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Thread: Two man and a moose raft

  1. #1
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    Default Two man and a moose raft

    Greetings O'great forum. We are looking for some advice on a raft before calling the raft people. Our requirements are: capacity for 2 old farts (one small guy and one larger), gear for 12 days, one moose (we also plan on stowing a smaller raft in the improbable event that we harvested two moose). We want to try a different class l or ll river each year (suggestions are welcome) but are looking at the Bravo-India-Romeo-Charlie-Hotel creek for this fall because it is a road to road float. We would like the ability to roll it up in case we need to do a fly-in in the future if at all possible. We know we need a rowing setup. It has been suggested that we rent first and we haven’t decided yet but we are leaning toward buying because of the rental cost (although very fair) for a long trip might be 1/3 the cost of buying. 1) What would you recommend for a primary raft. 2) Advice on the smaller carry-on raft for one guy, one moose if needed. (Thanks Mike for your advice on the solo, one moose rig but we are now wanting to start out in the same raft if possible).

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    I have a 14 tributary that i have used on that river and others. heavier than an Otter, but really tough shell, you can plan on dragging the boat on that river . i have had it in a small plane for other locations. 2 hunters, 1 moose and 1 caribou. Lots of options out there. good luck.

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    Thanks Akcampr.

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    Default Inflatable Boats for Alaska Float Hunts

    What he said. A 14' round boat should do the trick for that hunt. I prefer self-bailers for a variety of reasons, but if you're trying to cut down weight and bulk, you could go with a bucket boat and your air charter will love you for it. All of the main brands are fine; AIRE, NRS, SOTAR, Hyside, for example. Then you have the two main Alaska-based companies; Alaska Series and Pristine Ventures. You'll want to question owners of these boats before you plunk down your cash. You might have to weed through a lot of newer hunters who may have only owned one boat before, and therefore might not know the pros & cons of other brands. Objectivity is sometimes hard to find. I'd like to think I'm objective, but I know that in the past I've had strong biases pro or against certain brands, sometimes with good reason and sometimes it was just a dislike.

    It wouldn't be a bad idea to interview a couple of raft shops regarding the durability of these boats and any known issues. Most shops carry one or more brands, so they're going to steer you in their direction, so be advised. But you can pick up some good info that way, especially if you really get to know the staff. I would recommend calling Alaska Raft and Kayak in Anchorage, and Beaver Sports in Fairbanks for recommendations. I don't know for sure, and it's been a while since I was in contact with them, but it may be that Beaver Sports doesn't carry larger round boats anymore. All I see on their site today are packrafts from Alpacka. Good boats, for sure. But I have never been a fan of packrafts as a primary conveyance for float hunting; particularly when it comes to moose.

    Some air charters and transporters will try to push you into a 14' non bailer for everything, because it works well for them. Do what you like, but, I don't let the air service dictate what boats I can use any more than I tell them what aircraft to use to get me there. That pilot isn't gonna be helping you drag that overloaded boat through the shallows for days. Take the best advice you can get and stick to your guns. If you can't find an operator that will haul it to the field for you, find another operator. You're the customer. As long as it fits through the door without damaging anything, and as long as it falls within the weight restrictions imposed by the FAA and the carrier, I don't care if you bring a grand piano. It's your decision.

    Be careful about locking yourself into one type of boat, and then trying to make it fit all contexts. The good and the bad of various types of boats is that they are not all suited for all types of rivers. I tell my clients to let the river choose the boat! Whatever you get, you are going to automatically restrict yourself to certain maximum loads and certain types of rivers. That's not a problem if you are certain that your boat will fit the loads and places you plan to go. But if you're looking for an "everything" boat, you're not going to find it. Most folks I know that do extensive float hunting have more than one choice in the gear shed.

    Finally, you might take a look at our Inflatable Boats section on the main site. Tons of information there that might be of use to you. Here are the sections in there:




    We need a separate page just about raft capacities; it comes up all the time, and for good reasons. Some manufacturers don't state capacities at all, while others grossly exaggerate their numbers beyond what's practical in the field. A couple or three years ago I did a load test on a 14' self-bailing NRS Otter on the Upper Kenai, and came up with some pretty interesting observations. I will try to post that intel on a new page in that section, in addition to reviewing the section for updates. It's been a while. The short story on the load test was that I ended up with 2,000 lbs. on that boat, and it scared me. The tubes were elliptical at the end, and the inflatable floor had hogged up in the middle to the point that it would have eventually ended up level with the tops of the tubs. Left me with the impression that if I got anywhere near a sharp rock or a beaver punji stick, the tubes would have exploded.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself or guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Addresses
    http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    https://akoutdoorsuniversity.com
    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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    Thanks a-million Mike,
    You always come through with valuable information.
    -Dan

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    IIRC the SOAR has a 1500# capacity, I like mine but haven had the opportunity to take it hunting yet, only fishing

  7. #7

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    For what it's worth, our hunters tend to push the limits of our boats...it's the Alaskan way to some degree of safety. The smallest and lightest two-man pkg that will hold two moose and gear (under adequate water depths and river character) is the Pioneer Xstream. Keep bail holes screwed closed and the boat will hold 2,000 but will be low and heavy with about 5" of tubes above water. Load the bow and stern heavy to take advantage of the oversized tubes. Plenty of lashing points everywhere on all our models. Pkg weight with row kit and oars is 100 lbs.

    The next size up is the Levitator. It'll hold 2 guys, gear, 2 moose, and another few hundred pounds of whatever. Pkg weight with counter balanced oars and row kit is around 140-150 lbs (scales vary).

    Many guys who want to take one Pioneer Xstream but worry about the extra weight after 2 moose will opt to take a Kork or PR49 as a backup freight hauler if necessary. Keep it rolled and stowed until you need it sort of thing.

    larry
    https://pristineventures.com

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    ive floated that river 4 times in the last 5 years with limited success. we have a 15' otter SB and a 16' Aire Tributary SB. usually 4 guys and a ****ton of gear. last year we added a levitator to the group (6 people). in my limited experience, i have found that you always have more weight capacity than real estate in a raft. my tributary is a large raft, and i think it would be challenging to have 2 guys, gear and a whole moose on it. i would have to change the way we float hunt and leave the camp chairs, cots, fold up table, etc at home in order to have space. if i was doing that trip with two guys, It would be tough to decide on trying to squeeze into the big raft, or take the otter and the levitator. we also stay on the river for 10-12 days.
    dont expect to be by yourselves on that river..seems like more people every year.
    also, if you get a moose upstream of the two main whitewater areas, i wouldnt want to take a heavy raft through those. I think they might get to maybe a class III worst case. I have zero experience with whitewater, but 2 people, a moose, and lots of gear in one raft and I would want to avoid anything greater than a frisky class I. those big rafts move pretty sluggish, especially with heavy loads.
    Also, there is a potential for caribou on that river. wouldnt want to have to pass up one of those tasty critters because you dont have space...
    last year we were lucky and were able to get a small bull and 4 bou on our float.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    For what it's worth, our hunters tend to push the limits of our boats...it's the Alaskan way to some degree of safety. The smallest and lightest two-man pkg that will hold two moose and gear (under adequate water depths and river character) is the Pioneer Xstream. Keep bail holes screwed closed and the boat will hold 2,000 but will be low and heavy with about 5" of tubes above water. Load the bow and stern heavy to take advantage of the oversized tubes. Plenty of lashing points everywhere on all our models. Pkg weight with row kit and oars is 100 lbs.

    The next size up is the Levitator. It'll hold 2 guys, gear, 2 moose, and another few hundred pounds of whatever. Pkg weight with counter balanced oars and row kit is around 140-150 lbs (scales vary).

    Many guys who want to take one Pioneer Xstream but worry about the extra weight after 2 moose will opt to take a Kork or PR49 as a backup freight hauler if necessary. Keep it rolled and stowed until you need it sort of thing.

    larry
    Thanks for the good info Larry. It's on my list to call you when I can.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish-hunter View Post
    ive floated that river 4 times in the last 5 years with limited success. we have a 15' otter SB and a 16' Aire Tributary SB. usually 4 guys and a ****ton of gear. last year we added a levitator to the group (6 people). in my limited experience, i have found that you always have more weight capacity than real estate in a raft. my tributary is a large raft, and i think it would be challenging to have 2 guys, gear and a whole moose on it. i would have to change the way we float hunt and leave the camp chairs, cots, fold up table, etc at home in order to have space. if i was doing that trip with two guys, It would be tough to decide on trying to squeeze into the big raft, or take the otter and the levitator. we also stay on the river for 10-12 days.
    dont expect to be by yourselves on that river..seems like more people every year.
    also, if you get a moose upstream of the two main whitewater areas, i wouldnt want to take a heavy raft through those. I think they might get to maybe a class III worst case. I have zero experience with whitewater, but 2 people, a moose, and lots of gear in one raft and I would want to avoid anything greater than a frisky class I. those big rafts move pretty sluggish, especially with heavy loads.
    Also, there is a potential for caribou on that river. wouldnt want to have to pass up one of those tasty critters because you dont have space...
    last year we were lucky and were able to get a small bull and 4 bou on our float.
    Thanks a-million for your valuable info fish-hunter. I really appreciate it.

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