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I've been invited on an overnight West Water, late August. I've rowed West Water a handfull of times, but never in late August. A friend is concerned my raft is too big. It's 15.5' L x 7' W. Anyone know what's too big for a low-water West Water?
 

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I've been invited on an overnight West Water, late August. I've rowed West Water a handfull of times, but never in late August. A friend is concerned my raft is too big. It's 15.5' L x 7' W. Anyone know what's too big for a low-water West Water?
You will be fine.
 

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I was able to get my 18'X8' cat down the left side of Skull at a historic low flow of 1200 cfs - you will have no issues (providing you have some experience) at normal low flows.


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Old Guy in a PFD
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Nothing to fear. I mean, low water builds character right?
For what it's worth we ran 18' cargo boats with motors down all the time in low water.
 

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We did a trip at 2700-2800 in mostly 16's. Plenty of water and room for a 16'. Skull was a tight sneak and a few boats even squeezed/bounced right of the skull hole while rubbing on the sides.
 

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Donkey Punch
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I certainly wouldn't go right at Skull with a 16', it's too tight and there definitely is a chance of breaking an oar. Go left like in that video or wait to make your move left right before Skull rock. You'll be fine on everything else no problem.
 

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Old Guy in a PFD
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I can confirm that at low water it is possible to get firmly STUCK between the wall and skull rock; in my case, a spare oar wedged into the wall where I couldn't see it. Marvelous experience, sitting on that wall wondering (HUH??!) with boats behind me scrambling for a place to be, other than under my rig.
It also sets you up for a hair raising run out after you get unstuck.

Pick your line as you approach; I've run both sides, and except for once it was obvious which line to take.

The one time was the time I got wedged, and in hindsight I was doing a "I am GOD river guide and will go where I damn well please thing."

River God noted my misplaced confidence and offered a different opinion, along with a lesson in physics.
 

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Skull has taught many lessons or as Schutzie says, it gives the River God the chance to teach many lessons. I learned one at low water in Skull, that you better have real oar tethers that let your oars move all the way in. I tried to go left of Skull rock, didn't make it, got pivoted rather robustly around to the right and when I pulled the oar in it stopped with the blade about 2 feet sticking out.

I quickly found myself behind Skull rock in the eddy, trying to grab my spare oar as the on in my right hand was now a 2 piece unit.

Luckily the guy behind me smacked my raft hard enough to launch me on down river.

The military has a term for that sort of thing... cluster fxxx.

DanCan
 

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We did it last year in late August, and it was still running at 3,500 cfs. Two 14 footers and a 14 ft cat all went right, no problem. Saw some 16 footers come through too.

Kazak, I remember when you first posted that video. Very cool.Can't wait to see the video of your son's first run through there on the oars! I don't have any video, but we took our two kids last year for the first time. We took the Mini_max along, and all four kids took turns guiding it until we got to the rapids. They are getting close!
 
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