Good boat for the Grand - Page 6 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-09-2014   #51
 
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,088
Consumer reports.

Some trivia.

A government employee should never be given any tool because of a fun factor. Performance and safety, yes.

Secondly. Government employees often run ONE of vehicles they had driving experience with while employed. I'm retired USFS and ran every brand of large PU except the Toyotas. Getting months and different seasons in with a variety is nice. (I have a 2002 Dodge Cummins Diesel 6 speed 4X4. Sorry, the others didn't do was well and were not selected for personal use.)

===========

Keep this going.
Even with the numbers of each craft and operator fun factor variables etc.

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Old 03-09-2014   #52
 
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mar008609 View Post
I've never observed a government employee on a Cataraft, even on rivers where they would be ideal. What do NPS and BLM employees row when they are not working? I know what kind of vehicles government workers are forced drive, and I know there are funner, safer, and more reliable options. Purchasing of equipment is often determined by some bean counter in a far off land. .
On this tangent....budgets are negotiated outside the office but the locals decide most of the equipment purchases.

Deso has a massive Cataraft. It was loaded down with the poison's they use for invasives and then we picked up a 50 gallon metal drum near the end on the run I volunteered on.

Selway has equipment based on the previous ranger's preferences: a range of Avon's representing various eras of manufacturing.

When I worked for the USFS they spent their gear budgets on preferences. Trucks would be the only outlier there, must be a deal with certain manufacturers. That said we had ATVs of choice, light tents for our backcountry surveys, and locally made horse packing equipment.

Never seen evidence that one type of craft flips more than others. In fact I have found most boats have beautiful runs on their own without people on the oars, but thats a different story.

Phillip
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Old 03-09-2014   #53
El Chupanibre
 
Thornton, Colorado
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 128
All the Dude wanted was his rug back.
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Old 03-09-2014   #54
 
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 498
Stick, fork, evolution? I don't see the different boats as an evolution I see it only as more options. If I am having brats I'll take the stick. If it's pasta the fork. I like the post about the river exposing your boats weakness eventually. I guess you try and predict when and where, and make sure you are alright with that. There is some very good reading here and lots of good info but I am not any closer to knowing what boat to get yet. Or just go with what I have. I guess I feel as though I can certainly take my time in deciding. I think I have decided that the worse case scenario isn't a bad one.
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Old 03-09-2014   #55
 
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by Sembob View Post
Stick, fork, evolution? I don't see the different boats as an evolution I see it only as more options. If I am having brats I'll take the stick. If it's pasta the fork. I like the post about the river exposing your boats weakness eventually. I guess you try and predict when and where, and make sure you are alright with that. There is some very good reading here and lots of good info but I am not any closer to knowing what boat to get yet. Or just go with what I have. I guess I feel as though I can certainly take my time in deciding. I think I have decided that the worse case scenario isn't a bad one.
One of the benefits of going with a bigger boat is more passengers which means more alternate oarsmen/women. Lots of flat water down there and its fun being a peep occasionally.

I have rowed a 16 foot and 18 foot down there. I actually had the 16 foot for the longer winter trip and was just happy with it, which is shocking as we needed a lot more gear. You definitely gain more space with a bigger boat but I have also found that the jump from 16 to 18 seems to mean a lot more space in the passenger compartment and comparably moderate more for gear storage. But that may just be our Avon bucket as it has a huge passenger compartment and didn't gain a lot of space between flat tubes. That extra space sure is helpful for carrying clean water during the summer though.

You will likely also get a major change and rise in the kick of the front tubes when you go bigger. Good if your passengers like to stay dry (we loved every hit during the heat of May). You will likely experience the same flop from such big front tubes as I did with our 18 foot Avon. The amount of flex was significantly more in the front of the boat (likely because it was older and longer).

There is no doubt that the 18 foot option will be slower to initially move (at least for puny to average size arms like mine). You learn to line up sooner. House Rock was a lot of work as the dog-leg right didn't give a lot of time to prep from the left scout. But I ended up having a great run. The benefit is once you get the bigger beast going they tend to keep their momentum longer.

I guess I would say this: if you won't have but one passenger, an average amount of gear and prefer to be able to dink and dunk a little more than most then stick with the smaller current rig. If you want to carry or have the potential to carry a few extra people, want to carry extra gear (if you build it they will come, prepare for that with a big boat), want a little easier time on the flat water and don't mind working a little harder at the entries to line up then go with the bigger boat.

If you do go with a bigger rig then I would recommend doing a shakedown run before your Grand trip. It took me a good 3-4 days to adjust my rowing style and reading the water accordingly after we bought the 18 footer. Don't think I would want to be going into the Roaring Twenties on Day 2 still adapting to the boats needs.

Have a great trip. Any boat you take will work and will likely feel small in the meat of several rapids. You can't see our 18 footer in the photo of Hermit (which I just can't describe how fun that rapid is). Its also amazing how quick the thoughts of gear diminish the moment you push off from Lees. Enjoy the journey.

Phillip
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Old 03-09-2014   #56
 
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Bozeman, Montana
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Thanks Phillip I have really enjoyed all the good debating on boats I am going to keep looking for the " perfect boat" and if I find it great. I do think I would like an 18 footer and as Spider has mentioned it would be useful here on home waters. If not this is my ride.

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Old 03-09-2014   #57
 
Real Estate, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 31
I have yet to hear from the swampers out there who have to actually bailed
1000 gallons of water? Its all fun and games for the captain to yell bail but quite frankly, it blows. Thank you "bucket boat" for paving the way to self bailing awesomeness. Spend some extra and you won't regret it.
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Old 03-09-2014   #58
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Now you have (heard from someone who has moved a couple of hundred gallons of water out of a Havasu below BD3 and in between Lava and Son Lava in an Avon PRO, by myself). Yep, a lot of work. I was huffing and puffing by the time the floor came up to where I could safely continue on down the river. Would I row a boat like that again in either situation? You bet!
A lot of discussion on MB fora revolves around "ultimate" versus "practical." Budget is a factor for a lot of folk. Getting on the water and gaining some experience is PRICELESS.
I've run paddle boats down the Grand and rowed through tiny little shallow gnarly rivers that most would be crabbing oars and pinballing side to side - all were way FUN.
Get on the water in whatever craft you can afford. Be safe, and don't let anyone tell you it can't be done!
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Old 03-10-2014   #59
"Just Read and Run Baby!"
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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There's a great rig on the NRS site right now.
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Old 03-10-2014   #60
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spider View Post
Once you get used to the 18'er you will like it. Tons of space for anything and everything. And your in Bozeman so my guess is you run the Yellowstone and some others that I also run. Go for it. I love my 18'. Took it down the smith at 163 and dropping last year in April. Maddison, NF flathead, lochsa, Yellowstone, you will be happy on other rivers and stoked on the grand. I'm taking mine down mfs this year, did the lower salmon last year in it and it was awsome. Great with kids too.

Yes, but what do you USUALLY run on the Gallatin and Lochsa?


I've had my 15.5' raft on the Gallatin, but would rather take my 13' raft on it, the Yellowstone, NF Flathead, MF Flathead, etc for any smaller rivers or lower flows on big rivers. My 15.5' only when the rivers get big.



..so what we're really saying, Sembob is that you need a quiver.

16'-18' for lots of people on day trips or plenty of gear on overnights.
Lots of people on this forum have 11-13' rafts or cats for playboats.
14' is a good happy medium for a single boat quiver.
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