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Old 08-22-2016   #11
 
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by Paul7 View Post
I'm no expert but I'd recommend not to overlook the subjective. The best boat for a beginner might not be the best for your wife. I know with my wife she's real comfortable on a raft but is not on cats. She dosent like the additional splash nor does she like being suspended over the water.

These subjective issues surely would be different with your wife so I'm not sure the exact examples will transfer exactly.



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Paul --- that was one of my concerns with a Cat --- no floor / open space under your feet --- granted you can always put webbing underneath but o can see how that might ratchet up the anxiety when just starting out'


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Old 08-22-2016   #12
 
Portland, Oregon
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Originally Posted by Learch View Post
kids= raft. 13's and 14's are great. My 8 year old son can row my 14 when it's loaded with gear, she will have no problems. (He rowed from Maupin city park to just above Oak Springs with no intervention from me) 13's are fun for anything but overnighters, at least if all 4 of you are going to camp out of it. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I have a 14' round boat and envy the people with 15's and 16's on 5 day trips.

Learch --- I have a 14ft raft so would not be cramming four of us on what would become my wife's boat. Two reason I am thinking 13 --- seems the smaller the better for her to get around the river on and thought it would be a good idea to get a boat that can be used as a paddler if we want that option. Guess I could go bigger and just row us all but getting wifey on the stix has significant appeal.


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Old 08-22-2016   #13
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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I'd consider a Storm or similar it would perform well lightly loaded and would be very responsive, plus would add lots of paddling options for your family.

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Old 08-22-2016   #14
 
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Rathdrum, Idaho
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I had an OLD NRS 14' self bailer. Felt like there was a lot of drag trying to maneuver it. It might have all been in my head, but I have a 16' jaguarundi now, and it feels so much easier to maneuver. My confidence went way up when I switched boats. I also switched to counter weighted oars, which drastically reduced fatigue and left me free to focus on reading rapids and anticipating without getting tired.

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Old 08-22-2016   #15
 
Salida, Colorado
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The information the OP provides makes this a no brainer. Forget all the cat vs. raft analysis cuz none of it matters in those circumstances and go get a 14' raft. Figure out how to make it work and don't get into ANYTHING over your head. Have fun and good luck duck.
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Old 08-22-2016   #16
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Dundee, Oregon
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I think a 13 would be a great addition to your family! I have my eye on a little raft and more IKs, my son is taking a serious liking to my Lynx. He did a trip in it and he's hooked. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-22-2016   #17
 
Portland, Oregon
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Originally Posted by Bean77 View Post
I had an OLD NRS 14' self bailer. Felt like there was a lot of drag trying to maneuver it. It might have all been in my head, but I have a 16' jaguarundi now, and it feels so much easier to maneuver. My confidence went way up when I switched boats. I also switched to counter weighted oars, which drastically reduced fatigue and left me free to focus on reading rapids and anticipating without getting tired.

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Thanks for the reply --- will absolutely get counterweights. Do you run donuts or weighted handles?


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Old 08-22-2016   #18
 
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Rathdrum, Idaho
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I've got the Cataracts with interior weights in the handles. I love them. I can row all day with them.

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Old 08-23-2016   #19
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Fraser, Colorado
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I'd say go with the boat you will ultimately be happiest with in for your situation.
You mentioned having small children that will someday be joining you guy's on the river, a raft would be best for kids.
I love my small cat, It's super manuverable, fun and stable for it's size, but I think a 14' raft would be fine to learn on, there are plenty of smaller ladies that learned to guide with them, and they tend to be a big stable forgiving boat for a begginer.

A smaller cat would be a blast, and they are easy to row, I think, but you may need to trade it for something else soon, or buy a second boat. Sometimes they don't FEEL, as safe as a raft to a more timid begginer, either.
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Old 08-23-2016   #20
 
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C. Springs, Colorado
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One thing I've noticed between cats and rafts is the wind. Your constantly being blown sideways in a cat if you let off the oars. I'd rather fight constant wind in a raft.
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