Another "what raft to get" thread - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-04-2016   #1
 
Grangeville, Idaho
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 21
Another "what raft to get" thread

I've been stalking this site for a few weeks and I am still overwhelmed at buying a raft. Here is what I will likely be doing:
Mostly day trips on the lower salmon but could do a few overnighter (probably not longer than 3 days. I will probably need to row as there are only 3 people in my family to include a 12 yo. But I would like to ability to take 6-8 paddlers on day trips. Most of my experience has been with IK's but I have rowed a the Owyhee several times and paddled the Blackfoot.

So other than the usual suspects (NRS, Aire, Maravia, Riken) are there any other to consider? I will be buying used.

What size of raft will accommodate me the best? Right now I'm leaning toward a 14'. I want a self bailer for sure.

When I was in the Marines I tested aircraft life support systems which included rafts (they were hypalon and made by Avon if I remember) so I have a good idea of what to look for as far as serviceability goes. Some of those rafts had been folded up and in service for over 30 years and showed no signs of rot or delamination.

Anyway all advice is welcome. And I live in central idaho so if anyone has leads on any that would be welcome to.

Thanks!

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Old 06-04-2016   #2
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 861
I wouldn't get too hung up on brands all the name brands will suit your needs. It's much more important to buy the right size. When looking at boats they look HUGE, when empty. However that all changes when you start outfitting them.

A 14 could be enough boat but I would recommend a 15. It will give an extra margin of safety and give you precious more inches to squeeze in just the right cooler, dry box...

The Idaho rivers epically the salmon won't tell the difference between a 14 and a 15.

My boat is a 156D from AIRE which is the perfect boat IMHO. But others will tell you different.

Search back four or five years and you will find my post with similar questions. I too wanted a 14 but was educated in going larger.

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Old 06-04-2016   #3
 
Grangeville, Idaho
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 21
My heart is not set on a 14'. I figured going used I would take the right deal on anything in the 14-16 range. I know what you mean on room. We used a 14' on the Owyhee for 4 days with 2 people. We could have done three but the supplies would have been tight.
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Old 06-04-2016   #4
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Sounds like you are on the right track, I'd still pick your size and start with it. You will end up buying gear that fits your boat. Wouldn't want to start over again with a 2nd bigger boat.

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