LIFETIME OF INFLATABLES

I'm hangin' kinda close to home today, as my daughter-in-law has had her appendix unexpectedly removed last night. Just in case I'm needed. Anyways, I've been doing chores around here as well as working on the cataraft. That got me thinking about all you guys using canoes and yaks and such, and I thought I'd share a bit about my inflatables. I will let you know that I spent 25+ years in an Old Town Discovery 174.

 

My first inflatable was a Star raft, equipped with a fishing frame. It was rather comfortable for an oarsman and two anglers. comfortable that is, until the wind gusted into double digit range. Anyway, here's a pic that shows me in my office, at work.




Next came the Creek Company ODC 1018. I had a blast modifying and fabricating this one. Rowed VERY well, plenty of storage, inexpensive starter pontoon.






I still have the ODC 1018, but these days I'm rowing a set of tubes made by Jack's Plastic Welding on a custom built (not by me) frame. I have been making a lot of modifications to it, as that is just my nature. I love tinkering.

 

There are two air chambers per tube,12 feet long with a 20 inch diameter, made from 35-oz high tensile strength welded PVC coated polyester . They draft maybe 2 inches of water with 275+ pounds of me and gear.

 

This is how it looked the day I bought it.





I had seen this boat in action prior to buying it, and realized the former owner didn't know exactly what he had. This thing was screaming for a second seat. I started undoing tubes and fabricating others.






Me rowing the previous owner.




I have added a standing platform, tube steel and oak flooring scraps:





Oar rests that are as ergonomic as any I've seen. They started life as hardware hangers:




Made a rear-mounted cooler rack from scrap crap I'd salvaged: