RAFT Recommendations - Page 3 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-30-2016   #21
mattman's Avatar
thailand, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,454
Ya Know.... You DO have the perfect excuse for getting a SNOUT RIG.

Proud owner of the new Gateway drug and farm store!
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Old 11-30-2016   #22
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 332
Originally Posted by tanderson View Post
18 foot marivia bucket boat in grand junction at the consignment store called the gear junction for 750
Meh, I am pretty sure that is one of the boats that Bob was giving away free about a year ago. Those were decent boats 15 years ago when I knew them, but I can only imagine what it has been through since then
(100+ days a year on the Moab Daily). I wouldn't pay more than $250 for it, personally.

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Old 11-30-2016   #23
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1960
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 174
Originally Posted by jwcrews View Post
My family is new to S CO and we are looking for recommendations on a quality raft for a family of six.
We will likely do day trips, occasional overnight camp 2-3 nights and light fishing.
I've canoed and kayaked my whole life, but am new to rafting.
THanks for any advice,
Hi JW,

We have some great sales right now on Maravia, AIRE, NRS and Rocky Mountains! If you purchase a boat through us you get 15% off of all your accessories for 90 days after purchase. If you buy a frame at the same time as the rubber you will also get $150 Cascade Cash to use towards your accessories purchase and 15% off your frame as well. We also have a DEMO fleet we are still selling off. Let me know if I can help work up any quotes for you so you can take a look at options. Have a fabulous day!

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Old 11-30-2016   #24
Creede, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 3
THanks for all the great input. My oldest is 5, so no other paddlers but me and wife(sometimes). The two boats is a good idea, just not at this time. I really like the NRS E160 and may bite the bullet if I cant find something else. Y'all have given me a lot to think about and I appreciate it. Hopefully Santa will be as nice.
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Old 11-30-2016   #25
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,468
A 16 would be perfect for floating the Rio near Creede, but you'd want an 18 for anything overnight. Once you get an idea of what you want, keep your eye on the classifieds. Getting a new raft is like a new car - major depreciation off the lot. There are lots of rigs in great shape that can be found used for a fair price...if you're patient. For example, after 6 months of looking, I found a perfect Aire 156 for my family of four last year.

Also, you may want to "try-before-you-buy." Creede is a pretty small town and I'd imagine someone in town would be OK lending you their rig for a case of beer to test-run with the family; find out if you fit in a 16 and if you can drive an 18 on the rio.

Cheers. Say hi to Bristol Head for us.
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Old 12-01-2016   #26
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,517
Originally Posted by jwcrews View Post
THanks for all the great input. My oldest is 5, so no other paddlers but me and wife(sometimes). The two boats is a good idea, just not at this time. I really like the NRS E160 and may bite the bullet if I cant find something else. Y'all have given me a lot to think about and I appreciate it. Hopefully Santa will be as nice.
If you buy the NRS E160, you can rest assured that your boat will last you a lifetime. With a family as young as yours, you'll have no problem fitting in the boat.

Rafters tend to bring way too much stuff.....me included.

Since your a kayaker and canoer I'll bet you know how to pack lighter than the typical rafter. Good luck and Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-01-2016   #27
fat guy in a little boat
bigben's Avatar
FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
Paddling Since: 8AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 406
2cents from a longtime commercial guide.....
As others have said, in CO and 18er will be way too big for most sections in the state, especially at low water. Go with a 16er-it'll fit the whole family just fine. And spend the extra money for a self bailer, for sure. Bucket boats are the bane of my existence...

Everyone has their preferences, but for what you're doing hypalon will be better than pvc boats. It'll last way longer and be more durable on our rocky rivers. PVC's cheaper, but won't last you nearly as long...

Personally, I'd go for a Hyside over an NRS, hands down. One of the rivers we run commerially, we use NRS E-series boats. And they've been having some quality issues over the last few years. Wear and tear that just shouldn't come up for a decade or so is happening in 2 or 3 years. NRS's customer service is great, but you don't ever want to need it.

I've been guiding for 11 years. I have a Hyside and I love it. I think they make the best boats on the market today. I'd never get anything else, for what it's worth.

But if price is a real issue, RMR probably makes the best PVC boat out there.....

Whatever you go for, good luck, be safe- and most importantly have fun!!!

All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
- Spicoli
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Old 12-01-2016   #28
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 73
With your kids being so little, 16' seems like the ticket for now. It will be a little tight but you can make it work, and it will prove to be much more versatile in the future than an 18'. Get mom real comfortable on the oars and then you can add a second boat right around the time the kids start outgrowing the 16'. Or add IKs as each kid comes of age.
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Old 12-01-2016   #29
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 135
Originally Posted by bigben View Post
RMR probably makes the best PVC boat out there.....
Maybe in the budget boat market, but as a former RMR owner, and a current Aire owner, I can tell you that there are nicer plastic boats on the Market than RMR. I feel that the RMR plastic is soft, and doesn't hold up very well compared to the Aire material. my 5 year old Aire is in better shape than the RMR I sold at the end of this season after owning it for about 6 months. Both boats were purchased new, and neither was used commercially. The Aire probably has about 10X the use of the RMR, and was used on the same rivers. The RMR PVC seems to scratch and get torn up fairly easily by rocks in my experience.

As far as the NRS vs Hyside debate, I am a Hyside fan. I think that they have the best rubber on the market. That said, Both of the Hysides I have owned have had very sloppy glue work (glue outside the seams, handles and floor tape pealing from lack of glue) and I don't feel that the build quality justifies the price, especially new. To be fair, both boats were from the small end of the Hyside outfitter line, and I have not seen the same glue issues on the larger boats I have checked out.

Just my .02
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Old 12-01-2016   #30
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 132
I'm kind of surprised by some of the advice on here, but some other folks seem to thinking clearly. Overall I got to tell you that an 18' raft is a terrible idea. WAY too big for Colorado or really anything besides a Grand trip. With a few exceptions, most rivers in Colorado are best in a 14'. The main problem here is that its nearly impossible for 6 people to be on a raft for overnight trips. Its just hard too pull that off unless you had another raft carrying gear (also its dangerous to do multiday trips with a family and only one raft).

In Colorado I would recommend a 14' raft maybe a 15' raft for your family size. You might be able to squeeze everyone on there for simple over nighters since your kids sound young so they are most likely small and light. Just remember how hard a big boat is to move around, trailer, load and unload. Its so much work that you won't want to go rating. Also a 14' raft feels to big for fishing to me so if fishing is a goal you will be looking at a different rig.

As far as raft recommendations, I would recommend getting a raft that is priced low. I recommend Rocky Mountain Rafts, unbeatable quality for the price. You will undoubtably be spending far more money outfitting a raft than purchasing the rubber. Things like straps, Cooler, oars, frame, dry bags, kitchen stuff, safety gear, clothing adds up really fast plus you will need a trailer. Even with a $3000 raft you will be spending 8-9,000 by the time you have everything you need for multi-day rafting (if buying quality and new gear).

Try to buy a used raft package deal and dont worry about the specific brand, you can upgrade later if you want. Just get something and start doing nice family day floats and you can work up to a better raft if you feel the need. Have fun and welcome to Colorado.
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