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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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dean river boats

i am wondering what most use for drifting the dean. We are planning a trip for this year and would like to drift and camp. Do pontoon boats really hold as much gear as the manufacturers claim? are they still rowable and safe ?
I have a scadden skykomish and I am fairly comfortable on the oars as I also had a drift boat but am concerned about packing enough gear to go for 8 days safely.
All input and setups would be appreciated.

Cheers Steve
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 08:08 PM
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I floated the Dean with my Watermaster Kodiak. I figure that it's best to keep the load to half the manufacturer's weight estimate, or less. The upside? Three men each with personal watercraft made the helicopter load limit. The downside? No cooler full of beer, but I got by with a bottle of Scotch and a 4-liter box of wine. I did take a 15-qt cooler with fresh frozen dinners and breakfasts for the first 4 days. Then freeze dried for the remainder of the trip.

How much gear = safe? Some people can carry all they need in a backpack for 8 days in the wilderness. Some people couldn't do it with a 5th wheel travel trailer. YMMV.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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i hear that, i just didnt want to live like complete peasant.. appreciate the info. I think Im going to do a dry run and load the boat and see how she rows.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 05:57 AM
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It depends if your talking about a full size pontoon like an 13' air raft? either way they can carry a lot of gear most of them will hold 1500 lbs, there are gear rafts that float down the deschutes with 1 guy that are loaded to the tits and they dont seem to have any problem at all. I have a WM and I have over loaded it before, I know it was kind of dumb but it still handeled totally fine.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by awurban View Post
It depends if your talking about a full size pontoon like an 13' air raft? either way they can carry a lot of gear most of them will hold 1500 lbs, there are gear rafts that float down the deschutes with 1 guy that are loaded to the tits and they dont seem to have any problem at all. I have a WM and I have over loaded it before, I know it was kind of dumb but it still handeled totally fine.
I've never had the pleasure of floating the Dean, so no specific advice there, but I do take a slight exception to some of the above. Those rafts you see loaded down like that on the Deschutes usually are designed for that kind of load. They are also usually being rowed by guides who know the river and their boats well. Tube diameter, overall length, width, and rocker can all make very appreciable differences in how they handle increasing weight.

Handling fine is also kinda subjective, to each person, but also very dependent on the type of water. As I understand it, the Dean is pretty remote so for me that would be a big factor in how much I wanted to push things. The test load and float is a fantastic idea; I can't imagine launching for an 8 day trip and realizing that my boat was overloaded and I was having trouble handling it.
good luck on your trip, I'm envious
JB
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the well wishes, i am using a scadden skykomish. i have done some backpacking years ago, so I'm o.k. with going light. just want to be comfortable.
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