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Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

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Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by Wil on Sun 18 Dec 2011, 12:23 pm

In the market for a paddle raft (to go with 6 kayaks and 18' cat), to take friends and family down HenTag and BV when they are running. I have never been on HenTag, and only did BV (in a keyak) at 265. But was wondering what the biggest raft (paddling not oaring) that I could take down BV at the 500 range and HenTag at whatever the normal summer flow is for it. I have seen a couple of 12 footers on sale, but would rather get something bigger if possible to take more people. I took my old 15' raft down every section of the Arkansas in Colorado, but the rivers here are definitely not as wide, so was wondering what I should be aiming for.

Thanks for any knowledge - Wil

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16 ft

Post by Augie on Mon 19 Dec 2011, 12:45 am

Park City Rafting uses 16 ft paddle rafts on HenTag
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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by Wil on Mon 19 Dec 2011, 10:25 am

Augie, thanks for the info. Is that for the entire season or just near the peak?

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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by Augie on Mon 19 Dec 2011, 10:53 am

All season long
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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by Wil on Mon 19 Dec 2011, 12:39 pm

Thanks Augie, that sounds great.

Can anyone give me some info on Bridal Veil? I assume people raft it when it gets higher, and it seems that it might be a little narrow for a 16' raft. But could I get something smaller down it?

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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by wasatchbill on Mon 19 Dec 2011, 1:39 pm

(I am not a rafter, but here's a few thoughts)
BV has a much smaller window of runnable flows compared to Hen Tag. I have not seen rafts on BV, but I only get down there occasionally. The crux is usually a tight move left, that can be hard to make in a kayak. Its also has shallow and rocky spots in the crux at "normal" flows (~600).
Over 1400, there is a mandatory roll bridge for kayaks, a ways below the crux; no great eddies for a raft above it. I suspect you would have trouble getting under that bridge in a raft above 1100 cfs.
Hen Tag has a lot of wood removal done by the rafting company and Barefoot Tubing every spring, which makes it passable for rafts. Since there is not commercial rafting on BV (or the Weber below Taggart; for rafts I am thinking of below rt 89), they are wood choked from a raft perspective, especially after last years high water.
BV often has riverwide wood that kayakers need to deal with before its passable in kayaks. I would guess that around 900-1000 would be the best flow for a raft, unless you can portage that low bridge.

The Weber below rt 89 has extraordinary amounts of wood after last springs floods, otherwise I'd suggest looking at that; maybe Riverdale to 21st street would be doable, after the county helps remove a couple major logjams. There is a mid-river log above 24th to be aware of; should be passable on the right.
I have seen rafts running Riverdale Wave; not sure where they put in or took out though. Guessing they put in right above the wave on 4400S; could take out right below the wave, or at 24th st kayak park.

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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by Jeff Young on Mon 19 Dec 2011, 5:55 pm

I've seen a few rafts put on above the Uinta Bridge just upstream of the bridge for the 89-RW run.. BV would be tight, I'd ask Arnie as maybe he's done BV in a raft.
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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by afaust on Mon 19 Dec 2011, 7:11 pm

I saw a paddle raft on BV this year when flows were around 1000-1200. It was a real shorty, maybe between 10-12' long. Looked like a blast, but I will stick to the hard shell.

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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by riverstud222 on Mon 16 Jan 2012, 8:10 pm

I'd run BV in a raft with a knowledgeable paddle captain who'd run it a good amount of times in a kayak, a minimum semi experienced crew from 800-1100 with a boat no larger than 14.5 ft. Anything different than that is asking for some pain in the form of either to narrow, to shallow butt dragging or long separation swims and raft pinball. That said with that semi experience crew and that flows paddle rafting BV would be really really sweet. My 2 cents.

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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by ArneC on Sat 21 Jan 2012, 3:01 am

Take it from someone who has paddled a ton of technical stuff in small rafts, you need more experience before tackling BV in a raft. If you want to paddle the small rivers in UT, you need to get a raft that is no larger than a 13' boat. If you get a bigger boat, you will end up pinning it on a rock or bridge, and have to buy a new boat anyways. The boats on the weber, including Park city rafts, are all 13' or shorter, and most of them are in the 10.5' to 12' range. I think the 13' boat is probably the perfect size. I would feel comfortable in a 12' or 13' on the BV section and the eggs, but dont try it before you are extremely comfortable with yourself on the boat, and your crew. You also need to have another raft with you, or a couple other kayakers. Rafting is a different game than kayaking, you have to rely on the people in your boat. Don't listen to these guys telling you to get a 14 or 16' boat, that size is only good for big rivers like the Colorado and the Snake, and will not fit on our small rivers here.

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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by Jeff Young on Sat 21 Jan 2012, 12:56 pm

And Arne would know
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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

Post by Jeff Young on Sat 21 Jan 2012, 12:57 pm

Come to think of it, the two person raft Arne sells would be really cool
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Re: Biggest Raft Able to Paddle Raft HenTag and BV?

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