I also do a lot of 2 way trips as you describe, but in craft that cannot be paddled long distances. See Boat design- SOR for myself (11-20-11) post #19-23. Another way upstream over rapids is to "sail" the boat upstream without passenger weight through the fast rapids by using a tow rope and walking the shore line.
Your pirogue is a lot like a sculling shell which can be pushed with very little energy, and that is also a lot of fun. Seems like it would be hard to do in thin water creeks with limited visibility and at high speed without hitting something.
I don't run into thorns much in my travels while on water. Sometimes I do get punctures in going from parking lot to distant launch point on brushy trails, if transporting in the inflated state. Better for the boat to get punctures, than me where duct tape won't work. :-)
I really like this boat. I may use this idea instead of the one I was planning. Still thinking about it.
The TITANIC sank because it had a hole in it(still does). Submarine Tom
You just can't put too much info on your patterns. DGreenwood
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