Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-04-2013   #21
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by OregonRafter View Post
I personally wouldn't run any of those rafts down a river unless maybe it was a flat water town run somewhere where you're surrounded by tubers. The reason why is because those inexpensive rafts come cheap because they are very thin. They won't hold up on a river trip of gear, rocks, sticks, etc. Imagine tearing a 1' gash in that 30 miles into your trip!

I love your sense of adventure. I know as a college student budgets are tight. Do you have any buddies or family members that own a whitewater boat? If I were you I would see if you could borrow something suitable for your trip. Or better yet, invite them on your trip so you can use them and their gear. I too started off on a shoestring budget so I know what your looking at. If you're really getting into it for the long haul borrow at first or rent while saving up.

I agree with GCB. A non bailing raft is a great, less expensive way to get into rafting. I rowed a very old non-bailer for years, and took it on some great river trips. Your passenger just has to be faster at bailing the water out then the river is putting it in!
If you are patient and look around you can find an old entry level boat for $500-1000.

The 3 things you absolutely don't want to skimp on are a raft and life jackets that are designed and rated for whitewater and river use, and decent paddles. That's your cheapest formula for safely getting on the river.

But if you go with the wrong gear you or your crew can get stranded, hurt, or worse. The majority of river fatalities are from people with the wrong kind of boats/lifejactets, or not wearing them. If you have anyone you know who does river trips ask for their advice on picking out gear.
Hey, guys!

Thanks so much. I totally hear you about the dangers of thin boats. What about this one? Intex 4 Person Mariner Inflatable Boat Set: Sports & Outdoors

It's 200; it's the Intex Mariner 4. Still kind of cheap, but judging from reviews, it seems the sturdiest of the low-cost rafts. I can't really bump my budget up anymore; broke college kid here! But I can try to work some extra shifts to make things a little safer.

As for the trip--it'll be a mostly floating trip with minimal paddling (just to clear barges and such) on a river with no real rapids. I think there might be a mile or so of Class I. Do you think the Intex Mariner 4 will do it?

RoryTheLion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #22
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
From the website's own description..."Ideal for a relaxed, low key day on the lake or easy river". That means lakes and tubing runs.

That raft is not made to be dependable on real river trips, even if only flat water and class I. Reread the earlier posts for raft recommendations. $200 isn't worn getting stranded or having an accident on the river. Plus those paddles/oars will snap and break when you push against moving water of an real force.

Some of the qualities that make real river raft are durability, sturdiness so they hold their structure when going in or over river features without folding in half, and multiple chambers (3-4 just in the tubes), and high quality valves so one leak or hole doesn't sink all your gear and provisions. The trip you are describing even though sounding like easy water is really ambitious. Believe me, even without significat rapids its more mbitious then I bet many really experienced rafter have done. Do it right or I wouldn't do it.

Also you will be surprised at how much paddling you will end up doing on easy water. Even just to stay in the main current, avoid other large craft (never personally had to a avoid barges), or just to make progress due to flat water or a headwind.

Safety alone you should get the right tool for the job. But You also mentioned wanting to get into rafting and running many rivers in the future. Trust me. I you take any of the rafts you are describing down the river you are going to be disappointed and immediately want something better. You'll end up having to sell your used, inexpensive boat for way less then you paid for it in order to upgrade. Don't let a short term savings cost you in the long run.

OregonRafter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #23
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I have read the whole thread through, and understand you want to get out on a really easy, but very long float. I agree with everyone else that the boats you are looking at are not appropriate. You might be able to pull off some short overnight runs in a cheap rig like that, but on a 100 mile stretch any kind of mishap that hurts the boat will leave you stranded. You can't repair boats like that, it just doesn't work. You most certainly can do the trip your looking at, and with your budget, but look at renting a real raft or go on Craigslist or Ebay and find some old rig with a bunch of patches from a reputable company. You will be better off. Everyone on this thread has given you good, honest advice.
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
lmyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #24
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Why not just canoe it?
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
Avatard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #25
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by Avatard View Post
Why not just canoe it?
I think I'm probably too big for a canoe. Also, I don't know if I could sit in one position for 12 hours at a time. More room on a raft.
RoryTheLion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #26
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
Those are some quality rafts you are looking at. a raft from a rafting company for around the same price, find a different (read: better) river, do some research about it, and you will have a much better experience. Someone above said the rafts you are looking at are pool toys - they were correct. Those rafts are the wrong tool for the job.
BrianK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #27
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
A pair of sea kayaks might be fun. Would want to be able to roll though.

Don't forget with any raft you will need to carry your pump and repair kit too. Most of the plastic rafts only have two chambers so if you did pop one while in the river it may be all you could handle to even get the raft to shore. Look into renting.
carvedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #28
colorado_steve's Avatar
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 284
rory, i like where your head's at! but that raft is gonna sink on your 100 mile river trip and your gonna be stranded.

safety is very important on the river. these boats are just not safe for what you have planned.

one thing to think about with the lower end "rafts" is that you have no rowing frame to hang gear and row from. with a boat like that all the gear is placed on the floor/thwarts. i dont think the floor will hold up and i think you'll run into problems with the "oar towers" on the low end inflatables

find a commercial rafting company. buy one of their old standard floor rafts (nrs,avon,hyside,etc..) for $500-$700. start watching the buzz and pick up as much good info as you can. head out on your trip. HAVE A BLAST!
Oh! I don't take it lightly! I've always got to know
There's an old lion a roarin' n the river down below
colorado_steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #29
FrankC's Avatar
Golden, CO
Paddling Since: 1856
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 339
I think your all being Manteo-ed. This guy can't be serious.
FrankC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013   #30
columbus, Ohio
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 48
Frank I called it first!

Daggerdave is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To all you cat rafters!!!!!! CO.rafter Kayaking | Gear Talk 20 11-10-2010 10:36 PM
Kayakers vs. rafters angrylion Whitewater Kayaking 100 07-26-2009 05:59 AM
Looking for other rafters runriverrun Rafting | Trip Planner 1 04-27-2009 08:05 PM
SWR for Rafters N. Wigston Whitewater Kayaking 0 04-25-2008 03:18 PM
any rafters on here? oopsiflipped Whitewater Kayaking 16 05-12-2006 11:06 AM

» Classified Ads
Recretec Folding River...

posted by clemkins

Recretec folding river table, purchased from Clavey in...

1998 14' Avon Adventurer

posted by JustFloatin

1998 14' two thwart Avon Adventurer. Some cosmetic wear in...

Raft Trailer 8x12

posted by tbirk

8x12 Raft Trailer. -Full size spare -Winch -Rollers...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.