Aire Lion 14. Thoughts? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-07-2017   #1
North Hudson, United States
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 70
Aire Lion 14. Thoughts?

Hi folks,

Is an Aire Lion 14 realistic as a multi-day boat for me, my wife and a dog on trips like the lower salmon, middle, and hells canyon. The reason I like the 14 is I feel like it will get some use on day trips out east and probably be perfect for our (sparse) one or two night overnighters available locally. I can move the individual components around easily and the size will do well on smaller low volume rivers that it will be used on most of the time.

I'd love your thoughts on it and also I'd love to see how you've outfitted and rigged your Lion 14.


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Old 11-09-2017   #2
Lakewood, Washington
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 6
Aire lion thoughts

good choice on the Aire lion. the flat top on the lion provides a multitude of options for frames,little day frames to massive cargo rigs.(it'll float 1300 lb's of gear and such). That said. I have one I'd like to sell. If you're interested give me a call @253 267 1052. If you just want to talk about the boat call me,I'm Mike.
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Old 11-09-2017   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 75
If you want something that you can get some use out of on the east coast, buy a small raft. Something like a super puma or spider would be small enough for east coast and just barely big enough for week long trips in the west. Raft would be much better for dog as well.
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Old 11-09-2017   #4
North Hudson, United States
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 70
Originally Posted by idaho_h2o View Post
Raft would be much better for dog as well.
Raft would definitely be better with the dog and for gear, more versatile overall. The problem is, I already have a small (micro raft) which is a lot of fun creeking here in the east. I'm looking for something more suitable for big water, Hudson Gorge at high water, New River, Gauley. On the Hudson, which is local to me, most of the rafting companies use cats as support boats in big water, for ducky trip support, or gear boats for overnights.

I'm definitely not set on a cat, in fact I've gone back and forth on which I think is better for my needs. I really don't see myself using it as a paddle raft much, if ever. Nothing except maybe the Hudson, Moose, Black (at higher levels) and some far off stuff in Maine (Kennebec and Dead at high water, that I hit once a year or two) is big enough to justify a larger paddle raft or oar rig for day trips as a private boater. Storage space wise, I'd like to break it down and have it stored rolled and compactly. I'd like to be able to move it solo (moving my Trib 9.5 is about the reasonable limit for me). Most of our put in aren't trailer friendly. Most involve a hike. The cat should be lighter for day use. And then there is price. Cheaper cost of entry for the cat. Probably $1000 difference if buying new, and you don't find used rafts in the Northeast, so I'm probably buying new.

Am I looking at it cockeyed or is my logic reasonably sound? I definitely want to end up with something I won't regret.
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Old 11-10-2017   #5
Searching for water....., Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 187
If you are considering storage and transport, a raft is favorable there as well, IMO. The raft may be heavier rubber but cat frames are a pain to store, especially large cats. I think a cat is a great choice but just want you to have all the info for your decision.
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Old 11-10-2017   #6
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Bazzaro, Free
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,602
The 14 Lion would rock. Its all in how you load and how much you load up. Two ppl and a dog works if thought out. You just dont get to bring two dry box's, full kitchen, 5 dutch ovens, and johney partner. Make sure your dog can walk on top of the gear without getting hung up. A cfd with a good handle too.
Switching to mgtow saved 100% on thot insurance...
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Old 11-10-2017   #7
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salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,105
I run a 16' lion and my brother in law runs a 14' lion.. He has a 10 foot frame on his boat and it is usually him his wife and a dog.. His set up is as follows front to back.. font bay is a cooler, second bay is rowers foot bay. third bay is a dry box with flip seat over the top of it, fourth bay is passenger foot bay, fifth bay is another cooler slash passenger seat and sixth bay is a drop everything bag by jan at stitches and stuff... It has been down the middle fork at 1.78' with a rookie on the sticks and did pretty well.. it has been down the lower owyhee, main, lower main, and hells several times.
It is a pretty good little set up and he carries his fair share of gear.. I can see if i find a picture or two. i'm not sure what the rivers back east are like but the middle fork at 1.78' isn't big or forgiving.
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Old 11-11-2017   #8
plainfield, New Jersey
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 93
This is a tough one because the raft and cat are very different options, On the hudson I have seen folks running 11 and 13 foot outcasts (the videoboaters) and they have a blast in a small continuous curve boat.
A long time ago I was running a 14 foot ocelot up there, and the kennebec, and the lehigh, but it was most fun at really big water, and I would find myself waiting years between hurricanes. I tried running the ocelot with a plywood platform for my dog, but turns out he was not a water dog, and eventually he stayed off the water. I sold the ocelot and ran an 11 foot tube bobcat, which was a hoot on all water, but that was a day boat with one person and lunch.

With a cat, you can carry each tube to the water separately and then the frame, and rig at the water, or in the case of the hudson, right above the chute, but, that can be a bit of work with straps and kit everywhere.

Now my big inflatable of choice is a super puma, and it works well as a floating play pen for float trips with my littles, and is a blast with oars and one to two other paddlers on bigger water. It is a great paddle rig as well for up to 5 plus a guide (although it is tight, and I prefer a max of 5 in the boat for a day paddle). The big problem with the super puma? It is heavy. like stupid heavy to carry. Sure there are stud guides on the upper yough that can carry it solo, but I am not one of them. I can wrangle it with one other person, but prefer 3, with 4, I can move it with the frame on. I have played around with wheels, and found with a C-tug and a rock hard floor I can maneuver it pretty well solo, but I do have to drag it over the tracks at the hudson for solo runs (although often there are folks to help)

I think cost wise it will be pretty close to the same, with the cat, cheaper tubes, pricier frame and way more straps, with the raft, pricier boat, cheaper frames and way less straps.

The lion has a really long water line, and will not dance like a wave destroyer, but a wave destroyer will not carry as much a Lion, a super puma is ready to go for a 4 legged friend, but will be a PITA at the put in and take out.

For my family, the raft was the best choice, but, all of the boats are a compromise, and it just depends on what compromises you want to make.

Shoot me a PM if you want to hop on the super puma and try rowing it a bit in the spring. I can also let you try carrying it to the put in too...
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Old 11-12-2017   #9
Southern, Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 60
I run a 14ft lion with a NRS frame. Its set up with dry box in front, 120 and 70 qt coolers in back. I use it for multi day trips all the time and have had up to three passengers although, 1-2 passengers is preferred.
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Old 11-12-2017   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 245
[QUOTE=jerseyjeff;627618] I have played around with wheels, and found with a C-tug and a rock hard floor I can maneuver it pretty well solo, but I do have to drag it over the tracks at the hudson for solo runs (although often there are folks to help) /QUOTE]

Dude, you're doing it wrong. The railroad tracks are probably the hardest place to take out a raft by yourself. It's a very long distance to carry, and it's always crowded with people.

Stay on the river for about another mile or so until you get to the public canoe access. It's right across the road from Adirondack River outfitters. The access ramp is only about 10 feet long and it goes right to the rivers edge. I back my trailer right down to the water and use the winch to pull the boat right onto the trailer from the water by myself. It's a hell of a lot easier than trying to fight the crowds at the railroad track take out.

That takeout is used by Adirondack River outfitters and Whitewater Challengers. Both of those companies tend to be the first ones on the river and the first ones at the takeout. I usually go quite slow, so I almost never run into anybody at the take out. Most ofthe time I am the only one there.

The put in is just as easy for me. I just pull my trailer up to the top of the trail, and then just drag the entire thing down the trail by myself. The trail is always covered with wood chips and is quite damp, so I've never had any problems just dragging that thing loaded, right down to the water. The hill definitely helps with the dragging.
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