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Old 02-17-2013   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Anyone run a 14 footer on the Grand?

Whats up mountain buzz,

I got a chance to run the Grand this summer and I was just curious if anyone out there has run a 14 foot raft that could share their experience. I bought an Otter 140, which is 14' long and 7' wide. Its a outfitted quite nicely and I'd love to bring it. I know it can be done but i wanted to get all ya'lls opinion.

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Old 02-17-2013   #2
Badazws6's Avatar
The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 612
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I ran a 14 in the winter a couple years back. Perfectly doable, just have a smaller margin of error. I dumped it once in Granite but the nice bit is that it only took 3 guys to flip it back upright. The other things you have to think about is load capacity and what that does to you in the wind if you have to load vertically. When I do it again I will be taking my own boat no matter what size it is at the time.

Life: Live it!
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Old 02-17-2013   #3
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
I took a 12.5' cat down last year. Take the FUN line!!!!
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 02-17-2013   #4
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
I had a trip with 2 Avon Adventures 12' only one fliped in the bottom of the 20's on some wierd wave.
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Old 02-17-2013   #5
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
I took my 14' 6" Sotar down in July 2011. Flows were above average and I was taking aggressive lines, trying to hit everything in sight that wasnt too insane.

Our only problem was funny water. My tubes felt small... They got completely sucked under once in a while by the funny water, which was pretty strong that year. It knocked me and my wife out of the boat on the runout of one of the small ones in the gems section when the entire starboard tube got sucked under deep in some flat water. Wife popped up and then got sucked down deep for the count... Pretty scary, I think swims are serious just about anywhere in that canyon.

I loved the small raft. I'm a kayaker so I lean towards a rock and roll ride versus a barge. Got vertical a few times and didn't end up flipping. Hit the meat nicely on Granite and it felt pretty crazy. Specter was good that year. I had my wife go in another boat and put rocks into the front drop bag for weight, nailed the meat of the meat and was looking at the sky.

By the time we got to Lava I was adding rocks to my load to replace the missing beer and I filled my jugs w/ river water at the top. We watched a commercial paddle boat go into the middle of the hole and it was a shit show. The line down the left was wild but easy to make. The 14 ft was easy to maneuver and fun but at the mercy of the funny water once in a while.
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Old 02-17-2013   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 69
I've done the Canyon in a 14' twice. First time I was in a Hyside, second time a RMR. Both trips were all outfitted entirely with 14' or smaller boats.

Flipped three times total. Once in Crystal, twice in Upset. No major damage, but I'd rather not flip in Upset in the winter ever again. None of the flips were due to the boat; all of them were caused by me F-ing up my line.

I think the main issue is that rigging a smaller boat for a big trip takes a little more thought, but once you get it dialed, it's fine.
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Old 02-18-2013   #7
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I ran my 14'3" Hyside down in November of '08. It was fun. Ran some smaller lines and some more technical lines. Flipped once in Horn - cleared the meat, but then decided to row back into the fun - poor angle and low momentum equaled a flip off a 10-12' wave. I would do it again for sure. But if you're group wants to go fully outfitted - it is smooth to not bring your own boat.
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Old 02-18-2013   #8
Rez072's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 88
You should consider downsizing to a 9' raft. Hyside makes some nice ones:

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Old 02-18-2013   #9
whip's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
Run 4 times in 14' Hyside SB.I run the tubes a little soft. Remember you're not gonna drive all the way there to row around the rapids. Follow the the tounge. If you see something big keeper straight and push hard. You might want to pick up Lind lou Lindemans guide book.
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 02-18-2013   #10
River Gypsy
Swannanoa, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 255
I rowed my Otter 142 (narrower than your boat) down on a winter trip back in 2005. There were also two other 14 footers on my trip, one DIB and one Maravia. I thought the larger tubes on the Otter made it perform better than the other 14'ers on the trip. I had no problems whatsoever, and found that the Otter actually carries as much stuff as many 16' boats do.

Our flows maxed out at 10-12k on that trip, and I actually found myself wishing there was more water despite the small boat.

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