16' raft fow low flow - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-09-2019   #1
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 3
16' raft fow low flow

Hey everyone,
I may have the opportunity to purchase a 16' raft and wanted to get some opinions on a boat this size. I know this has been discussed a bit but I have a renewed interest after seeing larger (15'/16') rafts on rivers where conventional wisdom says go small and light. For instance after running the Middle Fork Salmon/Yampa/San Juan at low flows in a large-ish group I think the people with smaller 12-13' rafts did worse than the people rowing larger (lightly loaded) 15'-16' rafts. Yes the smaller boats could miss rocks easier but the larger boats overall got stuck less. This has me thinking.

I know the conventional wisdom is "if you get a big boat you're going to fill it up" but what if a disciplined approach to packing results in a trim non junk show minimally packed big boat.

Im lookin' for info from people who running larger boats (15'-18') but dont pack the kitchen sink. So lightly loaded larger boats. Seems to be some advantage there but I have a nagging voice telling me you dont want a pig.

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Old 03-09-2019   #2
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 297
I used to row a 16fter. While it can be a surprise what they can squeeze down with a good oarsmen, the issue that had me move onto a smaller, more narrow boat was the width in places where, no matter the skill, it just didn’t fit.

Like most, the ol 14fter was the solution. A narrow 6’6” x 14’ Avon Ranger and then moved to the oddball looking and sized but fits my needs exactly.... Hyside Pro 14.8’ x 6’4”.

Basically, my need to fit through narrow spaces on technical, multi day rivers outweighed the shallower draft of a light 16fter.

Yer needs and mileage may vary and no one raft is perfect for all situations.
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