Raft Suggestions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-22-2017   #1
 
Placerville, California
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 55
Raft Suggestions

Hello, 2nd post. Great forum you guys have here. I'm looking for one raft to do a little bit of everything. I have a family of six. I'm a former paddle boat guide. I'd like a raft to take the other five family members down the South Fork of the American River in NorCal. (It's in my backyard) I'd also like to use it for fishing/drift boating. I have two fishing buddies and I'd like to Steelhead fish etc. Lastly, I'd like to do multi-day trips with an oar frame and haul gear. I have three IK's that I can put some of my family in while hauling camping gear. I'd like to go as small as I can, and still do all of those things. I was thinking 12 ft on the small end and 14 ft on the big end. I'm not rich so the top notch boats are out of the price range. But I'm not sure how the cheaper boats hold up. I guided for many years in a 14 ft Hyside and those were absolutely bomb proof but they cost an arm and a leg, at least they do to me. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks.

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Old 03-22-2017   #2
 
briandburns's Avatar
 
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 188
A 14' Tributary would be a good way to go.
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Old 03-22-2017   #3
 
laramie, wy
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 80
I second the 14' Trib.
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Old 03-22-2017   #4
 
Apache Junction, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 225
I have a Saturn raft that is 5 years old and I have put it through the ringer and have had no problems. Rumor is that after 10 years they start to have problems with the seams. They are however a very affordable option. I think next time I would go with a Rocky Mountatin Raft they seem well built and the seems are welded. You can go with the used boats of the other brands but they are about 10 years old and cost as much as the Saturn & RMR new. I feel at that point you are probably only going to get 10 years on it at the most anyways. You are going to get all types of different comments on this and I am sure I will get lambasted by some of the anti Saturn people for even saying the name. The Hysides are nicer boats but for the price you can get a Saturn they work and are pretty tough boats.
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Old 03-22-2017   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 507
I considered a 14' RMR, Tributary, and NRS Outlaw, all welded PVC, and bought the Outlaw. Cheapest of the three by around 7-800 dollars, larger than the Tributary (wider), and a bit lighter and smaller packed size than the RMR. Has the drop stitch floor that some dislike. Does make it easy to stand, but I expect to collect some sand and silt at times. The RMR appears the most "traditional", with laced I-beam floor and no extra bladders. So if you want a PVC boat that has a design closest to the typical hypalon boat it'd be RMR. Once you're into hypalon the new are spendier by quite a bit from what I can tell.

Used the outlaw just a little and liked it.
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Old 03-22-2017   #6
 
John_in_Loveland's Avatar
 
Loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 304
had a 12' Trib and now a 14' Trib. Aire quality and service at a reasonable price. My stitching was coming out along the zipper. They said is was bad thread...Sent it back and they took it apart and restitched the zipper then shipped it back at no charge. No questions asked and a willingness to be of service...Highly recommend the boat...The ballast floor makes it real "whole puncher"
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Old 03-22-2017   #7
 
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Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to row an Outlaw, RMR, and Tributary in their 14ft models on river. The on-water performance of the Tributary was notably better than the other two.

I also briefly rowed a friends 16ft Terran raft on a trip and it handled better than RMR, but still not as nice a Tributary.

I would buy the Trib!
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Old 03-22-2017   #8
 
Placerville, California
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 55
Thanks for all of the comments!
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Old 03-23-2017   #9
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 43
I have an older momentum osprey. It's a hypalon bucket boat that's 13.5 ft. It's lighter and rolls up tighter than my 10 ft pvc boat. Me and the boys hit LOTS of rocks and it's proven to be super tough. I've had 7 adults and two children on it. There's one for sale on ebay and craigslist.
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Old 03-23-2017   #10
 
Placerville, California
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by outathaboatBruce View Post
I have an older momentum osprey. It's a hypalon bucket boat that's 13.5 ft. It's lighter and rolls up tighter than my 10 ft pvc boat. Me and the boys hit LOTS of rocks and it's proven to be super tough. I've had 7 adults and two children on it. There's one for sale on ebay and craigslist.
Searched eBay and Craigslist, couldn't find one. Do you have a link?

Oops! I think I found the craigslist one. Blue and white boat?
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