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Old 04-04-2007   #51
Two hours north of Hell, Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4
More ????

Got some more newbie questions. Some of these might be preference but hey?
Frame- Spreader bars or just a rectangular frame that sits on top?
Oars- cataract or carlisles?
My friends dad said to splurge and get cataracts (was an outfitter in the 70's/Grand).
Any frame suggestions also welcome!

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Old 04-04-2007   #52
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I would defintely recommend those internally counter-balanced Cataracts. Those make rowing a lot easier - I had the Carlisles for years and didn't realize what a difference that made until rowing someone else's boat.

As for frames, I'm trying to decide exxactly how to lay mine out as well. The one thing I'm sold on is the DRE Captain's chair.

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Old 04-04-2007   #53
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
NRS vs. Hyside

Originally Posted by JBL View Post
While I love my NRS Expedition, if I had to do it over again i'd definitely give the Hysides a good look in addition to NRS. I've been on lots of trips with folks who have Hysides and they're well built and well designed.
What don't you like about the NRS? What do you like better about the Hyside?

Does anyone have Hyside's Rio Bravo's? How do they compare to other boats? It looks like they have a lot fewer seams which could mean fewer wear points and a slightly faster boat. Any downsides/compromises?
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Old 04-04-2007   #54
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Timberline Tours is a Vanguard dealer, and they have some ok deals at Rafts for Less Timberline Tours. If you have money get good oars, if not, then carlisle will still get the job done. I got some counterweights on my carlisles. It's one of those things where you probably will be happy with your carlisles until you upgrade or row someone elses. It's like driving a Camry, it's fine, but when you get a Porsche you won't want to go back.
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Old 04-04-2007   #55
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
I like everything about the NRS except how low the floor is stitched into the tubes, which exposes the floor more than I'd like. If you flip a Hyside over and look at how the floor is stitched to the tubes, it's done in a way that makes the floor ride higher off the water, and therefore susceptible to less abuse. Additionally, the bottom of the tubes (at least on the models I've seen) is considerably more reinforced than the NRS tubes. I have a good friend who has a '93 Hyside and it's still in great shape due (I think) in large part to the design.

As for frames, take a look at:

NRS Home - Frames

Rowing Frames for Whitewater Rafts, Fishing Boats, and Catarafts.

Cascade Outfitters Whitewater Rafting Equipment: Raft Frames

PRO: Grand Canyon Rafting Equipment Sales

Whitewater River Rowing Frames for Rafts, Catarafts and Inflatables from The Boat People

I row wtih Carlisles and they're fine for the money. Like anything, it all depends on how much you have or want to spend.
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Old 04-04-2007   #56
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
as for the rio bravo. my experience is very limited but heres my take. i am not sold on the material and or chafe areas nor am i fond of the seemingly wet ride or lack of floatation. buddy of mine has multiple leaks in a newer boat. the diminishing tubes in front are real small and the rocker is low. it does seem fast and is very light. probably worth it for a entry level paddle raft, but it seeems to be just that.

on oars. carlisles work. cataracts work better and are lighter. counter balance is nice but the cataracts are so light that when coupled with a higher end lighter blade it really isnt needed. counters also make the oars a bitch to recover and also leave deeper bruises in passengers when they give someone the inevitable beatdown.
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Old 04-04-2007   #57
on your sister, ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 137
When shopping for a frame and oars... make sure you look at all it's uses down the road. Both my frame and oars are breakdown stuff because at least once or twice a year it is getting shoved on a bush plane or the back of a horse. So while Carlisle's are not the best feeling oars in the world, the two piece ones work well for my needs and they are bombproof oars,no doubt.

Another vote for Hyside,too. The Rio Bravo's are pieces of shit though. Go Outfitter or Outfitter Pro.

Nothing wrong with Aire or NRS though. You'll most likely be happy with any of them. All good brands.
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Old 04-04-2007   #58
Blue River, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 41
As far as frames it is pretty personal, and you won't have things figured out right off the bat. I feel that lighter and smaller is better for me, but that's not for everybody (think about: where you're going, how many people you're going with, how strong those people are, how big the water is, how the raft will be moved, how it will be stored). As far as frames Down River Equipment is the best way to go imo. Well worth the money. Check them out online: Get one of their captains chairs whatever you do for your frame though.

As far as oars everybody’s advice has been right on. I'd throw Sawyer oars into the mix too. I would splurge on some Sawyers if I were to splurge on oars. Alternately, their Polecats are pretty nice oars and not really much more money than the Carlisles.

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Old 04-04-2007   #59
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 127
Back up what everybody said on oars Carlilse oars are good and definitely get the job done. I was fortunate when I bought my boat from a guy that he threw in a set of cataract oars and while I had no idea at the time it is definitely a nice perk.
I have an old DRE frame with the white tractor seat but my roommate has a newer DRE frame and I would agree they are one of the best in the business. They have every kind of option under the sun including some nice fishing set-ups that I drool over for times when the whitewater is low. Like others said it all depends on your interests. I would try and go see as many set-ups as possible before purchasing a frame.
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Old 04-04-2007   #60
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
There are a gazillion ways to set up your frame but for multi-day trips you'll usually see either a 3-bay or a 4-bay frame (bay=compartment). I run a 3-bay (cooler/seat, rowers compartment w/ wood drop floor, dry box in front). I have room in the rowers compartment to safely and easily store 3 rocket boxes and 1 sm. ammo can (repair kit). I also have a wood drop floor in the stern for loading gear onto. I have a custom double-rail frame that has wood decking along both sides of the raft which is really nice. I'm very happy with my set up and have used it on day trips and multi-day trips. For day trips, I don't run the dry box - luckily my front thwart fits perfectly in that compartment and so I run a board over the thwart and cover it with a paco pad. It's lighter and much easier to deal with for day trip than dragging out the dry box. I still run the cooler on day trip since it doubles as my seat and I love beer. I don't run the floor in the stern but do run the center floor. I've toyed with the idea of adding one more cross bar on the frame to add a 4th bay, which I'd use for a drop bag and cover with one of those long skinny folding tables. Those tables are hard to beat but I don't want to give up the system I have for carrying rocket boxes (food storage, trash, etc.). Clavey has a great "expedition package manual" which fully explains the 4-bay system in detail.

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