Best 12' boat? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-29-2010   #1
Delta Junction, Alaska
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
Best 12' boat?

Hi, I'm about to purchase a used boat, but wanted to get some feedback on quality, handling, etc before I drop the $$.
I'm not a weak girl, but I hate oaring. With a passion. So I decided I could sacrifice the ability to hit the biggest waves on the Nenana for the ease of oaring a small boat. I would like to run a paddle team most of the time. I want a boat that will hold it's value in case I find I'm not able to get the use out of it I expect to in the next year or two.
I am looking at a SB Avon Scout, and for some reason Achilles and other skinny rafts seem to be real popular up here in AK. From what I understand, the skinnier boat will be easier to flip, right? I'll be running class II-III whitewater, eventually some IV's, almost all the rivers around here have a lot of shallow slow sections also.
The Avon is an extra $1K... But it has the oaring frame I want, instead of a fishing frame.
Feedback on the Avon? Is there another brand that would be just as bombproof but cheaper? Will it sit lower/ higher in the water, and how will that affect how well it runs whitewater vs. ability to float over the shallows?

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Old 04-29-2010   #2
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,074

I am a small boat fan. But, as simple as I can make it I have found that small rafts work better as paddle rafts. The little guys tend to be a bit skinny for rowing, as they feel very top heavy and lead to more flipping.

But, it is only my opinion. Many others may feel different.

I own a 12' Shredder and would never put a frame in it. I have little to no issues paddling it R1. I have several female friends who also own them and they also paddle them R1. A group of 5 Shredders (all R1'd) paddled the Black Canyon a few years back (one female along for the trip). It can be done easily.
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Old 04-29-2010   #3
C B, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 29
Get the Avon!!!!

I rafted on the Ark for over 10yrs. and at the time we where the largest, putting more people down the river then anyone else.
All we had we 16' and 14 ' avon. When i started i was using 16' non-bailer's that where already 10-15 yrs old. we made them self bailers and i hear they are still on the river.
My lady and i are selling her cat boat for a Avon.
All my rafting friends have Avon's big and small.
Maybe look at the 13' pathmaker by Avon.
Did a Selway trip a few years back and the lady of the trip love it. wide enough for a frame and sporty for the paddle crew.
I could be wrong but they are the best boat's for holding there value, material,workmanship, and tracking on the water!!!!
enjoy the water!!
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Old 04-29-2010   #4
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Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 453
I have a 12' hyside with an nrs frame. I love it! Its an awesome paddle boat. Its wider than the aire and I like that for overnights. Its a hoot on class III runs. Happy shopping!
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Old 04-29-2010   #5
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Winter Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 55
Send the extra $ on the Avon. Like Chris I spent 10+ years pushing rubber down the Ark and most of the time in Avons. Not many boats hold up to 15 years of commercial boating but it was common find Avons that old + on the fleet. Chris if you are in CB tell crazy Mike I say hi.
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Old 04-29-2010   #6
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Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
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If you can find a used Aire Super Puma, that would be a good choice as well. It does have a narrow beam. Great paddle raft and still decent oar rig. Bonus 10 year warranty, so it should hold it's value.
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