Righting a flipped larger cataraft - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-16-2018   #1
Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 43
Righting a flipped larger cataraft

I acquired a 16-foot cat with downriver Deso 5 -bay diamond plated frame this year; not lite. Iím concerned on how Iím going to right the cat if and when I flip it. Although I have done flip drills before on my old 14í Riken raft, I have not done it with this cat yet. Iím not sure that I have the weight to flip the cat right side up even unloaded by myself; I think it would be a chore for two. My question to you is how do I do I right my cat either by myself or when I have limited help? The obvious answer is pulley system, but I my search for video or instructions on how to set a system like this have been fruitless. I would consider myself a newbie at rafting, so I may be using the wrong vocabulary in my searches.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


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Old 08-16-2018   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,011

For years, I strapped a Z drag kit on the rear frame member of my 16 foot NRS cat. Upside down access seemed important, as I ran a lot of solo trips...

I also rowed and motored a 20 foot Jacks El Tiger Grande. Never flipped it, but because it was so big -- and always heavily loaded -- I kept a heavy duty rope-based come along in a box strapped to the rear of the frame, where it could be accessed if upside down. I did use it to good effect once, to reflip a very heavily loaded 18 foot NRS SB on the Grand.

Sorry I don't recall the brand, but it was quick to rig and very effective.


Rich Phillips
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Old 08-16-2018   #3
Boise, ID
Paddling Since: '99
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 346
Come along, pin kit, or Z-drag kit. Could also search on 3 to 1 (3:1), 5 to 1 (5:1) etc rigging.
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Old 08-17-2018   #4
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 391
In my experience an unloaded 16' cat and five bay frame would take at least 3 big guys to flip manually with flip lines. A cat loaded for a big trip probably needs mechanical advantage. Which means at least one on the pull rope and a couple in in the water to keep it from pulling the whole rig back to the pulley (pivot point). Four or five people is better. Not saying one guy can't flip a big cat but it would be a long process and very difficult, - you would need some serious rigging skills. Lots of how-to guides on the web - google z-drag raft flipping and you'll find dozens of references. One big mistake a lot of beginners make is to use a climbing rope with lots of stretch - all your effort goes into rope stretch. Make sure you have some sort of static line (4-5000 lb), a good anchor and watch for ropes and bieners shooting back at you if something breaks. Lots of tension on a z-drag line. Had a person on one of my trips whose Dad lost an eye that way
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