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Old 03-01-2014   #1
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 484
Good boat for the Grand

I just got a Grand Canyon invite and am thinking about a bigger boat. Any thoughts on an18 foot Riken Navajo? I own an older 16.5 foot Avon bucket boat but think its time for an upgrade.

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Old 03-01-2014   #2
BCJ's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 523
The Avon will be fine. Granted most outfitters run large boats down there, but plenty of private parties use 14, 15, 16' rafts without incident. Don't let it psyche you out.

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Old 03-02-2014   #3
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 535
Originally Posted by Sembob View Post
bucket boat
sounds like reason enough for an upgrade.
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Old 03-02-2014   #4
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 326
Originally Posted by upshitscreek View Post
sounds like reason enough for an upgrade.
If he's looking at a Navajo, it probably ain't a self bailer.

Anyway, like BCJ said, smaller boats are just fine for the grand. The main question here is whether it will hold all your beer. If you have passengers, I would consider a bigger boat for comfort and capacity. Ether way, I wouldn't buy a boat just for one trip. Perhaps you should think about your future needs/ wants.

Navajo's are good, solid boats, but its been so long since they made them you would have to find one that's been tucked away in somebody's garage for decades if you want something nice. They're heavy. Lots of extra rubber on the bottom. Look at the valve boots for cracking/leaks. Make sure the rubber on the top of the raft is pliable and not chalky. I took my old Navajo to the dump last year because the rubber was just done.
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Old 03-02-2014   #5
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 484
Thanks guys, the Riken I've been considering is on NRS gear swap. It looks like a good solid self bailer. Very good price and I thought I would put it up for sale at trips end. I think my Avon would do quite well as it is quite large and tracks super good. It is mostly a matter of bailing all the damn time.
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Old 03-02-2014   #6
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 383
I've seen electric bilge pumps made with a small battery in an ammo can that you tip over to turn on. They work really well an are a couple hundred bucks to make. Way cheaper than a new boat, & way less hassle than trying to sell the self bailer after only one trip. A small solar panel can be used to keep the battery charged...
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Old 03-02-2014   #7
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
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.
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Old 03-02-2014   #8
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
$800 18ft hyside bucket on the buzz gear swap. Looks pretty nice.
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Old 03-02-2014   #9
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
I took an 18 foot bucket boat on my trip. I have to say I had some…..'issues' in Horn where the bucketness of it might have saved me from a flip, but I think I might take a flip and not having to bail and bail and bail.

I learned to run it pretty clean at 20K to 25K cfs but in the big drops like Ladle you gonna take on some water. I remember baling for days. It seemed. So get a bilge pump or get the self bailer. I would get the self bailer and there have been some screaming deals on self bailers in the xl size as you have seen.
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Old 03-02-2014   #10
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 484
Ok I am going for a self bailer. Spider that's awesome you took a boat like that on the Smith. I guess a bigger boat would be fine for plenty of the runs I do ie the Missouri , Yellowstone and lower Madison and I will still have a better big trip boat. Thanks for all the opinions.

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