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Old 04-15-2016   #1
Rick A's Avatar
Henderson, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 32
Buy now or wait

Looking to but my first raft. I have been reading as much as I can from different posts and I think I have settled on a 14' raft with frame. I am the kind of guy who likes to buy everything new except for a truck. I have between $2500 - $3000 to spend. I have a garage full of toys a side by side, a couple kayaks, a ducky, and extensive amount of camping gear. I just started working weekends at an outfitter and get pro-deals on NRS gear. I am thinking of the Outlaw but being that it is too late to get any permits for the longer river trips I can't decide if I should buy now (I have a serious itch to raft) or wait until the off season to buy a better used raft. I have very little experience on the oars but enough to know I want one. I was thinking if I bought this year and did some day tripso I could start building my skills on the oars. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 04-15-2016   #2
Strangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 36
Go for it now, Don't wait! And the Outlaw should work great, especially for the pro-price you will be getting it for.

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Old 04-15-2016   #3
Strangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 36
I saw an outlaw 130 a couple of weeks ago in the NRS showroom, seemed like a very nice little boat. Might not roll up real tight, park the side by side outside and leave the boat in the garage inflated and ready to go.
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Old 04-15-2016   #4
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 43
I was in the same boat as you last year. I bought into the season a bit, with no permits. I ended up doing lots of day trips for the remainder of the summer. I definitely spent more money than I would have if I waited for a good used deal in the offseason. I've seen a handful of good deals in the past few months that would have matched what I was looking for and saved me some money, although not a huge amount. Do I regret it? Probably not. The money saved would have been less time on the river, more time and headache looking for/getting to/making a deal on something used, and less customization on my gear.
With the amount you have to spend, even with a discount, you are going to be rapidly approaching your max budget once you factor in all the extras (oars, straps, throw bags, repair kit, oar locks, etc.). It seems like the jury is still out on the outlaws. Would it be better to wait for an offseason used package that comes with all that and probably more (maybe would have a dry box, cooler, etc.)? Maybe. Given your price range I'd say it comes down to how badly you want on the river this summer. If you buy now you'll have a ton of fun and probably few regrets. You'll have less regrets if you stop browsing the classifieds and just accept the decision you make.
It's a little early still. Maybe wait a few weeks and see if you can find some used rubber to fit the bill? Or check with some shops and see if anyone has a discounted past year model on an RMR, tributary or something similar to put you in the same price range. Depending on what your discount is, you can probably find a good deal on a used nrs or low pro style frame. There seem to be a decent amount of them floating around out there. But if you can't find something soon I'd say go for it. Accept the money spent and don't look back.
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Old 04-15-2016   #5
Eagle, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 46
I would pass on the outlaw, the design isn't that great, especially the floor. I would shop around for a used boat or save a little more $$$ and buy the NRS otter
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Old 04-15-2016   #6
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
If you can get a decent discount new, buy now. Between the slow depreciation of used rafts and the yearly increase in new retail prices, if you buy a raft of good rapport and take care of it then it's unlikely you'll lose any money when you resell. Plus, you'll have the full warranty out of the box.

If you find a killer deal on a used raft in good condition, buy used. Both of my rafts are used and based on the deals I found I couldn't justify new, even with a discount.

In my experience in following the used raft market (Mbuzz, Craigslist, NRS, etc) the last many years, used rafts seem to sell pretty well. I am often amazed to see used rafts and packages being sold for only 10-15% less than current retail prices, and to see several years old outfitter rafts with no warranty left being sold for only 20-30% less than current retail prices.
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Old 04-15-2016   #7
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,326
Just from my POV, others will differ.

The NRS entry level boats have been in flux the last few years. Lots of change from material to manufacturing processes to meet that bottom line of many customers. Not but 3 years ago the line was the Ospray - now its Outlaw. In a couple years I'm sure the outlaw will fall to the way side to make room for the next budget friendly boat. That does not relate well for resale value. So, if you get the outlaw, I feel that it will not retain value like say an AIRE, Sotar, or Maravia. I believe that in 5 years you'll be lucky to get 50% for what you paid where other boats you could get near 80% of the original value in 10 years.

Next with the pro deal, your not going to get a better price and boats seem to up in price every year. Would be not supersized if the outlaw will cost you another $100 in the fall. Or that the outlaw has been discontinued and replaced with some other product??

If I were to do a poverty boat, I'd spend the money on new 14' RMR and used frame and sticks. I'd upgrade frame and sticks when $$ came along.
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Old 04-15-2016   #8
The Russian
kazak4x4's Avatar
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
If you wait for post-season, there will be a reason to wait for next year models, which will be followed by waiting for used next year models demos, etc. You get my point. Buy now.
-ALEX [ youtube ][ my boat ][ ]
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Old 04-15-2016   #9
Monte Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 46
If it was August, I would say wait. I got my package from RBW in July of last year, and while I love it beyond words, had I waited two months, I could have gotten a 12' package for the same price at season end prices. Had I waited until December, I could have gotten a 13' package for a little less than what I paid for my storm.

That said, you have to pull the trigger eventually. I am glad I purchased new, as the four hours I spent at RWB was an education in itself. I learned more in those four hours than in any other four hours of my life.
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Old 04-15-2016   #10
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,150
You live in Henderson NV. How much rafting do actually plan on doing a year? If you are only thinking multiday trip per year, maybe renting is the way to go in your situation, unless you move someplace where you will be doing more boating on a regular basis.

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