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Discussion Starter #1
Another newbie question... How do you rig a raft with no frame?

My two items I am wondering about are: a spare paddle and a cooler. Photos would be appreciated :)

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When you say "under your thwarts" do you mean flat on the floor or do you mean wedged between a thwart and the tubes? Thanks!
 

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You can stick the blade under the thwart and let the handle stick out the rear of the boat. I have also seen them strapped across the top of the thwart. Watch some R2 videos and you will see.
 

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You can just shove the entire paddle underneath the thwarts, parallel to the length of the boat. I prefer this to strapping them to the top of the thwart because its less likely you'll hit your knuckles on them.
 

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When securing a spare paddle, the limits are your imagination. Most common, handle under perimeter line and blade under bottom corner of back thwart. People have gone super secure and when thwarts are spread far enough apart, people put the whole paddle along the side of the floor, under two thwarts. The questions you need to ask yourself is; would you rather have easy access to a paddle and have the chance of losing it in a flip or be dealing with a very secured paddle in the middle of something that you would really like to have a paddle in your hand. Wherever you put the spare paddle, if you are questioning its location, practice grabbing it before you are in need of it.

The cooler is opposite. I’ve seen sandwiches floating in box canyon below sweets. As a guide, that seems to be the definition of a yard sale and customer’s will wonder why it’s Igloo’s fault and not yours. Once again though, your imagination is your limit, but try and imagine any way possible that an entrapment is possible. If you think of a way there could be an entrapment, there are probably 5 to 10 more ways that you could sit after the fact and scratch your head saying “how did that happen.”

Bottom line, use your head and watch people who rig for a living. Experience will change how you do things more than someone telling you how to do it.
 

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A small inexpensive cooler fame can be made from chain link top rail (EMT Conduit) and 4 - 90 fittings. Cost around $30 at lowes (links) or your local farm co-op. Another option is a soft cooler. You could also have NRS make this or use hollander speed rail fittings, but I recomend the top rail.
For dry bags and straps, I use chain "quick link(s)". Attach these to your floor lacing and you can strap through the link to hold stuff down to the floor.
For paddles, use 2 straps on a thwart for carry across boat, or shove the blades under a thwart and strap down to a rear or side d-ring. I don't care how it is done, some people prefer one way over the other. Just make sure you have a couple of spares if you think you might go swimming. People tend to want back in the boat or on shore more than they want to hold onto a paddle while swimming. Nothing worse than getting your crew back in the boat to find out that you only have 1 spare paddle and the rest are floating down river.

We R2 for an occasional overnight like Westwater. I have no issues strapping a load of gear in the boat using these techniques.
 

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raft type and size? what kind of river? how many passengers? how many thwarts? day trippin or overnight? how 'new' are you, do you have commercial experience (i think your post answers that question...) ? lots of variables and rigging styles to consider. start with a good cooler that securely latches it self closed and has handles or features that allow you to tie it to the floor/webbing. all of the previous ways mentioned to store paddles work, depends on the trip. you said no frame, but a trailer/cooler frame can be a very functional piece of gear, and while i'm sure it works in most instances, beware the $30 cooler frame. other considerations include first aid/patch kit and rain gear bag.

in short, you won't be able to determine your rigging via this forum, you just need to get a bunch of straps with the right gear, and dive in. don't conduct your test runs on clear creek or royal gorge.

good luck!
 

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I used acorn nuts on the bolts and washers in between to get the right fit. This frame was very functional and the right price at the time. I upgraded using some old NRS Lo-Pro fittings and spare NRS Pipe I had laying around to make my new one. Gave this to a buddy for use on his 9.5 trib.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all of the input folks! This is an impressive forum.

@DoStep - to answer your questions:

Raft: 2014 Rocky Mountain Rafts Storm 10.5' with 2 thwarts (you might have seen the grey one in the classifieds on here... that's what I got!)
Type of Rivers: Class I-III
# of Passengers: 3 (4 max)
Day Trips vs. Overnights - Mainly day trips... down the road I will probably do some overnights.
How big of a rookie are you? - I've been on 5 commercial trips. I have been on 3 private trips with friends (who were the guides on the commercial trips). Unfortunately for me, those guide friends are up in Missoula now. I have outdoor experience running outdoor trips for Regis University. I have my WFA and Avy 1 which, if I learned nothing else is that for rafting I am the quintessential person that knows enough to be dangerous. I understand I have a ton to learn and part of the reason why I am okay asking seemingly obvious questions like this :).

As of now I like the theory about having a paddle semi-secure, but with easier access makes more sense to me. I can see how having a paddle under 2 thwarts can be an issue if you are struggling to get it out in a panic.

I am thinking that this Sunday I will head up to the Upper C with a friend and practice. I went to DRE last Saturday and Matt at the shop suggested it saying that it was "Colorado's training ground."

All of these issues should go away in the near future because I do want to get a frame. I just have to save up the $$$$ for that.

Thanks again everyone!
 

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Brendodendo

Curious about you're R2 experience in west water... are there levels you like more than other ? Any you stay away from? I've always been in a large 15-16 boat ...long oars and the kitchen sink...just switched to a 12 ft Sotar this Spring couple runs on the fork and Shoshone so far .,. Getting the hang of the paddling thing but much tippier then before...thanks!
 

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Frameless Rig

I paddle my Puma overnight a lot, I strap everything to the floor or the thwarts. I have a Yeti cooler I strap down to the floor laces. I have heard concern about the floor being damaged between the cooler and a rock, but I've never had any issue of the sort (I've also only done Class III or lower rigged in this manner).

I run a flip line under the boat (around the floor) and strap all the gear down to that as well as to a strap around the thwart.

 

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dscott58, sending you a PM
 

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I paddle my Puma overnight a lot, I strap everything to the floor or the thwarts.
Interested in more photos of your Super Puma rigged and loaded.

I have a trib 9.5 that I'm looking to run overnight (R2) at some point. Not the ideal raft for that but with no cooler (or a soft small dry bag cooler at most) it should be doable. Basically backpacking style vs car camping style. Figure 60lbs of gear max for two people for 1-2 nights.

As far as storing the spare paddle, we typically strap one to the thwarts. The other is typically just wedged under the chicken line across the tubes at the stern. This is because it's also my mount for the camera. In a flip in some strong current, it would probably go for a swim.

Sent from my SM-N900P using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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Boat sounds small, not sure if i would want a metal frame in there with me, + too heavy at take out. My favorite cooler is a round Got with built in handles at the top and a screw-on lid. I would pull out the drinking spout and the bottom and install a D ring in its place. Tie it to the opposite side form the guide in the back of boat and u got a good set-up. No square edges to hit. Bomber connection points, D ring cam-strapped to a hole in floor, other strap around the thwart through the handle on cooler. Apposing tension works good. Hell it even has a twist on lid that will keep the cold ones in the cooler during a flip.
 

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Hey Issip-
Have you ever tried sitting in the center of the boat next to each other and putting the bags in the bow and stern? If you can make the gear fit that way, you might find you have a bit more power and control that way. Gila looks like a lot of fun!
 
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