Poverty Boating - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-13-2014   #1
 
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Oregon City, Oregon
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Poverty Boating

I saw this title in another thread, and I liked it. Most of us have been there. I certainly didn't start my rafting career with an outfitter-quality self-bailer. I started it with a $150 yellow "six-man" raft--and even that was a stretch for my budget.

So where does a person start? I know, everyone wants a self-bailer. But there are so many bargains to be had on bucket boats, shouldn't they be considered as a reasonable trade-off? (My answer is YES.)

The people who pioneered the sport of whitewater rafting all used bucket boats. Is it really too much trouble to carry a scoop and bail a few gallons out of the raft from time to time? Just find one of those bargain priced Avons and go rafting. You can worry about river fashion later, when you can afford it.

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Old 12-14-2014   #2
 
NOCO, Colorado
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Re: Bucket Boats

Most boaters do what they are told to do. Since this forum is crawling with rafting appurtenance vendors, they will tell you to spend money. Kinda like fleas on a hound, they are.

A cheap bucket boat gets my vote for price efficiency. Use the money you save to put your kids thru college.
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Old 12-14-2014   #3
 
cedar city, Utah
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Bought a 30 year old bargain Avon bucket off the Buzz a few years back and its been great.

Phillip
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Old 12-14-2014   #4
 
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If a bucket boat gets you on the water that's a great way to start. I would suggest looking for one that with the same dimensions as the boat you want in the future. This will allow you to use your frame, oars and rigging on your new boat when your significant other gives you the green light to upgrade so they don't have to bail anymore There is a lot to be said for not having to spend 10-15k at once. I think its always smart to look at the long game because every time I have done something on the cheap it ends up costing more time and money.
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Old 12-14-2014   #5
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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My first raft was a $150 bucket boat, and I'd never have gotten on the water for lots of great trips if I'd held out for a SB. Bucket boats definitely have a place, and for the novice just getting into rafting, or someone that'll never go above Class II, they make great sense. If you're not running much Class III and just want something to get on the water with, or float and wet your line they're great. On the other end of the spectrum, lots of folks swear by them for running the Grand and want the extra momentum to get you through the big stuff. But if you want one as a whitewater boat then you better always have someone ready to bail like hell while they're getting thrown around in the boat.

Gary - I think you're being overly sensitive about vendors trying to pimp SBs over bucket boats on the Buzz - that's not what I've seen. It's been a while since I looked at pricing but my suspicion of what's actually going on is that a new bucket (or "livery") boat isn't more than about 15% or 20% cheaper than a comparable new SB. Considering that you'll never have to bail one drop of water out of a SB, the extra money you'll save buying a bucket boat over the SB just isn't enough to steer the new boat buyer to the bucket boat, especially considering how much better a SB holds resale value over a bucket boat (that's WHY used bucket boats are a great bargain after all). And if the market isn't there, bucket boats will get harder to find new, especially as cheap, used SBs are now so common on the market. I bet you can go to any of the MB sponsors and, after a few questions about your planned usage to make sure you'll be satisfied with a bucket boat, they'd be glad to sell you one (if they still carry them).

But then again, why spend $3K for a new bucket boat when you can find a comparable used SB for the same price, if not cheaper?

Also, Oarboatman's got a great point about looking at the long game in terms of frame and gear.

-AH
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Old 12-15-2014   #6
aka The Curmudgeon
 
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Get the best boat you can afford that will get you on the water now.. You can always sell the old one and upgrade later with two important benefits. 1) you will probably not lose money on your original boat as you bought it at its lowest, fully depreciated value anyway, and 2) you will probably get a better on your next boat just by being part of the community and taking advantage of deals as they happen.

Most importantly, though, by getting a boat now and using it, you will gain experience and memories that never would have happened should you have waited to get your Dream Boat.

Go Man Go! Just Do It!

Peace,
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Old 12-15-2014   #7
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Oh Yeah, I almost Forgot.

Only by bailing will you realize what a wonderful thing a Self Bailer or a Cataraft really is.

Get a Bucket Boat and a Bucket, Have Fun!

SYOTR
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Old 12-15-2014   #8
 
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Old 12-15-2014   #9
 
Montrose, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captishmael View Post
Oh Yeah, I almost Forgot.

Only by bailing will you realize what a wonderful thing a Self Bailer or a Cataraft really is.

Get a Bucket Boat and a Bucket, Have Fun!

SYOTR
Perfect. My first exposure on the river was a multi-day in a bucket boat. It taught me two things. 1. How awesome it is to be on the river on a multi-day trip. 2. How nice a self-bailer is. Would not trade the experience for anything.
Get what you can (as long as it is safe), and get on the river!!!
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Old 12-16-2014   #10
 
Salida, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyherballeaf View Post
Re: Bucket Boats

A cheap bucket boat gets my vote for price efficiency. Use the money you save to put your kids thru college.
Savings might go toward a used frame and/or maybe some used oars, but I'm not sure how much college education one can get because a few hundred bucks was saved by buying a cheap raft.
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