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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Collective,

Who out there runs an E-160? I'm looking for a gear boat. I've been boating for the past 30 years, I've rowed NRS boats, but never owned one.

Anyone have some long-term thoughts/reviews on the NRS E-160? I'd set it up as a multi-day rig. I prefer a 3 bay frame with a trailer frame behind me. That way I can be more centered on the boat-faster pivoting, more stable when dropping into holes or massive waves.

Yes, I've read all the other threads on this boat I can find, but there really isn't much- looking for some fresh perspectives.
 

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What do you want to know about them? I would say the main advantage of the NRS E series is durability. The material seems to be tougher and more uv resistant that just about anything else. They will also roll better than other plastic boats. I even like the NRS rubber better than Hyside, but that is just my experience. If you really want performance, you might look into a polyurethane boat like sotar or wing. Those will come at an even higher price. They will be tougher to roll, but they will get stiffer with a lower inflation pressure.

The only down side that i can see to an E series is the lack of a drop stich floor option and the PRV valve that you have to constantly clean to keep from bubbling.
 

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I've found the E material to be surprisingly soft and prone to easy rubs down to the scrim material. For instance I have a 150E that is a 2016 and has 5 or so wear patches, but my 156R aire is a 2008 with significantly more miles and no rubs, or patches. I like the ability to roll the nrs much easier buts to me that is the only advantage.
 

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I'd probably get the Riken design 16' they sell...better in the wind, more room in the bow and stern, and ability to run a longer frame. I believe the 160 is wider but has considerably larger diameter tubes, still it is a bit bigger on the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've found the E material to be surprisingly soft and prone to easy rubs down to the scrim material. For instance I have a 150E that is a 2016 and has 5 or so wear patches, but my 156R aire is a 2008 with significantly more miles and no rubs, or patches. I like the ability to roll the nrs much easier buts to me that is the only advantage.
Good to know. I've owned 3 Aire cats, one Super Puma, a Sotar ST raft, and now my main boat, a Sotar Legend 12'6 cat. I use the Legend for my main boating interests- class 4 and 5 rivers, but I also like running desert stuff-along with the occasional GC trip when I can get on one every few years. This is why I'm in the market for such a boat. Plus, we recently got a puppy and my wife paddle boards, so stuff like Ruby, Dominguez/Escalante,... mellow stuff, but river time non-the-less...
Based upon your feedback alone, I think I'll look at other options. The NRS boats I've used felt heavy-seems like they rely on multiple layers of material to add to durability rather than just using quality material to begin with... The Aire 156 R is on my short list. They're good boats, pretty affordable and can be found used for decent prices once it gets closer to spring....
 

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I’m also on the fence about buying a E160 or a E150. I have a 13 ft otter that has been great for 10 years (does have 2 wear patches on the floor) but now we have a kid and pulling off a single boat trip we are maxed on space. I like the size of the 160 tubes but not sure if I need that much space. I used to run diminishing tube NRS commercial in California and I wasent really a fan, but my neighbors 162 D does look really spacious. I go back and forth weekly about a 15 vs 16, main thing is tube size and internal width that I’m considering. Of course I’ll be keeping the 13 ft so this will be my multi day rig so I’d like a cooler and dry box that fill the center compartment like I have on my current rig. Luckly I have time to make up my mind.
 

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I've found the E material to be surprisingly soft and prone to easy rubs down to the scrim material. For instance I have a 150E that is a 2016 and has 5 or so wear patches, but my 156R aire is a 2008 with significantly more miles and no rubs, or patches. I like the ability to roll the nrs much easier buts to me that is the only advantage.
That is weird, I have used around 8-10 e series rafts for work and found the material to be among the best available for durability. Certainly way better than anything PVC like an AIRE. Not trying to say that your experience is not real, but my experience with quite a few different rafts has been the opposite.
 

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I have an E-150, and it's fine. It's 20 years old so is actually made of the DuPont Hypalon. Some people suggest the newer fabric isn't as beefy; I have no idea if that's true. They should be chemically the same. It's the only oar boat I've owned, so I can't compare to others. I rowed an Avon Pro on a Middle Fork trip before buying my boat. I rowed some E-160s and an E-180 on GC one year as well as a Sotar 16. I really like my boat. It's a great size for me. I took it down Grand Canyon; big enough for that. It's also small enough for skinny rivers. It's too big for day trips, but oh well.

Part of me would like the larger tubes of a bigger boat for increased capacity. The smaller tubes make it easy to get back in the boat if you violate rules number 1 and 2 or if you're just hopping in to cool off.

I do have two wear patches, but I think it's from operator error from how I parked one time for a layover day.

I am hoping to get another decade or two (or more) from this boat. It would be fun to have a 10- or 12- foot boat for day trips, but the 15 can do pretty much anything I want. Of course with all that said, I'm kind of looking forward to renting that freight train of an 18 for my next GC trip. I'll miss my boat because it's set up the way I like. I think my outfitter probably still uses E series boats, so there's that.

I think you'll be happy with an E-series boat be it a 160 or a 150. The extra space is nice compared to a 140, but I'd probably be happy with one of those if that's what I bought. I was looking for the compromise, and the 15' boat fits the bill.
 
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Hi Collective,

Who out there runs an E-160? I'm looking for a gear boat. I've been boating for the past 30 years, I've rowed NRS boats, but never owned one.

Anyone have some long-term thoughts/reviews on the NRS E-160? I'd set it up as a multi-day rig. I prefer a 3 bay frame with a trailer frame behind me. That way I can be more centered on the boat-faster pivoting, more stable when dropping into holes or massive waves.

Yes, I've read all the other threads on this boat I can find, but there really isn't much- looking for some fresh perspectives.
We have 4 of the E16s and run them commercially. Oldest one is from the 80's and has 1 patch. Bomber boats, can't imaging a more durable raft, a little over built for most uses but will last 30+ years.
 

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I’ve own more than 50 boats and the e-series NRS boats are the best on the market when all is considered.

I had the 16’ers in the past and believe that they are the boat that doesn’t do anything well. I’ve gone with the NRS e-180 and couldn’t be happier. 18’ boats have so many advantages over 16’ boats and, contrary to popular opinion, do not limit you. I will take my 18’ boat anywhere someone takes the 16’ boat...
 

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So if you look at it the biggest differences between them if your looking at load capacity is not much.
E 150 has a 45 inch between the tubes and up to 94 inch frame length.
E 160 has a 47 inch between the tubes and up o 88 inch frame length.
So much bigger tubes on the 16 and close to 40 pounds heavier.
I have had several E150 and for me it is the sweet spot, can move it around with just me and the lady, have an 88 inch long frame on it and would not go much longer, you end p sacrificing to much room the the bow and stern. I will also say I had one that was 45 inches center compartment and two that were only 43 inches wide. For me the biggest advantage to the 16 is the bigger tube size, if your running low water or the big stuff, for most floating I don’t have a problem with 20 inch tubes, the extra two inches of interior width ( if you actually get it) isn’t worth the extra weight and sheer size of the boat. I will also say have used lots of boats and abused nrs like no other in the commercial world, but I had a 2012 that like the poster above was really surprised by some wear spots that showed up when I didn’t believe the boat had been used that hard, am hoping this was a one off.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I do like the looks of the E-160, but am a little leery of some of the reports about quality control. From all my searching online, the E-160s are pretty hard to find used, which is telling that people like them and hang on to them...
 

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Good to know. I've owned 3 Aire cats, one Super Puma, a Sotar ST raft, and now my main boat, a Sotar Legend 12'6 cat. I use the Legend for my main boating interests- class 4 and 5 rivers, but I also like running desert stuff-along with the occasional GC trip when I can get on one every few years. This is why I'm in the market for such a boat. Plus, we recently got a puppy and my wife paddle boards, so stuff like Ruby, Dominguez/Escalante,... mellow stuff, but river time non-the-less...
Based upon your feedback alone, I think I'll look at other options. The NRS boats I've used felt heavy-seems like they rely on multiple layers of material to add to durability rather than just using quality material to begin with... The Aire 156 R is on my short list. They're good boats, pretty affordable and can be found used for decent prices once it gets closer to spring....
Hi dgoods,

Rowed a 156R for four seasons and loved it. When I went on my first Grand Canyon trip, I noticed (and this is contrary to people's experience) that the 16' cats had an easier time loading up the bounty of ammo cans--and also an easier time negotiating the rapids! So I built a 16' Lion. Well, commissioned the parts, anyway! Had a five-bay frame built, with a trailer available. Have not used the trailer yet. It's 42" between the tubes. The drops go down far enough that, without a baseboard in the drop bags, the tops of ammo cans are even with the top of the frame. I did make baseboards so they sit even; now, topped with a DRE captain's chair), and 24" (big Everything Bag from Jan at Stitches 'n Stuff, holds five more ammo cans, chairs, kitchen if I need it to, personal gear). And the trailer if I ever get really generous about carrying kayaker's stuff. So for gear hauling, with no more length added, it's much more capable than my 156R was. Particularly with the ammo cans, having a bigger dry box, etc. Just a thought!
 

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Hi, I have an 16' NRS Expedition that's 20 years old and in great shape, never a problem or even a patch. So don't worry about durability or longevity! It's on the heavy side for sure but rolls up nicely. Very nice on bigger rivers!
 

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Drgoods - I would echo what AKAndy & drfun said about their boats. I have an E-160 Nez Perce that's been my primary boat for a lot of years. It will haul a ton of cargo or passengers, tracks well, and is 'bomber' durable. It's a little slow in the water but is still pretty maneuverable - it is a little heavy.
That being said, I'm getting on in age and am considering having an aluminum frame made to replace the metal frame -or- simply buy a Maravia or Sotar with complete new frame/boxes. I'd welcome other's comments about that course.
61114
 

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Drgoods - I would echo what AKAndy & drfun said about their boats. I have an E-160 Nez Perce that's been my primary boat for a lot of years. It will haul a ton of cargo or passengers, tracks well, and is 'bomber' durable. It's a little slow in the water but is still pretty maneuverable - it is a little heavy.
That being said, I'm getting on in age and am considering having an aluminum frame made to replace the metal frame -or- simply buy a Maravia or Sotar with complete new frame/boxes. I'd welcome other's comments about that course.
View attachment 61114
I was faced with the same choice a couple of years ago and opted for a entire new rig. Hyside 16 XT, Mad Cow frame, captain's boxes. I was able to adapt my old dry boxes to the new frame. While I could have gotten by with my 30 year old Avon Pro for a few more years I am glad I went with a new boat. I like my equipment dialed in and also like doing my own work. So designing what I wanted for the new boat and fabricating the various pieces was for me fun as well. I also went with a flatbed trailer after 40+ years of lugging boats around deflated.
61141
My wife rightly pointed out that when I have to hang up the oars I will have something of value to pass along and don't have to worry about having equipment fail while on the river. Nothing like the new boat smell! Being a die hard Avon snob I am quite happy with my Hyside. I feel it actually rows as well or better than the Avon did especially with a heavy load. I have friends who have Sotar and Maravia 16"' foot boats and both are very satisfied with their boats.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was faced with the same choice a couple of years ago and opted for a entire new rig. Hyside 16 XT, Mad Cow frame, captain's boxes. I was able to adapt my old dry boxes to the new frame. While I could have gotten by with my 30 year old Avon Pro for a few more years I am glad I went with a new boat. I like my equipment dialed in and also like doing my own work. So designing what I wanted for the new boat and fabricating the various pieces was for me fun as well. I also went with a flatbed trailer after 40+ years of lugging boats around deflated. View attachment 61141 My wife rightly pointed out that when I have to hang up the oars I will have something of value to pass along and don't have to worry about having equipment fail while on the river. Nothing like the new boat smell! Being a die hard Avon snob I am quite happy with my Hyside. I feel it actually rows as well or better than the Avon did especially with a heavy load. I have friends who have Sotar and Maravia 16"' foot boats and both are very satisfied with their boats.
Beauty of a boat!
 

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I was faced with the same choice a couple of years ago and opted for a entire new rig. Hyside 16 XT, Mad Cow frame, captain's boxes. I was able to adapt my old dry boxes to the new frame. While I could have gotten by with my 30 year old Avon Pro for a few more years I am glad I went with a new boat. I like my equipment dialed in and also like doing my own work. So designing what I wanted for the new boat and fabricating the various pieces was for me fun as well. I also went with a flatbed trailer after 40+ years of lugging boats around deflated. View attachment 61141 My wife rightly pointed out that when I have to hang up the oars I will have something of value to pass along and don't have to worry about having equipment fail while on the river. Nothing like the new boat smell! Being a die hard Avon snob I am quite happy with my Hyside. I feel it actually rows as well or better than the Avon did especially with a heavy load. I have friends who have Sotar and Maravia 16"' foot boats and both are very satisfied with their boats.
Who made your trailer?
 

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Quadrax in Ogden Utah. Clay, the owner is easy to work with regarding custom work. To his standard raft trailer added a Torflex axle, brakes, 5' removable tongue, removable roller and winch stand, oar box underneath the bed and led lights. I did my own decking using MDO board.
He will build what you want for a fair price.
 

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I have a Orange 16' xt as well, Orange U Glad we didn't get an NRS or any other things you'd like to ask. I couldn't be happier! Compared it with the e-160 for awhile and then decided on the Hyside. A little lighter I believe and better reviews from lots of guides and people I trust on the issue.
 
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