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lawton

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Just got an invite to paddle 18 days on the Grand Canyon run of the Colorado,leaving in a month. Any advice from someone who has paddled this in a Soar would be greatly appreciated. This is our third season paddleing a 16' tandem, usually carrying all of our own gear. We've paddled hardshell open tandem for more than 12 years and now really enjoy the comfort and security of the SOAR. Just got off another great trip on the MF Salmon, and the new drop on the Main at Cramer Creek was as big as anything we've ever run. No Problem, the Soar took the line we wanted and performed great.

Questions.

Would extra handles on the sides be good for hanging onto the boat in a flip, or has anyone tried rigging grablines along the side of the tubes tied off to added d-rings? (we do have flip lines and have practised w/them but think in the middle of a big drop, just hanging on would be best)

Would added weight (gear) be a benefit. We will be supported by rafts, but plan to at lest have the York box in the center for day gear. Does the York box add stiffness as a benefit? (Our paddleing frends say our boat has reverse rocker sometimes because the center humps up. Do you think this is because we have the York box straped in too tight?)

Would extra drain holes help?

Are the seat backs a benefet in the long flat stretches?

Any advice about running the big drops? We tend to take different lines than the rafts and hardshells. The Soar gives us different options, but it seems best to keep the lines simple.

That's it for now,
Thanks.
Jim and Helen


riverattler

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Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #2 
Congrats on the invite and what will be an awesome trip down the Grand. I havent' run it yet, but I do know several SOAR owners that have. I will try to get their input on this forum.

Here's my 2 cents worth about your other questions:

Side handles are practical for having something to hold onto if your SOAR flips. Otherwise there is nothing to grab. I prefer side handles vs d-rings because the handles are pretty much flush to the SOAR. D-rings stick out and can interfere w/ paddle strokes and you can snap a finger on one.

I've attached flip lines to the side handles which are very practical under certain situations. If your SOAR is empty or lightly loaded, it is possible to flip it right side up in the middle of a river. If your boat is heavy, the flip lines are good once you are on shore, or if it is being flipped from a raft.

The best use of flip lines is when a SOAR is wrapped on a rock. Once you've retreived the flip line which is on the underwater tube, a simple tug and the SOAR will become unstuck and rise to the surface.

Weight is good. It settles the SOAR closer to the water, making it less vulnerable to being pushed around by the river's actions. It doesn't need to be stiffened.

Extra Bail holes are not necessary. A bit of gear not only adds extra weight, but acts as water displacement, so that water will drain faster. Bear in mind that some weight of the water will help push you through bigger holes. If you have no water (weight) in the SOAR, it will more easily get sucked back into a hole instead of getting lower in the water and flushing through the hole.

Seat backs are definitely useful, but I still prefer my upright drybag. SOAR's padded seats w/ back give good lower lumbar support, but won't support the whole back.
Also, for 18 days, I'd make sure you have lots of cushion on the seat.

Hope this info helps!
bsbradshaw

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Helen & Jim,

I’ve been down the Grand Canyon in an OC-1 and tandem SOAR. I rowed and kayaked, too. I also did a combined MF and Main Salmon trip this past May in the tandem SOAR. GC rapids are generally wide open compared to the MF and more powerful than those on the Main.

GC rapids are over with quickly and most are separated by miles of flatwater. No time to recover in a rapid and forever afterwards. Just be prepared for swimming in cold water. I’ve added handles to the middle of the sides. I tie six-foot lengths of 2-inch webbing to the handles to act as righting aids and grab lines. We’ve also strung rope thru the grommet strips for attaching gear and acting as hand holds.

I have more fun riding high over waves and most GC rapids will add water weight. Static weight in the boat is most useful when fighting an upstream wind. The SOAR’s I’ve seen have upward arching side tubes, but flat bottoms regardless of gear load.

Weight adds stability at the expense of maneuverability. There are no holes that you have to run in the GC, but Lava and at times Horn have crashing waves that are unavoidable. I’ve been sideways in holes and the boat settles into the crease. Getting out of a regular hydraulic is a problem, but you won’t find those in the GC. The SOAR’s floor rides lower than the side tubes which limits drainage as much as the number of holes. Adding more holes would mean more cold water in the boat on the flatwater.

My rule in the GC is to go with the flow. It’s too fast to fight. If you follow the tongue, the waves seem to open up. Hance is an exception and I’ve snuck left both times. I got slammed in House Rock, but I’d lost my speed trying to eddy out. You can just follow the inside eddyline to avoid the big stuff there. Kayakers can get lost in the waves because most are over there heads. Running rafts is about maintaining momentum. You’ll have good visibility and good maneuverability in the SOAR.

Enjoy, Bruce
lawton

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks for all the advice on our upcoming trip on the Colorado River. We leave tomorrow. Van all loaded, including the Soar. I've installed three strap handles down each side, added a deployable foot sling at each end,(we need a little help getting back in), laced grab rope through the grommets, have flip lines, seats, thigh straps all installed and ready to go..Am also experimenting with a one inch strap under the floor with fastek buckles at center handles each side,for easier in-river flipping. I've managed to distract myself from boating apprehension by working on equipment and gear. Now it's time to get excited. Will let you know how it goes, hopefully with some pictures. Again, thanks for the input.
Jim and Helen
lawton

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #5 
Just back from the Grand Canyon and ready to go again. The SOAR was the perfect craft for us. No flips and tons of fun. We turned out to be the safety and rescue boat for the hardshell tandem open canoes. They were excellent boaters and had incredible runs, but each had a swim or two and were happy to climb in fore and aft in the SOAR and help us paddle after their boats. What a gas to go sliding down those big brown tongues, flying off the crest of the waves,and than bouncing back and forth through the wave trains. We found our own lines, sometimes on the edges, sometimes down the middle, almost always just where we wanted to be. A couple of misjudgments put us into holes,but a bit of luck,experience, and desperation got us through. Sometimes the bow was leaning one way while the stern was being twisted another, and yet always a sense that the craft could handle it. And what a great couch on shore for a bunch of tired paddlers to lounge in the shade.After such a fine performance, we treated the boat to a shampoo and conditioner before putting it away. We never got to try our self rescue system in the rapids, but the one inch flip line under the bottom never was a problem, and worked nicely when tested in an eddy. We traded boats one day, and our friends did manage to flip the boat front over back in a hole.They came out laughing and appreciated the handles along the sides. Thanks, Larry, for a great craft. Hope to have some pictures later from Crystal and Lava.
Jim and Helen
Jim and Helen
Jim and Helen
riverattler

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Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #6 
Photos of Jim and Helen running Lava Falls and Crystal are now posted  in the Photo Gallery. Be sure to check them out.
Rattler
the3carrs

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawton
Just back from the Grand Canyon and ready to go again. The SOAR was the perfect craft for us. No flips and tons of fun. We turned out to be the safety and rescue boat for the hardshell tandem open canoes. They were excellent boaters and had incredible runs, but each had a swim or two and were happy to climb in fore and aft in the SOAR and help us paddle after their boats. What a gas to go sliding down those big brown tongues, flying off the crest of the waves,and than bouncing back and forth through the wave trains. We found our own lines, sometimes on the edges, sometimes down the middle, almost always just where we wanted to be. A couple of misjudgments put us into holes,but a bit of luck,experience, and desperation got us through. Sometimes the bow was leaning one way while the stern was being twisted another, and yet always a sense that the craft could handle it. And what a great couch on shore for a bunch of tired paddlers to lounge in the shade.After such a fine performance, we treated the boat to a shampoo and conditioner before putting it away. We never got to try our self rescue system in the rapids, but the one inch flip line under the bottom never was a problem, and worked nicely when tested in an eddy. We traded boats one day, and our friends did manage to flip the boat front over back in a hole.They came out laughing and appreciated the handles along the sides. Thanks, Larry, for a great craft. Hope to have some pictures later from Crystal and Lava. Jim and Helen Jim and Helen Jim and Helen
the3carrs

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #8 
how did you all add the flip lines?  We swam on the ocoee once the other day and had a hard time flipping the soar 12 back over.  Even at the bank.  Any pictures or other ideas?  Thanks so much !  Sandra
riverattler

Registered:
Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #9 
Sandra,
When I use flip lines, I use a SOAR w/ side handles installed in the middle of the hull.  The flip lines that I have (I don't remember where they came from...it's been a long time) are 6 ft rope stuffed into a small bag that clips to the side handle.  

I'm not sure why you had a hard time flipping your Blaze when you were standing on the side of a bank, though.  Should be easy enough. 

Good luck w/ this.
Rattler

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