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Old 02-04-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
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Rafting

The Nimble Nomad Owners group is going to have a rendezvous at Pelican Bay near Cayo Costa Island in Pine Island Sound in a few weeks and one of the members asked me about rafting up.
He was aware that I had done it a few times in the area before and wondered what I thought about our group rafting up. The times I did it we rafted with a 32' cruiser as the center boat and had two smaller boats on each side with a single anchor from the center boat. We did stay together all night but I did not sleep well.
How many of you guys raft up and what are your thoughts on it?
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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I raft up all the time. My best advice is to make absolutely sure that you are in an area where you are sure that you will not be waked. Other than that, the bigger the balls the better....fender balls that is. Those gigantic balls are the absolute best for fenders in a rafting situation.

You're going to get all kinds of flak for 3 boats on one anchor. I say that is okay as long as it is a good anchor with good scope and not really expecting any wind. I have seen some crazy rafting around here and am amazed at how many boats one crappy ass anchor can hold.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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I have rafted dozens of times with few issues but always during the day. At night I prefer to be on my own ground tackle. Just my opinion, I am a bit of a worry wart.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:16 PM   #4
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I agree with LaBomba. Daytime is fun, but come evening I prefer to be either on my own or with no more that 2 others.
I prefer regular fenders to balls, as I like to have the load spread out on my boat rather than one point contact. And no fenders on the vents.
I also do not allow braided line on the bow. It does not stretch enough and jerks the boat.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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I have only "rafted" one time to a friend's boat for dinner, then moved to andchor for the night.
I will say if you will be rafting up Pelican Bay is a great spot, one of my favorites, I hope to be there later this Spring.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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We raft up BIG in Texas

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Old 02-04-2013, 05:22 PM   #7
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Rafting is fine if you're in an area with little current or waves/wakes. It's not a good idea if there is rough water or current reversals from changing tides. It's also not a good idea if anyone in the group plans on running a generator because CO can drift into the other boats.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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Well, I agree with everyone about rafting overnight even though I have done it. But one advantage to Pelican Bay as Steve will attest to is that its very protected. If possible most of the boats will be at the docks there but anchoring overnight is always an option.
And Steve, Pelican Bay is a great stop in Pine Island Sound. We love it there.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:05 AM   #9
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We average about 5-7 boats in a raftup. Like Baker said, fenders are paramount. And you have to trust the guy in the middle to know what he's doing and have the proper tackle. I had six boats tied to me in Offatt's bayou for a weekend. All of them were about the same size as my Krogen 42. No problems, even with a sustained 15 or so knot wind from offshore.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
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If you like to get underway early, it's a good idea to aim for an outside position on the raftup.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
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Our yacht club has four raft-ups a year averaging 17 boats, Our hard and fast rule is the first boat on site puts out a bow anchor with the second boat putting out a stern anchor, and so on. No one gets to ride "free." When we break up, we start at both ends of the raft.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:37 PM   #12
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Here's how we do it on the delta.


For a multi-day raftout, each boat anchors at the bow and every other boat drops a stern anchor. This is in protected waters with few wakes and little if any current. We raft so that the current is on the beam, allowing the raft to shift port and stbd within the confines of the bow and stern lines. We line up out transoms and stern-hop from boat to boat. Most everyone has a swim step.

We rafted up with Giggitoni last weekend in Napa. It was a short 1 hr raft so each with a bow anchor worked fine. We broke up before the tide change.



Having similar hulls and rub rail heights helps the boat to play together nicely. Ray's Grand Banks and my Californian matched up perfectly in the glassy smooth Napa River.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:07 PM   #13
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Al, you're driving me crazy. How's about a Napa River raft-up this Sunday?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:42 AM   #14
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Up here in SE Alaska we raft up all the time, but never more than 3 or 4 boats, and in calm waters.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:08 AM   #15
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Nimble, we live in your area and have been rafting up at Pelican Bay for 15 yrs. we've had as many as 5 or 6 on one anchor. We usually raft up for the weekend and overnight isn't a problem. Only once in all those years did we have to break apart after dark due weather.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Here's how we do it on the delta.

For a multi-day raftout, each boat anchors at the bow and every other boat drops a stern anchor. This is in protected waters with few wakes and little if any current. We raft so that the current is on the beam, allowing the raft to shift port and stbd within the confines of the bow and stern lines. We line up out transoms and stern-hop from boat to boat. Most everyone has a swim step.

We rafted up with Giggitoni last weekend in Napa. It was a short 1 hr raft so each with a bow anchor worked fine. We broke up before the tide change.

Having similar hulls and rub rail heights helps the boat to play together nicely. Ray's Grand Banks and my Californian matched up perfectly in the glassy smooth Napa River.
It's interesting to learn different techniques . We've never tried more than one anchor i guess because we were afraid they'd get crossed as the tide or winds changed. One anchor has worked fine for us. Granted that the anchored boat has all chain, and a lot of it out. I think the key for us is making sure all the boats are tied tight to each other with no slack between the boats and fenders. That allows the boats to move as one and reduces the pitching if we are waked. We've been thru tide changes, being waked and even some pretty bad summer storms without a problem.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:00 AM   #17
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Rafting is fun but with a few "alligators" in the water. I wouldn't spend the night rafted because by the time you figure out it was a bad idea, it is to late! Murphy lives here.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:19 AM   #18
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Rafting is a rare occurrence for us. We're not as social as we used to be and have an early to bed and early to rise routine that doesn't fit the overnight raftup routine here. An occasional midday get together with another boat or two is fine but we opt out of the overnights.

We certainly stay away from this
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #19
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Raft ups are great for swapping lies about how good a bigger boat is and needing more electronics. Possibly the greatest boating marketing tool out there. I have often noted the guy with the biggest boat and anchor has lots of hot bodies aboard too. Then there are the smaller boat guys with the nice bikini babes, we all know what these guys have - and so do the women.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #20
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Anode - Where in the heck is that Cluster Fk of rafts???

Sort of reminds me of Pwr Sq rafts back in the 50's/60's on LI, NY inland bays. But.... number of boats these rafts in your pict are simply over the top!

Just imagine the effects with that many boats before holding tanks became prevalent! OH CRAP!!! Pun intended

BTW Back in 50s/60s straight flush was the rule really bad when I was a kid in the many-boat rafts of South Shore LI, NY enclosed bays!
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