Ballast or no for stern row? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 5 Days Ago   #1
 
Kremmling, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 13
Ballast or no for stern row?

Question for those stern rowers out there. I have a 12' Otter, used to have a center seat oar frame, garage fire melted frame, and i picked up a stern frame and ran a little bit last year at VERY low water conditions. Of course I noticed some handling differences, but did ok at those levels.

I had planned on growing my skills along with the increased flows this year but the river seems to have not read my plan memo I sent.

The complication sets in as my chickenspit wife... aka- front ballast, is now unwilling to go hold down the front end in her accustomed fashion. When you guys do class 3 do you put ballast in the front or let it ride high perched on the back?

My valiant dog will almost certainly ride close to me which will only make me more butt heavy.

If it matters this will be on the upper CO at 2400 currently, and my concern is that a hit with the front on any wall of consequence and i would be set up perfectly for a stern first dip/flip. (which I have never done and am ok with that)

I have requested replacement ballast but apparently all my friends have plans on living forever and dying in their beds...

I am well aware that I should have done a solo trip at lower levels to get the "feel" for the lighter front end, but my ballast was very un-willing to let me go have fun by myself at low flows, while now she is just the opposite, who knew that a woman could be fickle??

Thinking of going state bridge to twin bridges for my first run even though it is a bit more of a drive it would take several potential walls out of the murphy's basket of tricks.

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Old 5 Days Ago   #2
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Paddling Since: 1994
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I'd want some weight in the front. Can you not slide the frame at least a little forward to keep from doing wheelies? A heavy cooler on the front could work if not.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #3
 
Kremmling, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 13
Thanks for the feedback, not really on the frame slide, my thoughts on ballast ws to put two 48 qt coolers in front of the thwart and fill as needed with water, what with water being rather prevalent this year, and easily adjustable as needed, probably have room for 3 if need be.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #4
 
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Hampden, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 312
Find some smooth river rocks, or be the guy with two kegs up front.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #5
 
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 150
Ballast.
You want your boat to sit pretty much level on the water. I would think about switching out to a center frame again, when you can, just more versatile
and handles better, at least in my book( opinions and mileage will very).

With the river trips, you got to just “tell her” what you are going to do. “ Hey honey, I’m going boating tomorrow, love to have ya come along if you want”.
Just live your life how you want, and if she’s down with it, great, if not, well that’s just how it is, it’s your life, and yer the one who has to die when it’s time for ya to die, so don’t allow others to run it for you.
My view point, at least.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #6
 
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 254
Rear mount frames are meant for assisted paddling or fishing. If you can't find consistent "ballast" get rid of the rear mount and buy a new, mainstream, frame.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #7
 
Kremmling, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 13
If I go the 2 keg route I may also pick up more friends (ballast) too!

Yes wife training is high on my list, shock collar has been ordered...

As is a center seat row frame, because yes your leverage is all compromised when on the rear, last year was fine as it was such a low water year.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #8
 
Monument, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by smhoeher View Post
Rear mount frames are meant for assisted paddling or fishing. If you can't find consistent "ballast" get rid of the rear mount and buy a new, mainstream, frame.
+1 for this plan. Rear mounted frames are a blast for paddle assist crews but not versatile for your 'go to' frame set-up.

But-since that is what you have right now-Get some weight on the front end to level out the boat and you should be OK.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #9
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrelnuts View Post
If I go the 2 keg route I may also pick up more friends (ballast) too!

Yes wife training is high on my list, shock collar has been ordered...

I tried the shock collar method on my wife, it left me with a black eye every time I pushed the shock button. Not recommended.



Ballast for sure, and ditch the rear frame. you can make a nice 2x6 day frame out of wood and bolt on oarstands for less than $75 bucks.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #10
 
Arnold, California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 170
Maybe you can put the stern frame around the middle and strap it to thwarts if you have them. Otherwise let me know when you add the 15.5 gal of ballast. Not sure how much help I’ll be though.
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