Over the years, river runners have been experimenting with different types of water crafts on Colorado River trips. That river has seen more than its fair share of ridiculous water crafts. One of my favorites was the “Water Trotter” aka the “Bubble Boat.” This boat, built in the 60s, looked much like a giant hamster ball! The clear plastic inner sphere was supported by metal frames and was designed for one person to propel the ball by running like crazy. It was intended to make the length of the river in Grand Canyon, but in fact, the boat designer only made it ONE mile from Lees Ferry! Fun Idea- not so practical.
Grand Canyon Whitewater boats, on the other hand are extremely practical. The design has been evolving since rafting tours began in the 1950s. The original designers of the types of boats we use on Colorado River trips today used surplus neoprene boats and bridge pontoons from World War II. These surplus boat configurations actually worked quite well for whitewater rafting and were tweaked and improved upon to get us where we are today. Today, our motorized raft trips are aboard S-Rigs. S-Rigs have an elongated donut shaped tube with a pontoon lashed onto both sides. Atop the rubber sits two aluminum frames that provide ample room for seating and storage. They handle whitewater exquisitely and are quite comfortable for a rafting tour. The S-Rigs are a popular choice of motorized rafts in the Grand Canyon these days. Thank goodness we don’t all have to have our own “Water Trotter” hamster ball to get ourselves through the Canyon!
More questions about rafts and rafting trips? Call us at 1-800-343-3121!