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Thread: Advice on a raft purchase

  1. #1
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    Default Advice on a raft purchase

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    I am going to buy a raft but am not sure what I want. I have been looking at the Soar Levitator and the NRS-E150. Not set on those two but they are what I am looking at.

    Here is my uses I plan to do with it.

    Float the Kenai in spring for Rainbows then switch to the valley streams like the Willow for Kings and Rainbows and maybe the Gulkana. Then I plan on using this on fly out hunts for moose and or Caribou. Then when I get back I will be back on the Kenai for Rainbows in the fall.

    For all my fishing it will be my wife and I and our 2 boys and probably my Newfoundland dog.

    On hunts it will be me and one other person.

    I know the Levitator has the flat bottom but in some ways I really like that and I like the load hauling capabilities it has. I don't know if I can get a frame for this raft for fishing or not but assume so. Like I said still researching all this. If anyone knows then let me know.

    I am open to any and all opinions on this.

    Thanks
    Sam

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    Also I read the review from last year or should I say urinating contest on the Levitator versus a round front. So I know where everyone stands there. I am looking for advice on a raft that will do all I want to do.

  3. #3

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    15 foot boats are great boats. That boat might be a little big for what you are talking about though. I have ran 14,16,18 foot boats down the upper kenai and thru the canyon. 16 and 18 are for the guide services or big rivers.

    14 boat is a great boat and in my mind about as big as you would want for alaska fly out hunting. Idaho different story. When ever i did a fly out hunt we used 12 foot boats, but there wasn't to many rapids.

    However i am planning on buying a 15 foot nrs otter, it seems to be the best of both worlds down here in the lower 48. Can handle the little rivers and also get down the mighty grand canyon.

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    Here is the problem Idaho. 2 guys = 400 pounds
    2 moose = 1000 pounds then add gear. A 14 fter will hold the weight but does it have the room? I have floated the willow and little willow in a 16ft and had no problems for it being to big for the river. Thats where all my questions come in to play.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Replies

    Quote Originally Posted by 375ultramag View Post
    Here is the problem Idaho. 2 guys = 400 pounds
    2 moose = 1000 pounds then add gear. A 14 fter will hold the weight but does it have the room? I have floated the willow and little willow in a 16ft and had no problems for it being to big for the river. Thats where all my questions come in to play.
    Hello Sam,

    I wrote a reply to this over in the rafting forum in case you're interested.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  6. #6

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    pile it up. and unfortunatly there is no one boat for everything. That is why i have 3 kayaks. lol

    figure what is most important and go from there.

    Have you ever thought about a zodiac. I used to row a 17footer down the upper kenai and canyon. Not a great raft but when going accross skilak this boat was awesome. But i wouldn't want to get in anything over easy class 3 with one.

    There are also multiple ways of rowing a boat down a river. r2 is one way. basically the rowers are sitting right next to one another in the middle section of the boat. the gear is in the bow and stern. another way is canoe style, where the gear is in the middle and the rowers are in the bow or stearn. This is one way of saving room and not having to have a frame. I wouldn't use these methods above class 2 with a heavy load. But in most flyout tundra rivers, this shouldn't be a concern.

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    Sotars are a great boat, lightweight as well!

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    I have wondered about Sotars. What can anyone tell me about them other than price. This is an investment not a cheap way out.

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Sotar

    Quote Originally Posted by 375ultramag View Post
    I have wondered about Sotars. What can anyone tell me about them other than price. This is an investment not a cheap way out.
    SOTAR and WING hold the top spots in the plastic boat market in terms of weight and toughness. Unfortunately, WING is no longer in the raft business, so you'll have to pick one up on the used market.

    If I were looking at SOTAR, I'd check out anything made with their Lexatron fabric. It's a pure urethane coating on a poly scrim. Very light. Very tough. And, as you noted, very expensive. It is the lightest, toughest boat I know of.

    The downside is that plastic doesn't fold as well as the rubber boats; it's just not as flexible. On the water this is by far a superior feature (you don't want a raft that flexes, let me tell you! But moving it around, in and out of airplanes and such, can be a hassle.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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