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Hello,

I'm looking into buying my first raft for fishing primarily and over night trips. I've been looking for the past few weeks and looking closely at the rocky mountain and NRS rafts. They both seem like good companies, I just need to find the right raft. I will mostly be rafting by myself, but want the space and frame to handle two people if needed. I'm pretty set on the 12 and the 13 for both companies. Just wanted to get your guys opinions and suggestions. I don't have a truck so I will be deflating the boat for transportation and securing the frame to the roof. I live in Colorado so I need something that can handle rapids, Don't imagine myself doing anything more then class three. Just looking for a real versatile raft.

PS. Any deals or sales going on?
 

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I just bought a nice used (2009) 13' DRE raft with a full fishing frame on Craigslist. Look at the classifieds here on MB and on Craigslist, and ask knowledgeable people about whether a particular boat is a good deal. My boat was $4900 for rubber, frame, oars, and a few extras, and I spent close to another grand to get it properly set up with safety gear and gear for multi-day trips.

I also de-rig/deflate the entire boat and throw it in my truck and on the roof. It sucks and the constant set up and take down really bangs up the frame parts. Trailer is on the Xmas list this year for sure.
For fishing, you will want a floor (at least in front), which probably means you will be breaking the frame into pieces for transport.

Also, going by yourself is not much fun, but if you plan on doing that a lot I would suggest an anchor set up so you can actually fish.

And don't worry about learning to row - totally overrated. Being able to fish is much more important.
 

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There are lots of discussions on this topic already so search the buzz and you'll find a lot of answers, as well as more questions...

First off you don't have to have all the bells and whistles to fish out of a raft. If you're disassembling it every time at the ramp my suggestion would be to keep it simple. If you end up with more folks add a raised front seat, you can run that way indefinitely, and there are lots of merit to simple set ups. Biggest one is less shit to tangle.

There is another active thread that addresses the brand issue see it here: http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f44/need-advice-on-vanguard-raft-and-trailer-32118-2.html. There are many more if you search but basically the two companies you mention will work fine, as will many others. Spend some more time researching this forum, then come back with specific questions.

edit - I forgot to second an anchor... I would infinitely rather have an anchor than a floor, casting braces, rod holders, basically that would be my first "luxury".
 

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802, Welcome to the Buzz!

I just moved your post to the rafting gear talk section & hope you don't mind. Feel free to peruse the other posts as there's a lot here in the rafting gear talk forum to get you going. You can also use the search function to find whole discussions on all kinds of topics, like pumps, frames, different boats, etc.

Good luck finding the boat you need, also don't forget to check out our sponsors that sell rafts and gear in our Partner's Directory.

Also, Riverboat Works may still have some great deals on their RMRs right now as well Aire and Hyside that have deals going - take a look in the Partner's Forum for some great sales.

SYOTR,

-AH
 

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I'd look for a used rig WITH a trailer- bottom line is that you will use it more. Doing all that work by yourself gets very old, very fast. Add the shuttle....all that packing and unpacking- and then row in the sun all day. It's a big endeavor.

As for the boat- the chance that you will build the perfect set up right out of the gate are pretty slim- everybody narrows in on what works for them, and that generally means a few different boats as you grow and your needs sort themselves out. Don't sweat the details too much- get on the water and start the process of figuring everything out as you go.

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FISHTARD
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these guys

The guys who have responded to your post know whats up. I'm currently in the same position as you except I'm looking for a little boat. Greg at timberline tours here in Vail valley contacted me about some good deals on boats. Id send him an email through their website.
Also- the past few months i have been emailing local rafting companies here. Id recommend giving that a shot.
Sage, timberline, nova.... i know timberline also has frames and stuff. Good place to start.

I think I'm pulling the trigger this weekend so good luck and ill see ya out there.

If your interested in a Creek Company 2 man cataraft (ODC1220 and XR12) Ive got one i may be willing to part with. Heck of a boat- especially for our area.
 

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I have a 13 foot RMR with a full fishing frame that is trailered, so easy to hit the river and minimal clean up at dusk when we are done. I have had to break down part of my frame a few times to accommodate more folks than the standard 3. Maybe I am spoiled but sure seems more work than at first glance. I am glad that I don't have to do that before and after each float. So I echo Osseous in looking for a trailer soon even if it means waiting on other extras as you will enjoy it more and spend more time casting rather than turning a wrench. Nothing worse than rigging up and seeing the fish going nuts. If you are going to roll and load your raft each time and load into your truck beware that the RMR are beasts and very difficult to lift solo. They are bomber but that comes as extra weight. If you want to drive this way I would be happy to take you out fishing here. Just PM me.
 

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Free rowing lesson on my boat....all the time you need to get it down- just stay casting distance from the bank!

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Have you considered a cat at all? I find them more comfortable for fishing, the tubes roll up easily in my car and the frame goes right on the roof rack. Just a thought
 

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If you are looking closely at RMR and NRS as your initial post states, I would strongly recommend avoiding the NRS "outlaw" series. I have seen the RMRs, and they look like very good pvc boats. If you can afford one, the NRS otters are very nice and they are made of Pennel Orca material (hypalon) which I am a big proponent of.

I have no experience with the NRS "Patriot" series nor the xr mariner material that they are made of.
 

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I am interested to know where you live and what rivers you will use this raft on the most? I ask because I recently moved to Colorado and have a raft mainly for fishing. I lived in Oregon and back there the river laws are high water mark so floating and fishing by myself was no problem. I used the boat for transportation mostly so I could get to water that I could not access from land. Water that was public in the actual river but private land all around.

Now that I am in Colorado my rig has been used for fishing only twice and both were short trips on the Poudre river. Floating and fishing solo feels almost impossible here in Colorado. So I am interested because if you know of a river with enough public access to drop anchor please let me know. Next summer I plan to put some time in on the upper Colorado since there is a lot of public areas and fingers crossed it works out good.

With that said my wife and I also use the raft for overnight trips. So far we have yet to get out here in Colorado but again next season we have a few trips planned already.

I run a very minimalist setup and I suggest you do the same. I do trailer my raft but I keep things simple because that is my style but also when I do travel far for a trip I rather pack my gear in the car and put the frame on the roof. If I had a larger truck I would pull the trailer for sure.

I have a simple frame that has one bar with rowing seat in the back and them one bay in the front that I put a cooler in. It works great because if I do go fishing I can shorten the straps keeping the cooler very high making it almost a lean seat. It works much better then I had expected.

That is really all you need. A frame with floors would probably be great but I agree that it is just more crap to get your line tangled on. And keep in mind a frame that is big and complicated will be much harder to put on your roof rack.
 

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Do we get a discount through our partners for rafts?
Sorry to disappoint you but I'm not aware of any special discounts MB members get from our sponsors that would help you right now. If someone's got something they may chime in.

However you can find out about their sales here pretty easily and you can just scroll through the Partner's Directory and use the links directly to their websites to make shopping, or contacting them, much easier.

I'll echo what everyone is saying about a trailer. Time on the river is too precious to spend at the boat ramp pumping up and rigging every time you go.
 

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The upper C, Arkansas, Gunnison and North Platte should be on your radar- while all have sections that are posted, there is an awful lot of public land where you can anchor and wade legally. When I run afowl of a landowner by mistake, I'm overly respectful and responsive. Don't want to make a difficult situation worse.

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Mo money, mo problems. No money... exponential problems

Everyone is saying buy used... I wish I had that kind of money laying around.... my purchase of a new boat is my excuse to "BUILD CREDIT"
 

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Everyone is saying buy used... I wish I had that kind of money laying around.... my purchase of a new boat is my excuse to "BUILD CREDIT"
I figured that after you made a similar comment above...that's why I didn't reiterate the used deal in Jackson, which is the best deal I've seen in a while...

Anyways you can always convince yourself your building credit, but in reality your just building debt. I'm not preaching I'm speaking from experience, I've been battling credit card debt incurred right after college, that financed a really fun time in my life I might add, for the past dozen years. You don't need to go all in, but I do understand your predicament. Good luck!
 

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Gotta agree- you don't build credit with an expensive toy.

Hard won lesson from my youth- take it or leave it

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