Originally Posted by Big_B
IMHO, you will need a 18', 14' and a 12' raft plus a 13' play cat and IK's. But then again my wife says I have a boat problem!
A "boat problem?" At one point, Bill Mason had 23 canoes. Said he could use a few more, but a fellow's just got to make do
. Yeah, learn how to make a real "forever" patch and old boats will follow you home.
I'm voting for the 16' too, as a frame & rowing boat. You'll certainly want a 12' or 13', plus IK's for the 2 older kids and their friends. And all the swiftwater rescue clinics you can get under your hat. Don't argue; just do it. Some will be fair and some will be great, but you'll be glad you have them. Especially with all that precious cargo.
After a whole fleet of canoes and the usual duckies, our first was a heavyweight 18' Rogue. A floating beach. "The Queen Mary." A real freight hauler for canoeing and 'yaking buds & hauling other people. From there, we snagged a great old 16' Avon Pro and kept it working for decades. I could actually carry that thing. The Queen? It's probably part of what's wrong with my back today. Then a few cats, 1K's, and 12' to 14'ers. We're really
glad we had that old 16' Avon!
If you don't mind losing a few bucks on every boat, (call it rental if you like) you can experiment with a bunch of them. There's always some greener grass on the other bank, and ... wait a bit ... somebody will want to try something different, and a bargain will always come along. Once your boats are capitalized, they don't cost much when they're laying on a trailer or hanging in the garage.
Keep it safe, My Friend, and enjoy that family. Get them off the river an hour before they want to get out, and they will always want to go again. Get them off the river an hour after
they want to get out, and you'll build resistance.
I'm just an ancient Fun Hog, but I'm telling you, Family can be real wealth. Jd'A