Buying my Raft



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  • Buying my Raft

    Well i am buying my raft this spring and so far for my fishing and hunting it looks to be like the NRS otter 14 footer. for the price and warranty alaska raft and kayak offers seems to be my best bet. i have no rafting experience but really want to put in my time. i plan on using this boat on the kasilof and kenai along with all the rivers up north. i could not find how much weight the boat will hold??? can someone help me with that. and also any other brands i should look at before my buy would be great. also any info on frames would be nice. so far im looking at the 2 cooler seats with the rowing frame and a seat on front and rear... does that sound like the best bet for the aaskan fisherman and hunter... i def want a raft not a cataraft thanks vance
    NRA life Member JVJ

  • #2
    NRS doesn't post the max weight specs for their boats on their website:, and that's probably good in my opinion. These are such inflated numbers and everyone judges them differently. But in relative terms they compare pretty much to anyone elses 14' rafts with the same 20" tube diameter.

    In the real world it depends on the places you want to take it; how rough the water, how tight the chanel, how shallow the river, how good the oarsman. The only real answer is, It depends. For floating the Copper you can max them right out, but getting down the Gulkana requires completely different rigging.


    • #3
      Ditto to what Jim said. You're probobly looking at 2000 lbs in class I situations, maybe a bit more. Remember too, it's how you load the weight... keep it low and balanced.


      • #4
        Questions back at ya-


        I've been on the road and not able to connect here as regularly as usual, so pardon me if I missed it, but here goes.

        The best way for us to help you is for you to tell us what you plan to do with the boat. Here are a few things that will influence my recommendations for you:

        1. Your experience level.
        2. Type of activity (fishing, moose hunting, flyout trips, day trips, etc.)
        3. Anticipated passenger loads, including oarsman.
        4. Are you a minimalist or a gearhead (how much stuff do you like to bring)?
        5. Types of rivers you'd like to float (whitewater classification).
        6. General budget.
        7. Will you run an outboard, and if so, what size range? Will you need to get up on step or just use it as a kicker?

        I did a search for other posts from you but didn't find any of this info. I think the search function isn't working correctly though, because it didn't pull this thread or your other one on outboards.

        I'd be happy to assist you on this issue.

        Jim is correct on the manufacturer's weight ratings, btw. In fact, manufacturers who DO post weight ratings are all over the map on their stats, and are using this information mostly as marketing hype. The reason why these numbers are mostly meaningless in a general sense (they can be useful if we know the answers to the above questions though) is because heavier boats are harder to handle. Especially for the inexperienced. If you're floating whitewater over Class III, you're gonna want a light, maneuverable boat if you can get it. Generally speaking, a 14 1/2' self-bailing round boat will have about the same load capacity (in terms of weight; bulk is another matter) as an 18-foot cataraft. But the cat gives you more room to spread out and may be your best choice, depending on your answers to the above questions.

        Other considerations: If you're floating slow Class I with a good chance of upstream headwinds (we get a lot of this in some areas), you might not want a round boat with a high bow rise (catarafts are much more aerodynamic). If you'd like to run an outboard above a three-horse size, you'll probably want a cataraft. On the other hand, if you're floating small brushy streams, you might be better off with a round boat.

        Welcome to the forum, we're here to help!

        Michael Strahan
        Site Owner
        Alaska Hunt Consultant
        1 (406) 662-1791


        • #5
          1. I have zero experiance. next sunday a gentleman from the forum is going to show me one of his rafts and ill see how i like it.
          2. I will use it for all of the above activitys fishing, moose hunting, flyout trips, day trips, etc. but mostly fishing and moose
          3. Up to 4 people in the boat for fishing and rafting. 2 for hunting though.
          4. Dependinding on the trip i like to bring more or less. i am more of a minialist though. i do not like hauling extra crap.
          5. Types of rivers i would float. right now i have no idea, just want to fish and hunt. haha but as of now i want a boat that has the potential to do as much as possible, once i have the experiance to safely do so.
          6. My budget depends on whatim getting and how long it will last me. but i generally take care of all my stuff as long as alaska does not beat it up too much. but i would like to spend 3000-3500 which i found i will be closer to 4000. for my raft. but if something is better and costs a little more i am fine with that.
          7. i do not plan on running a motor. thats why im going with a drift. but having a boat with the potential would not be bad. i know the nrs rafts (otter) you can set them up with one later. so i like having the option to run a motor.

          NRA life Member JVJ


          • #6

            Talk to Larry B for an honest assesment before you buy...he won't BS you. Mine hauled two moose, two hunters, and 10 days worth of gear over 70 river miles of class II and III water without missing a beat. IMHO...the most bang for your buck. Take a look.


            • #7

              Originally posted by akhuntnut View Post

              Talk to Larry B for an honest assesment before you buy...he won't BS you. Mine hauled two moose, two hunters, and 10 days worth of gear over 70 river miles of class II and III water without missing a beat. IMHO...the most bang for your buck. Take a look.

              Hey, would you post a photo or two for us? Not many boats out there that will comfortably haul that kind of load; I'd like to see it!


              Michael Strahan
              Site Owner
              Alaska Hunt Consultant
              1 (406) 662-1791


              • #8



                • #9
                  Great Pictures

                  That is quite a load. Looks like a great trip.
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                  • #10

                    AKHUNTNUT. Nice photo however I also have some quesitons.

                    First - That is a large load for Lots of Class II and III water. I am not statng the boat did not perform to your expectation be any means however it seems in accordance with your photo something is just not condusive to 70 miles of Class II / III water with that load concidering the amount of flex you have in Class I water from bow to stern.

                    Exactly what was yur level of expierance in your vessel prior to commiting to such a trip?

                    Second - What is warranty data on such a boat as this Soar? Is it no fault as with AIRE? Do you know who the repair person is, or what facility might it be reapired in i.e. do you have to send it to SOAR or does Mr. Bartlette accompish this task? If the boat is to be repaired what warranty comes with that repair?

                    Third - I am happy your are happy with this product however what was your totoal purchase with all equipment required to operate. Is your boat multi use or just for hunting? Hidden cost for frame, oars, throw rope etc.. can increase the purchase.

                    Look forward to seeing your reply.

                    Thanks for you post keep up the great job!


                    • #11
                      You got to be kidding

                      You all but call me a liar and then you want me to help you do your homework? Your's all a scam. The lev is not for another raft. You deserve better. Happy floating...



                      • #12

                        Actually that was not my intent. You have to forgive my post yesterday especially the grammar and spelling errors I think I was having mental issues yesterday after 14 hours.

                        So I would like to apologize if you were offended by my questions. Your post have passion which is a wonderful trait when one believes in the products he or she utilizing to accomplish their hunting, fishing or recreational rafting.

                        If I may so bold to paraphrase from some one else's book. One person's Class II water is another's Class IV. That being said questions concerning the flex and your experience level would come into play. We all have opinions and experience levels that differ. The warranty questions were directed to gain information without visiting Pristine Ventures Web page.

                        Hopefully your provided insight and opinions will continue to the Forum and made available. Sorry if it seemed to be point and shoot.


                        Richard Mousseau


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