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Thread: Need guidance on raft purchase??

  1. #1
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    Default Need guidance on raft purchase??

    Well as I sit here pondering new adventures in Alaska I am starting to get the float hunting bug! I have thought about it before but have not researched much. I have about 10 months before I come home, so I am thinking I may get it done now.

    What I am looking for from all of the experience on here is some basic guidance towards what type of raft to purchase and why.
    My basic purposes would be anything from a fly in float out caribou hunt up north, to moose, and also used to float some awesome fishing rivers.

    What I would be doing.

    Need to be able to haul 2 people and one moose plus all gear, but I want to be able to contol it solo as well.

    Durablity of course. Most good Alaskan made equipment is that!

    Warranty. I would like to have a decent warranty should something go wrong with it. I would also like to be able to action on the warranty if need be.

    Needs to be able to pack into a plane.

    I haven't looked yet so am not really sure on what kind of cash I would be laying down. If I were to look at used rafts, what should I be inspecting for to ensure the serviceablity and longevity of it?

    Any other tips you can through this way would be great.

    Last thing. Do any of you do much floating outside of Alaska. Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah Idaho, places like that??

    Thanks all Jason

  2. #2
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    Two people with one moose: 14' round raft or 16' cataraft would be minimum. Either can be fitted into small airplanes. I prefer self bailing round rafts, but others choose cats. The round raft is usually lighter all around when the extra frame parts are added to the cat, and are easier to set up. I have both. Cats break down into smaller packages, so are easier to load into small planes. Non-bailing rafts are lighter, pack more, and cost less than self bailers but are not as nice to use. Catarafts are better suited for whitewater, and are often easier to row into a headwind. All of them work well enough to make you happy with your purchase.

  3. #3
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    One more thing to add to Jim's post. I believe Aire is the only one in the business that offers a 10 year no fault warrenty.

  4. #4
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    I am with Jim I would rather oar a round boat than a cat for most trips with weight and if I am not hauling gear and people and playing I like my cats that is unless I am in a cougar. NRS also offers a 10 year warranty on their expedition series rafts however they be self-Bailers which of course increases the weight and although Hypolon they do not fold as nice and flat as their Otters E series have thicker material and floors. Folding down and weight would be a similar concern with the AIRE boats and although I love my AIRE's, Tribs, and NRS Exp Boats but I do my float hunting out of a 15ft Otter Self Bailer as well as most of my fishing.

    15 E NRS - Self Bailing - 153 lbs take the Thawrts out save about 8 lbs. Cost 5150.00 without shipping, oars, pump or frame.
    14 E NRS - Self Bailing - 148 lbs Cost 4800.00 and some change without etc.
    15ft Otter- Self Bailing - 131 Lbs Cost $4045.00 without the fixen 5 year warranty
    14ft Livery Otter Non Bailer i.e. bucket boat with just about the same lift capacity of the 15ft Otter and NRS E Weight 94 Lbs cost $2175 without shipping etc...

    That is not to say it is better or worse concerning your appilication versus any other boats on the market such as the Soars, Sotars, or Jim King Boats just listing the specs and cost. For what is it worth I have been renting / using NRS Otters IMO for what your specing out in your post either a 15ft Bailing Otter or a 14ft Bucket Boat i.e. non-bailing boat would be a decent fit when you consdier your application versus cost versus warranty.

    Best wishes on your future purchase

    Blue Moose

  5. #5
    Member Jeff Shannon's Avatar
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    I certainly don't pretend to be any kind of self proclaimed raft expert, but I bought one of these 4 or 5 years ago and have loved it.

    http://www.pristineventures.com/prod...levitator.html

    It has a great weight capacity but is still relatively light weight. I've been more than pleased with it as an all purpose float boat.

  6. #6
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    J, I bought my Levitator in 2005 and it has seen use every year. It will haul 2 guys, 2 moose and gear EZ, takes about 25 minutes from plane to floating. The raft weights 114 lbs and about 45 more lbs for the oars, oar saddles and the nets, straps, pump ect...

    Larry B, had 3 guys and 3 moose in one last year. Not really a white water rig, but hard to beat for floating hunting and hauling.

    Use it to fish from as well. Maybe we can go out and try to out when you get back.



    Packed and ready to fly.







    Be Safe Bro and see Ya soon.

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  7. #7

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    You might look at the Soar Pro-Pioneer inflatable canoe with a oar setup. It will fulfill the requirements you described. It doesn't have the payload of a 14 or 15 ft raft, but weighs less. Last fall we put a moose, camp, and 2 guys in my Soar canoe which is smaller than the PP and although we were maxed out, we did fine. I'm looking for a used PP myself. Best of luck.

    This link has the PP, magnum, and levitator, all tried and trued hunting rigs.
    http://www.pristineventures.com/prod...ing-boats.html
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