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Thread: Packraft for fishing trip(s)

  1. #1

    Default Packraft for fishing trip(s)

    I am headed up to float and fish the Wulik River this Fall. I am looking to purchase a packraft for this trip and my possible next one.
    I am 6 ft 4, weigh 210 lbs. On this trip I will have 2 50 lb duffel bags with me plus a little more.

    I am hoping next year to do a backpacking and floating trip. About a week split between each. Max would be class 3, mostly
    1 and 2. My pack will be at 45 lbs.

    I am looking at the Alpacka Fjord Explorer. Any thoughts? The Wulik is pretty tame so that will help with the added weight.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Sorry to be offering advice without personal experience with Alpacka. but I've been stranded before by taking a raft that wasn't up to the environment. My tendency would be to have more raft than I think I need. Size not so much of a concern as the durability of the fabric. Have you looked at the PR 49?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    Sorry to be offering advice without personal experience with Alpacka. but I've been stranded before by taking a raft that wasn't up to the environment. My tendency would be to have more raft than I think I need. Size not so much of a concern as the durability of the fabric. Have you looked at the PR 49?
    I have looked into the PR49. looks like a good raft.
    The extra 9 lbs and $400 was what has me leaning towards the Alpacka.

  4. #4
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    The PR 49 is a good raft for specific purposes. However, when it comes to backpacking, ounces add up to pounds and pounds add up to pain. I would not want to carry the added weight and bulk of a PR49 for more than a day unless that is what I already owned and couldn't justify buying another boat. My Alpacka experience is only on a couple of day trips but they were built for the purpose you seem to have in mind.

  5. #5
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I own both rafts you ask about and have hunted from both. The AP will work but will be at capacity with you and gear and your gear will be on your legs the entire float... I would chose the PR49 for that trip.

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

  6. #6

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    if i may, the three things I think about when judging boat choice:

    1. I strongly disliked having to sit in the floor of the alpacka. I stayed wet and cold on fall trips, which motivated me to rethink the concept of packable rafts. The sitting in the floor option will begin to hurt ya in cold wet weather periods. But the part of the sitting in the floor option is overcome by bringing a 1 to 1.5 lb sleeping pad to insulate the floor and make it somewhat more rigid, but you'll still be cold and wet a lot of the time and only 9-lbs away from removing all that drama and misery by having more boat. No thank you for me. Sitting in the floor also makes paddle strokes less comfortable and less efficient. Once i designed the seating platforms my paddling control and warmth and comfort were WAY more advantageous than the weight savings concerns. That's my personal opinion.

    2. The weight is the weight. Whether its 6 lbs or 16 pounds is negligible if you can avoid it. Would i pay $400 more for a more viable comfortable and performance oriented experience? Without one shred of doubt, especially if i plan to use that same boat for another trip where i need to float out 1-2 animals and/or my dogs or a partner in one boat. No brainer.

    3. Safety concerns. No need to drive this point home, just ask anyone who has been in a scenario where they needed more boat than the alpacka's offered. There will be times where your choice to save money or weight and boat capacity will make you realize the necessity to consider the larger picture and more boat.

    All that said, i've floated the wulik in late august in an Alpacka explorer and had a great time in great weather. I've floated the same river in crappy conditions and been colder than i care to describe because of being wet and miserable all day without being able to escape the drama because of the choice i made in watercraft.

    No thank you. That's the reason the PR49 came to be, nothing more. Yes, it's more boat than you'll need for some trips, but just barely enough for the trips that you'll need when reflecting on the big picture of your desired potential and end results.

    You described a payload of 450-lbs give or take, which is a lot for any alpacka (70-80% of allowed capacity) but not even 50% of what a boat like the PR49 (or Feathercraft Beast) provides.

    If you want to take one to try without paying a dime, call me. I'd rather lend a boat for you to try and you have a great experience, opposed to hearing your report afterwards being, "dang i should have heeded that advice."

    LB

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    The PR 49 is a good raft for specific purposes. However, when it comes to backpacking, ounces add up to pounds and pounds add up to pain. I would not want to carry the added weight and bulk of a PR49 for more than a day unless that is what I already owned and couldn't justify buying another boat. My Alpacka experience is only on a couple of day trips but they were built for the purpose you seem to have in mind.
    I annually do summer backpacking trips with my wife and I that often have me carrying a PR-49 anyway from 15-50 miles total and floating out the same distance a different route out. The weight between two Alpackas with spray decks and a PR-49 is pretty nil actually.

    I own both PR-49s and Alpackas and both have their place. If you want to do mostly white water or logging A LOT of miles solo Alpackas are the ticket. However the comfort or ride and capacity of the PR-49s and ability to haul two people with enough gear for a 10 day trip if needed it makes it pretty hard to take the Alpacka anymore both my wife and I are going. How many miles or packing and floating do you plan do to?

    Here are a couple pics from the 50 mile loops I did with my wife last week in the PR-49:




    Yes its another 9 pounds if solo the extra comfort while floating is worth the extra weight while hiking.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the all the helpful insight.
    Since Im not sure what next years trip will be I decided to go with the PR49, which is definitely better for this year. Plus Im going solo so want a little more safety
    On my last raft trip we had 3 days of constant rain, which was crappy in our large rowing raft. So I decided to go the more comfortable option. I also pulled the trigger on a new Mountain Hardwear Trango tent. My last tent was over 20 years old and I didn't feel like trying to waterproof it.

    Larry thanks for the offer even though I didn't take you up on it.

    Great sight here, thanks. Love all the pics.

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