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Thread: Boat Capacities

  1. #1

    Default Boat Capacities

    So if a boat has a capacity of 1250 pounds in your experience is it still safe and how well does it handle if it is loaded to the max load limit.

    Last, Do you think that is enough boat for an entire moose with bone in, rib cage and head, my gear, plus my 210 pound arse?

  2. #2
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    depends upon your skill with the boat and the water conditions. I wouldn't want to load it that heavy on the river I float.

  3. #3
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    It really comes down to the river. If it is a slow moving, deep river a heavy boat will be fine. If it is shallow and/or a river that requires quick moves to avoid trees or other obstacles then you will wish you had a boat that is lighter or more maneuverable. Generally speaking a larger boat distributes the weight over a larger area and drafts less. However, a larger boat can be a hindrance in tight situations. Unfortunately, no single raft design is ideal for every situation.

    As as you have probably already read on these threads. The manufacturers that publish load capacities do so just as a general guidelines. Many manufacturers do not even list limits. No matter what, a lighter boat is more fun than a heavier boat so plan your gear accordingly.

  4. #4

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    Sounds like your looking at Larry's Legend, I would look for a bigger boat. Watch his youtube clips, one moose fills two of those boats.
    Just my opinion.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Here's a huge dilemma for today's float hunters when it comes to raft capacities, and the way the OP worded this question reinforces the point.

    1. Raft manufacturers put all sorts of numbers on their boats. Just because they say it will hold "X" amount of weight, does not mean that's a good working number for your situation. In fact, it doesn't mean that the number has any basis in a reality you can use in the field. Some company's numbers are based on light loads for whitewater rafting, some represent the absolute maximum load a boat can carry if you push the tubes down to the D-rings. So manufacturer's numbers are mostly meaningless to float hunters.

    2. Some air services are becoming VERY restrictive on what they will allow hunters to bring along. If the air service provides the boats, I am seeing some that will absolutely INSIST that two hunters can carry themselves, their food, a complete camp, personal gear, and two moose in a 14' round boat. They appear to base this number on what their summer float fishermen can do, failing to account for the heavier gear and clothing hunters need to bring, plus the meat and trophy loads on the back haul. I am pushing back pretty hard on this issue, with mixed results. The problem is that some hunters are caving in to this pressure, when they should be holding their ground and, if necessary, asking for an additional plane load for that second boat.

    Birdstrike nailed this. You have to let the river choose the boat, and let the river choose the load for a given boat. In short, this question needs to be framed a little better; what type of river will you be on, what tags do you have, etc.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  6. #6

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    So Mike, in your experience, on a relatively easy river, is a Legend enough for one man his gear and an entire moose?

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post
    So Mike, in your experience, on a relatively easy river, is a Legend enough for one man his gear and an entire moose?
    That's not an easy question to answer. Larry says that it will be enough if the water is deeper than 7". I don't know what to make of that; does it mean that the boat drafts 6" with a max load? And historically, Larry's posted max loads have been way higher than I would recommend. When you speak of a "relatively easy" river, I don't know what that is. Some shallow rivers are easy, and some difficult rivers are deep. The factors you have to consider are water depth, velocity, hazards (sweepers, strainers, jams, whitewater, hydraulics, etc.), your experience level, and the overall size and quality of the boat.

    Perhaps a field experience will help. A few years ago I loaded an entire moose (bone-in ribs, quarters, straps, loins, neck, trim, cape and antlers), plus myself and a hunter, and two empty backpacks. We were in a 12' NRS Otter self-bailer, and were just using the boat to cross a slough on a drop-camp hunt. We had to cross the slough, portage everything over to the main river, and cross the main river too. We had 4 inches of water over the top of the floor during the crossings. I believe that boat has a floor thickness of 7", so that means that the load pushed us at least 11 inches deep.

    The footprint of that Otter is 12' x 5'6". If it was a rectangle, that comes out to 66 square feet, but you have to deduct the bow and stern taper, plus the bow and stern rise of 26" (the bow and stern are usually out of the water). The Legend's footprint is 13' x 3'10". If it were a rectangle, it would come out to 49.8 square feet, but again, you have to deduct the bow and stern taper, and rise. The bottom line is that the Otter has a larger displacement than the Legend, and we flooded the floor with only one moose and two guys with no gear. But it gets harder to figure, because the Legend has caps on the bailer holes, which allow you to seal the floor so water cannot come in. I don't know how good this cap system is, and whether or not they leak (that's a quality issue for another discussion), but assuming they are watertight, then you end up with a dramatically increased lift capability without flooding the floor. Of course that doesn't speak to how deep you will be sitting in the water, and how controllable the boat will be, especially with a kayak paddle.

    Another consideration with narrow boats like the Legend is the tendency for the boat to be top-heavy. In looking at the photos of the boat, and the videos showing it in action, it appears that his cargo platforms are strung straight across the tops of the tubes, rather than slung just off the floor of the boat. This equates to wasted space below the platforms, and a higher center of gravity than I prefer. A higher CG contributes to the boat's tendency to roll over if you broach sideways against an obstacle, or if you find yourself sideways in a larger wave train. That's one of the tradeoffs with narrow boats, and there's really no way around it. I would load as low as possible without floor-loading the boat (you don't want to load directly on the floor, for risk of impact damage).

    If you go with the Legend, I would strongly advise using a rowing system instead of a kayak paddle. The rowing system gives you MUCH better control of the boat, which is extremely important on moving water with big loads.

    My personal preference for the loads you described would be a 14' self-bailer such as the NRS Otter 140. You will have to add four D-rings to each end of the boat in order to properly suspend your cargo platforms (NRS cheaps you out on D-rings on the Otters to keep the cost down). That boat will easily haul a moose, a hunter, and a complete camp. Your non-hunting partner could also tag along without maxing out the boat. Don't try to put two moose in this boat, though! You will be overloaded!

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  8. #8

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    It's no surprise that weight capacities are still a common question when conceptualizing a boater's potential max load. Yes, it's important to know what a design is capable of well beyond the manufacturer's claims.

    Can the Legend hold and transport a Mike Strahan-sized bull moose, the boater, and her gear load up to 1250-lbs? Without a a shred of doubt. My hunter clients have done it successfully 2 years running without failure.

    However, this capacity is limited by river character. The river must have adequate depth during the period following the harvest (provides a draft of 6") and doesn't have disagreeable character (skill level and strength dependent).

    The same river might provide two different answers to that question on two separate hunts: One year it works fine and the next you might not get to hammer down because the river is 3-4" deep for miles. In this case you might consider shooting 0-1 moose and splitting the load between two boats.

    I will say this: some of areas can ONLY be done effectively with a boat that weighs under 60-lbs and has a maximum width of 46" if it is to be used for September moose hunts. In these spots, the Legend has opened up terrain that Mike and friends simply cannot reach. Must the boater pack light and think small and efficiently with every gear choice? Certainly. Is it safe? In the hands of a skilled and determined hunter, absolutely.

    Last comment about control mechanisms: I have paddled the Legend numerous times with heavy loads using a 240cm kayak paddle. If I had to choose between a rowing kit with oars or a kayak paddle...I prefer the paddle for three reasons:

    1. In challenging channel widths with brush and other woody hazards, the paddle is simpler and the rowing kit just gets bound up with reach and brush.

    2. The rowing kit I designed is the lightest professional-grade system on the market, and even that kit with composite oars weighs about 15 to 18-lbs. Sometimes 20-lbs extra pushes you out of a single SuperCub flight intto multiple flights or larger plane with more costs.

    3. The width of the Legend once loaded, strapped, rigged, and on the move finished out with a width of around 44.5", which is a challenging row configuration to start with. Your oar grips will be close together and leverage is greatly reduced. The boater will struggle with oar commands and will often cause the boat to become unstable with attempts to row it when loaded to 75% or greater its max capacity...since you'll be heavier and be sitting 5-6" off the surface of the water. In theory oars and a rowing kit for a heavy boat reads absolute, as Mike may believe. But in reality, not so much. A paddle is a spartan approach but highly effective if the river conditions are challenging.

  9. #9

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    Sorry but I have my doubts, It appears that there isn't even room for Mark to get in the boat without his gear.
    Do you have a picture showing a full moose, gear, and a full grown man in a Legend? (in the water)

    Indian Summer - What is the length of your intended float, river character? Do you have any rafting or float hunting experience?
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  10. #10

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    the video and still frames you quoted with your doubts show the Legends (1 Gen prototype), which were 12' long...not 13' as the current model.

    But since you have doubts about the 12' prototypes in the videos being able to get it done, here's one loaded with a 69" in deep channels...the boat next to it had a similar load with another 60"+ bull. Note his choice of seating was a bit off center, and his gear was stowed on the floor.

    I'll more pics from this season whenever hunters pass them off to me, and then i'll post em up.
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  11. #11
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Not saying that it is but it looks very top heavy in the last photo.

  12. #12

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    you should also note on the video of Mark walking the Legend with a whole moose in it...back downstream to camp. We shot the bull upstream and walked it down to an established camp. The full length video of that hunt shows that each boat could have carried a whole moose gear, since we were only floating in about 5" water and had plenty of depth available for tapping out our load capacity.

    Whether a boat design fits a person's style, skill, and performance is a completely different topic than the question of whether that boat CAN perform as stated by its manufacturer. In the latter case, I wouldn't suggest it possible if I hadn't already proven it plausible.

    LB

  13. #13
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Guys I will start up a new thread once i get caught up at home, but I just returned from my fall moose hunt in alaska using one Pristine Venture Larry Bartlett boat. Specifically the wilderness x-stream--we used one boat and loaded two guys, gear and food for ten days, two large 55, and 63 inch moose as well as a wet heavy whole moose hide. Many said we could not fit two moose let alone row them buggers 100 miles to our extraction point. Point is it is about water condition and hunter condition. We could have each taken a boat to lighten the load but it would require more charter flights and we wanted only one flight on the inbound side.

    All in all it may be a better question to ask yourself if you can rather than a internet board. It has been and will continue to be done with larrys boats. We would est our load including hunters at 22-2300 lbs, well over the "rated capacity"
    Last edited by jeff p; 10-07-2015 at 19:31. Reason: Load

  14. #14

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    Yea, the biggest factor many of us face is river depth. I floated a bull back to camp from the spot I shot him to camp in my 16 foot soar canoe..and could have maybe gotten my camp out.. but drawing 7-8 inches in a river with multiple sections of 2-3 inch deep wate makes for a lot of work! My solution was to tie a PR-49 to the side(leave room for a single paddle aft) and row out.. each boat now at 400 pounds and drawing les than 4 inches..


    It actually steered just fine. Did the same this year with a Wenona spirit 2 and the pack raft... DOES NOT STEER as well(the keel like action of the hard shell canoe bites, the 16 foot raft, not as much)

    but worked.. I got out. Floating a moose is really not that difficult. Keeping draft where you can get out IS!!


    What is the easiest way to post pics here? I've done it before but I'll be darned if I can remember how.. the PR-49 tied to the bow is interesting..

  15. #15

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    That pretty much sums it up for me- Mr. Wilson needs a bigger boat. How many miles to the take out?
    Are you sure he has his gear in the boat, why in the world would someone pile bloody moose quarters on top of his food, tent, sleeping bag...


    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    I wouldn't suggest it possible if I hadn't already proven it plausible.
    LB
    Interesting choice of words-
    plau·si·ble-
    • (of a person) skilled at producing persuasive arguments, especially ones intended to deceive.

  16. #16

    Default Pix or it didn't happen

    Quote Originally Posted by anchorrivercrowds View Post
    What is the easiest way to post pics here? I've done it before but I'll be darned if I can remember how.. the PR-49 tied to the bow is interesting..
    Pix or it didn't happen...

    Click the "go advanced button"
    Hover over the icons until you see the one called "insert image"

  17. #17

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    Jeff- Don't leave us hanging here, pictures...

  18. #18

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    splitting hairs here, FinFever...but you chose "plausible" defined as a person and not as a statement:

    plau·si·ble
    ˈplôzəb(ə)l/
    adjective
    [COLOR=#878787 !important][/COLOR]




  19. #19

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    images are a tough project here for us old folks.. wow..

    maybe this works...the PR-49 tied to the bow of the 16 foo Soar looks unmanageable, but responded quite well, as neither boat has much of a keel, and the entire affair slides quite well. I was able to pick my way down the river, and if I decided change sides rather quickly. I tried the same this year with the PR-49 tied to the bow of my 17 foot Wenona canoe... not as responsive..in fact quite stubborn. I could turn to port(the side the PR-49 was tied to) starboard required a herculean effort.. you had to want it.

    Most use a rowing frame on this river.. I try to stay light.. kinda worked..


    see if my pics post.
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  20. #20

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    Legend loaded with entire moose, camp gear, and one hunter. This group was 3 people and 3 Legends.
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