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I will have my first opportunity to float the Grand next summer and have a question on rigging my cat for the trip. I will be running a 15' x 24" tube Sotar Legend with a NRS 72" cat frame next June. The trip is set with gear boats, so effectively I have the opportunity to run very light. I understand the more beer options, but really my question is focused on whether or not you are better running light or do you need the weight to punch holes / waves?

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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I tend to prefer to be light, to have more fun playing. I took my 12.5' legend down in 2012 and had a blast, hit every big feature. It depends on you as a boater, heck we had an 11' legend on our trip too.
 

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With 24" tubes and the shorter waterline of the tube design you will want to be light but will end up being heavy. You dont want that cat frame floor dragging on the water surface. Lucky for you to have someone else to carry your heavy share of the gear.
 

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Row what you know and use most often. The reality is the Grand is 200+ miles long and will provide ample opportunity to test the pros and cons of either setup.

If there are "gear boats" and you are going light...offer to swap them out every now and again. Rowing a pig for 18+ days takes its toll on most average mortals and being spelled out goes a long way to group dynamics when rowing a light craft.

Have a great first trip...its a life changer.

Phillip
 

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hit every big feature.
Ledge Hole in Lava? Land of the Giants in Hance? 209? Meat of Crystal?

That a pretty big brag "every big feature". So when you saw a hole you just paddled right in? When your group scouted and identified features to avoid you just said f-that and went for it?
 

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The ID cat expert is no mere mortal, she more than likely surfed the ledge hole. Haven't you noticed she is the baddest boater on the buzz? Mention Class V and she'll respond with a bunch of anecdotal and self promoting evidence.

In 09 I rowed a light cat down the canyon (my younger trip mates gave my old bones a break) and was surprised at how much I tossed around. Of course I'm not from ID and don't have a Sotar.
 

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Wow guys. I thought Laura's response was pretty insightful. She addressed the question well. I really don't think every word needs to be taken literally. I figured her to mean she hit the big features that are relatively reasonable to hit. Lot of boaters try and sneak everything. I am thinking "sour grapes". Also, pretty sure it's Mt. Rather than Id.



Jim
 

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Go with a lightly/ reasonably loaded, maneuverable boat if that is what you are comfortable with. My first trip was a real learning experience, setting up early and living with the consequences. 18' gear boats are slow to react. $.02

The ability to ferry around some features would have been very welcome!!

And yes I have seen the bottom of the ledge hole at Lava. Yuck

Have a great trip !


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The light would certainly be fun. I would at least want a passenger if I was going light for high siding and rescue help. Plus they can row some when you need a break, snack, or beer.


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When are you going? The fall 8-12K flow will be different than 20+K. Eddylines can be powerful down there often times its easier to let the cat spin and row backward for a while to stay in current. As far as skirting rapids goes, the sagest advice I recall was, "I didn't drive all the way down here to row around these rapids!" (OK I row around Crystal and the Ledge Hole)
 

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The Land of Giants in Hance isn't so bad - it just seems that way since everything before it is so much smaller. The hit at Upset is bigger.
 

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I'd do a few runs messing with your configuration. Mine changed during our trip. Dry bags and 19 qt dry boxes in back, I was seated over the large dry box. Our cooler was in the middle and had up to 2 passengers on the front of the boat. I rowed solo below lava, seated on top of the cooler so the weight was slightly forward

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Ledge Hole in Lava? Land of the Giants in Hance? 209? Meat of Crystal?

That a pretty big brag "every big feature". So when you saw a hole you just paddled right in? When your group scouted and identified features to avoid you just said f-that and went for it?
Ledge hole, Really? Don't be such a dip. Yup, through the meat of crystal, it was quite soft that day, pretty low. Missed land of the giants, sometimes going light means getting surfed out of the fun line. That was the trip mantra , take the Fun Line!

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The ID cat expert is no mere mortal, she more than likely surfed the ledge hole. Haven't you noticed she is the baddest boater on the buzz? Mention Class V and she'll respond with a bunch of anecdotal and self promoting evidence.

In 09 I rowed a light cat down the canyon (my younger trip mates gave my old bones a break) and was surprised at how much I tossed around. Of course I'm not from ID and don't have a Sotar.
All right, a new hater!

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Old Guy in a PFD
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I've rowed it both ways; a lightly loaded Campways 18' bucket and a very nicely rigged (but HEAVY) 18' bucket that I don't remember the brand on.

Here's the thing. Most (but not all) of the canyon is about dodging man eater holes rather than boat tearing rocks. Even though I rowed bucket boats both times, it's hard to say which I preferred, but when we ran Lava I was damn glad for the weight (of water) when I dropped sideways into that big damn 3rd hole on the right. And survived.

It was nice to be able to avoid that man eater in Crystal, cause I'm sure no weight my Campways would float would have avoided a beating if we'd even gotten close to that monster. And rowing the flat with a pig boat does indeed build muscle and character, rather than a deep appreciation for the canyon.

So, it was me I'd load er up anyway I could with whatever was around, and adjust as I went; the one truism of the canyon is that as your river miles increase your groover weight will increase, your food stock and beer stock will decrease.
 

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Hi,

I'm a tired old coot, but I've rowed it variously in a light 16' NRS cat, a heavy 16' NRS cat, and a very heavy 20 Jack's El Tigre Grand mini-snout.

Different handling characteristics, different things you can/should do/not do. Once you get accustomed to how the rig handles, you'll decide how you want to approach things.

Either way, it's the Grand Canyon. Live every moment on the trip like it might be your last time there.

Rich Phillips
 
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