Maybe time for a new rig - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-05-2017   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 321
Maybe time for a new rig

We own a red hot chile pepper, also known as a NRS E-140 from 1995.
Just got back from a deso trip where a buddy rented a 16' Hyside Pro from Mesa State in Grand Junction.
Looking at getting a bigger boat and wondering a few things and have questions:
Does the 48" internal width and 22" tubes make the 7'8" width too big to run down the Upper Colorado and any other rivers here in the rocky mtns, maybe the Dolores, the Chama, the Blue, Roaring Fork?
We currently have about 43" between tubes
We welded up a floor that is 43" wide
Frame is 71 3/4 wide and 80 long I think.

Debating stepping up to a 16' Hyside Pro XT or NRS E-150 or E-160
Thinking that as our kids get older, we'll need more room for more people and the 16' would be best.
Any preferences between the two, how much more or less difficult is a 16 footer for my wife at 5' tall and me at 6'4" tall.
Hoping to use my 10' oars, maybe buy longer rails for my nrs frame and salvage as much as I can from the current frame.

Anybody paddling a bigger Achilles and have nice or great things to say about them? I had an old Achilles bucket boat that was bomber from 1985, but got sold to an Army buddy in AK to hunt moose out of in the fall. They still use hypalon and may be a little less expensive.

Please help me make an informed decision so that I may buy once and cry once when the bill comes and be done for the rest of forever.

Thanks for any and all advice,

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Old 07-09-2017   #2
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10
I have 1984 Avon, not sure of width,but it is very wide. I have no problems on Roaring fork from Woody Creek on down. No problems on Upper Colorado either. Can't comment on the other rivers you mentioned.
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Old 07-09-2017   #3
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 321
Thanks a bunch, any others with thoughts on the 22" vs 21" tubes?
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Old 07-09-2017   #4
mattman's Avatar
Tabernash, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,901
I think you would be mostly fine with the 16'er and bigger tubes on those runs. Might as well go 16' and give yourself some space.
If it gets too tight, could always use as excuse to get a play boat!
All of those options sound like solid boats to me. I have a '95 E140 as well, love that boat, ran in Cat close to 30,000 and down the Grand at high water this winter, but thinking about some new rubber soon as well, since I don't want to run my raft down to nothing someday. Will part with my left nut before I get rid of it.
Thinking about a large Cat, since I will keep my 14 er for passengers, plus cat tubes are more affordable, and sometimes save yer bacon when you screw up.
We can't always agree, but we can still be civil to each other.
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Old 07-09-2017   #5
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,776
There's a fully outfitted 16' Avon bucket boat in the swap for only $1,500 that looks pretty nice. you wouldn't have to get rid of the 14' either at that price...

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-10-2017   #6
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 321
Don't think the wife would let me go back to a wife and kids bailer, although I did show it to her when it came up. Any other leads are greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2017   #7
Montrose, Colorado
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 33

I'm very happy you're getting a new boat.

I'll be even happier to take that old one off your hands
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Old 07-12-2017   #8
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 935
Keep the chile pepper and buy the 16 footer for the longer trips.

The 14 footer will remain your most versatile boat and provide way more fun day runs at lower levels. I generally have more day trips than long trips over the season, and a 16 ' boat just does't work for most of that. But yes you will appreciate the extra room the 16'boat provides for the long family trip. That aforementioned Avon is a great deal, but there is an additional cost to get it from Flag to CO, still a good deal. Bailing is a non issue on Colorado Plateau trips anyway.

So make sure your primary boat suits the majority your needs. Then when you find a good deal on an additional option for your secondary needs then go for it and build the fleet. Brand is less important than value.
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