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Thread: buying the complete package

  1. #1
    Member Ripface's Avatar
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    Default buying the complete package

    So I'll be buying my raft when the weather warms up, and I'm wondering what accessories I should buy with it. Here is what I'm assuming, but please feel free to add to the list, or modify it, if you think I've missed anything. Though I've been debating with myself for almost a year, I think I've settled on the NRS Otter 130 (90%), but maybe the Otter 142 (8%).

    frame
    seats and anchor set-up
    3 oars
    repair kit/patches
    PFD
    extra oarlocks
    air pump
    throw rope
    flare???
    ice chest or storage box?
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

  2. #2

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    flip lines and some extra pfds. what are you going to use it for?

  3. #3
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    Default

    I have a friend I raft with that has the 14' Otter, and he always out runs the rest of us. I've never figured out why, but his boat just floats faster than the rest of our boats. And these other boats are cats, tub floors and self bailing boats. Anyway, the Otter seems to be a good boat. You just have to figure out which size you need. He had 4 people and gear for a week in it last year. It was overloaded in my opinion, but the river was gentle, and he had no problems.

    About the oars: you need to decide if you want to use pins and clips or oarlocks. I prefer pins & clips for extreme white water, but oarlocks for more general use. Assuming you decide on oarlocks, you need to decide if you want just stoppers or uprights with them. I prefer them with uprights, but others differ. I think it's a good idea to pack one extra pin or oarlock because they do break, but as long as the oarlocks are cliped in, one spare should be enough. They don't break that easy.

    Air pumps are another individual issue. If you're flying in with it a small hand powered double action Wonder Pump will do well, but otherwise a larger Carlson or NRS barrel pump is prefered for speed and ease of use. Foot pumps require less energy, I think, but are not as fast as either of the hand pump options, and don't get as much pressure in the boat. A small high speed 12 volt pump with battery clips for your car is often helpful. You can buy a good 12 volt pump for about $100, or you can go to Walmart and pick up two cheap ones for $15 each. Either way, you will need to top them off with a hand pump.

    I like to have one seat for the oarsman, but let others sit on a twart, a side or whatever. It's probably not as comfortable for them, but is more flexible, and allows people to get up and move around a bit. You can also do without the rower's seat and just sit on the cooler or drybox if you pad them. I never considered this a comfortable option in the past, but I did a three week trip through the Grand Canyon, and found it worked quite well. You can always pile/lash some of the gear behind you to make a backrest if you want. I found I didn't need it.

    Get an ice chest and/or storage box to fit the frame and long enough to fill the space between the side tubes.

    You need lots of cam straps of multiple sizes. At least four to hold the frame in place, but they are very helpfull to attach things and hold the gear in a pile. Ten would be way too few, and twenty would not be too much. You might also consider a cargo net to cover and hold in the gear pile. Some like them, and others don't, but you need something to keep things from floating away if you dump the thing over. If not a cargo net then you need several very long straps. A flipped raft is a inconvenience, but a flipped raft with your gear floating away is a disaster if you are in the boonies.

    You should also consider what you want to wear. A breathable dry suit is usually considered an overkill by most casual boaters, but I find them comfortable in rain or shine, and they allow you to get over the side and push the boat off rocks without getting wet. Of course, they might even save your life in a flip too. There are less expensive options to consider, but I still think drysuits are the best. Get them with socks or booties installed, not with ankle gaskets. You don't want to sit all day in a non breathable suit though, so don't go that route.
    Last edited by Jim Strutz; 03-22-2007 at 12:12.

  4. #4

    Default

    lots of big and small dry bags.

    and a pin kit.

  5. #5
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    Smile Reading Material

    And at least a couple of books. River Rescue: A Manual for Whitewater Safety by Ray and Bechdel and The Complete Whitewater Rafter by Bennett. Others may have their preferences but these 2 will get you some very important basics and beyond. They both have extensive gear lists.

  6. #6

    Default Oar Saddles

    I'd highly recommend you check out the Oar Saddles instead of a conventional frame. They're much lighter, easier to pack, and extremely rigid when you get to reefing on the oars. I love mine.

    http://www.oarsaddle.com/index.html

  7. #7
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Default more

    other than everything everyone above mentioned i'd spend the extra $'s for a few oar tethers, nothing like having a $150-$200 oar float down the river while you are trying to rescue gear (or being swept over by a sweeper while you're napping).
    yes this is from personal experience.

    and like indy and jim said, you can never have too many cam straps and dry bags. for repair kit you should definitly look into Tear-Aid tape (it rocks)... but bring duct tape as part of your kit as well, and i never leave home without a carpenters utility knife and fire starter stuff.

  8. #8
    Member Ripface's Avatar
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    Default

    highcountry,
    I'm planning to use it for fishing, float camping/fishing, some whitewater, but nothing big yet, and maybe even a moose hunt. What is a flip line?
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

  9. #9
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    Default

    A flip line is a short rope in a small bag that attaches to the outside of your boat, usually one on each side. The idea being that once your boat is upside down and in calm water, you climb on top and reach for a flip line, pull the end to the far side, stand up, and pull the opposite side up and flip it on top of you. Back you go into the water, but now your boat's right side up. It takes a bit of practice, but it's not that hard to do once you get the hang of it. BTW, keep your arms in fron of your face when you plop into the water. The boat is going to whack you pretty good, especailly if loaded.

    I wouldn't bother getting them until you're doing some pretty serious stuff. They're really only helpful in wild water that's also pretty big water. For instance Sixmile is wild, but there is hardly any place with room to flip your boat back up that doesn't include a rock. A second boat is far handier.

    There was a time on Lion's Head (upper Matanuska) where I serioulsy could have used flip lines though. It was my first flip, and I didn't eve know there was such a thing as flip lines. Put 'em on right after though, and haven't used 'em since. 'Cept'n fo practice, o 'course.

  10. #10

    Default

    I did not see much I could add to everyone else's except one thing.

    A small propane plumber's torch for lighting stoves in the wind and for lighting wet wood on fire.

    Lori

  11. #11
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    Default Plumbers torch? Think flares.

    Boy is this a great site. I'm new to it and spending way to much time here. We pack safty flares to light wet wood and such. They stink big time, but always, always get a fire going.They are light and easy to pack.

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Yes, but there's another side to that

    Quote Originally Posted by BigWayne View Post
    Boy is this a great site. I'm new to it and spending way to much time here. We pack safty flares to light wet wood and such. They stink big time, but always, always get a fire going.They are light and easy to pack.
    Wayne,

    Flares indeed make great firestarters, but be careful with them on flyouts. It's a HAZMAT item and you're gonna have problems getting them on a commercial aircraft. Still, for boat hunts and such they're great.

    Good tip.

    -Mike
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