great raft. I hated that I could not access my gear and coolers under the raft. I mean, your going to want to buy that last bag of ice before the put in, or your going to camp near the put in, and it sucks to have to unwrap and move a raft just to get to your stuff.

It also sucks to unload and reload a raft all the time. I just have my raft loaded and ready to go on the trailer all year. I dont even take the cooler out. Also when the raft floor isn't supported It means you can't walk around on/in the raft while its trailered. I like to get my raft rigged up before I even drop it in the water, that way Im not taking up more boat ramp time than needed. So try to just get a flat raft trailer with a roller on the back and you'll be set.
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Old 01-03-2019   #6
Salt Lake City, Utah
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The downside to the flat trailers is that they are good for your boat, but not for anything else. I pretty routinely haul my boat empty but inflated with the frame rigged on the siderails, and haul a couple of other rafts and gear in the bed of the trailer under the raft. The inconvenience of having to remove some gear from the boat is worth it to me to be able to transport multiple boats and save on gas and shuttle costs. My gate and built up sidewalls make my trailer pretty useful for hauling stuff to the dump, picking up construction materials, etc.
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Old 01-03-2019   #7
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Post Falls, Idaho
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I did just this with a utility trailer I used two 2x12" both 12' long with three 2x4 cross braces. This did work okay for my 15' raft however I became fatigued with the setup. For me there was just too much movement having just the two planks didn't give my boat much purchase on the trailer.

My issue was compounded by the way Aire's D series curve in making it impossible to align the side tube for much of their length.

For our favorite day run we would run two passes so I was always dealing with limp tubes and straps I had to stop often to adjust pressure and straps.

I now have the cascade mirage trailer and I virtually never have to stop and mess with the boat.

Your idea will work but I would design a fair number of cross bars the whole length to mimick a sawtooth or Mirage.

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Old 01-03-2019   #8
Spokane, Washington
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Wow! Great thoughts here. Thank you. My overall thought was a dual purpose trailer, but I'm almost self conscious when it comes to efficiency at the launch. As you all know,....that one guy that has crap everywhere with no end to the loading in sight. I do not want to be or know that guy personally. Lol. My vision was to beach, unload big ticket items and load in trailer. I would cut the ramp down to the level of the raft supports and fab a roller that would stay fixed to ramp. Tall winch that I could butt the 143D on the upper deck. I saw a post that slips a Y strap over his oar locks to hoist. I also have a two truck issue. An F250 diesel and a Toyota Tacoma. I was hoping to use either for versatility. Short trip run around or load up for a big trip.
I wonder if any of you folks that dual purpose your raft trailer can help me see a better side up them as multi purpose? I suppose the add on stake pockets would be a must.
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Old 01-04-2019   #9
SLC, Utah
Join Date: Nov 2018
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While we're on the subject, how do ya'll feel about a raft sitting on 5 rollers instead of the boards?

Something like this that I saw on another thread.
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Old 01-04-2019   #10
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Tabernash, Colorado
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Originally Posted by blueotter View Post
While we're on the subject, how do ya'll feel about a raft sitting on 5 rollers instead of the boards?

Something like this that I saw on another thread.
It works, but not a great idea, IMO.
I did something like that once with my own trailer for a while, the main problem was that it made it very hard to stand on the deck of the trailer, to help pull the trailer on. Really dangerous to, cause you could trip over backwards. In the end I removed all the smaller rollers, and decked the trailer with plywood, then just added on good roller to the back, and it loaded just as well, safer and easier.

If you are running a lot of rivers with concrete ramps, then I really like a design that is a as low as possible, so that you can either float the boat on your trailer, or at least winch it on. I have to remove some weight first, but I still can winch it on, in one piece, with my cooler and dry box rigged.
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