Questions about used rafts - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-01-2005   #1
 
Guadalajara, Mexico, Jalisco
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Questions about used rafts

What have been good raft making brands? Star, Avon, Riken, NRS are a few I've heard of. What can you use a bucket boat for or should I just look for one with a self-bailing floor? Can you build your own frame or is buying one a must?

Thanks

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Old 11-01-2005   #2
 
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stay away from Star... Go with self bailer, and you can make a frame
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Old 11-02-2005   #3
 
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What about catarafts? Advantages, disadvantages?
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Old 11-02-2005   #4
 
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Cats are supposed to be easier to row, better handling. They can go in lower water, and sometimes haul more gear. They don't hold as many people as regular rafts and might not be as "splashy" if you care about that. The frames are more elaborate most of the time, and with a regular raft, you can run it as a paddle boat with everyone participating if you want, whereas most likely for a cat, you are always going to be the only "driver".

I've never rowed a cat, so this is just what I've picked up talking to people. Both are good, cat might perform a little better, raft more versitile. Anyone? Is that pretty accurate?
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Old 11-02-2005   #5
 
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a Star is a great entry level boat and unless you are a welder good luck making a frame, try to get a whole package used... frame, oars, etc..
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Old 11-02-2005   #6
 
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YOu can use fittings to clamp it together. I was in the chain link fence section of Home Depot the other day wondering if you could make one out of fence pipe and fittings. Anyone tried that?

Also, you can buy oar towers from NRS or DRE that mount on wood. Some old-schoolers make real simple square rowing frames from wood.

Before you get too carried away, I would try to find a used frame, or like someone said, see if you can buy it all together used maybe.
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Old 11-02-2005   #7
 
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I've had a cat for the last 7 years or so. I would say that the advantages have been:
* Less expensive for the rubber (compared to self-bailers)
* Hauls lot of heavy, shapr objects (boxes, etc)
* No inflatable floor to get punctured, and the tubes roll up and store small
* Can slice under & through breaking wave/holes rather than the bow getting popped up and over
* Frames can be set up with a hard floor easily (for fishing or gear)

Disadvantages:
* Gear intensive: lots of straps, frames are generally heavier
* Cold water gets through the frame - it can be a cold ride in Idaho on a cloudy day.
* Can't be set up as a paddle-boat rig
* Walking around on a rigged cat means bashing your toes, etc, on metal frames. Especially if you don't have a wood / mesh floor.
*If you do flip a cat, you have a lot of frame metal coming down on you. Plus, because your gear rides a little higher than in a SB, your center of weight will be deeper upside down & righting the boat can take lots 'o folks.


Overall, I started with cat tubes and have grown it into a pretty effective gear boat. As a result, I've gone on a bunch of amazing trips. I think that I'll be getting a self bailer soon, though- they're just more versatile and when I start have critters I think a SB setup will be a little safer.
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Old 11-02-2005   #8
 
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Quote:
YOu can use fittings to clamp it together. I was in the chain link fence section of Home Depot the other day wondering if you could make one out of fence pipe and fittings. Anyone tried that?
Not strong enough. But if you want to build a custom frame, try Speed Rail with aluminum pipe. Not super cheap, but you can make it exactly to whatever specs you want. Basically the same stuff that NRS uses for their frames:

http://www.industrialmetalsupply.com...rail-sheet.htm
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Old 11-05-2005   #9
 
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Alot of what you're asking depends on what you want to use the boat for. If all you'll be doing is fishing Class I and II rivers, a bucket boat will be fine. If you're gong to be hitting some real whitewater, you'll want a self-bailer. I'd be really wary of buying anything sight-unseen. When you're looking at a used boat, consider how worn it appears, make sure you air up the tubes to check for leaks and look for indications that air's leaking from one tube into another, look for blown I-beams in the floor, check out the boat's history (outfitter logos?) and negotiate a better cost to offset any serious flaws. Used boats from outfitters are often pretty thrashed but will probably give you a few more seasons on the river with some occasional patching.

I'll agree with Whaleballs about trying to find a package deal on used gear. This isn't the best internet forum for used gear - try the HCRR-dot-com site, pprr-dot-org, or Utahrafters sites. Also, if you're in Denver go check out the message boards at the local raft shops like Downriver Equip. or AAA Inflatables. Alpenglow has a great swap in the spring where they'll have used rubber and frames & other accessories, the other shops just have used rubber at their swaps. Check out the gear swap on this page - looks like a few cheap deals on SBs if you don't mind breaking out the pump a couple of times a day.

You can use 2x6 boards and bolts to make a simple day frame that'll get you down the river cheaply, it'll just be heavy. Fortunately that's not too big an issue with a raft you're using for day trips. Check the gear swap here, plan to throw down about $1500 for the basic setup unless you happen onto a screaming deal.

Good luck finding what's right for you,

--Andy
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Old 11-07-2005   #10
 
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Thanks for all the help.
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