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Wanted Alaskan Hunting Raft or Opinions

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  • Wanted Alaskan Hunting Raft or Opinions

    Hello All,

    I just moved up to Fairbanks a few months ago and I am already having river withdraws. I guided for years down on the Colorado River and am no stranger around boats, but it seems like a different ball game around here. I do own a 16' Jacks Plastic Welding cataraft, which is still in Utah, but the tubes are PVC and not the best condition and the frame is HEAVY steel, upwards of 250 pounds. I was just wondering what the forum thinks about my options because I go back and forth between buying a new raft of the 14' - 16' length with a simple breakdown frame or getting my cat tubes up here and building a simple breakdown frame from NRS components. Last week I got frustrated with not having a boat up here and almost bought a 14' Kenai Drifter from Alaska Inflatables, but talked my self out of it at the last moment. I am currently looking into something even more compact like a SOAR Levitator, or a SOTAR. Again I go back and forth because I do want to do some fishing and hunting from this boat and just wanted to know what you think. I am also very interested in a used boat if you are around the Fairbanks area and I would be willing to pay for the right set up. I really do not know what type of boat/frame that I could put in an airplane either, let alone a super cub. Any info regarding what type of boat to get and where to get one would be appreciated.

    Thank you for the time and maybe I will get some sleep at night after I get another opinion.


  • #2
    You will get a tons of opinions as to whats the best raft and much depends on the water. I like my Levitator for hunting class I aand II skinny water. Last I heard Larry Bartlett had a used one for sale. The outdoor show will be in Fairbanks at the Carlson in the next few weeks and I'm sure they will have a bunch. Blue Moose rafting would be a good place to check some out. You have come to the right place for info. Also I would check out Mike's book, it will be a wealth of info as well as Larry's these two guys are floating hunting experts.

    Float Hunting Alaska’s Wild Rivers by Michael Strahan

    A Complete Guide to Float Hunting Alaska by Larry Bartlett

    And of course a few photos for inspiration.

    Good Luck

    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"


    • #3

      Here are a couple of other options for you, one is a sotar the other is a pro pioneer mag. Good Luck


      • #4
        Really depending on what your wanting/willing to spend. I think if your looking at minimal amount of money you should try and get your tubes up here and build your own frame. I don't know what is available up in FB but in Anchorage, Alaska Steel sells the same aluminum tubing that NRS makes their frames out of and it's reasonable. If you really just want a new raft than your options are limitless. Your should make a list of absolute necessities paying particular attention to what you'll be using it for mostly and start your research. As I'm sure you know, one raft isn't going to fit every situation, but you can get close. Good luck.


        • #5
          Couple of options in Fairbanks for frame building with schedule 40 Anodize 1.5 inch pipe. C&R is who I use and of course Alaska Steel as an outlet as well. Price goes up and down with the wind if you know what I mean. That being said sometimes Beaver Sports has LoPro's for sale and now Sportsmans Warehouse does have some Frame parts available from what I am told. I also sell them now and again ;-). NRS frame parts normally come out of Alaska Raft and Kayak which is always an option as well. Couple of tools and a Jig for drilling and your on your way to frame building. AR&K Alaska take Down frame works well but you will need to add some support if your utilzing it as a fishing frame i.e. add support bars to the floor and a couple to the top of the frame for configuiring to your application.

          Best wishes.



          • #6
            Thanks for the info everyone, I am really considering a SOAR Levitator now after doing a little reading and seeing some pictures. I will for sure be at the outdoor show here in Fairbanks looking to get a good deal. Thanks again for the info and anything else anyone adds would be much appreciated.



            • #7
              well it's been a while, did you ever make a decision and what did you get?
              Semper Fi and God Bless


              • #8
                Buy thr Mike S. book advertised on this site. Read the archives. Buy a boat . And become an expert like everybody else.


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