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Old 03-15-2012   #11
jrice345's Avatar
Springfield, Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 75
Second the motion for a Super Duper Puma. Or a 13 ft Aire D bow.

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Old 03-15-2012   #12
BCJ's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 523
Hey, Beetle Juice! They guys that are steering you toward a 14 are correct! Sure, a 13's not that much smaller, but honestly, 1 foot does NOT make that much difference in handling and will be lots more comfortable over time. AND, you can handle bigger water when you want to.. . . . . .

I row a 16, but had a 14 and loved it, but I couldn't sleep on it, which I like to do! A 15' would be cool to! As to the choice you are making - -13' or 14' - - go 14. It will last longer.

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Old 03-16-2012   #13
g.soutiere's Avatar
leadville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 279
I have A 13' I enjoy it but wish I would have gone with the 14'. I do the upper c and the fork a bunch I also like to do overnighters. when you start putting your overnight gear in you run out of room quickly. the 14' is not much harded to manuver and the extra cargo space is worth it. my 2 cents
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Old 03-16-2012   #14
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I've run my 14 footer down the Grand Canyon and Clear Creek. If overnighters are something you are interested in go the 14' route. If you're not interested in overnight trips (like Westwater, The Middle Fork of the Salmon, The Grand Canyon and many, many more absolutely amazing trips) go with the 13'. 13' boats are slightly more maneuverable and lighter. If I was going to own two rafts I would have a 16' oar rig and a 12-13' paddle boat. But my 14' boat is the compromise size that does it all.
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Old 03-16-2012   #15
Whoapiglet's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 296
14 is the best all around size for colorado for all reason already mentioned, but from an avid fisherman in CO, 13 is nice for a few reasons- a tad bit more maneuverable (but less than you would think) for runs like the Roaring Fork at low water (I guided there for years, and think it is one of the best almost year-round fisheries) but water gets boney and tight. you will also want to fish the lower blue, below Greem mountain reservoir, and that put in and take out is a bitch. a 14 footer is a bit heavier, and you have to walk you boat 300-400ft uphill at the end. the lighter the boat the better here.

for shallow water, the bigger boat is better as it drafts less for the same load as long as you can fit it where you need to.

Realistically, though, the extra/missing foot won't make much difference.

I had a 14.3 footer, a 13.0, and now have a 13.5. I couldn't decide so I split the difference.
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Old 03-16-2012   #16
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
I agree with the 14 footer. I've been in both, and not that much difference. 14 footer is a great all around size for many of the Colorado rivers.
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Old 03-16-2012   #17
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
I'm in the Roaring Fork Valley, have a 14 ft fishing rig, and run from toothache and shoshone to silt. There are very few times where I've wanted a smaller boat, but never really needed one. Can't see the benefit of going smaller.
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Old 03-16-2012   #18
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 390
I used to own a 13' STAR with a fishing frame. It was fine for 2 persons on a day float, a little tight for 3 persons with coolers and gear for an all day.

We sold the boat because it was not really big enough for multi day trips. By the time I got coolers, water jugs, personal items, kitchen box, tent, etc. for a multi day the thing was riding pretty low in the water and was very slow. I couldn't keep up with the other boats in our group.

Keep in mind it's the frame more than the raft that determines your cargo capacity. How many bays does the frame have, how big are they and will they fit a standard size cooler or dry box. These will make a bigger difference than a 12" change in the raft dims.
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Old 03-16-2012   #19
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 70s
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 63
I have a 14'' Hyside with a bastardized NRS and DRE frame (it's a little narrower than some other 14ers) the RFork, Eagle, Upper Colorado, the Gunnison Gorge.......mostly fish with the rare overnight trip, but have done the Selway for five days fitting stuff in the 14'......I have done a bit of guided fish days which are typically in superpumas here in the West.............I am happy with the 14' ! I would not want to own a superpuma for my Colorado based needs......and I think it's slightly more maneuverability borders on more squirley and a bit less stable........tough to fit more than luch and fish gear in a superpuma....overnight trips have to be backpackishly small amounts of gear........obviously a few different opinions some point you just have to jump in and no boat is the perfect compromise....kind of like being a parent....until you have done it for a while on your own, you didn't have enough of a clue ahead of 2 cents = unless its only for day fishing with the rower and one fisherman, go 14'
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Old 03-16-2012   #20
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 405
I am only 5'4" and petite at that, and I MUCH rather rowing my 13' super puma than my boyfriends 14' air. It is like the little sports car of rafts and I feel it is way more responsive for me, especially for lower water technical stuff. Honestly 9 out of 10 time's I'd rather row my little boat. However, I took it down pumphouse at 9600 cfs, and was wishing it was a bit bigger, and I had to borrower his boat for some big-water overnight trips with a lot of gear too...

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