Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We had a baby this summer and are now looking for a bit bigger boat to accommodate our new addition so that we can bring him on the river with us and enjoy the water as a fam.

We currently have a 13' SB Otter that was perfect for the two of us and the dog on any trip. While I'd like to keep the 13' boat for fishing trips and day floats, it just isn't in the cards to have two boats. So I'm currently looking at a 14' SB Otter - the 142 which is 6'6" wide compared to the 7' wide Otter.

Curious what some of you with a child have decided on as a good-sized boat to accommodate your family and a dog. I'd kind of like to have a 15' boat, but some of the rivers I float to fish are too small for a boat that size. Is the 14'er big enough for a family of 3 and a dog, assuming we don't bring along the kitchen sink?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
The Otter 142 is a great boat. I've been carting the wife, 2 kids and a dog around in mine for 2 seasons. We mostly do the dailies in the Glenwood area, but it handles over nighters well and punches bigger sets like a dream.
Here's a pic of me and the fam on Grizzly and one of me running "Sock it To Me"
 

Attachments

·
Uncle Rico
Joined
·
13 Posts
Go for the 16' boat. Kids require alot of stuff for an overnighter. If you are going to keep your Otter, get a 16 ft boat for your family overnighters.
We have a 14ft Sotar and it is really tight with the family.
 

·
Kjirsten
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
I have a 14' hyside and it has easily accomodated 4 adults and a child on a 2 day trip, 3 adults on an 8 day trip, and 3 adults, one child and 2 dogs on a 4 day trip.

It's all in the preparation and packing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
i have two young daughters, and am in the process of replacing my 14' sotar for the same reason.

in my opionion, its not a matter of if you CAN rig a smaller boat for longer trips- of course you CAN. i spent 18 days in the grand with my "little" 14-er. its if you WANT to.
having rowed 18-ft boats on desert rivers, the benefits of space for family (esp. young kids) to spread out far outweight any difficulty in maneuvering the boat, and since most trips you're doing with kids arent going to be on real technical water, i say go bigger...im getting a 16ft aire.
think of it this way...you COULD drive the kids cross country in a sedan, right? but if you had an option, wouldnt you rather take something bigger??
 

·
The Russian
Joined
·
1,391 Posts
It's totally depending on who you talk to.

I row a 16 footer and just bought another 16 footer (new boat) for my wife, my boy and me. I have friends who row 14 footers, some complain of lack of space for their families, some love it.

The best advice I could give you, is to borrow a 14 footer for a 3 day trip and see how you like it. That's the only way you'd know what suits your needs.

My wife wants a lot of room in the bow, so my choice was made up easy for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
cat

get a 16' nrs river cat, I'm selling used tubes in the swap section. you can make a front deck a big as you like, carry a ton of gear, attach a small motor for those long paddle outs or for emergencies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
by the way, i'd also add that your frame configuration can make a 14' boat seem like a 10'er or an 18'er. put some thought and money into the frame, and you'll be glad you did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
You will be kicking yourself if you only get a 14 X 6.6 ft boat. You might as well stick with the 13 footer.

I would get at least the 15 X 7 ft Otter. Then you would have the best of both worlds - a nice maneuverable 13 footer for day trips and a boat big enough for multi-day trips with the kids. You could do it in a 14 footer but you will spend half the trip trying to pack the thing up and everybody will be on top of each other. Not fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
You will be kicking yourself if you only get a 14 X 6.6 ft boat. You might as well stick with the 13 footer.

I would get at least the 15 X 7 ft Otter. Then you would have the best of both worlds - a nice maneuverable 13 footer for day trips and a boat big enough for multi-day trips with the kids. You could do it in a 14 footer but you will spend half the trip trying to pack the thing up and everybody will be on top of each other. Not fun.
Agree. We went from a 13' otter, but up to a 14' sotar. For two people and 2-3 dogs it's OK, but I wouldn't have minded having a 15' boat. If there were kids involved, I'd be upgrading to a 15 or 16' already. If people can take 16'-18' boats down the MF Salmon late season (upper section even), there's not many rivers that can't take that big of a boat. My personal opinion is that that "small river" argument is a bit of a fallacy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,941 Posts
Agree. We went from a 13' otter, but up to a 14' sotar. For two people and 2-3 dogs it's OK, but I wouldn't have minded having a 15' boat. If there were kids involved, I'd be upgrading to a 15 or 16' already. If people can take 16'-18' boats down the MF Salmon late season (upper section even), there's not many rivers that can't take that big of a boat. My personal opinion is that that "small river" argument is a bit of a fallacy.
I agree too. Get a 15'-16' boat now ......... then you'll have a good excuse to get a smaller boat for low water at a later date. The width between a 14' Avon and a 16' Avon is nominal.....they just don't turn as quick. :mrgreen: While your looking.....I'd be looking at Vanguard also.:cool: The floor helps them ride higher in the water in low water conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
I have the 7ft wide version of the 14 foot Otter and I love it. I have a wife and two kids (8 and 5) and we have plenty of room for what we do. Mostly day trips on things like the Eagle, Shoshone, Pumphouse, etc. and some overnights on Ruby/Horsethief. We tend to travel light to begin with, although I have been purchasing more and more gear... :cool:

I disagree that kids need a lot of stuff on a trip, day trip or overnight. Maybe it's just my kids, but they'll find happiness in their surroundings, so no need to bring much to entertain them. A water gun is about it. In terms of clothes, just a dry change of clothes and a couple of layers for warmth is about all they need. We get everything we need for an overnight into one dry bag for clothes, etc and another for tent and sleeping bags. It will really depend on what you like to bring with you and how you rig it.

I can't speak about the dog. We did a day trip on Pumphouse this summer with my family plus a friend and her two kids (7 humans) and their dog. The dog was too much, but she also is very hyper and spent the entire time crawling all over the boat and in and out of the river. On the same trip, another friend had his dog, and it just laid on the boat the entire trip, so room wasn't much of an issue for them in their boat. Again, it will depend on your dog.

IMO, if you like the Otter and want the 14 footer, go for it but get the wider one. The 6" difference could be just the compromise you are looking for...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
Family Raft

I agree with Laura the too big boat argument is usually a fallacy. Get a 16-footer for your family. I had a 14-foot NRS. I loved the boat, but it wasn't big enough for kids. I then got a 16 foot Hyside that I took down everything. You can carry anything you want in a 16-footer. Also, the bigger center compartment meant I could put my kids at my feet in the center compartment at my feet in rapids when they were little. I didn't have to worry about them washing out the front. Bigger boats also draw less water and move better with heavier loads.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
I agree with Laura the too big boat argument is usually a fallacy. Get a 16-footer for your family. I had a 14-foot NRS. I loved the boat, but it wasn't big enough for kids. I then got a 16 foot Hyside that I took down everything. You can carry anything you want in a 16-footer. Also, the bigger center compartment meant I could put my kids at my feet in the center compartment at my feet in rapids when they were little. I didn't have to worry about them washing out the front. Bigger boats also draw less water and move better with heavier loads.

Dan
Gotta proof my posts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the input everyone. wish i could keep the 13' and get a 15' boat (my original plan), but i can't justify having two hunks of rubber laying around.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top