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Start somewhere. Anything that floats. Take a kid to the river. Toss some sticks in the current, and watch them float. Any kid will tell you, half a boat is better than no boat at all. Even the fabric from an old sun-rotted Udisco can be used ... maybe only as a tarp over the woodpile, but hey ... it's a boat. It's not the boat's fault that the materials, workmanship, design and maintenance were not up to par. It's a boat!
Now that we have that settled, what do you want Das Boot to do? If you want it to dance and spin under a single oar or paddle stroke? Make it short, light, and put some rocker in it. If you want it to track to where you point it, make it a straight keel and don't make any mistakes! Figure out the function you want, and design your boat's form accordingly.
We all spend a few years in the "What can I afford?" bunch. We buy 'em and try 'em, trash 'em and trade 'em. Our learning curves vary. We borrow and lend them, sell them and swap them, and in the end we decide that Rat was right. "Nothing is so worthwhile doing as simply messing about in boats." Some of us happily find ourselves like Bill Mason with his 23 canoes ... "I could use a few more, but sometimes a fellow simply has to make do."
As for swimming, I hate it. That's for other people, other species, and other life forms. "God said to Noah, 'Go build a boat!' " We're talking GOD here, and I'm not going to argue with Him. Get me back in the boat!
For a true minimalist's account, check out Bill Beer, "We Swam the Grand Canyon" (The True Story of a Cheap Vacation that Got A Little Out of Hand) Bill Beer and John Daggett truly ran The Ditch with what they could afford. An epic trip. It's an inspiring read. Well written, and no you can't borrow my copy! How old are you? You'll just have to wait for my estate sale. (And show up early ... it's gonna be a doozy!)
Take care of your back, Pinechecharlie! Degenerative discs are no fun, and backs (in my experience) get no better in life. We've got to make some younger friends ... friends who will borrow our gear and pay the freight by taking us along!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I only wish I where so articulate. Funny I've told my children recently that iam nearing their marks on the track and I have a good but slight lead. The batton is in my hand and soon I'll be reaching out and calling "stick!
I hate losing due to the lack of effort! Iam only 54 (sigh)
L4/5/ s1 fusion now as you said degenerative disc disease with a pinch of arthritis = hooray! Today I couldn't feel my feet and my left leg feels as if its being skinned. Funny I'd rather buy new tubes than hire a pain management specialist lol. Maybe hot yoga and biodynamic bulgar wheat ? I'd tell you about my pilgrimage to a holly place to learn to be "still" and "quite" but that obviously didn't go well so ill spare you. I have to be loud and anxious to tell that story with good effect anyway. I do value this audience honestly. There are people here who know. But you are right many do more with much less (shame) ! I can afford them all and at once but iam trying to be better about just buying stuff. Kinda just want one I can get on with that'll last me till the girls take it over. Thanks for the post it made my evening!
 

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I only wish I where so articulate. Funny I've told my children recently that iam nearing their marks on the track and I have a good but slight lead. The batton is in my hand and soon I'll be reaching out and calling "stick!
I hate losing due to the lack of effort! Iam only 54 (sigh)
L4/5/ s1 fusion now as you said degenerative disc disease with a pinch of arthritis = hooray! Today I couldn't feel my feet and my left leg feels as if its being skinned. Funny I'd rather buy new tubes than hire a pain management specialist lol. Maybe hot yoga and biodynamic bulgar wheat ? I'd tell you about my pilgrimage to a holly place to learn to be "still" and "quite" but that obviously didn't go well so ill spare you. I have to be loud and anxious to tell that story with good effect anyway. I do value this audience honestly. There are people here who know. But you are right many do more with much less (shame) ! I can afford them all and at once but iam trying to be better about just buying stuff. Kinda just want one I can get on with that'll last me till the girls take it over. Thanks for the post it made my evening!
For what it's worth, I ruptured a disk between L4/L5 when I was working on the ND Oil Patch about 6 years ago. I was in constant pain, and the physical therapy department at our local medical center did nothing to help. 36 3 hour treatments did nothing other than raise my pain level from a 3 to a 5. On the advice of a friend I contacted a local personal trainer, and started working with him, first just body weight excercises, working toward full blown kettlebell workouts, after a month of working with him, I was pain free, and 6 years later, I find I'm addicted to being pain free and still see him 2x a week, and I built a gym in my home so I could stretch and workout at home 2x more a week. Building up my core has done so much for my life, I never imagined myself a "Workout Guy", but the results have me a believer. Having a strong core isn't going to hurt anything, and won't cure your arthritis, but it sure won't hurt.

My 2¢, YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Good advice!!! Iam on it!!! Allways loved swinging kettle balls around! Iam on a mission cause I just have to much fun being scared to death in the river and there's lots of rivers out there I wanna be scared in!! Just gotta take every advantage I can to lesson the odds at this point! Thanks buddy I appreciate it!
 

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I have had the opposite experience from Marshall. I find Cats to be a lot more stable then an equivalent size raft.
For what it's worth, I used to row (when I was in my 30's, a long time ago) 12 foot cats down class V stuff, I flipped a LOT, my only other experiense with cats was my 16 foot Hyside, which was most fun runnning backpack style, but when loaded down turned into a huge hard to row pig that resembled a battering ram in rapids. I've rowed rafts and dories ever since. In over 40 years of boating, I've flipped rafts about 6 times, the last in the Kahuna wave in Lava. 3 of the flips were when I was a commercial paddleboatman in Royal Gorge... Cats, well the flip number is more in the 30's, but I expected it to happen given the water I was running and the size of the boat. Was definitely fun back then..
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Well to be perfectly honest...it isn't the flip as much as the un flipping. Iam just a advanced begginer and the cat (I have) inspires more confidence in me . It's just really heavy. I think that's probably good for me in the water. Cause I ain't making every line but I can honestly say I have real trouble just moving it (on land) lol. Iam hard on myself and I get bummed knowing I'll be at real risk of injury flipping over and over again in a run. I actually need to so I can get better! I'd love to know "I got this" just re flip, pick up the pieces and laugh it off in the next eddy right? If I was healthier I'd aspire to r1 its just so fun and athletic and you get buried in everything and it's the shite! Alas...my young mind and body are not on the same page! But maybe after I start swinging them kettle balls around it'll all change!!! Gonna try! I used to surf with a 78 year old guy on kauai. Keep hope alive!! For now 2400 bucks seems a reasonable price to make it a little better and I love good gear too...I dunno? Should probably learn to watercolor or start watching birds? Naw!
In my minds eye I wanna be this guy in the Itty bitty aire!!!!
 

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As the old saying goes, "there are 2 types of boaters, those that are waiting to flip, and those that have flipped and are waiting to flip again" ..
 

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Start somewhere. Anything that floats. Take a kid to the river. Toss some sticks in the current, and watch them float. Any kid will tell you, half a boat is better than no boat at all. Even the fabric from an old sun-rotted Udisco can be used ... maybe only as a tarp over the woodpile, but hey ... it's a boat. It's not the boat's fault that the materials, workmanship, design and maintenance were not up to par. It's a boat!
Now that we have that settled, what do you want Das Boot to do? If you want it to dance and spin under a single oar or paddle stroke? Make it short, light, and put some rocker in it. If you want it to track to where you point it, make it a straight keel and don't make any mistakes! Figure out the function you want, and design your boat's form accordingly.
We all spend a few years in the "What can I afford?" bunch. We buy 'em and try 'em, trash 'em and trade 'em. Our learning curves vary. We borrow and lend them, sell them and swap them, and in the end we decide that Rat was right. "Nothing is so worthwhile doing as simply messing about in boats." Some of us happily find ourselves like Bill Mason with his 23 canoes ... "I could use a few more, but sometimes a fellow simply has to make do."
As for swimming, I hate it. That's for other people, other species, and other life forms. "God said to Noah, 'Go build a boat!' " We're talking GOD here, and I'm not going to argue with Him. Get me back in the boat!
For a true minimalist's account, check out Bill Beer, "We Swam the Grand Canyon" (The True Story of a Cheap Vacation that Got A Little Out of Hand) Bill Beer and John Daggett truly ran The Ditch with what they could afford. An epic trip. It's an inspiring read. Well written, and no you can't borrow my copy! How old are you? You'll just have to wait for my estate sale. (And show up early ... it's gonna be a doozy!)
Take care of your back, Pinechecharlie! Degenerative discs are no fun, and backs (in my experience) get no better in life. We've got to make some younger friends ... friends who will borrow our gear and pay the freight by taking us along!
Well said, I love you! ;)

I'd tell you about my pilgrimage to a holly place to learn to be "still" and "quite" but that obviously didn't go well so ill spare you. I have to be loud and anxious to tell that story with good effect anyway.
Both are necessary. You've gotta be able to scream and yell, and you also need time to be still and quiet. The river is often a good place to do both, and sometimes in short succession.


In my minds eye I wanna be this guy in the Itty bitty aire!!!!
That dude knew what his boat could do and where he needed to be. Cool vid. Love that river.
If you're afraid to flip, run the Lochsa. You'll quickly get used to it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
True dat. Only saves 25lbs. Definitely upgrading the frame. I'll buy a rapid rung for my big boat. Still mulling....seems like it would be fun to buy a new boat but now iam back to "run what ya brung " lol. New boat won't make me a better boater either I don't think. Shite if only I was young I'd be all over that cub!!
Since iam here- how will a longer or shorter water line affect a newish boater?
Will he notice "spinny" or will a little cat be so spinny anyway that it'll just be the learning curve?
W.d. has 100 inches
Nimbus 70 inches
Wow! Ocelot has 92 at 14 feet!?
So...yeah maybe I need to understand this better
 

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True dat. Only saves 25lbs. Definitely upgrading the frame. I'll buy a rapid rung for my big boat. Still mulling....seems like it would be fun to buy a new boat but now iam back to "run what ya brung " lol. New boat won't make me a better boater either I don't think. Shite if only I was young I'd be all over that cub!!
Since iam here- how will a longer or shorter water line affect a newish boater?
Will he notice "spinny" or will a little cat be so spinny anyway that it'll just be the learning curve?
W.d. has 100 inches
Nimbus 70 inches
Wow! Ocelot has 92 at 14 feet!?
So...yeah maybe I need to understand this better
In my humble opinion, I think you're overthinking things a little bit too much... Wow different boats from different manufacturers all have different handling characteristics, for me anyway, a 12 ft boat, be it a cat or a raft, will be more sprately than a 14-ft boat, which will be more sprately than a 16-ft boat, anything beyond that you're talking gear barge and sprightly is not exactly something that comes to mind when I'm rowing one of those lol The differences are subtle but they do exist
 
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Says the guy who wips up a play dory in his spare time ! Lol!!! You did have to earn though . It's Just some tubes !! I'll get a cub after my kettle ball studios finished and iam back to fighting weight !! AND...when I sell the little truck I'll start on my dory!!
So there!
 

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There is no such thing as a play Dory! Dory boating is serious business lol
 
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Says the guy who wips up a play dory in his spare time ! Lol!!! You did have to earn though . It's Just some tubes !! I'll get a cub after my kettle ball studios finished and iam back to fighting weight !! AND...when I sell the little truck I'll start on my dory!!
So there!
What else am I supposed to do in the cold winter evenings...knit?!?!

It's sunny and the rivers are flowing...trust me, I'm not spending a ton of shop time these days. :D
 

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