outfitting a WW boat

I just purchased a Liquid Logic Stinger XP. I am going to use it as a true crossover, WW up to class 4, rock gardening and as a general use boat. The seating/back band are perfect, and easily adjusted for proper snug fit. I have installed a bulkhead in the stern to make it a water tight storage space, and air bags in the front for flotation.

One thing the boat is really lacking is deck rigging, no perimeter lines or bungee lines. I realize that most WW boats do not have deck rigging as they often do not carry spare paddles or pumps on the deck; nor is wet entry a major concern.

I have a pretty specialized fleet and I am trying to build a general use boat for use when I travel, to keep in my work trailer as my “work site” boat to cut down on shipping boats all over the USA.

Is the lack of deck rigging in regard to a safety concern like getting caught up in deck rigging? I would like to keep a spare paddle and a pump on the stern deck, and possibly a small deck bag on the front.

Am I missing something before I install deck rigging?

Class 4

– Last Updated: Mar-15-14 11:25 PM EST –

Do you really need a pump and a spare paddle on deck in class 4? What will you do with them? You probably don't need them on deck even in class 2 for the same reasons, especially the pump - how will you use it on the move? But you could use them on class 1 and on flat water, maybe even rock gardening, I suppose.

I can see where you might want a spare paddle behind you, even though I think it would be almost as good to have it inside your boat instead. Can you do a hybrid? Small bungees near your back on the rear deck and a pair of paddle holders or "paddle birches" for the shaft ends towards the end? This way you minimize the chance to get caught in some branches in the current, which is the main reason ww boats don't have ropes and such hanging off their decks.

As for the bag, I hate stuff is front of me on the deck - gets in the way. Why not install a knee tube with a small hatch opening in the front instead?

Also have an XP
If the water is of a class where paddle breakage or loss is a good possibility, I carry hand paddles. There are a few multipiece ww paddles on the market that would also do, but I don’t feel a need to keep one on deck.

I don’t want lines on a ww boat because of the possibility of snags on underwater trees, rebar, etc. Not sure they’d be that useful in ww conditions. I also want to minimize holes in the hull(required to mount the lines).

I didn’t add a bulkhead because that reduces the utility of the drain plug. Compartments leak on all my boats so I use drybags anyway.

Shane Benedict (of liquidlogic) recently took an XP through the Grand Canyon. You might check his blog to see what modifications he made to the boat.

How much class IV have you done?
No you don’t want deck rigging on a whitewater boat.

Alternatives to store stuff in WW boat

– Last Updated: Mar-16-14 12:19 PM EST –

As above, if you think you want to do serious WW, you do not want crap on the deck. (as below, empty bungies can be another matter)

For WW - get four part paddles if need be and stash them under the rear float bags. You aren't going to switch paddles until you are up and land and recovering your act. Hand paddles are very nice if you have the confidence to use them. Some people need the big long thing to feel like they have an effective paddle.

Small dry bag with sandwich and basics also under the float bags, or lashed behind the seat really, really securely if you have room. Water bottle between your front legs, though in most boats the bungies up there loosen up with age. Filtration tablets in a zip lock bag in your PFD if you are really going to need to think about water.

Helmet on your head - get a good enough one to be all day comfortable.

On the bulkhead - if you want to use this boat in WW the correct alternative is float bags. Added in bulkheads or hatch accesses are likely to fail in heavier WW, the boat fills with water and you are in trouble. Float bags do a pretty good job of staying put if properly inflated. And you use their inflation to hold in things like the break-apart spare paddle.

As to class 4 - unless/until you can make your eddies and ferries to a point across the river with an extremely high percentage, like nearly 100%, and have successfully rolled in class 3, you shouldn't even be thinking about class 4. For most people getting to that point will take time and practice.

I just rechecked some of your earlier posts and see that you have done under class 4 in some other boat. I am thinking it must have been well under class 4, because if you had capsized with a full set of float bags in a full out WW boat you'd have found two things. One is that float bags work extremely well to displace water, the other is that you drain a WW boat using the drain plug (on land), not a pump.

You have asked about a do-everything boat. But this post is the first time I saw you indicate that you included class 4 WW in that list. Most people likely were thinking lower class water in their replies - there is a lot more flexibility in class 2.

Yes people have done major WW in in appropriate boats. There is a guy in Colorado I think who was doing major WW in a sea kayak with a GP. But the paddler in question has worked hard to be very good, and likely few could manage it as well as he has. For your more general purposes, you should avoid higher numbered WW or consider picking up an inflatable ducky for that purpose.

go ahead if you want to
While I agree that you really don’t want stuff on your decks while running difficult rapids, there are some very whitewater capable crossover kayak designs that include at least some deck bungees, such as the Pyranha Fusion, Liquid Logic XP 9 and 10, and the Wavesport Ethos.

If having this available for ocean paddling and easy streams I personally don’t think there is any great risk in having empty bungees on the decks in whitewater. Whitewater open boats have significantly greater amounts of exposed cordage to restrain flotation bags. I have seen very many whitewater canoes negotiate rapids upside down and it is very rare for them to get seriously hung up by the bag cages.

Instead of using plastic “inchworms” and the like which stick up off the deck and can bite your hands when paddling and rolling, I would secure deck bungees with short loops of nylon webbing secured with stainless steel machine screws, lock nuts, and finish washers. These are easy to install if you can reach the hull interior to secure the inside nut. If not, you may need to use well nuts in some locations. If you apply a bit of silicone sealant to the machine screw when inserting it, very little, if any, water will leak through.

In a long boat like the Stinger, you might find that you can slide the two halves of a TAP paddle inside and along the sides of the front of the hull. I knew whitewater kayakers who carried spares this way back when whitewater K1s were 11+ feet long.

Class 4 is a stretch
I have run true class 4 water three times, once without swimming in my Fusion. I know I am a long way out from being proficient in narrow technical WW runs, I do not have any intention on focusing on 3+ WW, I just know it may happen if the correct situation presents itself, (having people along with the skill set to not make it a foolish activity)

I am attempting to have a boat that is a cross between my Dagger Alchemy and Pyranha Fusion. I wanted an Alchemy with more rocker for maneuverability, or a Fusion that was a little longer for calmer water speed.

I am hoping the Stinger hits this balance for a better general use boat I won’t get killed in, or be bored with.

Not Recommended
Putting rigging on the boat and using it for WW is a bad idea. If the situation arises to paddle WW I would want to use an appropriate boat that doesn’t increase my risk factor.

OT - Stinger XP Actual Weight
Do you know by chance what is the actual weight of your XP? I’m eyeing that or the Karma UL as an attainment boat and the lighter, the better

Its heavy

– Last Updated: Mar-16-14 4:37 PM EST –

Just scaled it, fully outfitted with padding & airbags, 57 lbs. Molding is every bit as good as my Pyrahna, very robust plastic.
I am using my Zephyr pro (48lbs.) as an attainment boat, going to try the stinger to save wear and tear.

I know 2 people who have run Fusions on the upper Yough with success. Wayne Dickert has run his on Section IV of the Chattooga.

I used a P&H Delphin until recently for that, but it’s 60+lb weight was discouraging me to take it out as often as I would have liked…

I still like my Fusion
On active water it is a great boat, I plan on keeping it. Downside is paddling any distance for rock gardening or hit a long stretch of flat water and it plows like a bathtub.

It sounds like you are aware of the difference between making a run without damages and having done it the way wanted rather than the water…

As to outfitting the boat you have for higher number WW, if you left yourself access I would strongly advise you pick up a float bag or two that can fill the space behind the bulkhead you added. You can get quite flexible ones from NRS, made of a grey plastic, that will fold and pull in and out of relatively small spaces once deflated. They aren’t cheap, but they are hardy and will conform to odd spaces. That way you have some backup should the bulkhead fail.

But you might still want to look around for a Ducky for long term purposes. That would leave you able to focus on a hard shell boat that would be a more pleasant paddle in other environments.

I understand where your coming from,
I bought an xp10 to use as a crossover- to paddle whitewater and overnight with gear. It’s just real slow on the flats so I understand the appeal of a stinger- a quicker boat and converting it into a crossover. I think you hit the most important aspects- comfortable seat and a good fit for extended paddles. Deck rigging isn’t that big a deal in ww unless your paddling creeks with a lot of wood, then I would hesitate to add rigging. I think the stinger will be a more challenging boat to paddle in ww (less forgiving) but will accelerate your development. Get a break down paddle to stow inside the boat if you want a spare. In the old days before ww boats had hatches we would remove the foam pillars (walls) and simply fill the boat with gear and wedge in pelican boxes to protect the decks from collapsing.

off river paddling
The guys I paddle with do add deck lines. One guy added a skeg and deck lines (and maybe a bulkhead) to a Dagger Green Boat. But their use is for rock gardening in the ocean, not white water. In open water, the deck lines are a lot more important.

If you go to Neptunes Ranger’s blog posts at http://neptunesrangers.blogspot.com/ (last year July and August), you will see some reviews done on the various boats in this class (for rock gardening purposes).