Cool story. I don't want to boat with you, but I would like to see this. It takes me almost that long just to sort my straps out. The pressure would kill me.My partner and I can load 15 people’s worth of gear on our 2 boats in 30 mins. There seems to be an issue.
I don't doubt it. The rabbits in the big gear boats do it all the time...My partner and I can load 15 people’s worth of gear on our 2 boats in 30 mins. There seems to be an issue.
Exactly!My goal is to be off the launch ramp in less than three minutes. Everything is pre-loaded and pre-rigged in the boat before it even leaves the garage. Once launched, we might spend 15 minutes topping off the boat and rigging up fishing rods. On my last Middle Fork Trip, at the take out, we had the boat out of the water and tied to the trailer in under 90 seconds. When I finally get my electric winch installed, I think I can get that down to under 60 seconds.
Buy submersible tailights, I use a 16ft snowmobile trailer with a elevated crank winch stand I had built, get sealed bearings then you can stab that trailer as deep as you want. if you pull out slow without spinning tires front wheel drive shouldn't be a issue. You could actually build two 5ft ribbed plywood tire runs so then you wouldn't spin on sand (always leave them in the rig). Derigging a boat at the ramp sucks, I haven't broke a boat for 25 plus years, boat out of the water in 5-10 minutes, take another 20 minutes to rig for highway up in the turnout and away you go. My wife loves this as everybody is kinda whupped after getting off the river and stripping a boat when it is hot just makes it worse. I've been running a 18ft full gear boat on a trailer for ever. It is nice also at the put-in because the boat is ready to go, stab it in, park the rig for the shuttle folks and get gone. I also leave my boat rigged year around, just load dog, ice, beer, groceries and go. The kitchen, the johnny, sleeping gear, chairs are already rigged for the next trip. If your taking more than 20-30 minutes to jump on or off, rethink how if the boat is rigged fully loaded at home it simplifies getting in and out way faster. Good luck.My spouse and I get into these crazy heated arguments, usually at the launch ramp, about how long it takes to load and unload our raft. And, why rafting is not that relaxing because it takes so much effort to get out on the river or lake. We can't "pre-load" the raft as our utility trailer is not set up for a good dunk and our van is only front wheel drive so if we couldn't get enough traction (wet, muddy or sandy) things would get ugly fast.
We have a 16ft raft with frame that is decent at accommodating 2 adults, 1 teenager (she watches the pups at the launch- not able to be a physical helper), and 2 medium size (40+ lb) pups- if set up with a "plan". We are desert rats so we freeze easily (aka- large sleeping bags, the tent is a necessity, warm clothes, etc). We tend to hang a lot of dry bags off of the sides (which prevents the dogs from falling out), and strategically set up for pups to walk around a bit. I admit we bring a lot of cargo, but if we didn't 40-60% of the occupants would be too much too deal with. Because we are newer to rafting we also tend to bring our motor with just in case (for winds or injury or when we leave 3 freaking hrs later than anticipated!!), which also requires set up time. We usually go for one to three nights and can't seem to spend less than 2-3 hrs loading the dang raft. At least 90% of the bags, coolers, dry box, etc. are set up prior to the launch ramp so really it is a lot of moving (from inside the raft on the trailer, under the raft, in the van), strapping the bags (we only do Class I-II), and leveling the pup areas. (Call me anal retentive, but I have also made up a diagram of where things should go on the raft so that my spouse and I don't get into another argument and also the raft than is mostly balanced.)
Is this a normal timeframe?
Does anyone do anything differently when they bring their family with to make things easier? Are there any sort of attachments to make things easier? (I bought the NRS drop bag which we use for our 7 gallon waters in the middle bay, and we have the NRS Raft Cargo Platform- which I can't figure out where to use since our raft is so full). Although sometimes I dream about it ...leaving my family at home is not an option. I appreciate any sort of advice because I am really starting to dislike my happy place ...the river.
Thank you ahead of time for your insight and experience!