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Thread: Buying first raft for arctic float trips (need help)

  1. #1
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Question Buying first raft for arctic float trips (need help)

    I float NW Alaska rivers each Fall and lately have found myself interested in some rivers in ANWR and Gates of the Arctic. Many of them have some class III and lined with sharp rocks. Problem is we use Ally pack canoes. Amazing canoes. Truly. While the boat may be capable of class III, I am not. I take my wife on these floats and thought a raft/cataraft would be a safer bet for these rivers. Max total weight on our trips (excluding boat) would be 700 lbs. Fly fishing is the main emphasis of the trips. Any suggestions on suitability of rafts/catarafts? How do you ship them up? Seems the raft, frame, and oars, would really be heavy. How do you ship something like this? That is one of the great things about the Ally pack canoes. They weigh 46 lbs and fit in a large backpack. I am in a new league now I see. How do you guys do it?
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Great Subject with Options Options Options

    Well being that I am a NRS / AIRE guy I will tell you stick with one of the Industry Standards which offer one of the best warranties however you have options weight verses capacity, verse warranty, verse profile i.e. kick, verse new age materials etc...

    If your looking to go as light as possible in a NRS consider the 13ft Non-Bailing Livery Series Otter. 41/1100 Hypolon material. 95 Lbs. Little lighter on the material side however 1100 D material is a standard Alaskan Hunting Raft and holds up well and priced under 2.5K

    If your looking for something a little more strudy goe with the E-130 NRS

    A bombproof compact raft that works perfectly for small paddle crews, rowing frames, or our NRS Fishing Frame. An extra foot in length over the 120 allows for a couple additional paddlers or more gear. Built with our toughest 1670-denier Hypalon and extensive HD40 floor armor!

    Revised Expedition Series
    For those boaters who habitually venture out to battle the sharpest rocks, swiftest currents and generally ugliest conditions, NRS developed the "Expedition Series Rafts." The features of this series include an extra heavy-duty floor and tubes constructed with 1670 denier/48 oz. Hypalonģ, an additional wide swath of commercial-grade HD-40 floor armor, a four-chamber tube construction, 6-8 EasyCarry™ handles, 14 stainless steel 2" D-rings, removable thwarts with the exclusive NRS BAT™ (Batten Attachment Thwarts) System and an extra heavy-duty wear patch to ensure full protection. Expedition rafts are available in our popular self-bailing floor with quick-draining holes and a pressure relief valve. Trouble-free Leafield™ valves ensure easy inflation. Strong enough to stand up to all the abuse outfitters can dish-out, this is the ultimate river workhorse. If you are a private boater, consider this the last boat you may ever have to buy. 10-year warranty, 5-year commercial


    http://www.nrsweb.com/

    I would also consider an AIRE Super Duper Puma if you look towards preformance and toughness in the 14 ft Range boat weight is 115 lbs figure compact frame oars package will weight about 145 Lbs. Or the ormal Super Puma in 13ft.


    series boats are great for both whitewater rafting and fishing. The narrow beam allows these rafts to descend smaller rivers and creeks than our more conventional sized rafts. Their higher rocker provides an exhilarating ride on whitewater like no other boat! With sizes ranging from 11 Ĺ’ to 14’ the Puma series rafts have a size to meet your demands.

    The Super Duper Puma is the Puma series’ newest addition. The Super Duper Puma increases the interior room, load capacity, and stability of the Super Puma. The Super Duper Puma can accommodate up to 3 thwarts for 8 paddlers and has plenty of room for three anglers. This raft is a happy medium between the sporty Super Puma and the punching power and stability of the 143 D.

    After that I would look into SOTAR SLR 13 or 14 little more money to get into one however a quality boat with a 5 year warranty. They tend to be lighter by a few pounds and are tuff as nails. 104 and 110 lbs 13-or 14ft.

    I would stay away from Catarafts on the slope for an every day type use boat however it is all personal prefernce verse does and and should nots.

    You also have AVON, Soar canoes, and of course Zebec Boats by 6th ave outfitters, Jim King and Star. Larry Bartlette has a couple of high-breds to look at as well one is a hypalon, poly coated boat in a 16ft length for hunting. It is not a performance boat i.e. white water by any means however it might fit your needs as well.

    Being that you first concern is fishing and flying in with weight to maintain I would lean towards the Otter Series by NRS or the Super Puma by AIRE as my first choice but then again I am some what Bias on the subject.

    Best of luck in your choice!

    Best wishes and Tight Lines

    Richard M. Moussseau
    www.bluemooserafting.com

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default A few thoughts

    Hello Dan,

    I received your PM; thanks for the kind words!

    Moose has some good ideas here; I especially like the larger Puma boats because you have a profile that is narrower than a standard round boat. This makes it easier to slide between obstacles on smaller streams or the occasional rock garden. The boat is narrow, but not as narrow as a canoe and therefore not so narrow as to be a problem in a broaching situation. The biggest advantage is that you get to be together in the boat, which is really nice. For fishing it is ideal because one of you can position the boat while the other casts, something that is hard to do solo.

    On the other hand you might consider a pair of AIRE Traveler canoes. They are very stable, weigh only 55# apiece, and can easily be rigged with a frame and rowing setup. In other words, you can hook them parallel together and make a cataraft out of them. So this setup (locally referred to as a "cata-canoe") gives you a pair of canoes AND a cataraft at the same time. Not only a cataraft, but one with great load capacity, and a very low center of gravity (much of the load goes belowdecks). Another nice thing about the cata-canoe is that it sits low to the water, which means you have a lot less drag in an upstream headwind situation. As you probably know, wind is a constant issue in the Arctic, where there are few (if any) trees.

    Finally, the cata-canoe can be rigged with a light transom, allowing you to run a small outboard if you need one. On some rivers with limited aircraft access, the outboard can open up some additional rivers that are uncrowded because they're too far for most folks to float.

    Finally, to reinforce what Moose said, there are two other issues that make AIRE a preferred boat for you; a ten-year, no fault warranty (doesn't matter what is wrong with the boat, AIRE will take care of it for you), and the material is PVC. I like PVC because it slides over wet rocks better than neoprene, and it makes a stiffer, better-performing boat than rubber (hypalon / neoprene) which tends to flex more. Also I do know some folks have been using their AIRE Travelers to actually drag meat across the tundra as a sled. Works great as long as the tussocks aren't too large.

    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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    Default

    I tend to like Aire boats too. At least that's what I seem to buy. The PVC they use is fairly slippery, but I think Urethane is even slipperier. Although that's just the feel I get on the showroom. I've never had the pleasure of trying one out. The advantage of Hypalon is that it packs up a little tighter, so it's easier to find a smaller container to fit it in.

    Cataraft tubes are lighter and easier to ship, but the frames are more complex and heavier. Usually the cataraft is heavier in the end. It also takes a lot longer to assemble once you get it to the river bank. Trade offs either way. But you can substitute small trees and 2x4's for some frame parts to save shipping weight. I have done that on some fly in trips. I took just enough pipe to hold together the central frame section and oar uprights, and then lashed on spruce to add an extension, foot bar, and other parts as needed. As long as you aren't planning on doing a lot of whitewater this can be an option. Although I think I pushed the limit on the Talkeetna once. :0

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Thanks..

    Thanks for the great ideas fellas. I now have some options at least. Sounds like there are many high quality rafts out there. My intended usage is floating my wife and I (possible a third on rare occassion) on class I-III arctic rivers with 2 weeks worth of food/gear. Fly fishing and scenery are main goals. Areas of interest are Kobuk, Gates of Arctic, and a few rivers in ANWR. Most the rivers would be relatively hazard free with just sections of class III here and there. Many will start off in shallow headwaters where dragging/lining is expected for a few miles so durability is a big factor. Truth is, our Ally canoe is capable for 90% of the water we intend to float. But it is that other 10% that worries me. There are several rivers I want to float, but read about sections of class II-III rapids on one or two spots of the river. Just enough to scare off two North Carolinians I see the frame is required for the catarafts. Is that the case with the conventional rafts? On the websites, many of the rafts do not seem to have/require frames, yet it appears to be an option. If it matters, I am 6'6" and weigh 300 lbs. And lastly, how do you ship the raft up to Kotz, Bettles, Dilly, etc... I am sure it is not that involved, but I have no insights what so ever. We have always been able to carry our Ally canoe as checked luggage via commercial airlines. Thanks for any additional thoughts you may share.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default

    Frames are not required for conventional rafts if you are using paddles instead of oars. One set of oars can usually outrun 3-4 guys on paddles though, so power & maneuverability tip the scale towards oars. But you can still use oar saddles instead of a frame to mount your oars.

    Sounds like your chosen river starts might preclude the option of using small trees for frame parts.

    From Anchorage you can use air freight to get your boats close to where you want to go, and then load them onto whatever bush plane you are flying to the river in. I'm not at all sure how much that could run you from down south, but I suspect it would not be cheap. There are some boat rental outfits scattered around that might be able to deliver a boat for less. Renting is not a bad way to go if you are planning on one or two trips a year. That's what I have done when going the other way.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Thanks...

    Jim,

    Thanks for your input. I always appreciate it.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Soar??

    I have been looking over all the options for rafts/catarafts and read about the SOAR inflattables. Particularly the SOAR 16, Pro Pioneer, and the Levitator raft. However, I can not find the Levitator online. Is this a discontinued product? The SOAR website has the inflattable canoes but no raft. Anyone familiar with SOAR? Would the SOAR 16 or Pro Pioneer be suitable on class III sections? Any thoughts most appreciated.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  9. #9
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Soar

    You may want to contact Larry B at Pristine Ventures directly concerning questions on the product and design capabilities.

    For what it is worth now mind again I am some what Bias concerning the subject however I have been in both. IMO for what they were designed for concerning there applications they are decent option in the float hunting world i.e. smaller to mid size steams, little water with better than average weight carrying capacity however that being said based on what your intended use is they would not be my first choice for Class II / III water.

    Both boats IMO have to much flex for preformance in heavy water with weight. That is not to say they would not work again just not my first choice for the applications you listed. Not trying to start a fight between boats just pointing out certain aspects of preformance verses a slightly more ridged boat design that handles Class II / III water more efficently.

    That being said my first question would be Application, Warranty verses over cost for the life of the boat.

    Larry's contact data: www.pristineventures.com


    Best of Luck

    Tight Lines

    Blue Moose

  10. #10
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Smile Bluemoose..

    Thanks for the insights. Since I posted the last response, I have read a good bit (old post here mostly) that explain why the Soar may not be the best choice on class III waters. I know so little I can double my knowledge in an hour. Dang! That is as green as it comes.

    I have since looked at the Aire super puma and D and E series. Any thoughts on which Aire model would be best for arctic rivers like the Kongakut, North for Koyukuk, Hula Hula, Kobuk, Alatna, etc... Also read where Sotar rafts have a good reputation for whitewater and durability. Their lexatron (or similar) sounds like tough stuff. In the remote places I plan to be, and it just being the wife and I, durablitly is the biggest factor for me. If I can ask, what length raft would you suggest? 14 foot big enough? I weigh 300 and the wife 187, we would likely have 160-170 lbs of gear (max). I would however like the option of taking a third ocassionally. My 220 lb brother. Any info on raft size for this application would be most appreciated.

    Last question (I promise), is a frame/oars needed? If so, how do I get all this to Kotz, Bettles, etc.. Does it all have to be mailed up, and if so, is it trouble to get it mailed back to North Carolina from these bush towns.

    Thanks for your patience and any insights.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  11. #11
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Question Aire, Avon, NRS, or Sotar...

    Below are several options... I need help!


    Anyone familiar with the Aire Super Puma 13 ft. It may work for my needs after finding out that with the thwarts removed, it weighs under 100 lbs. I hear it has a narrow design. Not sure how good/bad that is for my intended usage.

    The Aire Tributary 12 ft would work but I wonder about the quality of it compared to the Super Puma. Much cheaper and has a 5 year warranty where the Super Puma has 10 year warranty.

    Then there is the Avon Drifter 13 ft non self bailer. So many decisions. Of all the ones I am looking at, only the Super Puma would be a self bailer. Not sure how important of a factor that is.

    NRS has a Otter Livery series 14 ft raft that may be under 100 lbs. It is a non self bailer with a 5 year warranty.

    I am talking with Sotar about a custom 14 footer non self bailing that may weigh under 100 lbs. They seem very helpful and I will find out in a day or two if they can make one light enough.

    I would like to hear from you more experienced guys. Anyone familiar with these rafts? Pros/cons? Thanks for any thoughts.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default boat comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Below are several options... I need help!


    Anyone familiar with the Aire Super Puma 13 ft. It may work for my needs after finding out that with the thwarts removed, it weighs under 100 lbs. I hear it has a narrow design. Not sure how good/bad that is for my intended usage.

    The Aire Tributary 12 ft would work but I wonder about the quality of it compared to the Super Puma. Much cheaper and has a 5 year warranty where the Super Puma has 10 year warranty.

    Then there is the Avon Drifter 13 ft non self bailer. So many decisions. Of all the ones I am looking at, only the Super Puma would be a self bailer. Not sure how important of a factor that is.

    NRS has a Otter Livery series 14 ft raft that may be under 100 lbs. It is a non self bailer with a 5 year warranty.

    I am talking with Sotar about a custom 14 footer non self bailing that may weigh under 100 lbs. They seem very helpful and I will find out in a day or two if they can make one light enough.

    I would like to hear from you more experienced guys. Anyone familiar with these rafts? Pros/cons? Thanks for any thoughts.
    Dan, to shed a bit more light on this it's important to realize that these boats are made with different fabrics, which has some performance implications. Generally boats made of rubber (neoprene and Hypalon) are more stretchy / bouncy and have more flex than a boat made of plastic (PVC and urethane). The plastic boats are far more rigid and can take more air pressure (which adds even more to their rigidity.)

    All of the AIRE boats (including their Tributary series), and the SOTAR are made of plastic. In the weight department, the nod goes to SOTAR as the lightest boat of all the ones you mentioned. As to the Tributary series, those boats are made overseas for AIRE, unlike the Puma series, all of which are built in the United States. Construction-wise, any of the Pumas (Puma, Super Puma and Super-Duper Puma) are superior in quality to the Tribs. Also, the Tribs and the Pumas are different boats; the Puma is deliberately narrow, in an attempt to capture a drift-boat type of performance. This also allows you to slide through narrow slots more easily than with a conventional boat. The Tribs are a standard boat in terms of length-width proportions, so this is an apples and oranges comparison, really.

    I'm sticking with my recommendation for a 14 1/2-footer for your situation, bypassing the weight issue by shipping air freight. But if you're determined in the weight area, I would point you to the Puma series.

    As to my continued recommendation for a larger boat, if you come back after hunting season with, "Gee, I should have listened to you guys" I promise not to say "I told you so"!

    Float hunting is totally different from regular rafting though. The loads are huge; even if you get your gear load down to a manageable number, you could have 600-800 pounds or more of meat, capes and antlers to deal with. To borrow a phrase from Robert Ruark, "Use enough boat"!

    -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

  13. #13

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    Not sure if this has been mentioned in this thread but you can add the Oar Saddles to a raft or inflatable canoe. They will save you a bunch of weight over a frame setup.

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    Default

    Hi Dan:

    I have a number of different brands of rafts and canoes in my rental fleet and my most important need is a bomb proof craft that is light so they fit nicely into 185 and 206 aircrafts. I like Avon a lot because they are the toughest thing on the water but they also are heavy. Achilles makes a lighter and cheaper option that I find to be tough enough and about 95 pounds on the 14 foot model and 76 pounds in the 12 foot line. They also carry a lot of wt. and donít break the bank. NRS is a very good choice and I wish I had more of them, light/tough easy to repair. I have purchased some SOAR pro-pioneers this year and will be interested in seeing how they work out. I expect that they will be the direction I go in my next boat purchases but we will see how my clients like them this year. The 16 foot model has a huge capacity and they are pack able, light and they donít need the frame which is an extra 25-35 pounds. I hope they are a good option for our conditions up in NW Alaska.

    Good thread and good luck!


    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com
    Last edited by Gulkana Rafting; 08-05-2008 at 10:53. Reason: spelling

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    Default

    I don't think Dan mentioned anything about using the raft for hunting, so perhaps a smaller boat would fine. All I've read was fly fishing and sight seeing with a light gear load.

    I also like the Puma series. Nice boats, and well made. Also, self bailing floors are nicer to walk on than standard tub floors, and you can pile some gear on them too.

    Oar Saddles have been suggested. But another thought about them is something that Michael mentioned, and I had not thought of. Since the Oar Saddles cause a lot of flex, they would be better used on a stiffer plastic boat instead of a more flexible rubber one. That might eliminate the Avon from the choices if Oar Saddles are used. Along the same lines, I would think that the Pumas would have more side stiffness due to the nearly continuous curve along their length. I have no way to prove that, but they certainly look stiffer than a conventional design.

    Also, if you choose not to use real frame, I would keep the thwarts inflated for rigidity. With a frame and cooler setup you can remove the thwart. The Oar Saddles seem best suited for boats like the Pro Pioneer, where seats are already in place.

  16. #16
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    "Dan, to shed a bit more light on this it's important to realize that these boats are made with different fabrics, which has some performance implications. Generally boats made of rubber (neoprene and Hypalon) are more stretchy / bouncy and have more flex than a boat made of plastic (PVC and urethane). The plastic boats are far more rigid and can take more air pressure (which adds even more to their rigidity.)" from Mike S.

    Mike,

    Thanks for the info. I value your continued assistance. The material sound like it would make a big difference in handling. Especially with my 300 lb butt in it. I am now looking to NRS to make a custom Longhorn. Heard some good news today. They will make that frame for me so it will break all sections into half their length. So everything will be 3' or under. Eight 3' sections will fit nicely in a checked bag for the airlines. I also contacted Cataract oars and they will make custom 9 ft oars that break down into 3 equal lengths. So I am getting close... Just need to find the best raft under 100 lbs.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default saddles...

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    Not sure if this has been mentioned in this thread but you can add the Oar Saddles to a raft or inflatable canoe. They will save you a bunch of weight over a frame setup.
    Thanks man. I have been looking at them. Looks like a great product. I am just wondering if I will benefit from the support of a frame. But the oar saddles are a very impressive product indeed. Perhaps more suited for Soars. Not sure how they would do on a 14 ft raft with 800 lbs in it.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  18. #18
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default NRS..

    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska View Post
    Hi Dan:

    I have a number of different brands of rafts and canoes in my rental fleet and my most important need is a bomb proof craft that is light so they fit nicely into 185 and 206 aircrafts. I like Avon a lot because they are the toughest thing on the water but they also are heavy. Achilles makes a lighter and cheaper option that I find to be tough enough and about 95 pounds on the 14 foot model and 76 pounds in the 12 foot line. They also carry a lot of wt. and don’t break the bank. NRS is a very good choice and I wish I had more of them, light/tough easy to repair. I have purchased some SOAR pro-pioneers this year and will be interested in seeing how they work out. I expect that they will be the direction I go in my next boat purchases but we will see how my clients like them this year. The 16 foot model has a huge capacity and they are pack able, light and they don’t need the frame which is an extra 25-35 pounds. I hope they are a good option for our conditions up in NW Alaska.

    Good thread and good luck!


    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com
    Walt,

    Always good to hear from you man. I appreciate all the insights you have given me on the Kug, Kelly, and Wulik. We are floating the Wulik in Sept. I got my first DSLR a while back. I will be sure to send you some photographs from the upcoming trip. Hopefully of me holding a 15 lb dolly with an olive leech hanging out its mouth.

    As for the NSR, I have been talking to them about the Otter Livery 14 ft non self bailer. Sounds like it will be under 100 lbs. Especially with the twarts removed. I am waiting on them to get back to me on the exact weight. They look to be nice rafts.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  19. #19
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default True..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    I don't think Dan mentioned anything about using the raft for hunting, so perhaps a smaller boat would fine. All I've read was fly fishing and sight seeing with a light gear load.

    I also like the Puma series. Nice boats, and well made. Also, self bailing floors are nicer to walk on than standard tub floors, and you can pile some gear on them too.

    Oar Saddles have been suggested. But another thought about them is something that Michael mentioned, and I had not thought of. Since the Oar Saddles cause a lot of flex, they would be better used on a stiffer plastic boat instead of a more flexible rubber one. That might eliminate the Avon from the choices if Oar Saddles are used. Along the same lines, I would think that the Pumas would have more side stiffness due to the nearly continuous curve along their length. I have no way to prove that, but they certainly look stiffer than a conventional design.

    Also, if you choose not to use real frame, I would keep the thwarts inflated for rigidity. With a frame and cooler setup you can remove the thwart. The Oar Saddles seem best suited for boats like the Pro Pioneer, where seats are already in place.
    Jim,

    You are right (as usual). The only hunting I will be doing is for big dollies and great photographs. I do like the points you made on the suitability of the oar saddles on stiffer boats as opposed to the rubber ones. Good points indeed. Sounds like NSR will make a frame that I can break down to 3' lengths. More weight than the oar saddles, but I assume it will make the raft safer in rough water. And at 6'6", I may be more comfortable rowing a frame. Seems like I would have more options as to the height of the oars. On a Kasilof float in late May, I took the oars for a while to give the guide a break. It was frustating because I kept hitting my legs with the oars when taking them out of the water. Hoping they can make a taller oar arm/support to alleviate this problem. I am sure this is something that can be fixed. Just not sure what my options are yet.

    Looks like I will be getting a non self bailer for sure as it is the only choice under 100 lbs in the 14 ft range. Choices are Aire Tributary 12, Aire Super Puma, Avon Drifter 13, and hopefully a Sotar custom 14 ft. Still waiting for final words from Sotar. They said it may be possible, but they had to look into some things. Given these choices, what raft would you get? There is a guy 6 hours away from me that has an Aire Tributary 12 ft nearly brand new with three Cataract oars for $1,400. The price is attractive. Is it enough boat for arctic floats with two/three people? Or should I stroke the check for Sotar? Is the Sotar that much better? Any thoughts appreciated.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  20. #20
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    Default non self bailer...

    One big question for anyone willing to help...

    With a non self bailer, do I have to have all my gear suspended off the floor. We take soft sided dry bags. No coolers, no dry boxes. Just backpack style dry bags from Pacific Outdoors. Can I lay them in the floor of a non self bailer? Reason it matters is one of the things Sotar suggested to save weight was to use less D rings than normal. And perhaps using 1.5 " instead of 2" D rings. Just one handle/D ring combo on bow and stern. I would need numerous extra D rings to attach a gear hammock. Can I just put the dry bags on the floor of the non self bailer?
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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