Has anyone had any luck with foot spacers for the bow that aren’t drybags? Possibly shaped foam-ish things?
What are the foot spacers meant to do (other than the obvious). My feet just sit nicely next to each other, keeping each other company - are yours dysharmonious?!
Yes, dysharmonous! LOL-- You know… I love the stability of a bit longer boat,… but only I’m 5’11" I’d love to touch the front tube (or my said spacers) with my feet . Oh ya— a white boy like me trying to dance–the definition of dysharmonous
Ahhhhhhhhhh… now I understand - it’s not that your feet don’t like each other afterall!
I’m a similar height, and have a yak, and I agree that I do tend to slide forwards in the boat, which makes me sit lower, and I then have to push back to “get on top” of the seat, and get a view of what we’re about to paddle. In hindsight, perhaps I would have been better with an alpacka, from this point of view, but with a pack on the front, my feet are rather tight in the yak anyway (but they like each other!).
What about using a 4l inflatable wine bladder up the front of the boat - I presume you can buy cask wine in the US as we do in Oz. It weighs very little, doubles as a water bag at night, and would be likely to do the job. If you can get the 10l ones (used in milkshake shops to sell milk), they are even better, as they have the additional use of a great (?perfect) pillow at night, and if you use 2 with a lightweight nylon shell, and some imaginative sewing, you can make a great inflatable PFD for about 300g, which is then also useful for all the other things outlined above.
AND, I seem to recall that you had a mud brown llama on the way - problem is that this is even bigger - you’ll need a big chock in the front of that, or some very tall friends! (or raised soles on yourboots!)
Yes, the Llama is perfect, except now I need a spacer to do what I want to do. A large chunk of foam is nice, light a kayak bouancey piece, altough the packablity is in quetion. I’ll try the wine bladder though. But how to get it empty…hmmmm…? Oh ya!
It doesn’t take that long to empty one - particularly with a 4 month old daughter. They do need to learn how to sleep, and the best way to learn this is if the parents learn to sleep through first - I have 4 daughters, so I know all this! Just an aside though - once they hit a certain age (~14-17) you might not sleep so well, in which case the 10l bladder (of wine, not milk) is more worthwhile, as long as they have a taxi fare home, and a key…and no tag along blokes! Once they hit this age, you can get a llama, as you need the bigger volume to fill up the foot space (apparently!).
The other option is to put your pack on the bow lenghtwise, rather than across, with a bit of it jammed down into the space, so you can push back on this. this way you can forget about the daughter/s and related alcoholism, and just enjoy packrafting…and, in this case a llama would be better, as it would fit a whole lot more pack in front of your toes, even if your feet do have a harmonious relationship.
I’m wondering if you couldn’t stuff your pack or similar object behind your back, Glenn, and sit on something else as a proxy seat. In the Llama, that would push you forward in the boat, centering your weight better, and if you wanted to look far ahead, you could sit up on the pack itself, in sort of a high-chair.
I’ve never tried this; I’m just thinkin…
I’m taking it out on sunday, I’ll give it a try… Last week I took it out and used a stuffed dry bag in the front and it felt fine. I think thats the way to go instead of a piece of “something” that can’t be used for double duty, you know.
What we really need is not foot spacers but a back spacer and an adjustable seat. A big boat with a load will be better balanced but sluggish; a big empty boat will have a high bow but be responsive. So while a foot filling foam at your feet will give you something to push against, it’s still going to ride high and be tippy in fun water.
You need to sit centered in an empty boat – I slide right to the edge of my seat so the bow doesn’t ride so high. But I know there are no boats with adjustable seats.
Yesterday we had to put a folded Llama in the foot of another Llama that i was paddling.
I like how stable Llamas are on big and technical whitewater, Llamas for me (a Yak-sized person) are like putting even fatter tires on a mountain bike – much better stability. But my feet don’t reach and I end up sliding down.
Watch some of the YouTube videos “Fired Up” or “Packrafts are real boats” to see Thai Verzone and Nathan Shoutis adjusting themselves to get back in place because the boat’s too long (or maybe I edited those out so you wouldn’t see it . Brad M. had the same issue and put a wine bladder in the feet. I tried one of the old unattached seats from Sheri’s earliest boats but didn’t like how squishy it was.
The folded and tied boat worked great.
The lesson for me is that a hunk of closed cell foam that’s about 12" by 12" by 6" might work fine. I’d think the foam that kayakers put in their boats would be great.
I’d been looking at 5 litre drybags, then I came accross a waterproof ‘Drybox’ which has smooth sides and edges, which I thought may do the job better, whilst earning its keep as a waterproof storage container, improvised camp seat etc…