Family Rafting - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-03-2012   #1
 
Leesburg, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Family Rafting

Hello all,
new to site so be gentle I currently kayak mostly for fishing. I am looking at different options for getting the whole family out together on the water. I would like to fit my Wife and 7 and 5 year old boys comfortably. I was looking at different options a raft and or cataraft thinking in 14' to 16' foot, at this point do not want to have a trailer so that is kind of ruling out cataraft for me. I would like the flexibility to fish with my boys as well as spend a some time on the River. I live about 30 minutes from Potomac and shenandoah rivers in VA most the parts I would be going would be mostly class I II and maybe III. So was looking for some suggestions on family rafts. I am tempted to lean towards some of the fishing frame out there do I get one pre rigged with frame. Money is somewhat tight now so maybe get without frame to save some cash? I of coarse have pdf's for everyone from kayaking.

Do you typically need a rowing frame? and is it feasible to row upstream when current is not to strong? I have a Wilderness Commander 120 and it can be somewhat tough paddling upstream at times so I figured it would be harder row upstream with 4 people in a raft? My other thought is I would like to get Motor at some point so would need raft that would support some type of motor mount.

Cheers

Greg

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Old 10-03-2012   #2
Cpt. No Scout
 
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In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
Look at rubber boats like nrs, avon, hyside. They roll up better for strage and transport. Not to say others wont. But I'd cross maravia off my list cuz they no like to be rolled.

Your kids will want to paddle, so teach them to be a crew. You can r1 a raft in class 1 and 2. And a plus if you can get your wife to r2 with you.

Rafts are nice with kids. But a cat will pack up, transport, and store easier than a raft. And it is super easier to attach a motor to the cat frame.

Upstream rowing is for drift boats or a man with guns. just saying.
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Old 10-03-2012   #3
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Day trips only or hauling family and gear for camping? That will help determine the size.
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Old 10-03-2012   #4
 
welch, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Apr 2009
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The best thing you can do is join a canoe club [I sure there are rafters in the club] They will help you to get on rivers that are well with in your skill.
Do not paddle upstream . that will really work your family and ruin their interest in paddling .
Check out Jacks Plastic I have 3 culbrea granda 's and they roll up to about 80lbs and hold 4 very comfortably. Go to his web site and look at his products . Also if you are interested he may have some used ones or know someone that has one for sale . these rafts are like a sherdder on steriods!!
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Old 10-03-2012   #5
 
Leesburg, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Thanks, I know there are pros and cons for everything, I like the idea of cataraft with frame with a floor I have heard some say say they are good with kids others state a Raft is more user friendly Most of the times would like to launch have a motor to go upstream and then float back to original put in as I usually will not have the time to transport two vehicles at put in and take out spot. Thanks again for input an comments.

Cheers
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Old 10-03-2012   #6
 
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vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdub16 View Post
Thanks, I know there are pros and cons for everything, I like the idea of cataraft with frame with a floor I have heard some say say they are good with kids others state a Raft is more user friendly Most of the times would like to launch have a motor to go upstream and then float back to original put in as I usually will not have the time to transport two vehicles at put in and take out spot. Thanks again for input an comments.

Cheers
motoring upstream can take longer than shuttling. I would invest in a moped or something you can strap to a tree at the takeout (assuming the takeout is closer to home). Motoring can be pretty harsh on props unless you are in a deep river .
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Old 10-03-2012   #7
Kjirsten
 
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,483
We have a raft and a cataraft and an 8 year old boy who has been on the water since he was 18 mos old. We've taken him on both boats and his bopping around and/or random napping still makes me nervous on the cat. I prefer to take him on the raft, especially when the water is cold.

Duckies or inflatable kayaks might also be an option if you can find a fleet for sale or two tandems. You can paddle them upstream or down like a kayak, but they pack easily and require little instruction to use.

A 14' raft is a great start for a family of 4 for day runs or short overnights on the kind of water you are talking about.

Good luck and welcome! The best times we have are rafting as a family.
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Old 10-04-2012   #8
 
Goshen, New York
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 63
Motoring upstream is unlikely to be an option. A 12-14 foot paddle raft is a great way to get the fam on the rio for day trips. 12 is a lot easier to deal with at the take out and put in and easier to R-1 or R-2. 14 opens up more opportunities for camping trips.
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