what size raft to get - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-18-2010   #1
durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5
what size raft to get

I'm in the market to buy a used raft. I will use it as a paddle raft for day trips and an oar raft for multi day trips. Question: Is 14 foot big enough for multi day trips (say 5 days) for a family of 5?

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Old 05-18-2010   #2
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 159
imo, that's a little tight.

I have a 14' that we use for multi-day, and a family of four, and I don't know where we'd put another person. You've got the person on the oars, behind that person you have a gear pile of drybags, then I have the cooler, and in front of the cooler a deck over a drop bag with a paco on top. Then a couple of feet in the bow. one adult and two kids up front is just about all that I could fit. maybe if someone sits on top of the gear pile?

I just was on a 15' maravia Zephyr. it's only a foot longer, but wider and has diminishing tubes. that boat is the ticket, if you ask me. (and you have $5k to spend on a boat)
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Old 05-18-2010   #3
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,390
14' for 5 people for 5 days? Way too small, especially if you have kids. It depends on what ratio of paddle boating and expedition rafting you do. 14 footer makes a nice paddle boat, but way too small for long trips. You will be MUCH happier with a 16 footer for your family for long trips. Especially like BLott said a Maravia with diminishing tubes (I got one

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Old 05-18-2010   #4
Matt J's Avatar
Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381
my first multi-day rafting trip we used two sixteens to support 17 people for nine days.

you can easily carry enough gear for a family of four on a fourteener although it will be a lot easier if you can pair up with another boat to split the communal gear.
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Old 05-18-2010   #5
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 784
Definitely the 16 but if you are dead set on getting a 14 for a paddle raft the other thing you could do is get a duckie to get two people off the raft. Depends on the make-up of your multiday crew too and being able to spread out the communal gear.
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Old 05-18-2010   #6
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Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 453
I think a 14 footer would be ok for gear, but trying to put four passengers on a 14' boat with an oar frame and all the gear for 5 days will make you nuts. I have a 12' and a 14'. I can usually "support" 5 people easily in the 14', but more than three people on the boat gets pretty darn tight. I'd go with a 16 footer for overnighters.
Now, if you have little people and can afford it as well, the 12 footer is a perfect paddle rig and it fits in the back seat of a car when rolled up. Also, my 12' boat fits great in the back of my 14' boat. If I had all the money in the world, I'd own a 12', 14', and a 16' boat! Sorry if I just made it worse!
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Old 05-18-2010   #7
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Frisco, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 36
Just tossing in my thoughts - I say 16 or more. We have done several overnights and the comments we always seem to make to each other afterward are... 1) we need a huge net so we can just really pack it in the back 2) We need a bigger raft. It is usually the 2 of us and 2 sizable dogs. We took a third on an overnight float (3 adults, 2 dogs) and it was fine/tight, but it just would have been nice to have a little more room. Sleeping bags, tent, food (beer!), cooking utensils, clothes, firepan/firewood, groover, crap like that seem to add up. Some people are really minimal (not quite us) - but with kids I imagine that might be nearly impossible. Good Luck!
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