This End Up - The Boats
How to get 5 bikes, 5 trailers, 5 people and all that gear across the various rivers is discussed herein

When considering crossing water the options seem to be rowing across or flying over.  While flying over it has a certain romantic apeal, not to mention the scouting and film opportunities that is brings to the plate, it requires more experimentation than we have time for. Thus the idea of building a powered parachute assembly like that of the Skycar expedition, http://www.skycarexpedition.com/, is being left behind in favor of the boat option.  We are still looking at a small backpack model powered parachute for scouting and film work but the weight and ruggedness are making this option seem less likely to happen at this point. So with our heads back down out of the clouds we look at boats that we can take on the bikes or trailers.

Emediately the size is an issue. A kayak or Canoe is far longer than the trailers can handle without making the bikes unstable. Thus we are left with Inflatable or foldable boat options. I have not found much in the foldable boat line except the folbot option, http://www.folbot.com/, and that does not offer a pontoon option and is very expensive.

At this point two boat options are in play although there may be others I dont know about. Both are inflatable pontoon style rafts. The Sea Eagle, http://www.seaeagle.com/, line of boats is manufactured in Long Island NY making them a local player but the NRS, http://www.nrsweb.com,  inflatable river boats are designed to be expedition quality and are thus more adaptable. Aditionaly NRS offers more options in Pontoon size although they are more expensive.  Either way a custom frame will need to be built.

The idea of bringing an additional inflatable kayak is still on the plate. It might be a better option for scouting and sending the first man across although it brings extra weight to the table. The idea of using two inflatable kayaks with a frame seems feasable but would require more design and would not be as rugged. SeaEagle makes an inflatable long board that may act as a quick scout vehicle although the rivers may be to fast.

 

Requirements

  • We need to get people across the water
  • We need to get one bike at a time across the water
  • We need to get the gear and trailers across the water
  • We need to do this several times so time is a consideration
  • We need to haul it all behind a bike through the tundra
  • We need to get the last person across with the last of the equipment.

 

The plan so far goes something like this

  • Twist a stake, like a big dog runner stake, into the ground at the edge of the water and tie the end of two ropes to it.
  • Inflate and assemble das boat
  • Row across the water with the other ends of the rope. Drive a second stake into the ground and tie off the rope leaving some slack in one line.
  • couple the carabeener on the center bow to the tight line running straight across the river. The slack line is used to pull the boat towards the other side of the river but should be run through a carabeener also as a backup. Oars are no longer needed after the first crossing
  • load the camping gear and food on the boat with the site crew and pull them across depositing them on the other side then returning. They can begin setting up camp and meals while the rest of the bikes, gear and crew are ferried across
  • Load a bike, tie it down, and pull it across.  Unload onto the other side and return.
  • repeat until all bike and gear are across.
  • load the last people left behind and pull the ground stake allowing the current to swing the boat down stream on the rope, pendulum style.
  • Pull out boat and pack it. Eat sleep, wake and ride

 See, that doesnt sound so hard!