The perfect 16' oar raft - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-05-2018   #1
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 512
The perfect 16' oar raft

I sure do love the old Avon Pro. 16'. 22" tubes. 7'4" wide. 44" inside width.

40" is too narrow (Hyside Pro 16)

48" is too wide (Hyside Pro 16 XT, NRS 22" tube 16')

I don't want diminishing tubes (bye bye Riken-design, several AIREs, and Maravias)

I don't want maravia storage challenges (dang that Mistral looks dope)

I will never own another sotar raft (welded 6" d-rings are a boat death sentence)

I don't want 20" tubes.

The closest spec I can find is the HD 16' Tributary. 16'4", 7'2" wide, 22" tubes. 42" interior. heavy sucker though, 177.

Anyone rowed that Trib 16? What would you say best compares to a classic 16' Pro?

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Old 03-05-2018   #2
codycleve's Avatar
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,105
I have been looking at larger rafts as my family is becoming more than just my wife and I. I currently have a 16' lion that is a big time gear hauler just not as kid friendly.
I looked and looked at 16' rafts and I think I decided the perfect bigger boat for me is not the 16'. It's 15'9" long, 7'1" wide 22" tubes, 41" between the tubes, 14" center depth, 12" deep at end of chafe strip, has a 92.5" chafe strip "so i'm assuming flat section", weighs in at 132lbs and is actually the Aire 156R.

I am interested to see what others have to say as to what the best boat in this range is... I'm still a few years out from actual purchase.
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Old 03-05-2018   #3
richjz's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 33
The perfect 16' oar raft

I love my Aire 156R. Fits all my gear for a family of 6 on a 5 day Deso. Bags in back, oar from one dry box, second box and cooler in the front 2 bays. Stable on GC but not a pig to oar like an 18'. Fun to take down Westwater lightly loaded and sporty (not as sporty as my Aire SDP or Wave Destroyer but not bad) And I can keep kids mostly dry on cold days in the rapids because of the big tubes. Best of all I don't have to carry a throw cushion just to meet Coast Guard regulations.
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Old 03-05-2018   #4
utah county, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 60
you could have Jacks plastic welding build you a new boat to the same dimensions of the Avon. It Just wouldn't be hypalon. No affiliation, I'm just a happy customer.
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Old 03-05-2018   #5
Definite maybe
Weld county, Colorado
Paddling Since: 0001
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 547
Rv-156sb has 41" between the tubes and is hypolon. 22" tubes, not diminishing. Maybe an Achilles?
"It is fun to have fun but you have to know how"---The Cat In The Hat
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Old 03-05-2018   #6
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 71
The RMR 16' is pretty close. I have the 2013 model that is almost the exact dimensions you're looking for. The newest model is wider at 47" between the tubes.

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Old 03-05-2018   #7
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9
Perhaps the 15' Hyside would work. Has 21" tubes and interior width is 42.
I've kicked around the idea of selling my 16' Hyside cat and getting a raft. It's a 99 I believe.
My first raft was a 90 14ft Achilles. That boat was great for two people on a week multi day but a little small for three or more. But that was a great boat.
One thing I like about the 15' NRS is the 94" frame length
which would allow an extra foot over the Hyside for dry box, cooler, but tube size is only 20".
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Old 03-05-2018   #8
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,187
Well....why not just get an Avon Pro then? I know I love mine (even though it gets left at home a lot now in favor of my Aire 136DD). Technically the Avon is 15'11" but who's counting.

Tributaries are great. Maybe not as great as the Aire brand, but not far off and don't break the bank.

The Aire 156R is pretty damn close, as people have said. Despite its name its closer to 16' (15' 9") then 15.5". I know many people who have one and they all like it a lot.

I still say try to find one of the newer Avon Pro's and go with that though. Hard to beat that quality and design.
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Old 03-05-2018   #9
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 47
Have love our 15’8” Legacy Pro by ProAdvantage. Pretty much exact specs you mentioned. It’s nimble, stable, and hauls the load. It’s been a wonderfully reliable and well serving craft!

I just bought a 16’ RMR which has pretty much the exact specs of a Hyside 16’ XT. I like the idea of a larger craft, but am pretty sure it’s gonna feel like a pig with the extra weight and dimensions (that legacy cooked!)!
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Old 03-06-2018   #10
azpowell's Avatar
page, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 203
i love my tributary 16hd... its a great boat super cheap but is a little heavy.... with a big load and the ballast floor it can feel a little heavy on the water... I've run it down the salt, run it on a 24day green river trip, high water westwater, ect.... new material seems tough as hell handles are a cool design (easily replaceable)..... its been super stable so far, i imagine i would have flipped a sealed floor boat a couple times I've gotten surfed in it... for the price i don't think you can go wrong with it, i have a good friend that can get you a smoking deal on one. let me know if you would like a referral to my friend at good vibes river gear in craig
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