14 vs 15 footer - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-29-2020   #1
 
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 153
14 vs 15 footer

I have an Otter 140 and keep finding myself wishing I had a little more room and a little more buoyancy.

I'm contemplating upgrading to an Otter 150 (15 footer) as my frames would fit right on it, but I'm wondering if the extra foot will make a noticible difference in buoyancy / floatation, all else being equal?

Any insights are appreciated.

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Old 03-29-2020   #2
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,476
I don't have much experience with the NRS boats... but for similar reasons I upgraded from the Aire 136DD to the 146DD last year. The rocker is a little different...but other then it being a foot longer the dimensions are very similar. Kinda weird...but the tubes are actually smaller on the 146DD...so there is about an inch more width between the tubes.

I got them both in white, and even sitting right next to each other it would take a while for most people to figure out which was which.

I feel like I definitely noticed having that extra foot of cargo space. It basically allowed me to comfortable add another drybox to my setup, and the frame doesn't have to extend past the chaffe strips quite as much. I made my frame quite a bit longer then the chafe pad on the 136DD, basically till the biggest part of the kick starts, and its only a few inches over on the 146DD.

I was actually hoping for a more noticeable difference in feel between the two boats...but they honestly row very similarly. The rocker is a bit more progressive on the 146DD so I feel like it is more likely to skip over stuff. The 136DD was already a pretty stable boat...and that holds true to the 146DD. Its not a night and day difference though. I think I'm a bit happier carrying a passenger with the new boat though... more room for them up front and the extra bouyancy is nice. Took it down the MFS last year with a passenger and it was much more fun then my 16' Avon that I took the year before. At the end of the day...I think I'd be happy with either boat....but I'm happy with the switch.

I'd expect that most of what I said about the differences should hold pretty true with the Otter 140 vs 150 too. I imagine you'll certainly notice the extra room...but the way it rows will be noticeable but more subtle. It might be worth looking at a 16' boat if you really want a lot more bouyancy too. That might not be as transferable as the 15'er though. One of the really nice things about going from 136DD to 146DD was being able to basically transfer the frame with minimal modification. I made a new floor that extended further forward and shifted the cross bars a little since I got a different 2nd drybox (two matching 37" boxes instead of a 38x15x18 that rubbed the sides too much and a 37x15x16... a pairing that mismatched just enough to be annoying).
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Old 03-30-2020   #3
 
Critter70's Avatar
 
FOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 178
The biggest difference especially with the nrs 15 is how long the straight section. It is identical to the 14 with an extra foot. The straight tube is 94 inches with 45 inches between the tubes. This gives you more frame area then a hyside 16 footer. I have an e 150 with an 88 inch frame and love it.
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Old 03-30-2020   #4
 
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 28
I think it can be tough to see huge differences 1 foot can make. However 2 feet can see pretty different. You would really noticed a different if you went from your 14' to a 16'. I think you will really noticed the different in cargo space or even passenger leg room, if folks ride with you.
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Old 04-05-2020   #5
Gary F
 
Philipsburg, Montana
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 58
I agree with the posts. I have a 142 nrs and a nrs 16 foot E boat. In the past, I have had 12 footers and 15. I had a 15 foot river ryder bucket boat over 3o years ago. The difference between that an the 14 was a little longer nose.

You will notice very little difference between 14 and 15. We chose a 142 because the narrow boat allows us to do little rivers like the Salt yet, with the bigger tubes (bigger than a 12, 13 foot boat, my passengers stay dry-er and, it floats high especially, on low flo situations like the salt.

We, obviously, needed a big water boat so we got the 16. I would love an 18 but it's just too big for me out of the water moving it around in storage.
If you want (clearly) more room get the 16 footer. That 160E is a nice handling boat even loaded with 10 days worth of gear. On our last salmon river trip I loaded the 16 with 2-37" dry boxes with kitchen and food, I sat on 1, my wife sat on the other, 2-120 qt coolers, 1-100 qt cooler, and a bunch of rocket boxes you know, groover and such, and of course, personal drybags and personal ammo cans, big first aid rocket box, 2 fishing tackle box ammo cans, 6 fishing rods,, repair kit ammo can, 2 flat tables, I use both as cargo deck..I think that was it.
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Old 04-05-2020   #6
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokoroltd View Post
If you want (clearly) more room get the 16 footer. That 160E is a nice handling boat even loaded with 10 days worth of gear. On our last salmon river trip I loaded the 16 with 2-37" dry boxes with kitchen and food, I sat on 1, my wife sat on the other, 2-120 qt coolers, 1-100 qt cooler, and a bunch of rocket boxes you know, groover and such, and of course, personal drybags and personal ammo cans, big first aid rocket box, 2 fishing tackle box ammo cans, 6 fishing rods,, repair kit ammo can, 2 flat tables, I use both as cargo deck..I think that was it.

I've got a 16' hyside xt. Do you have any pics of this raft loaded? I'd love to see them, I have one 44" drybox, one 160 qt cooler and some ammo cans/groover, etc and gear pile.
What frame are you running?
Do tell, please!
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Old 04-06-2020   #7
 
Invermere, British Columbia
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 43
Personally I really like the 15' big enough for the Grand Canyon but small enough for a low water Selway/Middle Fork. You have to be wary of the River Lice though. The bigger your boat the more your Kayak friends will want you to carry ( Oh and here is my sleeping cot and is there room in your cooler for my three cases of beer ) I've considered a 16' but I can carry everything I need for three for a week in the 15' comfortably, which is all I've ever needed.
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Old 04-07-2020   #8
 
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonseim View Post
I've got a 16' hyside xt. Do you have any pics of this raft loaded? I'd love to see them, I have one 44" drybox, one 160 qt cooler and some ammo cans/groover, etc and gear pile.
What frame are you running?
Do tell, please!
I'm running a Recretec 4 bay frame. Here is what it looks like all rigged. I like the set up, just wish it floated a little higher and handled better when loaded.
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