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Old 04-07-2013   #1
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Mini Max with Frame for Overnights

Hi Boaters...I am new to this forum and was hoping to get some comments from folks with experience rowing a Hyside mini-max. I am considering purchasing the 10'5 mini max with a longhorn frame and was hoping to use it mostly for day trips with 2 people total. However, I was also wondering if it is adequate for overnights for 2 people provided that we pack very light (Like a backpacking trip). One final question is about the mini-max as an R2 paddling set up.

Thanks so much!


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Old 04-07-2013   #2
rivervibe's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 379
Oh yeah, go for it! We just got a new MiniMax some weeks ago and it's a fantastic raft.
I believe it is actually better than smaller single thwart rafts for R2ing as the two thwarts allow for a much more solid stance in the boat and so a more comfortable and balanced ride.
So far we have loaded it with two adults and a kid and there has been plenty of room. You shouldn't have any trouble doing a backpack style multi-day.
All that and it's light weight and easy to carry. We haven't rowed it yet, but are slowly gathering the gear... We do have 7 foot oars for once we get a frame though.
Happy floating!

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Old 04-07-2013   #3
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
I think it will handle two people overnight especially packing light as you asked. The limiting factor might be the big water. It is not as stable in big water as a larger raft. Others should chime in on this -- I'm still a novice!
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Old 04-07-2013   #4
John the welder's Avatar
Delta, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 161
We have a bunch of mini-me's and do over nites and week long trips with afull kitchen. 7 foot oars are a little short. get 8 foot.
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Old 04-07-2013   #5
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
I just got the Hyside 12 ft. raft (next size up from the Mini-Max), and I have an NRS Compact Outfitter frame, cooler, dry box, and plenty of room for gear and a passenger. My plan was for this to be my weekend float & fish rig, but I have a Deso multi-day trip coming up next month and I'm very tempted to take this boat instead of my bigger cataraft. I have to agree with John the welder on oar length. I got 8 ft. oars for my raft, and I'm trading them in on 8.5 ft. You will probably want 8 ft. for the Mini-Max in any kind of whitewater. Have fun with your new boat !!!!
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Old 04-07-2013   #6
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
I have an older NRS raft (1998?) that is about the same size as a MiniMax albeit only 10'. It's a blast with a frame and as an R2. It's great on small, technical rivers and also fun on big water - just avoid the holes and big waves. I've used the frame with another adult and with 3 kids on the front bench (or two front, one stern). You can use it for a light over-nighter just fine.
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Old 04-08-2013   #7
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
Take a look at a Mini-Max set-up with a small dry box & cooler. Raft Porn thread (in the Gear Talk forum) post #256. This will give you an idea of a possible multi-day frame possibility.
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Old 04-08-2013   #8
yesimapirate's Avatar
Denver-ish, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 741
From my little amount of Mini experience, always rig to flip. Most people will tell you this is mandatory for any boat, but with a Mini I would be certain of it.
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Old 04-08-2013   #9
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
Take a look at a Mini-Max set-up with a small dry box & cooler. Raft Porn thread (in the Gear Talk forum) post #256. This will give you an idea of a possible multi-day frame possibility.
We are taking that out on the San Juan next week. Granted, there will be three other boats, but the Mini will be carrying her share of the load. We'll generally have two people in the boat and the rest of the space will be used for gear. I'll post some more pictures when we get back with what we ended up carrying, but if you pack light, you should have plenty of room. I could easilly see putting a tent and 2 sleeping bags in the back, a couple water bottles on the sides next to the cooler, a couple of small dry bags next to the dry box, etc. We probably won't load it up too much because of the other boats on the trip and the low water, but I can see taking this on multi-days, at least shorter ones, without any other boats on the trip.

As for R2ing, we took it out last year after we got it, and it was a blast! My wife and I R2ed it with the kids along for the ride. I look forward to a lot more of that. It's one of the reasons I bought it, because we got tired of hauling the larger oar rig to the river for day trips on the smaller stuff (like Shoshone). Now we can throw it all in the back of the truck, and take the kids on a moments notice really. The rowing setup was almost an after thought, as my kids really wanted it so they had something easier to row.

Everyone has an opinion on the "right" boat to buy, but if you have your eyes on this one, I wouldn't hesitate. I say go for it.
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Old 05-28-2013   #10
badkins's Avatar
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 488
I'm curious are there any minimum boat lengths for the various permitted runs? (Dinosaur, Middle Fork Salmon, Salt, etc...) Would you get any grief from the ranger showing up in a Mini Max with frame and oars?

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