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Old 11-23-2012   #21
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 65
I would go for the 156R by ARIE. AIRE makes one of, it not the, toughest boats out there as its hard for something to tear through both the shell and that badder. We have put our boat through some of the worst beatings and its still holding strong! Plus their boats have great maneuverability on the water. Last no-one provides the 10 year no fault warranty, so if anything happens they fix the boat no questions asked!

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Old 11-23-2012   #22
Wavester's Avatar
NorCal, California
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 330
I have a 15' round boat (sotar) it seems to be the perfect size for the river trips you mentioned. Next season will be my fourth with the boat and no regrets. Plenty of room for 2 with a fair amount of group community gear and relatively easy to move. I would give this boat a serious look, pretty good deal. Their frames are pretty good as well and they are located in Ca, about as close as your going to find.

Originally Posted by Riverrat65 View Post
My principle concern had been the feasibility of running a larger boat on the western rivers best suited to multi-day trips. Wind, rock gardens and low flows I believe are the issues. Sounds like the 15 ft SB is a good overall choice.

I am going with hypalon because the SoCal lifestyle doesn't allow for backyard boat sheds, there are no basements, and the garage has no room for a car let alone a semi-inflated raft. So the off-river time will be spent rolled and stored in a warm garage (no winter here; it's a retirement thing).

The Alaska thing is a wish to float the Stikine from Telegraph Creek to Wrangell. Requires a weeks time more or less and no significant whitewater.

I am leaning toward the NRS Otter because I get a great deal and the truth is at my age based on 2-3 trips a year, I have got 20-25 trips before being the boatman-in-charge will pass to my younger friends. I know some outfitters paddle Otters commercially and think the lighter boat will best suit my advancing years and the rigors of the "float and bloat" river trip.

Appreciate all the input

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Old 11-29-2012   #23
Swank's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 251
My next raft will be a 16' cat.

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