extreme shoal draft boating

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by river runner, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    There are a number of rivers, in the west and elswhere, that can only be boated during a few brief windows a year, and probably not at all some years. One of these rivers is the Dirty Devil, in Utah. I did this one with a solo canoe a number of years ago. I brought along a pulling harness, that I made from a backpack shoulder strap, and the water was frequently so shallow that I had to get out of the boat and drag it for hundreds of yards at a time. Since I was carrying food, water, and camping gear for six days, the load was quite heavy.
    A few other rivers like that are the Little Missouri, in North Dakota, and the Escalante in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the Red Deer river in Alberta.
    Most people do these with inflatable kayaks or packrafts, but I have give some thought to designing a stitch and glue boat just for floating these rivers. I've kind of decided a cross between a punt and a canoe might be the ticket. Fairly narrow, because the deepest channel is often only a few feet wide, no rocker except at the very ends, flat bottom, slight flair to the sides, pointed or nearly pointed at the ends, or maybe only one end.
  2. Dave Gentry
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

    Dave Gentry Junior Member

  3. portacruise
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: USA

    portacruise Senior Member

    If you're dragging heavy cargo hundreds of yards over sand that is one thing. But doing same with a wooden boat over sharp rocks is another, maybe use pvc sled? Another thing I have used with pontoon boats is a single custom built flip up/down balloon wheel so the whole thing rolls like a wheelbarrow.


    If it is acceptable to do the river in sections to cut the load, some lightweight alternatives are possible.

    Hope this helps.


    PS. Is it practical to carry water for a 6 day trip, why not use a water filter like Katadyn?

  4. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I saw a Grumman Sportboat that looked like it was used as a

    toboggan down wet rocks instead of as floating boat, but was still water tight.

    Major 1-2" deep dents EVERYWHERE. Never imagined aluminum could stretch like that. It SEEMED like the metal must have stretched 25% of more to get the extra material for the denting VS flat surface.

    Light weight, too, about 130lbs. But hard to find and not cheap when new.
  5. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    The Dirty Devil got it's name for a reason. Filtering would be impossible. In fact most of the rivers I run are too full of silt to pump.
    Before I went to the trouble and expense of designing, then building, my own design, I'd be wise to look into kits and plans. There are probably several designs out there that would work. One problem with existing designs is that some of the rivers run into a big lake. At the end of the Dirty Devil trip, I had to paddle several miles accross Lake Powell to reach Hite Marina. The boat would have to be up for this too.
  6. LP
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: 26 36.9 N, 82 07.3 W

    LP Flying Boatman

    Water filtration

    Have you considered allowing your water to settle overnight before filtering?
  7. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    I did try letting the water settle over night, as an experiment (On the Green River). I also brought along my seven gallon water jugs. I don't reallly remember too much about the result, but I never tried it again and continued to bring my water jugs, so I guess I felt the jugs were a better choice.
    On the Dirty Devil, the water is very alkali (did I spell that right?) and the pump doesn't seem to get rid of that (I've backpacked the river too and I pumped some puddles in side canyons). Not to be too gross, but your crap turns green and runny and the water tastes terrible.

  8. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Aluminum is very "sticky" going over rocks and stuff. It also leaves aluminum streaks on rocks, like heel scuffs on linoleum.
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