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Old 09-08-2011   #11
nicho's Avatar
North Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 442
I too asked this question a couple years ago. Ended up getting a 16' NRS and love it. It is fine on smaller rivers at medium to high flows and perfect for overnighters and multidays. All my friends have 14'ers and the 16 can haul so much more gear and peeps comfortably especially with a four bay frame. Better to be a bit big than small on a family multi day rig. Plus a 16 is perfect for the runs you listed. Have taken mine on most those runs you listed and always glad I went with a 16. Think NRS are pretty bomb as are other major manufacturers 10 year warranty is pretty good.

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Old 09-08-2011   #12
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
If you're really looking at a family of 4 plus a couple dogs on multi-day trips on the plataeu I would at least check out your options for a 17' or 18' boat. Those bigger boats are way more than you need for short trips, and are a handful on mountain runs at any normal flows, but the passenger space sure is nice when you're just floating with the kids playing in the bow. An E-160 I'm sure would treat you right, but think about a bored 4 to 9 year old on the flatwater leading into Cat and how great it would be to give them more squirt gun play space. I've always thought 16's and 18's handle basically the same if similarly loaded - you just need to resist the temptation to carry the entire group's gear.
Also a big thumbs up for diminished tubes if you have the option - it gives the kids a chance to get on and off the boat at the ends without crazy moves.
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Old 09-08-2011   #13
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Get as wide of a boat as you can afford
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 09-09-2011   #14
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NorCal, California
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 330
16' Boat

I think your on the right track as far as size, a 16' boat will be plenty big enough for your needs and yet not too big for the rivers you listed. Check out the deal that Clavey is offering on their Avons, those boats are probably the best Hypalon boats money can buy and people know it, check out their resale value. You could use the money you save on the Avon and buy a 4 bay frame and a dry box and cooler maybe and you still end up with a top of the line boat.

Originally Posted by WindInTheWillows View Post
My wife is prego with our second child, so I'm going to stop pushing rubber all summer and get a real job. But my wife thinks it's a great idea to buy a raft for personal trips. YES!

I'm looking for a new boat that will fit 4 people (2 adults, 2 small children) and occasionally 1-2 dogs on multiday trips in the desert southwest (Westwater, Cataract, Deso/Greys, Yampa, Grand, etc.)

What size would be best? I'm thinking 16 ft would be perfect. Shorter/longer??

Also, what brand/material would be best? I've paddle-guided PVC/Urethane boats under 14' and love them, but also paddled/rowed bigger Hypalon boats and like them too. I'm leaning towards a NRS E-160 because I can get a great deal on a new one, but am open to other brands too. I really like Aires, but am concerned about the silt factor. Thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2011   #15
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
This is a great deal for someone who wants to buy one boat to last a lifetime, and is willing to spend a bunch of money up front.

Originally Posted by ngeoym View Post
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Old 09-09-2011   #16
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
I've got a 14 ft diminished tube AIRE. Took my 3 boys (5, 8, 9) on an easy float w/ the frame, cooler and misc drybags. There was enough room for them and their squirt guns, but not tons of room otherwise. If I was trying to take them on a multi-day fully loaded, they probably wouldn't have enough room. Compared to all my friends who have Super Pumas I thought I was going huge when I got my boat. Now I know it is sufficient, but definetely not roomy for the entire family. Just my $.02
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Old 09-09-2011   #17
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
Are you buying new? I'm in Salt Lake and have a 16' Riken that is great for use with 4-5 people on a multiday trip.
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Old 09-09-2011   #18
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 32
Thanks for the great input everyone. I think a 16er is the consensus. I'd be tempted to get a 14er that would also be great for our local runs, but I think I'm gonna get a fun boat (10 ft) too, to cover those day trips.

Since Hypalon is so much easier to roll and store, NRS it is!
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Old 09-09-2011   #19
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Hey Dan, I'm in SLC and interested about the 16' Riken. PM sent
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Old 09-09-2011   #20
Cpt. No Scout
idahofloater's Avatar
In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
Originally Posted by WindInTheWillows View Post
Also, what brand/material would be best? Thoughts?
Yes, if you have the luxury to store your boat inflated year round, I would go for a welded boat made of new more advanced technologies and fibers. However, if I knew that the boat was to be folded regularly, I'd save the pennies and go for an old school hyplon patch job boat. Avon and NRS build killer rubber boats, but you'd be sending your dollars over sea's. Maybe it's just me, but pvc or hyplon, I'd make damn sure that an american worker got paid to build the boat. Boats built in the usa are every bit as good as anything made in China or the UK or any where else for that matter. IMHO of course. good luck

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