Am I About To Do Something Stoopid?

I posted this in The Wilderness Message Board but thought I’d see if this one has any advice.


I’m about to go on a 4-5day wilderness float on the Rio Yaqui in Sonora Mexico with a group of friends. We’ve done this float before in 16 ft canoes. Depending on the flow it is generally a class 2 but we may hit a class 3 run or two. In all instances we have the option of portaging.

This year we have an odd number of people, including a few odd people. One of us, me, has decided to do it in a solo kayak instead of a canoe. This problem is the kayak I want to do it in is a Cobra Fish n Dive sit on top. It’s very stable and can carry a lot. I figure since it’s 11 ft long and a hard shell, it can probably go anyplace a 16 ft royalex canoe can go. I have the option of borrowing an IK but to be honest, I’d just as soon use the Cobra because it can carry more and I won’t have to haul along a pump and patch kit.

My wife, who will be in one of the canoes, thinks I’m nuts. Am I?

Inquiring minds want to know.


How heavy is it?
And, will you really want to portage it?

Heavy Enough!
It’s not light and I don’t want to portage it but then I don’t want to portage the canoes and we ususally have to do that on one set of rapids.


lemme see
if i have this straight…

you wanna do something and your wife thinks its nuts and so you came here for opinion / feedback / validation when almost certainly no one here is married to you…hmmn…hold on…

yes, stooopid.

dunno nuthin’ 'bout canoes, but i know wives.

good luck!

… funny write up.

hey there are some girlfriends/wives on this board who don’t think it’s stoopid - unless you are going against the girlfriends/wives wishes and then yes – you are stooopid.

Seriously - take the Cobra. Portage is the same for a canoe or kayak.

extremely clever choice
Take the kayak as a favor to your friends who should each agree to carry a portion of your gear to compensate for your sacrifice.

I have a SOT that I dearly love to paddle that does fine on class II. If you fall off just hop back on. BTW install thigh straps if at all possible, it makes tons of difference in the craft’s capability if not yours.

yep, echo the thigh straps, I posted in
the other thread. Much easier to brace a sit-on-top when you have thigh straps.

Do a dry run - get some butt in boat
Head over to the Salt, Gila, or Verde — whatever is running and get some practice before you take it on a trip. BUY SOME THIGH STRAPS and learn to use them — the Fish and Dive is not exactly the best sit on top to try this in but you should be OK.

Go for the GOLD

– Last Updated: Apr-09-08 7:26 PM EST –

and don't portage. There is only one way to learn so take a chance and let the good times roll.

Besides if you swim you'll be the topic of conversation.

Paddlin' on

without a doubt, swim a class III before
portaging a big plastic bobber, just hold on tight !

I’d definitely do it.

– Last Updated: Apr-09-08 11:36 PM EST –

Other than the weight, the Cobra Fish N Dive equates in both length (12'6) and width (36"), with many an IK. In fact, I've taken my Sea Eagle 380 IK (about the same L & W specs)fully loaded to the max with camping gear down Class III action a number of times. Even though the SE is flat bottomed compared to the Cobra's hull, pivoting becomes almost non-existent anyway in a fully loaded barge. -So you might as well go for the mucho gusto, leave the patch kit home, and take that extra hole-punching power provided by 12+feet of plastic. Just aim for the line and have fun on your way to glory! Your odds are bound to be better than say, using a shorter more lightweight and maneuverable SOT loaded down with all the same crap.

And at such times, I make it a point to tell my wife, "Paddle your own canoe."

Good luck, Amigo.

Survived with Flying Colors
Well, I’m back from the Rio Yaqui and it went great! My Cobra was able to get through everything the canoes could do and more. I did hammer the bottom on one nasty rapids so I’ll need to do some repairs but that wasn’t the boat’s fault.

In fact several of the canoeists ended up paddling the kayak for a half a day each because they saw I was having so much fun.

My wife may still think I’m an ejit, but she no longer thinks I’m stoopid. We’ll not AS stoopid.

Thanks for all the advice.

…lots of time on the water here…

– Last Updated: Apr-20-08 6:44 PM EST –

mcginty's gonna take the orders from his wife who has clocked how many portages/lbs?

good on ya!
Thanks for reporting back

Glad to hear the River God didn’t
swallow you up !

SOT in Rapids
If you think of it as a raft and are prepared for the lack of bracing ability, it should be fine.

It ain’t going to brace like a sit-inside kayak.

I have tried bracing and rolling them with the knee straps and the width makes it very difficult.