Need advice on first raft purchase please! - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-07-2012   #1
 
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 61
Need advice on first raft purchase please!

I've been researching and reading forums about rafts until i'm blue in the face and my head hurts. The difference between pvc vs hyp., warrenties, glued vs welded, etc. etc. One thing i want to hear from those of you that raft a good bit, is I'm looking at getting a raft for single day use only. I want to be able to fit 4 or 5 at the most adults in it, but also be able to R2 it if i want. Also, the use will be for class 3, 4, and possibly 5 (if we figure out what we're doing over the next few years lol). Most stuff where i live (south east) is a lot more low volume water compared to what you guys are running out west. And i want a boat I can "play in" vs just a big barge going down the river. From what i've read it looks like a 10 or 12 foot raft would work best for this? Also, what brands (and length) should i be looking at from what i've described on what i'm gonna use it for?

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Old 09-07-2012   #2
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 432
Rent a few or at least go to a shop and look/sit to get a size idea. I am a novice to rafting, but can tell you I have a 10.5' Hyside Mini-max that one COULD put 5 paddlers in, but it would be VERY tight. I think 12 is dirt minimum for 5 paddlers and still fine for R2. For the southeast, you could go a tad narrow. I'll let others with more experience chime in -- they may say 13' is minimum!

Edit: if you do a search on mimimax, I know someone here posted a pic of 3 in that boat -- it would give you some idea. Raft pictures on websites most often show a raft that could be 8 ft. or 18 ft. -- no reference objects!
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Old 09-07-2012   #3
 
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnovice View Post
Rent a few or at least go to a shop and look/sit to get a size idea. I am a novice to rafting, but can tell you I have a 10.5' Hyside Mini-max that one COULD put 5 paddlers in, but it would be VERY tight. I think 12 is dirt minimum for 5 paddlers and still fine for R2. For the southeast, you could go a tad narrow. I'll let others with more experience chime in -- they may say 13' is minimum!

One thing is i can't go to a shop or try out different brands. All the outfitters near me are 3 hours or more drive except for the WW center in Charlotte (they use NRS rafts). And the outdoor stores that are close (an hour - 2 hours away), and sale WW stuff only stock kayaks and canoes.
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Old 09-07-2012   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 61
My advice for what little it is worth is this:

A good R2 boat that will also take 5 not gonna happen, if it will take 5 comfortably and safely it will not R2 well, and if it R2 well it is not gonna take 5 yada yada yada....

My advice buy either the minimax -- a very good r2 boat that will take 3-4 down river, or just go for the gusto !!! and buy a shredder a ripping R2 boat, but it will alwyas be a R2 only boat.

I find it is hard enought to find a single good r2 partneer, forget about gettting 4-5 others to raft with you.... harder to get the groups together than you think it would be in my experence.

The hyside paddle cat is a very stable fun boat great for s.e. rivers, after all it was for easteren rivers that the orginal airtight shredder was made.

Shredders roll up very small, they are super light (i think mine is like 45lbs) so you can take them on a airplane to costa rica or where ever, they are VERY stable and forgivving on the water, while still be very quick manuvering, I run everything from class III to V here in colorado in my shredder and have a BLAST !!!!

hope that helps

"shredder" Scott
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Old 09-07-2012   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 61
Hey why do say this is your raft purchase when you have what looks like a very nice sotar for sale here ????
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Old 09-07-2012   #6
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Consider an Aire Super Duper Puma. Versatile, Narrow,14fter that maneuvers very well and can hold 4 or 5. Two people can carry or r2 it fairly easily. All Puma's are good...

I agree w love2ski,having to put together a small army to go boating gets old real quick. R2 it or row it
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Old 09-07-2012   #7
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 61
Hey

Why did you say this your 1st raft purchase when you have a nice sotar for sale here SOAR 12 - Mountain Buzz Gear Swap

honsety is still the best policy
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Old 09-07-2012   #8
 
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love2ski2fast View Post
Hey

Why did you say this your 1st raft purchase when you have a nice sotar for sale here SOAR 12 - Mountain Buzz Gear Swap

honsety is still the best policy
Because a SOAR is an inflatable canoe which is very much different then a raft!

Little bit of advice for you, Read carefully and be knowledgeable of what you read before calling someone a lier. www.soar1.com
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Old 09-08-2012   #9
sh$t show voyeuor/host
 
Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 285
Any 12 or 13 footer would probably suit you well around here, even r/2ing. In the SE it all about what you can find as there aren't as many raft owners and the boats tend to get used hard. That being said I would recommend a puma or superpuma. the puma might be a little more sluggish w/ 5 people but it is the ULTIMATE playboat/surf machine! they are very maneuverable and are a bit narrower than most, making low water floats and creeky type runs easier but they can be a little easier to flip in bigger water. I would check the gearswap at boatertalk.com for used boats closer to you or check out the new place near watershed in asheville, he has a few boats.
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Old 09-08-2012   #10
 
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 61
Although from what i've read on the Puma's (they sound nice and bomber proof) but also read they tend to let crap get inbetween the zippered outside and internal bladders and are a pain to get out and clean? Also have read they are harder to roll and roll bigger then other rafts when they are rolled up? Also, is it true the floors tend to hold water more then other rafts which make them sluggish?
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