Raft down the Mississippi

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by qwist04, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    There are sometimes more than 270 miles between services. The current is much higher than what you are saying. Last December I missed the entrance to Memphis and it took me one hour and ten minutes at 6.1 knots in the water to do about three quarters of a miles. This is when the water is low. The record current there in high water (summer) is 23 knots. Normally you can expect 10 knots or so.
     
  2. mons
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: St. Cloud, MN

    mons Junior Member

    Wow, I didn't know it really goes that fast. I figure if we hit waters like that, we can stick near shore. But we do also have a 10 hp motor, which gives us some good speed, although we haven't measured the speed yet.
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Cripes with speed like that you could throw a rope round the pier and water ski all day long for free.

    Well until you fell off!!

    Heh if you tied your boat to the pier it would be on the plane while your not in it.
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    We were no more than 50 feet from shore when it took us that long. The shores are all artificial so it is deep close to it. They are covered by "revetments" which can be cement slabs or stone. A problem of getting close to shore are the whirlpools. Unless you have power and good steering they turn you around. In my sailboat with a keel and fairly deep rudder it was hard to keep a course within eighty degrees. In the channel is not so bad. Unless you get to the turns where there are wing dams. These are underwater and control the flow of the water towards the cented. You can really feel when you go over them. They produce a lot of turbulence.
     
  5. BacShortly
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: North Carolina

    BacShortly Junior Member

    I'm doin it right now, solar power on extra battery. Baton Rouge at the moment, 27th day.

    Bacshortly.com
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    How did the Traffic Control respond to your request for a number?
     
  7. BacShortly
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: North Carolina

    BacShortly Junior Member

    It was a great trip, I used an improvised pontoon for safety reasons and went from Minnesota to New Orleans and beyond to Biloxi. It was completely entertaining, with no wakes of six feet. The tows pilots were excellent with their regard to others - downstream has the right of way (but we showed high regard and courtesy too), one radio was enough, I threw my trolling motor off before beginning (weight, and it likely wouldn't help much). Biggest danger I though was the ships below Baton Rouge going southward - they were stealth like and quiet, would slip right up on you. Fuel is available, but you might have to walk (hand-truck) - two meals a day on the Upper places to stop), boat food mostly on the Lower - spotty internet, very HOT, slow and wide. The best thing about the water is the temperature. If I were twenty I would consider doing it again for comparative value, but I'm am 56 (maybe intercoastal next). Ice was a luxury, and there was no set happy hour. More at bacshortly.com
     
  8. shugabear
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Location: alabama

    shugabear jr member

    well qwest04 i grew up on that river further south than you are and i can tell you that the further you go the more dangerous it becomes. the river took my brothers life. when you get to the top of the state of miss the river gains two more currents and the undertow is considerbly worse i would suggest if you are serious to install a small rudder the west side of the river has a southern flow while the east side has northern flow. a sail would be of no use for the fact the banks in most place block the wind. unless it was southerly. now if you really are wanting to do it stay to the center as long as the barge traffic promits it. now once you get to the yazoo canal ( if you are going that far) when the canal dumps into the river it cause somewhat of a whirl pool affect it is a very strong flow just be carefull.
     
  9. NEWENGLAND

    NEWENGLAND Guest


    Ah, So.. Treehugger when you can take the prop wash from my hand you can leave the safetey of the Cowlin Monetsry.

    Every year there are entertaining stories of idealistic people chaleging the physics of nature such as riding their 10 speed againt the traffic flow on a rotary or on a highway (NOTE: Thats why they put signs for those who have no commen scense) [​IMG]


    You will take note: Those signs at the entrance to Logging roads that tel you to turn on the CB Radio to channel X are not for the Logging trucks listening pleasure. They anit gonna stop for a Bike or Treaker when they have 100,000 pounds of timber comming down a gravel road. And peddling a bike around the woods dressed in a brown sweater during deer season, well if I have to explain it to you?

    and that Tug with 500 tones of barge behind it anit gonn swerve out of the way of your Kayak or raft. In fact from a brigdge about 100 feet abouve the waterline the Pilot is never even gonna see you.

    This is just like Wheres Waldo: Here is a picture of a kayak next to a ship. Can you find the kayack?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. BacShortly
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: North Carolina

    BacShortly Junior Member

    Wheres Waldo? -

    [​IMG]

    'Freebird' near the rudder -


    Bacshortly
     
  11. djwkd
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

    djwkd Senior Member

    Within a a few seconds i can. The Boarding ramp leads down to it in about the middle.
     
  12. bigriverraft
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: new york

    bigriverraft Junior Member

    rafting the Mississippi

    I recently completed a 1000 mile raft trip on the Mississippi. It is quite doable in a homemade raft. No problems with tows, no problems with current or turbulence. No real problems at all...just a great trip with amazing scenery and kind and generous people all along the way...met a number of other people doing the trip in canoes and rafts. If you want to do a raft trip down the river
    research it well and talk to people who have actually done it. All the horror stories I heard were from people who had not done it, while all the encouragement I got was from people who had...the trip down the river was probably less dangerous than the truck ride to launch...just do your homework and pay attention
     
  13. A. Dumas
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: oregon

    A. Dumas New Member

    rafting the mississppi .... rules and regulations

    does anyone have any links to information about the locks and dams and where to find information on the official rules of Mississippi river traffic? Any info that would help make a rafting trip at least less dangerous and ridiculous?
     
  14. bigriverraft
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: new york

    bigriverraft Junior Member

    Info

    There is a ton of info on the web...below is just a sample of what can be found by entering a term in your search engine and hitting return...

    Mississippi River gauges- this is good for keeping tabs on river levels. I had this site on my smart phone and was able to see the levels and predictions while I was on the river....great to be in the 21st century
    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps2/glanc...&view=1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1&toggles=10,7,8,2,9,15,6


    Good charts are a good idea...get them here...
    US Army Corps of Engineers source for charts, info on upper river
    http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/

    US Army Corps of Engineers source for charts, info on lower river
    http://www.mvd.usace.army.mil/gis/navbook/main.html

    This site is one of many that will cover the needed equipment to pass a safety check...most of it is common sense and you would want it anyway...
    US Coast Guard Auxiliary - Vessel Safety Check
    http://safetyseal.net/

    Links to many things including links to download Nav Rules - requires pdf The rules governing traffic on the Mississippi are the same as Inland rules anywhere...the whole manual is about 300 pages but only about 15 pages of it deal with small recreational boats on inland waters...rules are pretty simple to learn
    http://www.maritimeconsultant.com/Useful Maritime links.htm

    Links to river trips that may interest you..many things can be learned by reading accounts of those who have gone before....
    www.zannel.com/bigriverraft
    http://bacshortly.wordpress.com/
    http://www.biggetter.com/
    http://www.mynameisbill.com/wordpress/
    http://www.bearnakedrafting.com/
    http://www.11visions.com/adventures/mississippi-float/
    http://huckleberryfinn09.wordpress.com/
    http://www.missrockaway.org/wordpress/boat/
    http://www.acts.org/roland/mackenzie/index.html
    http://junkraft.blogspot.com/
    http://www.bucktrack.com/Canoeing_Down_the_Mississippi.html
    http://www.ohioriverlifeboatproject.org/logbook.php
    http://www.ericandjoan.com/worldtrip/mississippi/missmain.htm
    http://www.floatingneutrinos.com/Other Rafts/construction_of_the_vilma_b_for_.htm
    http://www.missionscience.com/updates.html

    Locking through - how to lock thru...actually turned out to be a pretty easy procedure...
    http://www.tva.gov/river/navigation/reclockthrough.htm
    http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/opl/default.asp?MyCategory=289
    http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/op/s/nl/home.asp

    Hope this helps....,but remember it is only a beginning...do a Google search on anything that interests you and you will come up with a lot more...
     

  15. A. Dumas
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: oregon

    A. Dumas New Member

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