Recommendation on raft for 2? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-18-2011   #1
Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 39
Recommendation on raft for 2?

I'm looking for a raft for two persons that can be unloaded and loaded onto a trailer by one person if necessary. Would use for whitewater and fishing. Any recommendations on a quality raft and frame? Thanks for the advice.

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Old 04-18-2011   #2
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 64
Why a frame? There are several great options for frameless 2 person rafts. Culebra and Shredder are both good little frameless catarafts. For self-bailers you have a choice from the Mini-me up to the Super Puma. All of these rafts are capable of white water runs and can act as platforms for fishing.

These are all lighter than anything with a frame and can be rolled up and thrown in the trunk with a couple paddles. They are also light enough to be carried down into less accessible places like the Gunny Gorge where the fish abound and few can fish.
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Old 04-18-2011   #3
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 296
Mini Max

I had a Trib 9.5 but traded up to a Mini Max last fall. It only weighs 52lbs (w/o frame) and works much better for fishing space wise - the stiff Aire floor was great for standing on tho. It's longer than the Trib, about 15lbs lighter, and since it's hypalon it folds way more compact too. No trailer needed either. I can completely inflate the raft in less than 5 mins with an electric pump and top off hand pump.

I got it for quick day trips with my 67 y/o dad, or my wife who has a bad back (neither can help much with the set up or carrying the boat). I can rig it myself in less than 30 mins, from unloading the car to shoving off.

You'd have to be crafty to make an overnight work, but that's what my big boat is for. I end up taking the little guy out more since it is such a no-hassle deal. A Puma would be bigger, heavier and bulkier to roll, but also a great choice for both whitewater and fishing. (probably better if you will trailer it)
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Old 04-19-2011   #4
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loading an unloading onto a trailer by one person would be more of a function of the trailer than the size/frame on the boat imho. A winch or a low deck that can be backed into the water and you can float onto will do all the work.

You might want to ask yourself how much room you need as far as overnight/multi day trips and what you want from a fishing frame. Do you want to have all the bells and whistles like rod holders, standing platforms, lean bars, seats, etc? or something more to jump from spot to spot? are you going to fish bigger rivers up north say in ID or MT, where you might want an anchor system? Fishing frames can usually be stripped down for whitewater fairly easily. Another option if you are just thinking two people where one would be rowing is a cat/fishing pontoon. also how intense whitewater are you thinking?

budget plays a big part in what kind of rubber you might start thinking about. Vanguard is pretty popular with fisherman here and anything from Aire, NRS, etc. NRS makes a very versatile frame that is easily reconfigured for what you want to do that day.
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