Boat Pop - Ruptures Happen

Spend enough time on the river and you will eventually hear a story about a boat popping on the beach at lunchtime. It’s loud, violent, and not surprisingly, destructive. Fortunately, it’s completely avoidable.

I experienced this first hand on a Middle Fork Salmon trip in 2012. We had just pulled up to Lower Grouse camp for lunch on a overcast and not particularly hot day. Just a few bites into my turkey sandwich I heard a loud bang and looked over to see that one of our inflatable kayaks had spilled its innards all over the beach.

The boat couldn’t be repaired, and it spent the rest of the trip rolled up, just taking up space. This could all have been prevented with an airCap. The airCap pressure gauge is different than other pressure gauges in that it remains on the boat at all times and keeps you informed about the pressure in each chamber. When the sun comes out and boats start getting hot, just a quick glance will tell you whether or not you’re in the danger zone.

It’s entertaining, but maybe a little deflating (see what I did there?) to read about a few boater’s experiences with exploding boats. So, if you want some sad stories, check them out on Mountain Buzz here:

Regrets on the Middle Fork Salmon

Regrets on the Middle Fork Salmon