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Old 12-05-2012   #1
San Francisco, California
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 105
A new boat on the way

After months of researching, talking with dealers, friends, guides, I finally settled on a boat. AIRE 156D with Sealed Floor Pocket. It was an old serial boat with full 10 year warranty with a significant saving to rig the whole boat. It just left Idaho, and should be here by Friday. Although a bit narrower than the 156R, and shorter than the full 16', I think this boat will be very versatile for our growing family, and my lifelong pursuit of steelhead.

Now the fun part. Outfitting this boat the way I want will be a long and arduos process, and I sure could use some help from the fellow boaters here.
  1. The boat will be run exclusively with an oar frame. I am debating between going with NRS compact outfitter with two sets of rails (long and short) for multiday/day trip with a couple of paddlers in the bow. The other option is to go with a double rail welded 3 bay frame with a trailer frame for multiday gear hauling. Any suggestions, ideas?
  2. I have a set of 10' Sawyer MX counterbalanced with the regular 30" Ash Pro blades. Will these oars be too long for a 66" wide frame? I am 5'8" and will be rowing from a drybox in the bay. I was told 9.5' will be the best (by a number of experts), but it is also a matter of personal preference, so I won't know until I try it myself. But wanted to hear what other people are using.

I would love to see some photos of how people rig their 15'-16' rafts for multiday trip. I am not planning to hit Grand Canyon anytime soon, but will definitely be doing more multidays in the coming years. I've looked at one fellow member's gallery that gave me a lot of ideas, but am looking for some fresh ideas.

Feel free to post some photos.

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Old 12-06-2012   #2
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
I'm guessing 10 is actually the right number. Depends how much the drybox sits above the frame. 9.5 would work too

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 12-06-2012   #3
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
Don't go shorter than 10, especially if you will be sitting up on something. Is this your first raft/frame? If so I recommend going with NRS. They are easy to modify yourself and many people find they like to tinker with their frame, and change the way it is rigged. Using speedrail fitting for internal fittings works well too since you don't have to drill lopro's out, just cut the pipe and screw in the set screw. Have fun!
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 12-06-2012   #4
San Francisco, California
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 105
Thanks for the tip. One correction for my previous post. My oars are 10' with 36" blades so I always have an option to go 9.5" by putting 30" blades. Yes, I am planning on sitting on a drybox. This is my first big boat. I coming from a kayak, 10', 12' raft. So 16' will be a big jump. Never had a full 4 bay frame, so a lot to learn. My family is growing and we will start doing multidays on calm waters this summer. This forum has been great resource.
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Old 12-06-2012   #5
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 289
I have a 156D and use 10' oars. I have used shorter oars with the boat but 10' is ideal. I have an NRS frame and am satisfied with it as well.
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