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Thread: Raft on the cabin???

  1. #1
    Member Gundog's Avatar
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    Default Raft on the cabin???

    I am having a new boat built and I need to mount a radar arch and rocket launchers if I decide to go with a raft on the roof what is the best way to accomplish this? Do you consider your roof raft a replacement for an auto inflate type? How high does the arch need to be to fit a raft under it. I am having a 26' Wooldridge pilot house built and I am trying to get all this stuff figured out. I don't live in AK but I am designing the boat for fishing SE AK for when I retire in 10 years I plan to summer out in SE AK. If you have any pictures that show what you did please post them here.

    The walk around on the boat I am building is not that wide so I am wondering how is the best way to get the raft on and off especially on the water? I am thinking it would be easiest to get it off from the aft of the cabin but with the rocket launchers there it might be tough. If I make the radar arch in the front high enough I guess it could come out over the bow??

    Thanks Mike

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It depends on the size of the raft your using, and how many people you need to seat. I picked up a 3.1 meter airfloor raft, it weighs about 80 pounds. I just stand on the roof of the pilothouse and pull it up by the painter line. I'd imagine an 18" high arch ought ought to be enough to get a raft under.

    If you plan to do some cruising and exploring, you'll find a small raft seems like more of a necessity than a nicety for getting to shore.

    Some folks use davits for lifting their rafts, and you'll plan on having a puller for shrimp or crab pots, it'll serve double duty.

  3. #3

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    I have a Kingfisher 2825 and it has sort of a radar arch / rod holder unit combination, with the rod holders up the side of it (4 each side). While I didn't think I would like the design, and I think it's built kind of "cheesy, it is functional. While it will fit through the arch, I learned early on, the best place for it was as far forward on top of the cabin as I could get it. That left a lot of space towards the rear to store / haul additional stuff accessible from the rear deck. I don't think mine is quite as big as Paul H's but I handle it the same way, either lowering it down from the cabin roof, or from the very front deck. Depending on what you want to do, I would recommend a very small outboard with a built in gas tank. I have a 5hp Honda that has about 30 minutes of use simply because it's not so easy to put on and take off, and it seems easier to row to shore. The 2hp would have been ideal.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I typically prefer to row to shore, but on our one long trip this summer, we had to anchor quite a ways from shore and when you add multiple trips back and forth with 5 people and a large dog. Add in a head wind and a kicker is essential. I have an old 8 horse e-rude, it's not too bad to mount and works well enough.

    We also carry a small kayak, the kids enjoy paddling around protected bays, and it's a nice backup in case somebody forgets to properly tether the dinghy. Another group forgot to do so, and my youngest son paddled the yak out to retrieve their dinghy. The funny/sad thing is, they were utterly clueless that their dinghy was drifting away.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I have a 80lb+ tender that I lift by hand up to the roof. I have found that it is the easiest to lift and deploy from the side. My roof is +/- 8' from the water so it can be a chore to hoist it up using the "armstrong method". I have a line attached to the the rope rail (or whatever it is called) at mid raft. I hand line it hand over hand up on to the and store it upside down with the aft end up against my radar pedistal. This maximizes the roof space and allows for storage of my shrimp pots. Some day I will have a crane that lifts a RIB with an outboard attached into a cradle. A guy has to have dreams, right?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  6. #6

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    I have a 12' Alaskan Series zodiac style inflatable and a 20hp 4 stroke to use for bear hunting and buzzing around the bays and coves. I use a Spitzlift to put the boat on my hard top ocean boat and my soft top (with a rack) jet boat. The Spitzlift is a hand crank davit crane that works great. The boat goes up on top and the motor goes in back. I can raise and lower boat and motor with no lifting. I don't have any pictures to post and my boats are under tarps right now but Spitzlift has a web site if you're interested.

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    Member NewMoon's Avatar
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    If you want a lighter setup, you might consider an Avon Redcrest. It's a hypalon boat (tough - long-lasting) that weighs only 40 lb. Rounded on both ends, but with the fiberglass motor mount which attaches easily to the stern you can run a 2-4hp outboard. It won’t go fast, but it’s light and seaworthy. Our 2hp Yamaha drives it about 3+ knots.

    If you add a good pair of 6.5-foot oars like Sawyer it rows pretty well too, especially with only one on board. Max capacity 900 pounds or 4 people, but it works better with two plus a dog. Quick and easy to inflate with the excellent foot pump that's included, and rolls up into a pretty small package when you don't want it on the roof. We usually keep ours rolled up in the cockpit. We've cruised our 26-footer with a Redcrest mostly in BC and SE Alaska for 12 summers so far and it's still in fine shape.

    Richard Cook
    New Moon (Bounty 257)
    "Cruising in a Big Way"

  8. #8
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Gundog,

    using the radar arch as a hold down is good. I have to use tie down straps. A boom is ungainly on a 26' Wooldridge, but a tall crab pot davit may work good. My inlaws and my wife and I share a cabin and they are older/retired and this summer we started putting the inflatable on the swim step for them. Wooldridge can make a swimstep to accomodate a raft and the motor tilted up. I really like that setup. I have to haul my raft to the roof of my Hewescraft Ocean Pro. In a wind its tough going.

    New Moon has a good point, I've got the small 8' zodiac which is a lot lighter and easier to move than my inlaws 10' with airdeck. Our neighbor at the island has the bombard ax2 which is a really light inflatable. I really like my 3.5 yamaha 4 stroke... its very light. But a there are some inflatables that row really well.

    Something else to think about on a custom boat is a side dive door. I am seriously thinking about taking a sawzall to my brand new Ocean Pro and cutting one into it. My inlaws have a hard time going from the inflatable back into either of our boats... and as you age...

    Good luck though. The wooldridge crew will come up with a solution to every problem when asked when building a boat you just need to ask or tell them your thoughts.

    Personally I think a radar arch to tuck the inflatable under, a taller crab davit to get your inflatable up high, and a side door is what I'd order. If you don't want a side door I have seen some aluminum boats with a rear door to the swim step this is good for harpooning halibut and netting salmon to get you out on to the swim step.

    Sobie2
    Last edited by Sobie2; 10-27-2009 at 09:48. Reason: extra thought..

  9. #9
    Member Gundog's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input it helps a bunch. I am going to have a pot hauler and the side door is speced in the build. I have not made any hard decision on the radar structure yet but I am leaning towards an arch that a raft would fit under.

    I have an electric trolling motor it is an old one I used on a small jon boat years ago how would that work? I could have one of my spare house batteries connected with one of those high amp rated connectors like they use on tow trucks or electric fork lifts that way I could just remove one house battery to run the electric troller. The electric troll motor I have is fairly compact and could fit in a bin.

    I have 2 house batteries speced and one start battery for the main engine. I have an ACR also in the package the main engine will be a 250 Yamaha fly by wire with twin steering & control stations. I have a T-8 kicker motor with an auto pilot for trolling. I will post a build log when they start it and post some pictures.

    Thanks Mike

  10. #10
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Gundog,

    I carry a roof raft. It is a Gary Kings and I think it weighs in at around 50lbs, and it is plenty heavy when loading it by myself. I have my pole holders set up where I can load on the roof from the cockpit, and I use this method going up most of the time, although you do have to contend with motors, pol holders, etc at the back of the boat. I also have the 2hp Honda, with a bracket to store it hanging off the transom over the swimstep, which is pretty out of the way.

    As for you comment abou the survival auto-inflate raft, that is a good point. I think most people up here rely on their raft for that, but it is really no substitute in some circumstances. If weather is the issue that sinks your main boat, I wuld not want to rely on a 10ft raft. I have one of each, but I only carry the coastal auto-inflate raft on long distance trips at this point, not weekend outings. The raft would be fine in many circumstances, and I would never go out for a weekend without it, just for the convienience of going a shore and not having to worry about tides and rocks.

    Jim
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

  11. #11
    Member Gundog's Avatar
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    I bought a zodiac life raft in a valise this summer off ebay it is a 4-5 man auto inflate. When I bought it the guy told me it was a 2001 model but when it arrived it was a 92 model last inspected in 2001. He refunded me some of my money so I kept it and took it with me this summer to Craig AK. I knew that Coast Guard response was a long way off in Craig so I wanted the extra piece of mind. I bought it for my old boat a 21'er it was a little big for that boat and took up a lot of space.

    I took it to a place that inspects them and he told me it needed an inspection and it would cost about $800 because it needed some upgrades and the tank needed to be hydrostatic tested. I did not have the money so I asked the question if it would open if I pulled the strap and he said 98% it would but that was not an inspection but I figured I would rather have one that might work than not to have one at all.

    I have been thinking of paying the money and having it done to keep on the new boat. The inspector said it may fail the inspection and be worthless you never know until they try it but they won't charge me if it fails.

    Mike

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