Catamaran for rafting - what to consider when choosing

Inflatable sailing catamaran


Water tourism refers to an active type of recreation, which implies the crossing of small bodies of water, rivers or lakes on some kind of floating facility. One of the most extreme types of boating is river rafting. If the river is small and calm, the share of risk in such an event is small, but if it is a mountain river with a fast and powerful current, there is a reason to take care of safety. But in any case, water rafting is an excellent pastime, giving a powerful charge of positive energy, which pulls to conquer new water obstacles.

What to choose?

As in any sport, the choice of equipment that will be used plays an important role in water rafting. There are several types: raft, catamaran and kayak.

The Raft is, in general terms, a large inflatable boat. Interestingly, translating the name from English, the word "raft" means "raft". The so-called raft is made of high-strength fabrics that can withstand high tensile and tear loads. There are models when the bottom is separately laced to the body of the raft and this contributes to the fact that when passing the river rapids, the water that gets into the raft comes out on its own. The height and size of the tanks provide the "raft" with high buoyancy and unsinkability. All this contributes to easier passing of serious thresholds and obstacles. Rafts can be ten-seater and sports six-seater.

The inflatable catamaran is by far the most popular means of floating on the water. But in general, most people understand that a catamaran is a small boat with pedals, twisting which you can have a great time in a pleasant company on the water. But in reality, everything is a little different. The catamaran consists of two large air tanks connected by a strong rigid frame. The outer shell of the air cylinders is made of durable water-repellent material (polyvinyl chloride, avisent). The main purpose of the shell is to maintain the shape of the inner balloon and protect it from damage. The inner jacket material is generally any of the materials that contain and impermeate gas. The inside of the balloon has an interesting design: it is divided into sections. In case of damage to one section, the air will only escape from it, others will remain intact and the catamaran will remain afloat. Ease and quick disassembly of the frame is ensured by its design. These are most often aluminum tubes that are interconnected. You can additionally pull a net or strong fabric onto the frame, which can later serve as a raft for transporting people or goods. Even if the catamaran is overturned, it can be returned to its original position by flipping it back.

Inflatable catamarans can be of different capacities: six-, two- and four-seater. In sporting events, light four-seater inflatable catamarans and so-called two-seaters are usually used. For water trips that can take a long time, six-seat catamarans are in great demand. During the passage of obstacles, athletes take a knee position and fix their legs. For this, the catamaran has inflatable seats. If there is an emergency, handles are provided on the catamaran hull. Swimming nearby in the water, you can hold on to them, and also use them when carrying the catamaran over land. The whole catamaran is unsinkable, and it is impossible to fill it with water. It has no floor where water can collect.

For greater maneuverability, increased speed and independence from the speed of the water flow, it was proposed to use sailing catamarans. This is the same catamaran, only with a slightly reinforced frame, on which the sail was installed. It is the sailing catamaran that is usually used in modern international sports competitions.

In addition to raft and catamaran, kayaks or, as they are also called, kayaks are also used for water rafting. These are light boats used in water sports and tourism. The kayak itself is very light and maneuverable, it sits shallowly in the water, which contributes to better passing of obstacles.

Raft or catamaran?

There are many similarities between the representatives of the means for rafting on water obstacles, but there are also differences. Let's try to figure out what are the pros and cons of a raft in relation to a catamaran.

The first, most obvious and main difference between the two flotation devices is the landing method. If in a raft, participants in a water adventure sit down half sideways on a balloon, while their legs are inside, then when boarding a catamaran, water sports lovers take positions from above, being in a knee position on special inflatable pillows. In this case, their legs are fixed in the equipped stirrups. When in this position, the legs undoubtedly begin to swell and there is a need to straighten them, which can only be done while in calm water. This is the obvious advantage of rafting.

The second difference between the two ship models is their capacity. Only an even number of people (2, 4 or 6) can board the catamaran. One place must be assigned to the instructor. But as an exception, there can only be an option with a two, when the presence of an instructor is not always necessary. In the raft, even if it is loaded with things, you can safely accommodate up to 8 people, despite the fact that the main manager in any case will be the instructor. The crew will be responsible for the speed of the vessel. Another indicator by which the advantage is confidently taken by the raft.

Detailed instructions for self-construction of various types of catamarans with drawings.

DIY catamaran is quite simple to build. If you want to make a homemade catamaran for fishing, a foam catamaran, an inflatable catamaran, a catamaran for rafting or any other purpose, then in this article we will try to briefly describe the main stages of the construction of such boats. Such a means of water transportation is especially important for those who live in close proximity to the sea, lake, river or any other bodies of water. And sometimes the manufacture of a catamaran can become a vital necessity, therefore, such a floating craft must have the appropriate strength and reliability. And if you are not a billionaire who can order any ship from a design bureau, then we suggest you make a catamaran, which can then be used with your own hands for various purposes: tourism, fishing, recreation, or even travel.

Drawings of catamarans

Compared to a kayak, boat or yacht, a catamaran has many advantages. This is, first of all, higher reliability, stability, light weight, comfort and the ability to overcome rapids when rafting from rivers. On a marine catamaran, drawings and preliminary calculations are necessary so that it does not turn out that the ship has a high windage or turns over, even on small waves.

Thanks to the detailed and well-designed drawings of the catamaran, you can independently and without expensive equipment make, for example, a sailing catamaran that will fully meet all your requirements. Such a craft, made with your own hands according to a previously developed scheme or sketches, will be different:

  • High seaworthiness, reliability and the required speed of movement,
  • Light weight, as a result of the ability to transport at any distance,
  • Accommodation of the necessary the number of seats,
  • If necessary, it is possible to provide for the installation of an additional engine.

All the details of our vessel should be drawn on the drawing of the catamaran and the sequence of construction operations should be described. The dimensions we need should also be there.

Let's look at some drawings for catamarans:

Catamaran for fishing

We build a reliable foam catamaran

A self-made foam catamaran cannot be sunk, it is durable and easy to use. Let's consider the construction of this floating facility with our own hands with dimensions of 3750 x 1600 mm, plate thickness 40 to 150 mm, float height 200 mm and width 400 mm. Cutting of plates is carried out using a special device - nichrome wire heated to 200-250 ° C or on a special machine. To make a pleasure catamaran out of foam, we need: 2 diaphragms in the bow, 4 baffles and 4 frames. All these parts are made of plywood, which is 12 mm thick.

Tie pipes (duralumin) are used to secure parts, but thin-walled steel pipes can also be used. On your own, on pipes with a diameter of half an inch, you need to make a thread using a die or a shank ratchet. Before assembling the floats for the catamaran, epoxy glue or oil paint is applied to the wide surfaces of the plates, after which, by means of ties, they are pulled together by steel tubes. Now, on a homemade catamaran, thin coarse calico or fiberglass is glued in several layers using epoxy resin or oil paint. The front part of the catamaran floats is also made by hand using corners measuring 25x25 mm (aluminum is used), after which it is sheathed with aluminum sheets, 0.5 mm thick. Covers, made of sheet duralumin plywood with a thickness of 1-1.5 mm, are fastened with screws to the corners of the bow, which, in turn, is pushed onto the ends of the tie pipes and fastened with nuts. The final stage of manufacturing the bow is filling it with pieces of foam and closing it with a lid. Deck construction is carried out from slats and wooden blocks. The finished structure is independently attached to the frames using 8 bolts and nuts. If you want to move faster on a catamaran and even against the wind, then in its stern you can install a motor or go on oars.

DIY inflatable catamaran

With the advent of inflatable sailing catamarans, lovers of romance, adventure and thrill have a great opportunity to make their dreams come true without much hassle.

After all, these light and fast sailing vessels have a lot of advantages over boats, yachts or rigid-hull catamarans. Moreover, this type of water transport is suitable for almost everyone - both professional athletes and beginner amateurs, or simply who want to have fun on the beach.

Features and benefits of inflatable catamarans

An inflatable sailing catamaran is a simple structure consisting of a hull and a sail. The hull is based on two floats connected by beams, and the space between them is closed by a net or the so-called trampoline, which replaces the deck. The dimensions of the hull and the area of ​​the sail, depending on the purpose of the catamaran, may vary.

Sports and “beach” models are lighter - only 35-60 kg, and sail area up to 10 m². It is pleasant to make short boat trips on such catamarans.

Camping catamarans can weigh about 100 kg and have impressive sails. The latter are suitable for long, including sea, travel by large companies. The disassembled medium sports catamaran can easily fit into the interior or trunk of a regular passenger car. Two small bags with all the hull parts and the sail will weigh about 50 kg in total.

In order to assemble such a model, you will need almost any boat pump and no more than half an hour. Such a vessel is designed for a weight of up to 300 kg, which means that two people can comfortably sit on it and take a weighty load with them. If desired, you can install a motor with a capacity of up to 4 liters. from.

Needless to say, an inflatable catamaran does not require a hangar for storage or special equipment for transportation, and its cost is significantly lower than that of sailboats with a rigid hull? For a very affordable price, you can get complete freedom of action and a lot of vivid impressions.

Safety of inflatable catamarans

In addition to the above advantages, inflatable catamarans have another important advantage - safety. The construction of this vessel is carefully designed, and the owners of the catamarans can feel at ease on the water.

Catamaran floats are usually two-layer: an air cylinder protects the so-called "skin" from mechanical damage - a shell made of dense material. Also, cylinders are two-chamber, which gives additional protection. Thanks to the air in the chambers, it is simply impossible to sink the catamaran, and if it overturned, it will not be difficult to restore its vertical position. Of course, the technique of restoring a catamaran on the water must be carefully worked out with an instructor in advance.


Ships, consisting of two hulls, are interconnected by a deck or truss bridge.

The design feature of most sailing catamarans is their undecked structure - the hulls are connected by beams, the space between which is closed by a net on which the crew members move. Such a decision significantly limits the living conditions, but they put up with this on small vessels designed to participate in competitions.



Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages [3] The advantages of catamarans include a large area of ​​deck space, greater initial stability, lower swing amplitude, the ability to have large hull elongations, which provides a higher speed. The catamaran circuit makes it possible to spread the power plant, which increases its reliability from mechanical damage.

Disadvantages The large wetted surface makes the catamarans ineffective at low speeds, the use of two hulls and a connecting bridge requires more metal during construction.


In Europe, ships connected together, for example, were used by the Romans during the siege of Syracuse, they were located on the assault ladders.

Outdoor activities take different formats depending on the preferences of travelers looking for adventure and unforgettable experiences. Rafting on catamarans occupies a rightful place among the popular entertainments.

The catamaran for river rafting is a medium-sized double-hulled floating craft.

A catamaran has a number of advantages over other means of transportation on water:

River difficulty categories

Those wishing to buy an inflatable catamaran for an interesting pastime, it is important to take into account the level of training of travelers and the desired cross-country ability.

There are 6 c. s. assigned to rivers:

- 1 K. p. (for example, the river Nerl). Suitable for relaxation. There is little interference or they are easy to pass. Only shallows are dangerous, on which protruding stones can be encountered. The likelihood of falling out of the boat is minimal. Suitable for people with no experience of traveling on an inflatable catamaran.

- 2 K. p. (r. Msta, Shuya). Passage for amateurs is possible. There are obstacles that allow you to hone your skills and prepare for more extreme goals.

- 3 K. p. (r. Pistajoki, Tumcha). Considered difficult to pass. Beginners are allowed, but after a few easy routes.

- 4 K. p. (r. Katun). The difficulty is higher, the current is fast and powerful, there are serious obstacles in the form of stones and other things. Not for the unprepared obstacles due to the difficulty. Maneuvering skills are required.

- 5 K. p. (r. Chegem). Downstream rapids and barriers require mandatory preliminary checks, they are very dangerous. For experienced athletes only.

- 6 K. p. (rivers of Norway, Georgia and the Caucasus during the rise of water). Extremely high danger! For professional athletes with excellent skills and extensive experience in using a rubber catamaran, kayak, kayak, etc. Many facilities of the sixth grade. remain unconquered due to the impossibility of overcoming.

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