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 "Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting - Which Raft Type I..." 
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Post "Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting - Which Raft Type I..."
Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting - Which Raft Type Is Right For You?
by: Stephen Daniels

While there are rafting trips available on rivers throughout the U.S., many people believe white water rafting on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon is in a class all by itself. The splendor of the area, and the ever-changing pace of the river, make for an unforgettable journey. Many different types of boats are used for these excursions. Each type has its own benefits, depending on the length of trip you're taking and the amount of physical activity you prefer.

Advancements in design have produced the "self-bailing" raft. The bottoms of self-bailers are inflated, much like an air mattress. When water flows over the sides of the raft, the water flows out through the lacings around this watertight cushion, allowing for almost instantaneous draining.

These crafts also have the advantage of being able to hold a lot of gear. Most have built in compartments for ice to keep fruits and vegetables fresh, as well as a filter for safe drinking water and all the gear and safety equipment you will need to camp comfortably each night during your journey. Some even include a library of Grand Canyon related literature!

Self-bailers come in a few different designs; some are motorized, while others are made for oar power. In the Grand Canyon, you'll probably encounter two primary designs: S- or J-rig rafts, or the paddle or row raft.

The most popular Grand Canyon river rafting option, motorized rafts are generally larger and more sophisticated. Many rafting companies employ self-bailing vessels with inflated pontoons on either side. These are generally 35-37 feet in length, and are powered by very quiet 4-stroke motors. They have a flex point in the middle and power through rapids for a roller-coaster like adventure.

S-rigs can hold 16 passengers and 2 crew members. They can carry a lot of gear as well. This type of boat should be your choice if you prefer to sit and watch the scenery, rather than row, AND you are exhilarated by more speed. With the speed of these motorized boats, groups are able to raft the entire length of the canyon in as little as 7 days.

Paddle rafts are often used in the Grand Canyon as well. An 18-foot paddle boat can hold 4-5 passengers and a guide. On these trips, passengers do the paddling while the guide steers and calls out instructions. These excursions make for a hands-on experience as well as a workout! Another, similar option is the row raft. It is oar powered, but the guide uses two large oars and the passengers don't paddle.

These oar-powered options grant a slower pace than their motorized cousins, but many feel that they provide a more up close and personal experience with nature. In most cases, oar-powered rafting trips that span the entire Grand Canyon require about 12 days.

Many rafting companies in the Grand Canyon offer rentals, support and guides for various other types of craft. One such option would be the cataraft, a boat constructed of two pontoons with a framework on top. These are lighter, faster and more maneuverable than other rafts, but hold less gear and less people.

Kayak trips are another popular option for those who would like an even more personal experience with the rapids. Companies generally recommend that kayaks go along with larger boats in case of an emergency. For novices, the easy to steer inflatable kayak or "duckie" is available as well.

No matter which craft you prefer, a variety of trip options are available. Whether you would like a 1-day scenic float trip, a 3-6 day partial Grand Canyon trip, or a 12 day or longer adventure with plenty of opportunities for hiking in the rugged terrain, there is a rafting trip that is perfect for you.

About The Author
Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed researcher of best practices, products, and services for a variety of industries. For exciting multi-day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trips, he highly recommends
The author invites you to visit:

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[Note: Due to a size limitation, the title, above, had to be abbreviated. Apologies to the author and - Admin]
This article was posted by permission.

Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:41 pm
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