Righting a raft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-21-2011   #1
 
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Tigard, Oregon
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Righting a raft

When I first started rafting I learned a few great techniques to right a paddle raft. I was working as a guide on day trips and never had the need to learn to right an oar rig. When I bought my own raft and started doing multiday floats I had the hardest time trying to find any documentation online with descriptions on how to right a loaded oar rig.

For future raft generations, please share your favorite techniques for righting rafts. Here are a few quotes from another thread on another topic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rg5hole View Post
example of one way to flip your raft over.
This is an 18' gear boat...HEAVY, enjoy

Quote:
Originally Posted by GC Guide View Post
Andy,
I have never righted a raft that way, we run throw bags over the bottom of the boat to the FRAME on the river side, after the oars have been derigged. The throw bags allow everyone to be well away from the boat on the shore. We then use the shoreline to stop the boat from moving as we pull, pull, pull up and over. The boat will land on the shore. Early on I wondered how much damage would come to the boat from flipping them onto rocks and such on the shore. No damage yet. It really is a pull to right a nearly 2 ton baggage boat! BTW, those videos are still elusive, but the last posted vid clearly shows the same fate to those who just basically floated in there......I'll keep trying to get copies!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCJ View Post
Good points. I'm with GC on using the shore to brace against when righting a flipped raft. The neatest trick I ever saw was using an oar as a "gin-pole." You lash onto the outside frame of the upside down boat, with the other side of the boat against the shore. You then run that lash to one end of an oar (blade end if it's a plastic blade, hand end if it's a woody), then run some lash from there back for people to pull on. Stand the oar up so the lash goes up and over and down to those pulling. The oar provides great leverage, similar to a Z-drag, but you don't need any anchor points. 4 of us pulled a fully loaded 16' boat over pretty darn easy. We did two boats that way on the trip. I'll use it again, for sure. Nothing got damaged. The boat comes over kinda slowly, and part of it slides back into the water anyway. All personnel were clearly out of danger pulling on ropes aways back away from the gin-pole (oar).

Feliz Navidad

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Old 12-21-2011   #2
BCJ
 
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Un-Flipping (Righting) A Gear Boat

Yes, good tips are good! Doing it the water with a big gang works if that is what is available. But I always thought some of the leverage got wasted because the bottom of the boat slides/moves away as everyone pulls. Eventually with the lines tight and feet firm it will come over, but the water adds an extra dimension, uncertainty, need for balance, etc., all of which means more effort. Against the shore, however, no energy is wasted, and with the gin-pole, it is maximized. I would venture to say that the 8 guys in that Vimeo clip righting an 18 ft gear boat could have been only 4 or 5, even less maybe, with the gin pole method. It is really amazing how much leverage there is in a 10' oar stood up on the ground. BTW, reason for lashing at the blade with a plastic bladed oar is so the blade doesn't break or bend. We had some woodies, though, and used the handle end to lash to. It was not a problem at all and the boat came over very quickly with minimal effort. And, if you're on a small trip, which I do a lot of, good to know there is a technique that just 2, 3 or 4 guys can handle even for a heavy boat.

Buena suerte!
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Old 12-21-2011   #3
 
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One important thing to let everyone helping know is that when the boat reaches a 90 degree angle is when the work starts. Some people think that at 90 degrees gravity will take over, but it is easy to get it up to 90 (everyone standing on one edge gets it to 45 degrees). Here is a photo of us righting an 18 foot Aire. We had 6 on the boat and two in the water. The two in the water kept the boat out deep enough, and at 90 degrees they pushed the bottom of the boat out. It works well for us. We could have done it with less, we had one other flip of a 16' Aire and it only took 4 people total.
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Old 12-21-2011   #4
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I was involved with righting a boat this season after bringing it to shore where there was some current. Big eddies were not available. The bow line was anchored to shore and we got people out there to flip it in the upstream direction. This allowed the moving water to help by pushing the bottom edge out from under the flip crew.

Another trick often employed is to run lines underneath the boat to a pulling crew on the non-flip side.
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Old 12-21-2011   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikii875
One important thing to let everyone helping know is that when the boat reaches a 90 degree angle is when the work starts. Some people think that at 90 degrees gravity will take over, but it is easy to get it up to 90 (everyone standing on one edge gets it to 45 degrees). Here is a photo of us righting an 18 foot Aire. We had 6 on the boat and two in the water. The two in the water kept the boat out deep enough, and at 90 degrees they pushed the bottom of the boat out. It works well for us. We could have done it with less, we had one other flip of a 16' Aire and it only took 4 people total.
Who brought the plumber???
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Old 12-21-2011   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BmfnL View Post
I was involved with righting a boat this season after bringing it to shore where there was some current. Big eddies were not available. The bow line was anchored to shore and we got people out there to flip it in the upstream direction. This allowed the moving water to help by pushing the bottom edge out from under the flip crew.

Another trick often employed is to run lines underneath the boat to a pulling crew on the non-flip side.


Good tricks... thanks for the info....
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Old 12-21-2011   #7
 
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Avatard,
The plumber is me. After the flip I pushed the other three riding with me up on the bottom of the boat and then the three of them pulled me up on the bottom. It was like trying to save a beached whale, and it took everything they had. They should have just thrown me a harpoon. I have a really good excuse for the fifty pounds I have put on in the last year, but you know what they say about excuses.
Signed,
Shamu

P.S. And the non fitting pants show that I am too damn cheap to go and get another pair of pants.
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Old 12-21-2011   #8
 
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Old 12-22-2011   #9
 
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Another video from the other thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rg5hole View Post
here is another 18'er gear rig we flipped back over some years ago, in the same wave... with less people

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Old 12-22-2011   #10
 
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We flipped two 18 rafts on your GC trip (House Rock and Crystal) it took 5 or 6 guys to right the raft. Tips that I learned when using body weight to right the raft:
- Have someone hold your beer for you
- Wear a helmet, there is a lot that can flop over at you
- Check your water depth before righting, it is nice to fall in deep and swim away from the raft before surfacing
- Work together when pulling. We had a long, "1, 2, 3, wait, do you go on 3 or after 3?" discussion.
- Time is on your side. Once you coral your raft the upside down boat makes a mighty fine platform for bootie beers and setting up to right it.

I carry a 6' webbing and carabiner clipped around my waist. I have used it in the past to right paddle rafts, it does not quite give enough oomph to right an oar boat. It is still helpful for making a loop to climb on the overturned boat, corralling the raft by clipping it to another raft as well as a multitude of other things so I will still keep carrying it.

We flipped a 14 cat on Rainie falls a few years ago. That only took 2 people to right.
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