New Raft Help - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-19-2015   #1
 
Colgador con Rojo's Avatar
 
N/A, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 25
New Raft Help

Sorry to post a question that you've all seen a thousand times, but I would just like a little advice from some of you experienced boaters out there.

My wife and I are moving to CO in June and we want to buy a new raft. A little background and some info of what we want to do with it to get the right raft.

I've been a WW kayaker for 10 years (IV-V) and was a raft guide for 2 years (III) my wife has paddled for a couple of years (III) and just got into riverboarding last year.

We want a raft that we can safely paddle with just the two of us, but be able to carry my playboat (All-star) and her riverboard (the fluid anvil) for daytrips with play (Brown's, Royal Gorge, etc.)

We don't want to get a frame. We won't be doing extended overnighters, but 1-2 nights is a possibility and we'd like to be able to do daytrips with friends, family, etc. with up to 4-5 people.

I've been looking at Tributary series 12, but am not sure if this is sufficient for what I am asking.

Thoughts? Other options? Any help is appreciated. Thanks a lot!

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Old 03-19-2015   #2
 
Whitefish, Montana
Paddling Since: Tues
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by abalsiger View Post
Sorry to post a question that you've all seen a thousand times, but I would just like a little advice from some of you experienced boaters out there.

My wife and I are moving to CO in June and we want to buy a new raft. A little background and some info of what we want to do with it to get the right raft.

I've been a WW kayaker for 10 years (IV-V) and was a raft guide for 2 years (III) my wife has paddled for a couple of years (III) and just got into riverboarding last year.

We want a raft that we can safely paddle with just the two of us, but be able to carry my playboat (All-star) and her riverboard (the fluid anvil) for daytrips with play (Brown's, Royal Gorge, etc.)

We don't want to get a frame. We won't be doing extended overnighters, but 1-2 nights is a possibility and we'd like to be able to do daytrips with friends, family, etc. with up to 4-5 people.

I've been looking at Tributary series 12, but am not sure if this is sufficient for what I am asking.

Thoughts? Other options? Any help is appreciated. Thanks a lot!
AIRE Puma, Hyside Mini-Max or SOTAR SL12
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Old 03-19-2015   #3
 
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 127
With 2 thwarts you can accommodate 4 people plus 1 "guide" comfortably.

I would say the smallest you would want to look at is a Puma and the 12 ft Trib would be just a bit larger. A 13 or 13"6 may be a smarter more versatile boat to get though.

If your budget is tight look at RMR or Trib. If not the next step up would be AIRE/Hyside/NRS. If money isn't a concern look at Maravia/Sotar

Another thing to consider is storage and transportation. Hypalon rolls smaller and AIRE/Trib roll smaller than other PVC options.
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Old 03-19-2015   #4
 
Colgador con Rojo's Avatar
 
N/A, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 25
Great, thanks for the info! Budget is really not too much of a concern, but I did tell my wife I thought I could get us a raft for around $3500(that's why I liked the Tributary series as they are cheaper and had positive reviews in my research), so I'd prefer to not go too far out of bounds there, as we are also planning on new mountain bikes once we get there.

And how manageable would a 13' be for two people with either the gear for playboating or an overnighter? Or even for the two of us on a IV day trip for that matter?
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Old 03-19-2015   #5
 
cataraftgirl's Avatar
 
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,344
I don't know if you've lived out west before, so forgive me if this is stuff you already know. Many of the western rivers lend themselves to multi-night trips. At some point you may want to get an oar frame and start doing 3-7 night trips. That's where the 13 foot raft will come in handy. It would stink to get a 10-12 footer only to find you want to branch out a bit and wish you had a bigger boat. This may not be the case for you, but since you each have a day/play type boat already (kayak and SUP) it's a possibility to consider.

I owned a 12 foot Hyside for awhile and it was a nice raft and a good price point.
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Old 03-19-2015   #6
 
shredder-scott's Avatar
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 267
Hi

Your searching for a unicorn in my view.

I own a mini max....GREAT r2 boat......not so good with more....can you raft it with 3-5 folks....yep...but the preformace is greatly reduced compared with a 13 for that many,

Can you r2 a 13 ? Yep....,.but ...the preformace is greatly reduced compared to a shredder, puma, mini max or other r2 boat.

My advice

Buy a true r2 boat, shredder, puma, mini max

Rent a larger raft for the times you need a bigger boat

I own two r2 boats righr now....a paddlecat and mini max

Both are great r2 boats

Paddlecat is lighter, packs smaller, and can be checked as airline luggage with no weight penalty. .sub 50lbs.

Mini max....an even better r2 boat...even faster turning than a paddle cat. Still small and light compared to everything else other than the paddlecat and shredders.

Pumas ...also great r2 boats....heavier and much more bulky than other R2 boats...but very capable boats....yeah American made boats !

If money is not an issue buy the mini max....very few used ones...so you will likly have to buy it new.

Pumas, paddlecats, and shredders can be found used....my paddlecat is listed for sale right now

Welcome to colorado..,..I grew up in chanhasen....when you get out here, be happy to make a 2 boat r2 trip with you some time.

Also runs like browns canyon, royal gorge....are really day trips I have never seen anyone carry a kayak on there raft on these runs, unless it was an emergency situation. Most folks run either a kayak or a raft...not like on the grand where it is common to see a kayak with its driver riding on a raft.

Due to our cold water it is difficult for the river boarders to due these runs without raft support for warmth. ....but...,..I have seen groups of 5+ riverboarders run browns without raft support.

Hope to meet you on the river some time

Paddle on


Scott
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Old 03-19-2015   #7
 
shredder-scott's Avatar
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
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Posts: 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
I don't know if you've lived out west before, so forgive me if this is stuff you already know. Many of the western rivers lend themselves to multi-night trips. At some point you may want to get an oar frame and start doing 3-7 night trips. That's where the 13 foot raft will come in handy. It would stink to get a 10-12 footer only to find you want to branch out a bit and wish you had a bigger boat. This may not be the case for you, but since you each have a day/play type boat already (kayak and SUP) it's a possibility to consider.

I owned a 12 foot Hyside for awhile and it was a nice raft and a good price point.
Hi

cateraftgirl has a vaild point regarding overnight trips in colorado.

If you end up in Denver or Ft. Collins, there is a nearby class II-IV+ river, clear creek (cc) and the pudure. Keep in mind these runs are not oar frame frendly especially cc.

I live in denver and can r2 cc 3 to 4 days or more a week ! It is only a 30 min drive to firist class III-IV put in, lots of folks due a lap after work.

To get to an overnight river involves significantly more drive time, and overall time....harder to find enough time for those trips.

Overnight well equipped high quality oar frame rafts are readily available for rent, for those overnight trips

Pumas mini max shredders are not readly available to rent, but an oar frame can be purchased or made for all of them.

A lot depends on where you will be living and how much r2ing vs oar time you want.

If in denver or ft. Collins you quick acess to great r2 rivers.

You would get a lot of use out of a r2 boats on these runs. R2 boats really shine on these runs.

If you live in grand junction....you will have fast and easy acess to overnight float trips, good r2 water will not be near...you would be better served with a 13-14 raft.

Keep in mind r2 boats are small, you can easily transport them rolled in small car....difficult to do that with a 13 raft and frame.

Enjoy it what ever boat you get.

Paddle on


Scott
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Old 03-19-2015   #8
 
InflatableSteve's Avatar
 
Cave Creek, Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 688
New Raft Help

I suggest you give the Aire Super Puma a look. 13' for gear, but narrow so I hear it is still easy to R2.

http://aire.com/aire-raft/super-puma.asp


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Old 03-19-2015   #9
 
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 127
To summarize what Scott said you will have to choose what you are willing to sacrifice.

Small boat sacrifice your ability to bring 4-5 ppl and do overnights

Medium boat sacrifice how easy/fun it is to R2

The puma or a 12 ft boat will be your best in-between of
Small and Medium.
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Old 03-19-2015   #10
 
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
Buy the boat that you will use most often. Rent the boat you will use occasionally.

You probably want a minimax or similar. 11-12' wo0uld be ideal. I like tributary value.

When you realize Idaho is multi day shangri la Just swing through Pocatello (or any other number of cities) and rent a multi day rig ready to go.
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