Friday, December 30, 2011

"Pimp My Boat": Creating a bow loop on a raft.

Ordering mission blue is an easy way to pimp your boat!

This is the start of a new series I am going to do here at EvoAnglers: Pimp My Boat.  As a boat owner you develop tricks and tools that help you get the most performance, comfort and use out of your craft.  Getting to hang out with a bunch of other mendicants fishing guides I have learned a ton of cool tricks that help make driftboats, rafts and trailers better, so I will do my best to share these tricks.

  This first series of "pimp my boat" is for my buddy Keith in Portland who asked about setting a safety line on a raft.  The technique I am showing here puts a safety line around the raft, but also gives you a loop of line to winch your boat on to your trailer with.  This seems like a simple concept, but I can't tell you how many guys I know who either don't even have a safety rope, or don't have it rigged for winching their boat up.  Along with the lack of a rope, I have seen many rafts that are missing the front handle or d-ring because they were being used to winch the raft up and ripped out.  The ability to easily winch a raft onto a trailer by yourself is the benefit of this simple technique, and if you have tried to do this before you understand.

Note the rope hanging off of the bow.  This will be threaded through to create your bow loop.

Boat being pimped: 13' Aire Tributary self-bailing raft with NRS frame.

Step 1:  Get a piece of good quality rope that is long enough to go around your raft, through every d-ring and then wrap through the bow of your raft, doubled over (for my raft it was the circumference of the raft plus 6', see above).  Most pre packaged rope you would get at a hardware store that is high enough quality for this will come long enough.

So simple, so good!
Step 2:  Take your new rope, fold it in half and slide the bend you just created in the middle of the rope through the stitched floor in the front of your raft.  Tie an overhand knot to create a loop for your winch, as pictured above.  This location below your tube allows the raft to go up on the trailer with ease, and stays out of the way when your rowing.  I have an Aire Tributary 13' that has the stitched floor and makes this very easy.  If you have a raft where the floor is welded in (Saturn's, Otter's many others) go to a raft repair place and have them cut a hole in the fabric between your floor and tube (I highly recommend NOT cutting your raft yourself).

As seen in the first picture, the rope loop is sitting below the floor.
Step 3:  Pull the rope up the inside of your raft and thread it into the top d-ring.
Rope is threaded through the d-ring
Step 4:  Now that the loop is tied on the underside of your raft, and the rope is threaded through your front d-ring as pictured above, thread the rope through all of the other d-rings to the back of your boat.  Because you used the middle of the rope to make your front loop, use one side of the rope for one side of the boat.  The two ends will meet in the back at the rear d-ring.  As you are threading the d-rings, remove all slack, even if tied very tight the rope with stretch and loosen overtime (slack is evil, as always).
You want to pull here (green) not here (red).
Rear d-ring
Step 5:  Take the two ends of the rope and thread them through the d-ring.  As you can see above, I wrapped it around the d-ring with each side of the rope.  Once threaded through tie the ends of the rope together, I chose to overhand not it twice.  Ideally you want it putting stress on the rope and the d-ring, not the raft fabric.

I hope this is useful for some of you out there, especially Keith.  If you have any questions like Keith did feel free to ask, of if you have any cool boat tricks that you have done, let me know!


  1. Great post. Now I can link this to folks instead of explaining it at the take out. Thanks.

  2. Hahaha, no problem Todd. It really is such a simple solution that makes winching a raft up by yourself so easy!

  3. I've always wanted to know how to do that, thank you very much.
    long island used boats


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