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Old 03-21-2006   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2
new rafter

I am looking into buying my first raft and could use some help to make sure the raft suits my needs. I plan to use the raft mostly for fishing trips and overnight river floats. I would like a raft small enough that I can row and handle by myself, but large enough for three people and gear on overnight trips. I have never been in a self bailing raft. How much water comes through the floor? Is there a way to prevent water from coming through the floor? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 03-21-2006   #2
tyaker's Avatar
Farmington, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 140
14' is the perfect size for you... small enough for solo rowing, large enough to throw gear in for overnighters. Check nrs ( for good boats at reasonable prices, and good modular fishing frames. Downriver equipment in Wheatridge, CO is another good shop to check out with their own line of boats.

In regards to self-bailing floors, the nature of the idea is to allow water to pass through, so yes, you will have a little water splash up into the boat from the space between the tubes and the floor. If you're only doing class I-II, mostly fishing-type water, then this will be minimal. The only way to have a dry floor is to keep it on flat water. A bucket-boat, or non-self bailer, has too flexible of a floor to support a standing fisherman, unless you get a really heavy frame with a hard drop-floor. Not the easiest setup to deal with, and you don't see too many folks on float trips with this type of craft. Good Luck!

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Old 03-26-2006   #3
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 14
I'd also say a 14'er is a pretty versatile size for most stuff from small rivers like the Frying Pan or Roaring Fork to big stuff too. For a fishing platform you can just cut some plywood to the size you want , coat it several times with linsead oil(mix with paint thinner about 3 to 1 ratio so it soaks in),cut slots, and hang with straps from your frame and front or rear D rings. A good boat for the $ is an Aire. They're a bit heavier than other boats but have a 10 year warrenty and are made in USA up in Idaho-not China or Mexico. The extra stiffness of the PVC also makes it better and more efficient rowing for stalling out in eddies, ferrying around... You can't get a hypalon boat as stiff as a plastic one-and for fising, you want a boat that responds to your oars, not a softy that absorbs all your energy instead of moving where you want it to.
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