Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-21-2016   #1
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
GC boat size dilemma

I own a very tried and true 14' Vanguard SB, that has done many week long trips. The NRS frame is dialed in, it has > 20 d-rings that are bombproof, it has sideboards, dropbags all fit nice, etc.

I have been invited on a GC trip, Lees to Pierce, and I am wondering about boat size. I know, because Holly has told me many times, that VGs can do the trip, and mine is in prime shape. But... I'm wondering whether I should just plan on renting a 16' or 18' from one of the outfitters. Right now I would be primary on oars for all WW, with one passenger for tedious slow and flat. It will be a private trip, lots of experienced boaters, but I am also afraid that a 14' will really be too small to haul our share of group gear.

So, rent, or row the VG?

Plecoptera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2016   #2
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 485
I know all kinds of people will say your boat is fine and it is but I would rent a 16' at least. You spend a lot of time on your boat and it's nice to have the additional real estate. And you will easily carry more gear. Rent from someone in Flag so you don't have to haul a boat. Another consideration is the wear and tear that you won't put on your gear which can be considerable. Any of the Flagstaff outfitters can hook you up with a raft plus all the other ancillary requirements as well.


Sembob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2016   #3
sledhooligan's Avatar
Craigamerica, -
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 130
A 14 is fine for the GC. It just all depends on how many people and total boats are going.
No one cares that you are a river guide
sledhooligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2016   #4
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
Will you be carrying the passenger's gear too? Or just the occasional passenger (and their kayak/IK) to help you on some of the flats?

Whatever you bring will be a pretty heavily loaded boat, especially at the front end of the trip. To me it wasn't so much a question of weight, but space for all the gear plus supplies. Especially if you're carrying another person's gear and supplies too.

For our Grand trip I had 2 people on a 16' SB raft with 2 coolers (kept ice the whole way) plus our share of group gear and supplies. I also don't overpack. It was heavy but that size worked out great for punching waves, still maneuverable, and able to accommodate 2 people for enough supplies and adequate space.

I saw some of those 18 ft rentals loaded to the hilt with only 2 people. Couldn't believe how much stuff some people carry. And they didn't look all that fun to row.

If I was just rowing myself and gear for only 1 person (plus my share of group junk) I would have really enjoyed bringing a 14 footer. It can't take on as big of waves and holes, but it's maneuverability allows you to make finer moves during the big rapids. During the trip I found myself thinking about how much of a kick a 14 footer would have been!

I think the big difference with something smaller like a 14 foot and that long of a trip is utilizing the front of the boat (where passengers feet would go) for some sort of storage and equal weight distribution. It helps to avoid the huge gear pile in the back that makes it too rear heavy. Do you know what group gear you will be taking on your raft? If so load it up in the garage and see what you come up with. The more you stare at it the more creative you will get. Good luck with your decision.
OregonRafter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2016   #5
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 200
You guys all missed the most important question. What time of year are you going and will you want to sleep on your boat? in summer months it's a must!
mkashzg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2016   #6
Vail, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 26
summer is not guaranteed sleep on boats. we launched july 2nd and it was 112 degrees at lees and we slept on the beach almost every night.

my vote is to row the rig you are most comfortable with, but if the group gear demands a home in a bigger boat, then rent one in flag. Get one from someone with sweet drop floors and diamond plate decking all around
RichardJames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2016   #7
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
I've seen many 14 foot boats run the Grand. Usually the bigger boats have to take more group gear and the smaller boats are over loaded with dry bags as high as the rower's head. I like to rent an 18' boat and have everything below the tubes.

If you do take it consider leaving your dry box at home and come prepared to carry group ammo cans - especially if you pay for a food pack.
Randaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2016   #8
trevko's Avatar
Fort Fun, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 117
It all depends on how much stuff you intend to take. It is a long trip and the boat fills up fast with the extra boxes/cans you take. Most trips I've seen need an 18'er just for all the beer they bring. I'm a fan of having a clean rig with out having a gear stack looming above me.

As said, I like to sleep on the boat in the summer and the 18' was great for that.
trevko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2016   #9
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 200
Originally Posted by RichardJames View Post
summer is not guaranteed sleep on boats. we launched july 2nd and it was 112 degrees at lees and we slept on the beach almost every night.
WHY!? Maybe you weren't drinking enough water... sleeping on the boat will be 10-15 degrees cooler when it is that hot.

I would recommend Ceiba for a nice turn key 18' ready to roll.
mkashzg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2016   #10
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
Good info so far, MB at its best.

We will be two, at the outside possibly 3, always on this boat. September time frame, so, hot, but not hell. I also like to run a low rig, and own an epic supply (> 100) of NRS straps from 20' to 1'. I'm authentically 'old Navy', and feel deep in my soul that gear-adrift kills people. If this GC hadn't come thru, we would be doing our annual Deso, self-contained and solo if need be, so the 14' is fully pimped, including a size medium everything bag, and I would expect that to make the GC trip. I have the same use/rent questions on pretty much everything - dryboxes, water jugs, etc. I have a 105qt Yeti, and have the same question on use/rent. I've worked out a system that I think is better than doing a freeze layering like the outfitters do (I use waterbricks that I freeze layer - solid multi-week freeze with drinking water reserve), but, while it works great for Deso, the GC might be different.

Also, one of my kids says buy a REI garage sale stand-up-in large tent and expect to destroy it instead of using our usual 3 season backpacker. Thoughts on that?

Plecoptera 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
Jackson Star or Allstar size dilemma firepup21 Kayaking | Gear Talk 19 05-02-2014 02:06 PM
Creek boat dilemma: What to paddle now? WyoPadlr1 Whitewater Kayaking 8 05-13-2008 08:15 PM
Paddle dilemma doublet Whitewater Kayaking 5 11-15-2007 10:28 PM
Confluence vs. Clear creek Dilemma dvc Whitewater Kayaking 13 05-10-2005 12:25 AM
Shoe Dilemma! kclowe Kayaking | Gear Talk 2 05-28-2004 03:02 PM

» Classified Ads
Recretec Folding River...

posted by clemkins

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

10' Cataract Oars

posted by rockinRio

10' Cataract Oars, rope wrapped, and two counter balances....

12' Hyside SB

posted by kevin paulson

Well used but loved early 80's 12' Hyside SB. Rubber Only....

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 10:01 AM.

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