Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by golfman44, Feb 18, 2014.
I wouldn't trust any plastic pinned design in heavier water.
Hey! And I didn't even mention the time a friend and I floated down the lower Sol Duc in a plastic Sevalor Caravelle raft. Successfully, I might add.
Floated my Watermaster down the Dean twice now with no issues. Plastic parts are not the limiting factor. The boatman is.
Was that the Barbie edition Sevalor. That is one sexy raft
Not here, sir
I've had this exact failure and the pin pulling from the housing, it sucks, shitty construction.
Not aware of a Barbie edition. It belonged to the friend. Being a bit older and perhaps wiser, I'm not sure I'd repeat the event. He also floated it solo through Martel rapids on the Thompson. Doesn't get much more exciting than that.
I wish I had guts when it comes to floating nasty stuff. Although I am a larger guy with plenty of insulation, I sink like a rock. Never understood why. I spend the extra time scouting and walking watercraft around whenever possible
There's no shame in being cautious - I roped my LP though Red Creek on the GR in Utah after nearly sinking it in MIL. Then I wised-up and stopped floating in a bucket.
Tell me why whitewater enthusiasts do not use frameless boats? Because they are not built for whitewater use, period. Sure ability is PART of the equation but it's still only PART of the equation.
My opinion is frameless boats should be limited to: Stillwater - 1 or 2 man use - moving water up to class 2+ water for an experienced rower- 1 man use only. My opinion is if you plan on moving 2 people, you definitely need a frame, and with that frame you should also have a boat with full size oar shafts (1 7/8") as compared to the smaller 1 3/8" oar shafts commonly found on framed pontoon boats and frameless boats.
IF you really intend to take on anything with class 2+ regularly you should have a framed craft - especially if there might be some "must moves," involved. You may take your frameless craft on a class 3-3+ river and be fine one day, but lots of people like to play the lottery too.
I bought the frameless Assault XX to go fishing, not white water rafting. Figure it will handle the sky/sno/stilly/yak just fine. I've been thru some class 3/4 on the deschutes in a drift boat and I'll never take this thing thru that kind of water for a long while. For my purposes it is perfect tho -- mainly as a single man but can use it as a 2 man. Looking forward to it.
Sharing your opinion and offering advice is one thing, but " . . . frameless boats should be limited to: Stillwater - 1 or 2 man use - moving water up to class 2+ water for an experienced rower- 1 man use only." telling others what they should or shouldn't do, as long as it doesn't affect you, seems pretty harsh to me. Do you think all the rest of us should be limited to only doing everything the way you think we should too?
That's pretty conclusive on your part to say that frameless boats are not made for whitewater use since Watermaster's own promotional videos demonstrate exactly that sort of use. Admittedly, they are first and foremost a fishing craft, and people buy them for that use and the milder rapids associated with most fishing streams. I've not heard anyone suggest using frameless boats for major descents, but that's a world apart from Class II and III water where most users float and fish.
More than once my good whitewater buddy, Dr. West, has run the NF Nooksack canyon, Sauk - Whitechuck to Bachman and the Sky - Index to High Bridge in an NRS inner tube with fins. http://www.nrs.com/product/1621/nrs-wild-river-tube-no-floor It even comes with two chambers for safety. Yes, he got worked in Boulder drop.
I personally wouldn't be caught dead in moving water with cheezy oar locks, oars or blades.
It's up to me to decide when and where to use my watercraft. Know your boat, be realistic in your own ability, and don't believe the BS put out by the manufacturer on class rating or carrying capacity exaggerations. That last part doesn't even register on my list when considering what it CAN do.
Weight: 23 lbs.
Weight Capacity: 800 lbs.
Frame Material: Frameless
Oars: Alcoa 6061 T65
Oar Locks: Rack & Pinion
Anchor System: Optional
Whitewater Rating: Class IV
Ya, I'm gonna load up an 8'6" boat that has 13" tubes and weighs 23 pounds with 800# of gear and float Bear Creek on the Duc.... Right.
WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT IS SAFETY!SAFETY is a game of chance. The more precautions you take, the more you put the odds in your favour of either reducing the likelihood of something dangerous occurring that could threaten your life, or giving yourself MORE of a fighting chance to survive if something does occur that you can not avoid. Certainly training, experience, and ability play a roll in reducing the risks associated with floating moving water. But having the right tool for the right job is also exceptionally important too.
My intentions are with the best intentions in mind - I want to encourage people to drift rivers because I feel it is a very enjoyable way to enhance fishing rivers; even if the fishing sucks, the drifts are always enjoyable. But part of the encouragement is also giving sound advice. My advice errs on the side of caution. I am a naturally cautious person. I also work on commercial and industrial burners for a living where attention to detail is not an option - it is a requirement or large explosions occur and/or people die. So I don't do things half assed and this transfers over to my attitude in drifting rivers and craft. This doesn't mean I don't have fun, but it does mean I like to be resourceful and educate myself as much as possible.
Subsequently my opinion, and recommendations about frameless craft come from watching what the major players in the industry are doing, as well as talking to whitewater enthusiasts on websites such as mountain buzz.com. Sure, some of the things whitewater enthusiasts do may be overkill for what most of us do at times, but having said that, when you look at their preparations, where do you cut corners? How would you know WHERE you could cut corners? Generally speaking the major players in the pontoon world who offer inflatable fishing craft such as Outcast, Catchercraft, and Bucks Bags, offer their 2-3 man craft (Pac 1200, 1300, 1400, and Fishcat 13, Bucks Bags Double Haul, Catchercraft 2 & 3 salt steelhead & rafts follows the same routine) with frames and full size oars with 1 7/8" shafts.
You and others are free to do whatever you want wherever you want. If you want to get a "Class 5" rated Dave Scadden frameless craft and shoot a class 5 rapid, all the power to you. I think some would pay money to see that video LOL! But my attitude, recommendations, and opinion on frameless crafts only being good for one person on more mellow rivers stands. Look at the oar mounts (glue on pads), the oar shafts (1 3/8") and that is the limiting factor as far as I'm concerned! Could you take this down a class 3 river and be ok? Maybe. But would a framed craft be safer (in similar configuration)? I believe so.