After months of researching, talking with dealers, friends, guides, I finally settled on a boat. AIRE 156D with Sealed Floor Pocket. It was an old serial boat with full 10 year warranty with a significant saving to rig the whole boat. It just left Idaho, and should be here by Friday. Although a bit narrower than the 156R, and shorter than the full 16', I think this boat will be very versatile for our growing family, and my lifelong pursuit of steelhead.
Now the fun part. Outfitting this boat the way I want will be a long and arduos process, and I sure could use some help from the fellow boaters here.
- The boat will be run exclusively with an oar frame. I am debating between going with NRS compact outfitter with two sets of rails (long and short) for multiday/day trip with a couple of paddlers in the bow. The other option is to go with a double rail welded 3 bay frame with a trailer frame for multiday gear hauling. Any suggestions, ideas?
- I have a set of 10' Sawyer MX counterbalanced with the regular 30" Ash Pro blades. Will these oars be too long for a 66" wide frame? I am 5'8" and will be rowing from a drybox in the bay. I was told 9.5' will be the best (by a number of experts), but it is also a matter of personal preference, so I won't know until I try it myself. But wanted to hear what other people are using.
I would love to see some photos of how people rig their 15'-16' rafts for multiday trip. I am not planning to hit Grand Canyon anytime soon, but will definitely be doing more multidays in the coming years. I've looked at one fellow member's gallery that gave me a lot of ideas, but am looking for some fresh ideas.
Feel free to post some photos.