Raft Recommendations - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
 
Western Slope, Colorado
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 28
Raft Recommendations

New member here and as stated in my intro - trying to get back into rafting after a long haitus.

1: Family: 2 adults and a toddler.
2: Location: Western Slope, CO
3: Rivers: Gunnison and Colorado

Not looking to do any Class III, IV and V with the toddler and likely not even with myself/friends for a few seasons until I get some muscle memory built back up. Would be slow long floats on Class I/II from Delta, CO to Whitewater, CO or through Grand Junction to Loma, CO area.

Looking for a self bailer, and looking to have a frame and camp, as well as fish so ability to be configurable from two guys fishing (work buddies), to two adults (wife and I) and a toddler spending all day or overnight.

Also don't have a huge budget. It's in the $5k or less range so I need to buy used.

What's for sale right now in my area are the following:

1: Dave Scadden Dragonfly XT2 Signature, NIB, never used. (oars, seats, storage) $1500. I've read a lot of these and wouldn't consider if I was doing heavy rafting but that's really not what's in store for us for the next 3-5 years. This is the cheapest and comes with everything we need.

2: No Name 18'x8' with 24" tubes, self bailer, frame, box, cook box, cooler and 10' Carlisle oars. Looks to be much older (frame is galvanized) and I think 18' is way, way too big to handle for just us, let alone just me if I go out without the family...but it's $2200

3: 16' Saturn self bailer w/trailer. Frame, Oars, Baskets paddles, $3000. I have read some reviews on Saturn and know they're not "the best" but I'm not even an amateur rafter at this point anymore.

4: Aire Super Duty Puma fully rigged 14': diamond plate floors, sawyer oars, frame, everything but the trailer $5500.

5: 14' NRS with frame, dry box, oars, small mouse chewed damage with patch $5500.

There are others that without frames/gear I'd have to build as they don't come with frames, etc, so I'm really hoping to find something with a frame to get me/us in the water. We moved here last year and since the baby was a....baby....didn't do any water, but now that she can walk, listen, sit, and wear a PFD we're wanting to do at least some day trips of floating and fishing and I need to do some overnight camping trips to regain my sanity.

My wife has never done any rafting at all.

Thoughts?

I usually go two routes: Rush and buy the first thing I see, or endlessly obsess over every nuance, making comparisons, trying to get something for $5 less, etc, etc and miss out on everything as a result.

Thanks

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Critter70's Avatar
 
FOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 178
Personally I wouldn’t even consider the first three, the last two have some promise. If you shop around and budget correctly you could get most of a new setup for about $5000. Look at RMR, and star (recently purchased by nrs, their outlaw line now), get a frame from rowframe.com for about $500, dry box about the same inexpensive cooler and oars and your almost there. That may stretch the budget with the other little things but gets you awful close new.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
 
BenSlaughter's Avatar
 
Ft jones, United States
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 83
I'm a big believer in 16' boats.
There aren't many places that a 14'er will go, that a 16'er won't. However 16's provide some capacity, comfort, stability that a 14 will not. 18's are overkill for most tasks.

I would hold out for a good deal on a good quality boat, vs a bargain model. Although, I could see buying a bargain boat with a good frame, using it for the short term, then finding a better boat, and swapping out\selling the bargain model.

Good luck, happy boating!!
Ben
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
 
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Poundtown, Wokastan
Paddling Since: 420
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,643
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenSlaughter View Post
I'm a big believer in 16' boats.
#metoo believe all 16 footers!!
__________________
I saw someone do it on youtube.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
Rafter1
 
Bellevue, Washington
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 7
see my posting for the 156aire and some relaed gear as a good base to start from.
c156R AIRE self bailer 2 thwarts, foot cups. No patches on the water just a few times in the last 8 Years? Comparable new $5,600 my price $3,500.
Other gear priced at 50% of new price
NRS cat frame new $700
NRS stern fishing seat mount $200. Has never been used.
Casting platform new $150. Has never been used.
Low seat and mount $100
4 Carlisle paddles $40
Flat day rowing frame $400
Located in Bellevue Washingto
huck morgan
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
 
Ridgway, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 305
Hey Mike, welcome to the Buzz and WCO.

I totally agree with Critter re. the boats that you're looking at and, looking at new boats from the likes of RMR and Star. Be leery of older PVC economy boats; Star, RMR, and even Sotar had problems with glue failing on early models. Dave Scadden and Saturn, run! Older Hypolon boats fair much better. I would definitely consider 10yr old (or older) models from Hyside, Avon, Achillies, NRS. Aire and JPW (primarily cats) are PVC but have a solid rep and history.

It's a buyers market for used boats right now as people are needing to liquidate some $ and at the same time realizing that their expensive floatie toy might not see much action this year. Used boats are popping up here and on CL pretty frequently right now; be patient. Don't forget to budget for a trailer, you're going to want it. Rigging and derigging for day trips gets old really fast, especially with a young family.

Lastly, re. rivers that you are looking to float. While the Gunny between Delta and Whitewater is indeed a nice class I,II float, the take-outs are a total bitch. Two adults, a 14' raft with frame, not gonna happen without tears. The better bet is from Pleasure Park towards Delta (lots of take-out options) better fishing too as it's above most of the AG.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
 
caverdan's Avatar
 
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,927
Buying #1 option is like throwing $1500.00 in the river. The material Scadden uses is thinner than some of dry bags I own. (light weight is one of his selling points, go figure.) You'll be patching holes every time you hit a rock.

I would lean toward the RMR that others are suggesting. I'd also choose the NRS over the Aire....depending on the age of each raft and the quality of the gear that comes with each one.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
 
Bleugrass's Avatar
 
Jamestown, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 21
I put together my 14’ RMR rig with a DRE frame for right around $5k and could not be happier. Granted, it was offseason when I bought, but it can be done. Call Bobby at RMR directly and see what he can do for you.

Of the five deals posted, I agree that only 4 and 5 are worth considering. Personally, I think 14’ is a great size for your purpose. My wife, our 10 year old and I use ours for day floats to multi-night trips.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
 
Ridgway, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 305
This:

https://westslope.craigslist.org/tro...124691622.html
https://westslope.craigslist.org/boa...123672297.html

Negotiate price on these and you're close (cheaper than therapy).
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
 
Western Slope, Colorado
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtsideup View Post
This:

https://westslope.craigslist.org/tro...124691622.html
https://westslope.craigslist.org/boa...123672297.html

Negotiate price on these and you're close (cheaper than therapy).
That NRS is one of the ones I’m referencing in my initial post.

I do have an old boat trailer I’ll add marine plywood to for a raft trailer when I end up with one.

Chuck I was looking at your set up too but given the drive and price ....
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