Sunday, 29 May 2016

Understanding the Different Types of Rafting Boats

A rafting trip will not be complete without the correct rafting boat. There are many types of rafting boats often depending on the number of passengers, the skill level of the passenger, and the general purpose of taking a rafting trip. Here are some of the different types of rafting boats you just might encounter in your rafting trip.

  • Motorized Rafts – These types of rafts are attached with an outboard motor for ease of navigation along whitewater rivers. These are perfect for individuals who may want to take a leisurely ride down the river without the need to paddle on their own.
  • Oar-Powered Rafts – These are similar to motorized rafts except that they do not have an outboard motor. For propulsion, oars are attached to pivot connectors on the sides of the raft. Individual rafters use this to glide over water.
  • Paddle-Powered Rafts – This type of rafting boat is similar to an oar-powered raft. The only difference is that the paddle is held by individual rafters as these are not permanent fixtures on the raft. Some individuals prefer a paddle than an oar because they can get to find a position on the raft that will be more convenient for them.
  • Hybrid Rafts – This type of whitewater river rafting boat is a combination of a paddle-powered and an oar-powered raft. The individuals’ rafters will be using oars while the trip leader or river guide, some call as the helmsman, will be using the paddle in pretty much the same way as the helmsman of a ship steers the ship’s rudders. This allows the rafters to synchronize their rowing efforts while the river guide will be the one to drive or steer the craft.
  • Catarafts A combination of a pontoon or catamaran and a raft, catarafts provide one of the most stable platforms on the river. They often vary in length and capacity but generally not more than 5 individuals at a time. The best way to enjoy a cataraft is to take on a solo journey in the river.
  • Rigs – An oversized cataraft, the rig is essentially made up of two long and large pontoons with a large metal frame and platform between them. These types of rafting boats are the largest in the river and can easily accommodate up to 20 people at a time, some even up to 30. Because of its size, it is quite a challenge to maneuver. Nevertheless, it would be fun to have a party on board while cruising down the river.
  • Ories A dory is actually a boat with double hulls. Some would liken it to a canoe although the dory will have a shallower draft. Technically, a dory is not a raft but rather a boat. However, because it is highly maneuverable and can accommodate up to 4 people at a time, it is being increasingly used in whitewater rafting trips.
  • Kayaks – These ultra-lightweight rafts can slice through rapids with the raw efficiency of a hot knife slicing through butter. They provide the most maneuverability and speed in any of the rafting boats mentioned in this list. However, they are only for one person; although there are 2-person kayaks but are relatively more expensive.

There are other types of rafting boats but these are generally the more common ones.

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