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Discussion Starter #1
i am looking at a used 14' NRS otter, the pre-2005 model that is only 6'-6" wide (same as the current NRS 142 model). understanding the reduction in gear carrying capacity as compared to some other 14' boats (NRS 140 is 14-0 long and 7-0 wide, Hyside Outfitter Pro is 14-3 long and 6-10 wide), is this reduction in width a stability issue when loaded?

i would like a raft that will allow me to consider running bigger water multi-days such as cataract, grand, salmon, snake, etc. at "typical" flows once my oar skills improve. i have seen other posts suggesting that a 14' boat is the smallest people would want for a grand trip, i just want to make sure this boat will not be too small for that or the other big water options i noted above. i am not as concerned with reduced gear capacity, given that most of my trips will just be me and the wife with maybe one additional passenger. it seems like a lot of 14' boats are cut with about a 7' width, so does the narrow cut of this model otter at only 6-6 make it less stable in big water? any experience or advice is appreciated. later.
 

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That's what she said. Hopefully.

I have a 16' boat because I learned to row bigger boats and I enjoy having lots of space when I need it. That being said, with all the day trips around here, 14' would be better. And for the long-ass trips, 14' would be fine. I know lots of 14' owners who've run the Big Ditch with 'em, no prob.
 

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I'd look bigger than that Otter for some of those rivers. Also check tube size, I think some of the otters had smaller tubes than the more "expedition" grade boats. You definitely want the width for Cataract and the Grand. 14' on those rivers is small, and usually for experienced/ready to flip type boaters. If that's not you, I'd look a bit bigger. 15' is a good compromise size, quite a step up from 14' (esp the skinnier ones you are talking about), and the storage is a bit better, two storage bays/dryboxes/coolers in front of the cockpit don't make the rest of the boat as cramped as with a 14'. I sometimes wonder if I should have gotten a 15' last summer, (bought a 14') FWIW. I think that mostly when I think of BIG water, and long term gear storage space.
 

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My 14 ft Hyside is actually 6'-8" wide with 38" interior width so you will only gain an inch with that boat. I would consider the NRS 140 "extra" wide and somewhat of a barge at 7 ft wide. The extra space would be nice but not neccesary.

The 6'-6" NRS 142 is the perfect width for a 14 ft boat. Stability won't be a problem but if you are looking at the Grand or Cataract with 3 people I would look for a 15-16 footer. Good used boats are hard to find so good luck with that.

i am looking at a used 14' NRS otter, the pre-2005 model that is only 6'-6" wide (same as the current NRS 142 model). understanding the reduction in gear carrying capacity as compared to some other 14' boats (NRS 140 is 14-0 long and 7-0 wide, Hyside Outfitter Pro is 14-3 long and 6-10 wide), is this reduction in width a stability issue when loaded?

i would like a raft that will allow me to consider running bigger water multi-days such as cataract, grand, salmon, snake, etc. at "typical" flows once my oar skills improve. i have seen other posts suggesting that a 14' boat is the smallest people would want for a grand trip, i just want to make sure this boat will not be too small for that or the other big water options i noted above. i am not as concerned with reduced gear capacity, given that most of my trips will just be me and the wife with maybe one additional passenger. it seems like a lot of 14' boats are cut with about a 7' width, so does the narrow cut of this model otter at only 6-6 make it less stable in big water? any experience or advice is appreciated. later.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
as mania knows first hand, i am a tad gun shy on the big stuff (see avatar).

as for additional info to consider, i already have an 11.5' "play boat" for day trips, fishing, and paddle raft use. the 14' will be my second boat for big water and/or multi-days. i must have caught the bug.

lhowemt, are you running your 14' on big water on the Lochsa? if so, paddle raft or oar rig? big water there would be as big as i would want to be on.
 

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if you already have a small boat for day trips and fishing...I would say step up to a 15, 15.5 or 16 footer...especially if your only going to use it for big trips and overnighters! You'll be happy you did in the end...
 

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The Russian
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On my last Deso trip this year we had 3 14 footers and 3 16 footers. I noticed the 16 footers had much more space for the passengers and they weren't cramped as much as the 14 footers. Also, I noticed the gear load on smaller boat was much higher than the bigger boats (spread more horizontally).

I own an old 16 footer Riken and looking for 15.5-16 foot NRS now. With the family, I like to have stability and space for them to be comfortable. If you have a small play boat already, I'd say go big (15.5-16).
 

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as mania knows first hand, i am a tad gun shy on the big stuff (see avatar).

as for additional info to consider, i already have an 11.5' "play boat" for day trips, fishing, and paddle raft use. the 14' will be my second boat for big water and/or multi-days. i must have caught the bug.

lhowemt, are you running your 14' on big water on the Lochsa? if so, paddle raft or oar rig? big water there would be as big as i would want to be on.
You have a small boat. Set your eyes on a 16 footer++ the bug will be happy for a lot longgggger.
 

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lhowemt, are you running your 14' on big water on the Lochsa? if so, paddle raft or oar rig? big water there would be as big as i would want to be on.
I did earlier this spring, oar rig. I think I ran up to just over 4'. Then my cat came, so I never went back. It would have been pretty brutal running it when the L was over 8', the few rafts that ran it looked like freaking freight trains, just pounding and launching down the river, and most of them were 16' or bigger. It turned out great for me to get the cat, as if I was running that raft on high L water, I'd probably be regretting the raft size. Maybe the cat biases me, it is so smooth through huge water, and has such good brakes, my raft seems small to me now. But, there were more than a few privates on smaller boats I seem to recall mostly paddle, but a few oar also.

If I was only going to use a raft on it, I'd go for a 15'.
 

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boats

Since you have an otter for day boating go big. A 14' boat is the best all around boat on the planet but, on the other side of the coin, it isn't as much fun as the 11.5 or can accommodate a large support boat. Most of the trips you mentioned will take an 18' rig with no issues until the water drops out.

I have a great 18' Avon spirit that I have refurbished using flex tuff and a great many hours of sniffing glue. It is in great shape and would be a perfect boat to convert to a SB floor.

Good luck
 

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I have run Cataract at 25000 in my tiny 4' wide cat. It was perfectly capable of handling the big waves - just t-up to everything, eh? No matter how wide your craft is, don't hit stuff sideways!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
no plans to take the month of vacation yet, but just want to have the option . . .

was primarily using those trips to define the limits of what i might do if i were to become the luckiest permit winner on earth and get them all right after i buy the boat. more reasonable possiblities include the salt, deso, yampa canyon, westwater, and the like. i might not be able to pass up the deal on this 14' otter which will at least give me more space than the little boat i have now. sounds like a 15' boat would be ideal for me given all the posts above, but the frame with this package will work on a 15' boat should i ever want to upsize the rubber after a few years.

as frank said, used rubber is good to find. i have a lead on this used 14' package, and i might not pass it up if it meets about 90% of my desires. later all.
 

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Well, you have a boat for day trips. 14' would be good for a one boat fleet. 16' would be perfect for everything you mentioned except the Grand. I think I would buy a 16' and rent a sweet 18' set up if you end up on a grand trip down the road. Just my 2 cents...
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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I recently bought a 15' boat which is 7' wide. I love the extra space compared to a 14 footer and it really makes a difference on long trips and overnighters. That being said, personally, I wouldn't want anything bigger.
 

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The westwater advise was spot on. Don't blame us for a botched line. LOL turn on sarcasm meter now

You already have the small boat, I'd go for the larger 15 to 16 ft now. I have a superpuma and its been a great boat. Done a ton of trips on smaller rivers and been in some BIG water with it as well. Now that I have a child, I'm looking at a 16ft in the near future. Just means that I'll have to outfit it all over again... and that's half the fun.
 

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You already have the small boat, I'd go for the larger 15 to 16 ft now. I have a superpuma and its been a great boat. Done a ton of trips on smaller rivers and been in some BIG water with it as well. Now that I have a child, I'm looking at a 16ft in the near future. Just means that I'll have to outfit it all over again... and that's half the fun.

I'm in agreement with Brendo. I have a similar sized raft as the super puma... a 13.6ft Sotar Elite and while I love love love this boat, in an ideal world I would also own a 15 or 16 footer. I personally wouldn't go larger than 16ft. Everyone will have a different opinion, but unless your running the Grand, as your regular run (imagine that) an 18 footer is just too much boat.

So in summation, I say buy the 14 footer if that deal is too good to pass up on. Otherwise, get yourself a 16 footer and you'll have the best of both worlds.
 

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The Russian
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If you are getting a boat to haul a girlfriend or a bunny on long trips, get a 14 footer, that's plenty. If you are getting it for a family with kids, bigger boat would serve you better. Kids will be happier with more free space and wife won't complain.
 
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