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Old 03-03-2013   #21
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 298
I have a 15' and like it on every CO river except the Poudre at lower water. I have done many 6-8 day trips with my wife and 2 kids and not too overloaded. I did the Grand last Sept. and while every other raft was a 16', I held my own just fine. It just depends on how many overnights vs. day trips. Don't sweat it. Either size will be just fine 99% of the time.

May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
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Old 03-04-2013   #22
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Here's our 14' SOTAR. 2010 at Rock Island on the MF Salmon, late August. Sorry it's not that great to show rigging. I have a drybox in the front bay. Second bay is a drop bag, and that bay is somewhat small. The stern gear pile is organized to create a flat platform for the dogs, as you can see. Not any significant weight up high back there, but with the paco and leveling it looks, I think, worse than it is.
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I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 03-04-2013   #23
Rojo's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 184
See the link below for many raft porn pictures, including my 14' loaded with 2 kids and dog on 2-boat main salmon trip.

IMO 14' boat would only be tough on the GC, although many do use 'em.

Locally, I've been able to row 14's on everything from Cataract at 50kcfs down to ultra light solo oar rig on Piedra at 800cfs and Upper Animas where the smaller/lighter (145lb) boat makes it quicker to manuver and load onto the steam train.

Whatever you have can nearly always be used, with consideration/adjustments to gear list.
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Old 03-04-2013   #24
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 16
Ok, so it would seem to me that the Maravia Cyclone might be the perfect raft. Diminishing tube front for wave punching and wind resistance, standard Williwaw tail for the heavy load that always gets piled back there. What am I missing, because no one seems to run them and I can find nothing written about them on this forum.

I asked this question to Maravia and they said "it's whatever you like, a lot of people out East run them but not many in the West." Huh? But why or why not?
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Old 03-04-2013   #25
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
Good question. I don't think I've ever heard of a Cyclone, and most of my core group rows a Maravia of some sort? But then Maravia has a pretty big line-up. I'm sticking with the Willy recommend. Their most popular rafts.
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Old 03-05-2013   #26
Grants Pass, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 55
Check out the Aire "E" if you like the diminished tubes and higher bow rise. I have a 13ft and is probably the boat I use the most anymore. I would think the larger models would row just as good.
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Old 03-06-2013   #27
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
More than happy with my e150 for a one boat quiver (family of 4) day trippers up to 3 nighters thus far with it.
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Old 03-09-2013   #28
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 7
15' raft

I picked up my 15' Sotar ST in 2003 for my family of 4 and have used it on all types of rivers here in the NW. I have used it on the Grand twice. I carry the Kit. eqp. and large cooler for our group of rafters.
Sotar made the raft with a 43" inside width and put the valves in locations I asked for. Rec-re-Tec made the cargo frame for 2-16"x16"x40" dry boxes. I strap a 7' Kit. table over the front dry box for a larger sitting area for 3 people. My kids are in their 20's now and use another raft so my wife has room for her and the dogs. Have fun picking your raft.
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Old 03-09-2013   #29
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Granby, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 90
I lived and boated in Colorado for six years, but just moved to Montana so I know how you feel. I sold my boat before moving, and asked everyone the same question you are asking regarding ideal size for up here. Responses vary, of course, no matter where you are talking about.

From my experience in CO, you would be fine on a 16'. Maybe happier than you would be on a 14' or 15' if you have to pick one boat, considering the amount of passengers you are referring to. I had a 13' bucket boat w/ 18" tubes, and would have loved to have more space/flotation for multidays. And I would say you can run a 16' as a paddle rig almost anywhere you can run a 13' in Colorado.
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Old 11-30-2013   #30
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
So what did you decide? I went with a Maravia Zephyr- similar needs to yours, also live in Evergreen. Lemme know if you wanna do a Browns run next season- always looking for local folks to boat with.

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