Rigging advice for newbie appreciated - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-02-2017   #1
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 63
Rigging advice for newbie appreciated

New member and excited to get involved in whitewater again but was hoping to avoid some mistakes with my raft set up. My goal is to be able to successfully survive (raft and gear) a flip and swim. Now don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go before I ever venture into that kind of water but I am getting older and would prefer to do it "right" the first time just in case. I have a 14 foot p.o.s. that I think will do fine in classII and III (?) Before you give me grief about the low quality green barge, you should know that I won it by putting my name in a box at a grocery store! Did not win the snowmobiles or the dirt bikes which bummed me out a bit but made my wife happy.So it's a good luck boat and I've been rowing it for fishing for 4 years or so. I learned to kayak in the early eighties and then moved to Hawaii untill 2004 and I haven't been in white water since a botched trip to Costa Rica kinda scared me. But now I wanna do some multi day adventure stuff like you guys so off goes the fishing stuff (keep rods and flies) and on goes the Coolio adventure package. Ok so the goals are to do a rowing whitewater clinic on the rouge in the spring (all ready signed up but now iam nervous) then do the lower salmon in summer with our neighbors who do it every year. In between have fun locally in a ducky or maybe a hard boat (kinda old though). So I've read alot of posts and looked at raft porn and watched you tube but just want to ask if the way iam going is a good one or if you would make changes. I've worked as a fabricator in my life so I've just bought the nrs ends and bought kengths of tube and bend and cut to fit. I also bought a piece of the nrs wood decking and have been making the side boards and a seat. My first question
1. Is simply strapping down the bench ok?
I can make slots or holes if that better?
This is supposed to be the seat/table with hanging bag under. So is there a way to hinge it to get at stuff or is that stuff stowed away untill landing?
2-Also advice on the blank spot at rear of frame?
3-also concerned about a proper rowing position (never gave it much thought before now?) I had the oar towers dead middle but to make it fit now iam 3 inches back of center?
Bad news is I love my wife and kids And do not want an injury or God forbid worse caused by a mechanical f-up .ok sorry for the long post but I do hope you will look and see and offer some real world advice. Thanks Charlie in Bozeman mt
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Pinchecharlie is offline   Reply With Quote
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Old 08-02-2017   #2
 
Boise, ID
Paddling Since: '99
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 271
Not bad for free.

1-yes, but personally I would drill holes and router the edges of those holes. You could use those holes and run short cam straps to the bars underneath and that would create a hinge and way to open the table to the drop bag.
2-your frame is adjustable. I'd move the dry box back to the end on the side tubes on the frame. Your rowing cockpit looks cramped unless you are very height challenged.
3-it's okay to row rear of center. Many people do. It's a personal preference where your oars are in relation to the boat. My raft is rearward and my cat is forward.
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Old 08-02-2017   #3
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 92
Take your time

Things to consider, practice rigging on shore, it'll make rigging on the water and much more efficient pattern.

More straps! When ever you rig something, don't underestimate the power of moving water. If it is something really important, like your kitchen box, or all your food for the trip, take the time to make sure you have it strapped with multiple straps. Straps can blow out, and rafting gear is expensive, straps by comparison are relatively cheap.

Make sure you rig your frame to multiple d-rings, so if one of those bad boys blows, you don't lose everything.

You know those sketchy pick-up trucks rolling down the interstate and you don't want to follow behind them because that mattress is begging to fly off, use that as your example of how not to rig your stuff. Shoot for a tidy rig, with multiple anchor points, that'll hold when upside down.
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Old 08-02-2017   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 134
I like the floor inflation valve in the bow. Too hard to get to when your stern is loaded on multi-days.
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Old 08-02-2017   #5
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 63
Hey thanks for the advice! I tried to set up the seat/footbar/oars , so when I was at rest the oars where slightly in front of my knees and a couple inches above? Thought I read that here lol. So yeah iam short . When I was young I boxed professionally , I weighed in at a heavy 106! Now about a buck 35 at a towering 5'5".😂. I actually hate those little face things sorry. Anyway so I feel comfortable at rest and set up the seat to give myself the ability to push hard and or fly backwards a bit. I will use lots of straps and carry extras.good advice. I have a lot of them from work and life. One thing that I was wondering is are the kinds of straps I call "cam" straps dangerous or something? I never see them on boats and they work alot better? You know the ratcheting kind? I will try and make slots for the straps too that sounds better than just flat straps on the table/ seat. I have a beaver tail I made for fishing too for the back or just a net floor I dunno? You gotta be rich to have all the cool stuff! Keep the tips coming I really enjoy being involved and like to see what people who know what they are doing do. Thanks again Charlie
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Old 08-03-2017   #6
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 487
All straps and buckles are not created equal. Durability and resistance to sand are critical for boating. There are various grades of webbing as well, nylon will stretch when wet, polyester not so much. Here is a good info page on strap material pro/con.

Hints and How-To's for Strap Projects - Strapworks

Western desert rivers are incredibly hard on gear. Those cheap straps you see at Home Depot are not up to the task. The straps literally hold your boat together, they are an integral structural component. Don't skimp on your straps, especially the ones that hold the frame and tubes together.

You will need a large number of straps in various sizes, I prefer to use ones that are color coded or marked by length. Makes sorting stuff a lot easier.
( I need 69 straps for my cat rig, over 30 for the bucket boat)
Straps come in two styles, regular and loop to loop where the ends of the straps have sewn in loops that you can wrap around the frame. I prefer the loop style since they stay attached to the boat and are less likely to go for a swim.

some general strapping tips...

1. When possible take two or more turns around the frame, this prevents the strap from rolling when you tighten it. Use extra wraps to take up slack and minimize loose tails.
2. Arrange straps so you can tighten them from within the boat. A lot of noobies rig on dry land then find out all the cams are pointed so you have to get out of the boat to pull on them.
3. Redundant tie offs are good, when possible get at least two ties downs to a loose object.
4. Keep the ends neat and well heat fused, fuzzy straps are a pain to thread.
the quickest way to beat up your straps is to leave loose tails when you drive on the highway. The 60 mph winds will beat them to pulp.
5. If the end of the strap is too small to get a good grip, just clip another buckle on it to give yourself a hand hold. You can tighten stuff with just a 1/2" sticking out.
6. Save yourself a lot of rigging headache and purchase an 'everything bag' or similar product. Everything Bag - Raft Rigging Made Easy - Tuff River Stuff
7. Mark your straps with spray paint to keep track of them. I spray the buckles a bright lime green. On hectic ramps gear gets intermingled and most of us buy the same brand of straps. It's easy to say 'all the green ones are mine'.
8. When loading or unloading I use a simple rule, never leave a strap loose. If you unbuckle one to remove gear you immediately replace it or loop it around a frame and buckle it, never just set it down. Loose straps will swim.
9. Straps that pass through a routed hole or D ring are much more secure that a strap that just loops over something. You can cut holes, add D rings, footman loops or sew in loops of webbing to your gear to help with this.

Some of my old time rafting buddies don't use cam straps. They prefer military tubular webbing in 5/8" or 1" sizes. They cut to length and use bowline and truckers hitch knots to rig. You can buy bulk tubular webbing cheap on-line. I prefer straps, but this can be a good way to try out several rigs and see what size and length you need.
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Old 08-03-2017   #7
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 487
Most rigs are 'works in progress'. I modify my rigging a bit for each trip depending on what I need to carry. On multi day trips I might not get it just right until day 3 or 4. When you do get it just right, pull out the camera and make a record of what goes where with which size straps. Make the next rigging much easier.
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Old 08-03-2017   #8
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 121
What make/model is your new boat? Apparently I'm shopping at the wrong grocery stores!

In general, while rigging you want to minimize loose ends/tails that could wrap around a person/get folks tangled in a flip. I also try to look at my setup and think about places that a foot/leg/arm could get wedged in a flip, and minimize those types of situations where practical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinchecharlie View Post
One thing that I was wondering is are the kinds of straps I call "cam" straps dangerous or something? I never see them on boats and they work alot better? You know the ratcheting kind?
I think you are confusing 'ratchet straps' and 'cam straps.' Don't use the ratcheting straps. Stick with the 'NRS strap' style cam straps for sure. If you don't need it all to match, then check out Salamander's grab bags of straps: https://salamanderpaddlegear.com/pro...bag-cam-straps.

Also check out loop straps for strapping your coolers/box/seat to the frame- they make for quicker rigging: https://www.nrs.com/product/1444/nrs-1-loop-straps.

You also need to make sure you are carrying a spare oar (3 total), and might consider rigging with spare oar keepers, or a couple small NRS straps: https://www.nrs.com/product/1425/nrs-spare-oar-keeper

Looks like you are currently letting your cooler sit on the floor. Ultimately you'll want to suspend it so it sits up off the floor, with either drop bags/straps/etc.

Also consider adding a drop bag under that seat to hold more gear. Space is precious- you don't wanna waste it.

Get at least 1 throw bag for rescue. I like to have 1 in the captains bay and one in the bow for rescue. Get a separate bowline bag that you'll tie up the boat with when at shore. Don't use your throw line to tie up your boat at shore. MAKE SURE ALL ROPES ARE IN BAGS/NO LOOSE ROPES ON THE BOAT.

If you're gonna have carabiners, make sure they are locking. You don't want a carabiner to clip to you/your pfd unexpectedly in a flip. Lockers prevent that.

Lastly, consider taking a swiftwater rescue course. They are a lot of fun and you'll learn a ton about being safe on the water.

Have fun and be safe out there- it's really a great sport you're getting into.
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Old 08-03-2017   #9
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 487
After looking at your photos in more detail, a few suggestions...

- Round over all the edges on your plywood pieces, sharp corners will scrape you up. It's not just flips you need to be planning for, white water will bounce you and passengers around a lot. Soft edges when ever possible.

- I would cut a bunch of holes in the all the decking to provide tie down points for gear. For example you might want to put a PACO pad or something on the seat and some extra holes let you tie things on without disturbing the table. If you are using cam straps it helps if the holes are big enough to pass the buckle. Tiny little slots are difficult to thread, esp. when the boat is full.

- As other suggested, you don't want stuff directly on the floor (causes pinch points when you hit rocks) Suspend the cooler on some straps, add a drop bag to the front seat. Use your beaver tail or a mesh floor in back. If you cut holes in the deck at the right places you can use a short strap around the frame on one side as a hinge, easy access to gear below.

- I would stretch out the bays and use the full length of the bars, your rowing bay looks small, but it depends on your anatomy not mine. If you are shorter you might want raise your sitting position for more leverage.

- if you don't expand your bays consider purchasing shorter side rails. I think NRS sells the raw pipe for about $6 a foot. The ends sticking out look like a puncture or entrapment hazard to me. If you backed hard into a rock those might go through the tubes and you could lose both chambers in an instant.
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Old 08-03-2017   #10
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by kengore View Post
- if you don't expand your bays consider purchasing shorter side rails. I think NRS sells the raw pipe for about $6 a foot. The ends sticking out look like a puncture or entrapment hazard to me. If you backed hard into a rock those might go through the tubes and you could lose both chambers in an instant.
For that extra frame length, I'd consider either trimming the existing rails to fit your current setup, or pushing the footbar forward until it hits the cooler, then sliding the drybox forward the same distance, and adding an additional cross bar to make a 5th bay behind the drybox.
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