This is mostly directed towards all you seasoned dory GC'ers-
I'm looking to maybe snag a great condition Don Hill 18x57 built in 2013 and am wondering if that would be sufficient for the canyon if I fully deck it out. I am a little worried about the low sidewall height- 23" slant, 21" vertical at oar locks. Lower center of gravity might be better?? I will be with a bunch of 18' rafts so gear space and weight will not be an issue for me.
I've rowed a 14' raft down the canyon many times and am looking for a new, interesting and challenging experience for my next trip. I consider myself a very experienced oarsman so basically am just wondering if that would be a reasonable craft to pursue and spend time and money on. I know it's not ideal but I'm really just hoping for this to be a cool project and learning experience for when I can build my ideal GC dream boat at some point in the future.
Sooo will this baby make it to pierce?? (decked out of course!)
Thanks for any info/opinions/rants/whatev
Transitioning Rubberpusher (aka Lucas)
Hi Lucas, what a GREAT boat! Thanks for the photo. Yes, of course you can deck this boat for the Grand or a lot of other rivers. To keep your seat location, you might add scuppers above your side hatches and then bail out your footwell like Moulty Fulmer did in 1952. Yes, this boat will be a wet ride. Dress accordingly and have a blast! That said, there is no guarantee that any boat will make it through the Grand Canyon or your local river :>) Here's a photo of a replica of moulty Fulmers GEM in Lava Falls. This 16 foot McKenzie dory hull is a wet wet ride. Have a great time with this boat! Cordially yours, Tom
Lucas, you have just recieved great, knowledgeable information from Tom Martin. Tom has paid his dues in both inflatable and wooden boats traversing the Grand Canyon. He is both informative and very pleasant to deal with. Good luck with your project, please keep us informed with photos and a narrative as to your progress so we might learn from your experiences.
Lucas, I talked to Marshall Nichols who bought Brad Dimock's "Bears Ears".
Marshall had a decked aluminum McKenzie dory on the Grand a year ago. He said it was a really wet ride--the more vertical sides and stem get pushed around a bit by waves and a lot splashed in. He was looking forward to getting the Briggs/Rogue dory with more angular sides, hoping it will ride over the waves better.
And he said the aluminum was miserable--cold water = cold boat = cold butt and legs for 3 weeks. He said nothing beats the warmth of wood.
I too am a transitioning rubberpusher. Saw your post on the WW Dories group on FB...but I'm more knowledgeable about wood than dories so I posted here. :)
Thanks for the great replies all! After some deliberation and getting more info on the boat I think I would end up spending more time, money and effort converting this boat rather than just starting from scratch and building a boat I want. Great to know it would be canyon worthy though!