Buying Rafts vs Renting - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-08-2015   #1
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Buying Rafts vs Renting

I pulled my first permit this year for a 5 day trip. I have always been a passenger in the past on the raft, taking the oars for some sections of the trip. I even did the whole Middle Fork in a double Ducky with my gear strapped in because we were trying to distribute the weight.

My boating partners say that I am ready to paddle my own raft for this trip.

I have been looking at different set-ups on this forum and others and debating the benefit of owning my own boat vs. the initial financial benefit of renting for this trip. All oar rigs that I have found for rent start at about $600 for the length of time I need it for. And buying starts at about $2,000 for some older/smaller set-ups.

I know in the long run, if I keep with it, buying is the cheaper option. But what are the other options?

Splitting the buying cost with another boater and sharing the ownership?

Piecing together older frames with newer rubber and hoping I have all the pieces i need for the trip?

Getting an older/smaller set-up to just try and upgrade it in a few years?

What are your thoughts?

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Old 04-08-2015   #2
 
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2011
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IMO rent and then save up and buy the higher end rig when you can afford it. I went the "buy a lower end/older rig first" and ended up upgrading in just a few years. Would have saved a couple of grand by just saving up and buying the high end rig first.
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Old 04-08-2015   #3
 
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Northern Utah, Utah
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Renting is a good way to go, esp if you will only use it a couple times a year. If you do rent, make sure you're getting top quality boats & gear for your rental money. There are a number of people & businesses to rent from, but some provide top quality boats & gear, others provide older more questionable stuff and most charge about the same regardless, so you might as well get your $$$ worth with the rental and not have to worry about gear issues.
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Old 04-08-2015   #4
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I'd say rent.

We bought a used Aire 156d and built up a frame, bought all the gear, etc., for our '13 Main Salmon trip. Ended up costing us close to $6k when it was all said and done, and we've used our raft 4 times since (we both kayak and she SUPs too).

Not worth it unless you're going to use it 10 or so times a year, in my opinion.
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Old 04-08-2015   #5
 
pocatello, Idaho
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Renting has the distinct advantage of letting you figure out exactly what you like before dropping 4-10k.

It also lets you rent exactly the right rig for the trip.

I work at a rental place and own 3 boats but I rented for the grand canyon. I wanted an 18' SB. But having done it once now I would have preferred at 15-16' SB. For much of the year I prefer a 14' cat. But for multi day trips I like a 15' raft. rentals let you learn this before investing in the wrong thing.


I know boaters who bought 16' SB rafts only to discover they like rowing small cats 90% of the time. Bummer on the investment.

I also know a guy that dropped big coin on a brand new Maravia raft, custom frame, boxes, cooler, kitchen and all the fixins. Takes it out MAYBE once a year. You can't control the lottery.

I started with a crappy 16' bucket boat. Took it out a few times before upgrading. It was a wash with rental pricing but I was stuck with crappier gear.
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Old 04-08-2015   #6
 
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Golden, CO
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Here is the way I look at it: If you can spend $600 on one trip then I think you can afford to buy a used boat and frame setup. If you buy used at 1/2 to 2/3 retail (3 to 4 thou) then you can always selling it for about the same price or minimal loss if you keep it in good condition. If you rent, that money is gone forever and you are no closer to getting your own boat. The trick is to find somebody selling the complete used raft, frame, oar gear setup at a good price.
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Old 04-08-2015   #7
 
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Boise, Idaho
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What permit did you draw? Maybe you can row my rig and i'll just fish

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Old 04-08-2015   #8
 
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lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
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[QUOTE

I have been looking at different set-ups on this forum and others and debating the benefit of owning my own boat vs. the initial financial benefit of renting for this trip. All oar rigs that I have found for rent start at about $600 for the length of time I need it for. And buying starts at about $2,000 for some older/smaller set-ups.

I know in the long run, if I keep with it, buying is the cheaper option. But what are the other options?

Splitting the buying cost with another boater and sharing the ownership?

Piecing together older frames with newer rubber and hoping I have all the pieces i need for the trip?

Getting an older/smaller set-up to just try and upgrade it in a few years?

What are your thoughts?[/QUOTE]

If you can find the right partners to share with that is a great way to go. I have shared a 16' cat Sotar fully rigged with what I think is the best gear available (me + 2 partners). A 15' raft well equipped and a 18 foot dory. for a total out of pocket for me of $7200- $8000 total. The Sotar cost's would be $10,000+ if all out of my pocket alone. I almost forgot about the 2 trailers also shared.
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Old 04-08-2015   #9
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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Buying Rafts vs Renting

Boaters timeshare startup, hmm. Obviously, spring and summer weeks would cost more...


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Old 04-08-2015   #10
 
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Boise, Idaho
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The boat share thing sounds like potential trouble to me. Conflicts could arise. Share youre beer or your bourbon but never share your dog, your boat or your wife ( may substitute truck for wife).

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