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Discussion Starter #1
Hello boaters,
I'm about to buy my first raft. I'm an avid and experienced canoeist and have done many raft trips as well but on other people's boats. My typical usage is going to be for easy multi day trips and fishing. Every year I will run the Ruby Horsethief a couple of times. Sometimes with a group but often with just myself, my wife and our 30lb dog. I would love to do similar runs on other rivers. I would also like to do fishing laps on stretches on the Gunnison, Arkansas, North Platte, etc. At this point I am considering ordering a new Hyside Max 12.0. It seems like a good size boat for my needs. Small enough for myself and my wife to wrangle it. I have a full sized Suburban and it looks like I could transport it on the roof. It also seems big enough for overnight excursions. We tend to pack light. I'd love to hear people's opinions on other boat brands. Similar size though. I'm just thinking about the actual raft right now. I'll make another post when I start thinking about frame options.
Thank you in advance,
Russell

 

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I have the MiniMax (10'6") with a little frame from WhiteWater Machine Works, and I love it. I have done 5 day self-supported trips, and could do longer if the water and time allowed. I think this sounds like a great idea, and you should definitely do it...and then get a 16' or something ridiculously bigger as well, just 'cause it's fun.
-Thomas
Fruita, C)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have the MiniMax (10'6") with a little frame from WhiteWater Machine Works, and I love it. I have done 5 day self-supported trips, and could do longer if the water and time allowed. I think this sounds like a great idea, and you should definitely do it...and then get a 16' or something ridiculously bigger as well, just 'cause it's fun.
-Thomas
Fruita, C)

Thank you. Yes, I think it will be plenty big enough for my uses. This picture from the website shows it with a frame big enough for 2 coolers and a dry box. That's probably more than I need most times. From canoeing we've developed an efficient packing system. No cast iron! :)
 

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I own a white one and it is three years old now and I’ve been super happy with it. I use it locally on slaughterhouse when the water gets bigger and have had it on Ruby the Dolores and several other multi-day trips. I can handle it myself if need be but with two it is a no brainer. If you have any questions send me a PM. If you are planning on doing overnights as it sounds like you are I would suggest asking for an extra set of D rings installed in the back if you are going to order it custom.
 

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I own a white one and it is three years old now and I’ve been super happy with it. I use it locally on slaughterhouse when the water gets bigger and have had it on Ruby the Dolores and several other multi-day trips. I can handle it myself if need be but with two it is a no brainer. If you have any questions send me a PM. If you are planning on doing overnights as it sounds like you are I would suggest asking for an extra set of D rings installed in the back if you are going to order it custom.
On a side note, how has the white Hypalon held up, color wise?
 

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Honestly extremely well. I was a bit skeptical but not having to regulate pressure on a boat once it is inflated and not burn my ass is awesome. I will admit that I do get on it pretty good with a sponge when I get out of some of those silty rivers but I am certainly not overly anal. If anything the white was almost too bright brand new and it is dulled out nicely and is not yellowing or anything else. On top of that white is super classic in my opinion.
 

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On a side note, how has the white Hypalon held up, color wise?
I have a Hyside Thundercat in white and I had a Mini-Max in white too...and no regrets. My Aire 146DD is white too. They defintely show their dirtyness more then other colors...but its no big deal as long as you aren't a complete OCD neatnick. I had my Cat on the trailer for most of the last two seasons and it has been holding up well. I should probably be more vigilant with the 303 applications. Like, mkashzg, I give it a scrub down with a sponge or cloth after the silt runs like Westwater. At the end of the season I'll do a deep clean with Inflatable Boat Cleaner and a pack of Magic Erasers and then a heavy coat of 303...and its been great.

Its crazy the temperature difference. My Aire has the usual gray chafe pad, and on a hot day the main white fabric is basically cool to the touch and the grey hurts. I haven't measured it...but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a 30-40 degree difference.

Anyways...the whole series of boats in the mini series from Hyside are great. I'm always surprised how much gear you can get into one. I've done some 5 day trips with the Mini-Max and it was great. I had it setup with a Canyon Coolers 55 (which feels like its designed for those boats) and I could fit 3 30mm(the wide ones) next to each other in a drop bag. I usually carried a couple of those plus a water jug on multi-days. I made the frame modular and would put a seat bar on it for day trips too.

The setup in the picture you posted (with the girl in the Blue one) seems like a pretty slick setup. Those dry boxes aren't huge, but I'm sure they'd do. Might be worth doing a custom box for it that accomodates the relatively narrow width of the Max 12 but longer so you can fit bigger items?
 

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If your looking for a one boat daily driver with overnight, multi day potential, I'd size up to hyside 13' or more preferably 14'. I own a mini max that I r1-2 Creek with and have a 14' ordered for long days, overnight, and multi day. You will inevitably begin to take longer trips and quickly maximize your space. Hyside makes great boats and you won't lost performance moving up to 13/14'. My $.02
 

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If your looking for a one boat daily driver with overnight, multi day potential, I'd size up to hyside 13' or more preferably 14'. I own a mini max that I r1-2 Creek with and have a 14' ordered for long days, overnight, and multi day. You will inevitably begin to take longer trips and quickly maximize your space. Hyside makes great boats and you won't lost performance moving up to 13/14'. My $.02
The Hyside 12' Outfitter series is actually a really good "everything boat"... probably more then the 13'. Both NRS and Hyside do this for some reason...but their 12' boats in the medium tier boats(Otter and Outfitter respectively) actually have larger tubes then the 13' ones. They can hold a bunch of weight and the extra tube size gets you through big stuff a bit better. Two buddies of mine just sold their 13' boats and got 12'ers and couldn't be happier. Pretty sure one of them just took his down the Grand in October and he ran it down the MFS at 5' and we turned the corner onto the main at like 48k CFS in June and it did great.

If you are doing multi-day though....a 14' boat can do everything from smaller technical runs all the way up to the Grand Canyon sized stuff. Maybe not as great for R2-3 duty...but as a rowing rig they still do great. If you wanna take 4-8 friends...then they are awesome. Most trips down there aren't gonna be happy with the carrying capacity of a smaller boats on longer multi-days...but a 14' boat is just big enough where people won't gripe about you not carrying your weight most of the time.
 

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The Hyside 12' Outfitter series is actually a really good "everything boat"... probably more then the 13'. Both NRS and Hyside do this for some reason...but their 12' boats in the medium tier boats(Otter and Outfitter respectively) actually have larger tubes then the 13' ones. They can hold a bunch of weight and the extra tube size gets you through big stuff a bit better. Two buddies of mine just sold their 13' boats and got 12'ers and couldn't be happier. Pretty sure one of them just took his down the Grand in October and he ran it down the MFS at 5' and we turned the corner onto the main at like 48k CFS in June and it did great.

If you are doing multi-day though....a 14' boat can do everything from smaller technical runs all the way up to the Grand Canyon sized stuff. Maybe not as great for R2-3 duty...but as a rowing rig they still do great. If you wanna take 4-8 friends...then they are awesome. Most trips down there aren't gonna be happy with the carrying capacity of a smaller boats on longer multi-days...but a 14' boat is just big enough where people won't gripe about you not carrying your weight most of the time.
I like the outfitter 12', used to guide it on Clear Creek a lot. I also forgot about the 12' Max this year which has interesting specs(74' straight tube, 19 diameter). Back to the OP tho... Sounds like they will mostly be doing float, fish, overnight trips. In that case a 14' is the way to go IMO. I personally wouldnt buy any boat under 14' unless I'm creeking and paddling. You are always gonna miss the extra space and a 14er can go down any river you gonna row.
 

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I like the outfitter 12', used to guide it on Clear Creek a lot. I also forgot about the 12' Max this year which has interesting specs(74' straight tube, 19 diameter). Back to the OP tho... Sounds like they will mostly be doing float, fish, overnight trips. In that case a 14' is the way to go IMO. I personally wouldnt buy any boat under 14' unless I'm creeking and paddling. You are always gonna miss the extra space and a 14er can go down any river you gonna row.
Sorry, but you are not going to get a 14' and all the gear in the back of my Tacoma no matter how hard you try. My Max 12 does get used as a paddle boat often or I would have bought the Outfitter series instead.
 

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Not inflated you aren't....but if I take my topper off, I can easily fit 2 dry boxes and a cooler plus my 146DD rolled up into the back, and then frame and oars and whatever else on top of that. Still room for small bags and water jugs and such too. I've driven up to Idaho multiple times with it like that when I didn't feel like taking the trailer.

That said, I could fit the Mini-Max in with ease and with room to spare. I built the frame so it could go inside the topper too. My cat frame doesn't break down and is too wide for the topper but when its off it fits everything with room to spare too. I really need to get a rack for my topper so I can put the frame and oars up there.
 

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My topper has never been taken off as I really don't have a place to store it. I also have a bed in the back with storage underneath that I suppose I could remove but that would require complete reorganization of everything in it. Once I get my raft, cooler, small dry box and ammo cans etc. and personal gear all in there I have a pretty good Tetris game on my hands. My Sawyer oars are only 8' so they fit length wise in the truck with the blades removed and the spare oars go on top with my frame. You can see my raft in the window and the back is full. Unfortunately I don't have any place to store a trailer either so inside the back of the truck it all goes!
 

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My Tacoma is a '97, so smaller than current models and looks like yours is similar vintage. With a cap. but no "furniture" inside. My boat is an E-150 Two dry boxes, two Captains' boxes, cooler, dry bags, and gear. Before I got a trailer, I could fit it all. Frame and oars went on the roof rack. It was NOT fun to load or unload, but it can be done. The frame didn't fit well on the rack, either.

So happy to have a trailer now and can haul inflated and mostly rigged. I never want to do that hot, sweaty tetris puzzle again.

One Rogue trip when I had my first trailer, I left my roof racks at home to see if it made a difference in fuel economy. Shuttle driver broke my trailer, and I could NOT fit the rack anywhere, so I was glad to be able to jury rig the trailer and nurse it back home. I would have had to have made a separate trip back to Agness to pick up the frame. The racks stay on now.... just in case.
 

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Just picked mine up yesterday from Riverboat Works in Salida. 15% off, I went with green but they still have a blue one in stock. No difference from the 2020 to 2021 model, good deal if you're serious about getting one and don't mind blue. Super stoked to get this thing outfitted.
 

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Hello boaters,
I'm about to buy my first raft. I'm an avid and experienced canoeist and have done many raft trips as well but on other people's boats. My typical usage is going to be for easy multi day trips and fishing. Every year I will run the Ruby Horsethief a couple of times. Sometimes with a group but often with just myself, my wife and our 30lb dog. I would love to do similar runs on other rivers. I would also like to do fishing laps on stretches on the Gunnison, Arkansas, North Platte, etc. At this point I am considering ordering a new Hyside Max 12.0. It seems like a good size boat for my needs. Small enough for myself and my wife to wrangle it. I have a full sized Suburban and it looks like I could transport it on the roof. It also seems big enough for overnight excursions. We tend to pack light. I'd love to hear people's opinions on other boat brands. Similar size though. I'm just thinking about the actual raft right now. I'll make another post when I start thinking about frame options.
Thank you in advance,
Russell

I think you might consider a Hyside Outfitter 12.0. It is 4" wider between tubes so it is easier to get an 80 quart cooler into it. They boat fine as paddle rafts and in an R2 configuration. I personally think the 12.0 max is a great day tripper and paddle boat but due to it's narrowness is hard to rig for more than a day or two.
Also a 12 ft boat is tight for two people and a dog. It can be done and has been done but I think a 13' boat would serve you better.
 

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Another option is a Super Puma. It is ~14’ but small & light enough for 2. Nothing wrong with the Hyside. Good boat for 2 and if you’re used to packing light it’ll do fine. The SP would give a bit more room in front/back but still plenty maneuverable.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Thank you all for your time and interest. After reading all the replies I’m now leaning towards a 13’ boat. And to the Hyside Outfitter series rather than the Max. My next question is would it be worth it to pay an extra $600 or so for a 13’ Pro series? It has the heavier material but other than weight the same specs as the 13’ Outfitter. I really can only own one boat at a time. And I would consider a 14’ boat but I am at the absolute limit of my budget at 5k for the rubber alone. I also would consider a good used boat but as we all know these boats hold their value to an unbelievable degree. They're like Sprinter vans in that regard. And there really isn’t much available. There are 20 year old boats going for half of a new boat now. 10 year old boats are 75% of a new one or more. As an example there is a 14' Hyside for sale near me that the owner bought from an outfitter in 2002. So it's ridiculously old and hard used. But I bet it's awesome. I believe him when he says it holds air better than his new boat. He wants $2800obo. That's half of what a brand new Hyside 14' Pro would cost. But maybe the way to go? Should I make an offer on it. Do I really need to spend the extra money on a new boat? Any thoughts? Thanks everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Good info, thanks. I've got a full sized Suburban with all of the rear seats removed. I built a platform so now I have a 4'x8' storage area in the back. Great for sleeping in the rig, but amazing for hauling gear. It also has great hidden storage under the front part of the platform. I should be able to get all the gear, frame and the rolled raft in the back for those times when I don't want to haul the trailer. I will use a trailer most of the time. Especially for fishing when I might be putting in and taking out every day for a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sorry, but you are not going to get a 14' and all the gear in the back of my Tacoma no matter how hard you try. My Max 12 does get used as a paddle boat often or I would have bought the Outfitter series instead.
Great info, thanks! One thing I like about the 12 Max is that you can put a longer frame on it than on the Outfitter. I can envision some scenarios where I'm solo going very light on an overnight where I might want to rig a platform so I can throw down a bivy sack and sleep on the boat. The max frame length for the Outfitter is 5'6". That might make the difference for me. Even though I will probably never use the boat as a paddle boat. Is that the 12 Max in your photo? I love the white.
 
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