Newbie questions on raft size. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 2
Newbie questions on raft size.

Hello All, I am wanting to purchase my first raft or maybe 2... My wife and I have 4 daughters ages 14, 11, 9, and 1. We love the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, camping. Since we have had the youngest one it has put a hold on our hiking. We took my oldest on a rafting trip on the Ocoee this summer and we all loved it. I also have 2 German shorthair pointers that go on every adventure we take.
Would yíall recommend a 14ft or 16ft raft. Iím looking at a RMR with drop stitch floor. And possibly a cloud 9 for the oldest girls, and when I go solo. I will have a frame in the bigger raft. What are your thoughts on the kids in their own raft? I am in Arkansas, but will be traveling to some western rivers a few times a year. Mostly I will be on tailwater trout rivers and Ozark mountain streams that get somewhat narrow in low water conditions. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
 
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lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
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Are you thinking of day trips as a paddle boat or as a multiday over night boat. In my opinion the latter would be very close to mission impossible with 6 people and 2 dogs on one boat. Please note that a lot of western rivers do not allow pets. I would recommend renting a few times to get more experience before jumping in.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Are you thinking of day trips as a paddle boat or as a multiday over night boat. In my opinion the latter would be very close to mission impossible with 6 people and 2 dogs on one boat. Please note that a lot of western rivers do not allow pets. I would recommend renting a few times to get more experience before jumping in.
I should have added a little more info. My wife and I are somewhat experienced paddlers. We have fished the Upper Rouge a few times in a drift boat and raft. We have a couple very nice rivers within a hour or so. We rent from them 15+- times a year. They donít rent over night. So to answer your question yes this raft will be mostly for over night. But I donít want something that is to large for me to handle with a solo trip. I will have oars... all our gear is back packing gear so it is very light can easily packs up very small. I am sure I will add some gear since I will have a raft; I donít want to be cramped either. As for the dogs, I have relatives that can keep them for a trip if necessary.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
 
Salida, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer11b View Post
I should have added a little more info. My wife and I are somewhat experienced paddlers. We have fished the Upper Rouge a few times in a drift boat and raft. We have a couple very nice rivers within a hour or so. We rent from them 15+- times a year. They donít rent over night. So to answer your question yes this raft will be mostly for over night. But I donít want something that is to large for me to handle with a solo trip. I will have oars... all our gear is back packing gear so it is very light can easily packs up very small. I am sure I will add some gear since I will have a raft; I donít want to be cramped either. As for the dogs, I have relatives that can keep them for a trip if necessary.

I'd echo Bighorn's comment to rent something first and see how it works for your needs, 6 folks on a 14 footer for a multiday would be one heck of a heavy boat even going backpack style, the required gear for that many folks isn't going to change, and kids tend to need a lot more gear to make the trip comfortable than an adult, and IMHO quite cramped..


My 2Ę, your mileage may vary
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
My name isn't Will
 
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Willamette Valley, Oregon
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You are going to want TWO rafts. One for you to row with two kids and a dog and one for your wife to row with the others. Six people and two dogs on an overnight in one small boat? Nope.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
 
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Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 257
I bought a 14' for multiday trips for 4 people and wish even that was a 15 or 16. I think you'll be terribly crammed on a 14. I'd definitely go with a 16' for multidays with that many people, especially if you are gonna get a smaller boat also.

I got the 14' mainly so I could take it on day trips on the Ark in addition to multidays, but ultimately got a minimax and now I never use the 14' on the Ark any more (even at high water - the smaller boat is too much fun).
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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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!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
..is doing the damn thing
 
Loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Dec 2008
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16í gear boat and a Storm! Iím surprised how much I love the versatility and fun level of the Storm and reach for it most days now. Weld up a frame for solo missions and it makes a great boat to learn to row on.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
Never enough free time
 
Red Lodge, Montana
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I have a 15' boat which does great for multidays with a family of 4 and I have rowed it a bunch as a 1-2 person ride on tight stuff. It rides high without all of the weight in it and is very responsive. I always figured that if it is too tight to get a 7' wide boat down, knocking 18" of of it isn't going to matter.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #10
 
Vacaville, California
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Apr 2017
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Sounds like you are not really a newbie. If you’ve rented rafts you know how to row and what’s involved. If you want to do day trips for fun go for the 14’. Multi day with that family, definitely the 16’. Maybe get 2 rafts! Then teach your wife and kids how to row. Good luck.
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