Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What’s up Buzzards

Let’s get another threat going about raft design where today we feature the merits of the “R” vs “DD”. I’m in the market to upgrade from a 14’ Outlaw. I’m pretty sold out on the Aire design in general. We’ve seriously put as much as we can into our old raft but now it’s time to go to 15-16’ model.

I’m looking at the 156R or the 16DD. We’ve been using as big a frame as we can for all the gear for 3 people for upwards of 9 days. We life in Bend now but travel all over to hit the usual spots; Main, San Juan, Deschutes, John Day, Grande Ronde, Green, etc

My questions are these: Once loaded up like a pig, will the DD actually be more maneuverable than the R? Will the extra inch of tube size of the R ride higher or handle a large load better? Does the DD handle better in the wind?

Please feel free to nerd out on raft design. Thanks and see you out there
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
agreed, covered pretty well in previous threads. But just for the sake of argument. Here are my answers to your questions in short form

1. No, 16DD is a wider boat, same or less maneuverable under a load.
2. yes, taller tubes = more space for coolers, dry boxes, etc. 156R is narrower though.
3. maybe? but not enough to really matter.
 

·
Registered
Aire 156R
Joined
·
118 Posts
Not much to add, but I love my 156R. Plenty big for multi-days and a great size if you have a group of friend that want to paddle raft it.



If you are buying new, definitely spring for the sealed floor pocket over their standard floor. I had the standard floor for years and finally upgraded to the sealed pocket floor last fall. Definitely takes some of "pig" out of a heavily loaded raft!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,674 Posts
The thread everyone is talking about is mostly about the 136DD and 146DD...so maybe not directly correlateable to your question but still good info.

Biggest take away between R and DD series is the size of the tubes and the interior space. R series has larger tubes...so you sit more inside the boat whereas the DD series has smaller ones so it feels more like you are sitting on top of the boat. Generally...the DD will be a wetter ride since the front of the boat is comparitively lower.

Because of the diminished tubes...there is more space on the floor of the DD. The outside follows the same general shape as the R series, but because the tubes get smaller as they go to front that gives you extra space. That said, because they are also not as tall... everything is more exposed so the tops of coolers and such may stick above the frame and tubes a bit. The R series, everything will sit more inside between the tubes.

Either way...you'll definitely be happy with an Aire. There are certainly other options too...but Aires are great boats.

I agree about the sealed floor...a worthy upgrade IMHO. I think IDriverRunner is the first person I have heard an account of that has had both kinds...so that is cool to hear that it makes a noticeable difference in how the raft handles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Ive got a 156R that I took down the Grand last year. My 105 lb daughter rowed a 16DD. Went right through the hole in Crystal, right through the V wave in Lava, and the huge hole below, and every other big rapid. I can't say much about the maneuverability, but that thing held a crap load of gear and ran the whitewater like a beast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I found the other older thread - thanks! Lots of good information there but certainly appreciate everyone’s thoughts. Leaning heavy on the R. Everyone use 9.5 or 10’ oars? Or is it another item that doesn’t make a huge difference?

I guess I’m just trying to not recreate my current situation. I often feel like my current 14’ outlaw is such a pig to maneuver. No flips or scary situations really, but sometimes it just doesn’t go where I want it too. Rowing other folks nice rafts has been eye opening. Cant wait for my daughter to row! She’s a little small, but likes getting on the oars
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,674 Posts
Most of the 16' boats I've seen use 11' oars. I tried 10's with my Avon Pro and felt like it I couldn't get it to move. Switched back to the 11's and it was much better. I definitely wouldn't go any smaller then 10 foot oars and would encourage you to get 10.5's or 11's.

I actually use the 11's with my Aire 146DD now too...but I'm kinda weird and like longer oars. I had the 136DD first (still trying to sell it actually) and started with 9' oars and it felt like a pig too. Got some 10' oars and it was night and day better.

Plenty of threads on here about boat setup and how to maximize the power you can get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
I had a 156R before my 146DD. Feels like I can pack almost as much into it and it's so much more fun to row. Sealed floor upgrade would definitely help on the R, but I'd still never consider going back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I have a 156R; it is 25 years old but I guess it is similar to modern versions of the same name. I have 9 foot oars (bought it used this Spring, that is what it came with). Definitely get at least 10 foot oars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
I found the other older thread - thanks! Lots of good information there but certainly appreciate everyone’s thoughts. Leaning heavy on the R. Everyone use 9.5 or 10’ oars? Or is it another item that doesn’t make a huge difference?

I guess I’m just trying to not recreate my current situation. I often feel like my current 14’ outlaw is such a pig to maneuver. No flips or scary situations really, but sometimes it just doesn’t go where I want it too. Rowing other folks nice rafts has been eye opening. Cant wait for my daughter to row! She’s a little small, but likes getting on the oars

Remember that the 156R (My main boat is one as well, I have had it for about 6 years) is a bit narrower than 16' Avons or Maravias. I have always used 10' oars on mine and wouldn't want them to be any longer than that. If you like your hands to be fairly far apart you could probably get away with 9.5' oars, but I haven't rowed with any. Any boat is gonna be somewhat piggish when heavily loaded. I have the standard floor, but have rowed aire boats with a sealed pocket and I can corroborate that it makes a difference. If my floor ever wears out I will be gettin a sealed floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,699 Posts
Remember that the 156R (My main boat is one as well, I have had it for about 6 years) is a bit narrower than 16' Avons or Maravias. I have always used 10' oars on mine and wouldn't want them to be any longer than that. If you like your hands to be fairly far apart you could probably get away with 9.5' oars, but I haven't rowed with any. Any boat is gonna be somewhat piggish when heavily loaded. I have the standard floor, but have rowed aire boats with a sealed pocket and I can corroborate that it makes a difference. If my floor ever wears out I will be gettin a sealed floor.
I agree.

I use my 9.5' oars with a stern frame, but they're too short for my double-rail 4-bay frame and for the boat. 10' are IMHO ideal for this boat.

Also agree on the SPF. The 156R is not nimble with the ballast floor (for either multidays or with 7-8 people as a paddle boat), but if you get on the right line, it definitely pulls you through the manky spots.
 

·
My name isn't Will
Joined
·
250 Posts
I found the other older thread - thanks! Lots of good information there but certainly appreciate everyone’s thoughts. Leaning heavy on the R. Everyone use 9.5 or 10’ oars? Or is it another item that doesn’t make a huge difference?

My NRS E-150 is a completely different animal, but just about exactly the same width. I use 9.5' oars. They work fine, though I'm curious what an extra half foot might do for (or against) my enjoyment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,699 Posts
My NRS E-150 is a completely different animal, but just about exactly the same width. I use 9.5' oars. They work fine, though I'm curious what an extra half foot might do for (or against) my enjoyment.
If it works, don't change it!

A lot depends on your height, arm length, rowing style, frame width, oarlock height, seat height, oar type/balance, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
156R, with outfitter blades

Great boat in 800 cfs on the Arkansas, and I've also had the 156R on Cataract, in way bigger water than the Grand. Tube diameter matters, in my opinion. Ran with only 10 foot oars but with Carlisle outfitter blades. The blade size makes a huge difference. Open oar locks of course. Floor design is also critical. Trim the load if you're heading into big water.
 

·
Tonic & Lime
Joined
·
13 Posts
160DD

I have a 160DD.
Hells canyon this year we had three 160DD's one 156R one 176R and a 14' NRS

The 160DD's can carry just as much (or more) than the 156R. I have 10' oars with outfitter blades and feel like the boat is more maneuverable than any of the R boats. There has been talk of it being a wetter ride because it has lower tubes. I didnt see any difference because of the taller bow and stearn rise.
R boats have 2" taller tubes and a 11" rise. DD boats have a 15" rise.

In high winds all of us struggled to buck the upstream wind. (Salmon river above challis)

The biggest difference I see is the lower tube height in relation to the floor prevents the Dry Box from sitting on the frame without touching the floor. I added some on inch blocks to the tabs to lift the Box off the floor.

My cooler also sticks up higher out of the boat but does not cause me any problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
All good stuff y’all! I’m going to order mine through Dustys River Logistics with a frame package. Biggest battle I’m having now is settling on a color with my wife. I certainly appreciate the comments!
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top