Raft specifications

1. Each team is responsible for removing its raft from the river at the finish and then carrying it to its raft transportation vehicle. You are actively encouraged to design your raft to be as light as possible so you can easily carry it at the finish. The Lions may be able to offer you some physical handling resource but this is NOT guaranteed. Unsealed barrels fill with water and large wooden struts become heavy when wet so please consider all weight reduction opportunities when designing your raft.

2. Rafts shall comprise of two or more hulls that are held in position by struts or a platform. Use of tyre inner tubes is permitted. A canoe design is NOT permitted.

3. To ensure stability and prevent rafts overturning, the inside distance between the outer hulls shall be a minimum of one metre. The minimum overall length of the raft should be at least 3 metres – see picture.

4. Crew members shall be able to effect an immediate escape from the raft and shall not be restricted in any way. Particular attention to this requirement shall be taken into account in the design of “Mechanical” and “Novelty” class rafts.

5. To ensure the safety of other raft crews, rafts shall be designed in such a way that they do not have any dangerously protruding or sharp parts and shall be constructed from non-toxic materials. Any barrels or containers shall be completely clean both inside and out.

6. To ensure the safety of other raft crews the use of glass fibre is not allowed other than for the superstructures of “Mechanical” and “Novelty” class rafts.

7. When outriggers are used, they shall at all times be in full contact with the water along their whole length.

8. The rafts shall only be propelled by paddles including waterwheels, propellers or poles. The use of oars or rowlocks is not permitted. All paddles shall be home made and be of a single blade design. The use of commercially manufactured paddles is discouraged.

9. For safety reasons paddles shall not be attached to crew members.

10. For safety and timekeeping reasons it is important that the race marshals are able to identify all rafts at all race checkpoints. See point 11. below.

11. The allocated identification number of the raft shall be visible from the front and both sides. It shall be clearly displayed above the water line in figures that are at least 230mm (9 inches) high. The figures shall not be affected by water.

12. There shall be 4 metres (12 feet) of 1/2” thick rope securely attached to the rear of the raft to allow the race safety divers to assist you when your raft passes over the two weirs.

13. The crew shall be able to manoeuvre their raft into the river without any additional external assistance.

14. The use of polystyrene is forbidden even if it is enclosed or wrapped. The danger to the environment is too great to permit its use.

Please feel free to download and print a copy of the raft specifications.
Raft specificationsDownload

For some more ideas you can see the raft design hints page which offers a lot of good advice.