New Raft Questions
I am looking to buy my first raft but don't really know where to start as far as brands, cost and versatility. I plan on using it for fishing and float hunting. Should I go with an inflatable, or something else. Something that can hold min of 2 people plus gear. Anything will be helpful.
For starters maybe move this down to the raft part of the forum. You might just rent a few different rafts and see what you think. Who knows you might not even be that into it and renting will save you lots of $$$.
Likely looking at an inflatable for up here in Alaska... 13'-14' raft or a 15' hybrid (read as skinny raft/canoe) would be my first suggestions. For Alaska - I'd recommend higher end equipment --- no matter what. A beginner/novice can likely do some serious abuse on any stream just as the expert/pro might head into some nasty demanding conditions requiring the best. Ya want to stick with good stuff whether you rent, (try-b4-buy), or decide to invest in something.
Originally Posted by misplaced texan
Hey Misplaced lots of data in previous threads on this as well. There have been many advances over the years concerning inflatables and of course lots of us have lots of opinions. A couple of us push products and own business related to your question. Brain Rent/Sale/Repair who has posted, my-self who does the same thing BMR, Goeaux Sotar Rep who does the same thing, Larry B from Pristine Adventures SOAR, Max in the Kenai Alaska Series Boats again Sales/Rents/Repairs, Jim King now and again Alaska Series Boats and Mark & Tracy Alaska Raft and Kayak. You can Private Message (PM) all of us I do believe if you have specific quesitons about specific boats. On the Forum you concerning Rentals you have Walt from Gulkana River Rentals as well. That is not to say many others who raft or own boats don't have great data to provide many some even have web pages Jim S. & Doug W. are a wealth of data related to boat application concerning usage of inflatables.
I will stick to my bottom line application / application / application Versus Coast Versus Warranty or vise versa. Purchase the boat that you will use for your application the most i.e. if you plan on float fishing and it will continue to be your primary goal then you should lean to a boat that matches that applicaiton first and for most. As an example if you were to say floating the Kenai 40 days a year with 3 people you surely don't need a "crossover" type inflatable for Hunting. You would than look at a boat such as a 14ft AIRE Super Duper Puma or 14ft Trib. or similar Sotar, Alaska Series Boat, Hy-Side etc..... If you are going to hunt 40 days a year on lets say 100 mile Salcha River for Moose and Caribou and only fish lets say Willow Creek 10 days a year then you should look at something more related to skinny water with high load capacity etc.......
Do you wish for a self Bailing boat or non- bailer both have plus/minus such as quick draining the other greater load carrying capacity and weight savings depending on the make and model.
As with any investment renting to start and understanding the dynamic of application, load capaity, overall weight of the inflatable and related gear i.e. frame, oars,etc.... will big time assist you in preventing Buyer Remorse i.e. dang I wish I would have gotten something a little longer, wider, lighter, that self bailed so on and so forth.
I know I am about as much help as a mushroom! Sorry for rambling on and on. If your in Anchorage stop in to Alaska Raft and Kayak and talk to Tracey or Mark and of course Brian and Goeaux are also down there. If you happen to be in Fairbanks feel free to contact me 907-460-7758 and of course Larry B from Pristine Adventures.
Richard "Moose" Mousseau
Blue Moose Rafting