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Old 06-07-2016   #1
Grangeville, Idaho
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 18
Raft,IK ? Need advice

So I posted earlier about getting a raft. The more I think about it the more I question my decision. I worry about shuttling gear. I only have one vehicle that can pull a trailer and a sedan. I can see shuttling being a nightmare and a big part of the day. That led me to think....maybe IK's? I've only ever paddled Aire tandem solo. I like the space of a tandem but don't know how they would do with 2 people. I imagine most of the trips would be day long on lower salmon (hammer to pine bar). I foresee having myself and 12yo in one boat and wife in another. But the tandem would give the ability for my older daughter to go along when she visits. So what do you think;
1 tandem and 2 solos or just 2 tandem?
Any experience with a 12yo having her own boat on a day trip?

How are tandem day trips?

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Old 06-07-2016   #2
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
You're far too wrapped up in the gear question and need to think about your ultimate goals. We can help you with specific questions and offer much sound opinion but need to hear what your capabilities are and your ultimate goals.

Do you know how to row a boat? Do you have a group of friends with boats that you can join up with? Are you starting out completely green except for the IK trip you mention? Did you used to be a river guide back in college?

Don't worry too much about gear specifics and shuttling and focus on getting started out on the water. Sedans can pull trailers and you don't need a trailer to go rafting. I just finished an overnight on the John Day with the wife the dog and the one and a half year old all in the compact wagon. Frame, oars and table were on the roof but all else fit inside.

If I was in your shoes, I would look to one of the old bucket boat Avons on the classifieds now. You initial investment is low and you get a great boat in which you can really learn what you want to be out on the water for.

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Old 06-07-2016   #3
Paul7's Avatar
Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 781
Are you just wanting to get on the water which is what your post makes me think, or are you wanting to have an overnight worthy raft?

As you are talking about IKs I assume that you are jonesing to get on some whitewater day trips quick and easy.

There is a current thread on the new Rocky Mountain Paddle Cats and IMHO they are much more fun and versatile than tandem IKs.

My daughter and I took ours down the lochsa this memorial and had an awesome time. It's currently getting a frame made over at Neff's.

With one of these you would have a lot of options. Don't think it would work for three however but compliment it with an IK or another paddle cat.

Just a thought you could also buy a smaller raft like a super puma and have a great paddle team.

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Old 06-08-2016   #4
Grangeville, Idaho
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 18
So the answer the experience question; I feel comfortable and would consider myself intermediate with both rafts and IKs. I also have done quite a bit of canoeing. I currently have a 17' old town tripper. My family on the other hand has none. Having never had to worry about the comfort of others I am getting wrapped up in the gear aspect as I want them to enjoy it. To start we would be doing day, splash and giggle trips but at some point I want overnight worthy craft so I figured I would get what I want now. I figured the IKs would allow for quick, easy in out day trips with minimal hassles.

If I can get my car set up with a hitch then I would prefer going with a raft. I just don't want to spend several hours at the take out tearing down and rolling up gear on an 8 hour trip.

Here is what I have now;
Toyota tundra
Ford fusion
5x8 trailer
What would be the recommendations to get a family of 3 (and sometimes 4) on the water with minimal hassles and the most enjoyment to do day trips and the occasional multi day once they get more comfortable.
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Old 06-08-2016   #5
Grangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
I'm in Grangeville as well and we have a lot of experience with kids in IKs down the Green Canyon run. We have a pair of 2 man IKs, but the kids generally paddle them solo as they are a little "piggish" with 2 people. I started off with the 2 IKs and have since added a raft as we most frequently run Hammer to Pine as a weekend overnighter. Gear is certainly better ferried in a raft. I would think that you would be better served in a raft, adding IKs as money allows. I have added a link to a Hammer to Pine trip last summer with the 10 and 11 year old solo paddling the IKs.
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Old 06-08-2016   #6
Grangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Corrected link:

Griffis Family Outdoors: June 26-27, 2015: Lower Salmon River, ID (Gravel Pit to Pine Bar)
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Old 06-08-2016   #7
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
Dude, you have a Tundra and a perfectly sized trailer. Bolt some boards across the top to carry the raft if you want. Buy a 14 foot raft and see what happens. Your canoe experience, if on moving water, will be very valuable. Get a quality used boat like the brands you see advocated here and you'll lose little if you decide to sell it.

My wife and I blew up my raft with a hand pump, strapped down a frame, rigged two table seats with pacos, threw the dunnage and kid in and launched in 45 minutes. My point is once you begin to gain your experience your opinions about what you want and need and what is necessary "comfort" will progress rapidly.

Starting with a raft will allow you to gain that experience and you can add an IK or two later. If you start out in 2 man ducks be ready for some swims--it just happens.
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Old 06-08-2016   #8
codycleve's Avatar
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 639
I just got a 10.5' rmr storm. Fit's in the back of my 5.5' bed f150. paddle crew of four is great, oar rig on whitewater day trip with three is great.. lightly packed multi day for two, or do a week long by yourself..
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Old 06-08-2016   #9
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
I can rig a fully rolled raft at a put-in in 2 hours for weeklong trip. Get an electric pump if worried about hand pumping and you should be on the water quick for day trips.

My wife bought a tandem Tomcast and ultimately grew to regret the decision. They are such a compromise as to not be greatly functional on either day trips or multi-day. They "do the job" but just aren't as fun to paddle or explore with.

Go with a raft! A Tundra is an immense shuttle vehicle and all you need the sudan for is return vehicle on day trips. Easy peasy.

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Old 06-08-2016   #10
Grangeville, Idaho
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 18
Awesome replies! Raft it is. I found out they make a hitch for the fusion so I can haul a trailer to the take out and get everything in my truck to put in. Definitely will have to be a self bailer though.

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