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  1. #1
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    Raft Advice Wanted

    I have a pending permit on the Smith River in Montana and will need a raft. I am looking at about $600 to rent one for the required week. In addition, a raft would greatly open up the fishable waters around my new digs in Colorado.
    So I have convinced the wise and lovely Mrs Teleee that purchasing a raft would be the ticket to adventure! I am hoping to spend around $3500 for the setup. Any things I should look out for, things I have to have? Does anyone have one laying around in mint condition they want me to come by and get for the price of a few starbursts and pocket lint?

    Muchos Gracias in advance!
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  2. #2
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    Start hitting craigslist from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado. You should find some setups. I found mine (more than $3500 but full setup, trailer, oars, dryboxes x 2, yeti 125, maravia 16 foot w salmon frame) had been on water once.


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    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by detrusor View Post
    Start hitting craigslist from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado. You should find some setups. I found mine (more than $3500 but full setup, trailer, oars, dryboxes x 2, yeti 125, maravia 16 foot w salmon frame) had been on water once.


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    Yep pretty much what Iíve been doing. There are definitely some out there. I have never owned a raft. Been a drift boat guy my whole life. Just trying to figure out what im looking at and what to beware of. Your deal sounds perfect
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    beats me why they quit making em
    but id sure consider trading the raft for one
    if I could find one
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Colorado
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    264
    they are out there on CL, especially as the season winds down. Keep your eye on the mountainbuzz.com forum as well

    We scored a 2008 14ft Down River Equipment (raft and frame) San Juan fishing rig , with oars, custom dry box, for about 3500. Ive added front and back casting floors, DRE rod holders and a couple other upgrades. found a nice used trailer for 1k, in it 5500ish. It is a older Korean made hypalon rubber but was stored indoors properly, and from what I could tell not used much. There are a lot of these sitting in garages on the front range, not getting a lot of river time.

    I like the DRE frame setup, while its the first raft I've owned, I have been fishing out of buddies for years. The modular aspect of their design is really nice for rigging differently for fishing, vrs camping vrs whitewater. They are comfortable to hang out on and they are a CO company. They no longer make rubber, but sell several brands and will build a frame to go on anything. If your in the Golden/Arvada area, I'd highly recommend stopping by their shop. Very helpful guys. They will have a couple full setups on the floor to check out and they have a TON of other rafting gear. They also hold a yearly boat swap, but it might be in the spring.

    Ive also fished out of a NRS and a Stream tech rigs quite a bit...I like those too

    -i think 14ft self bailer is the sweet spot for CO fishing. It can also carry a lot of camping gear and run technical whitewater as a both an oar and paddle rig.
    -hypalon vrs PVC- you can read about this all over. In your price range, I think condition is going to be the biggest factor. generally hypalon holds up longer and is more expensive. The newer PVC boats with hard floors (like a paddle board) would eliminate the need to add casting decks but I've never actually fished or rowed one.
    - You can tell if the rubber has not been taken care off. it will be cracking, feel rough, off color in places, have crease marks, just looks like something that has been sitting outing the sun.
    - a patch or repair is ok as long as it was well done. again, you can tell the quality of the work. Valves are usually replaceable if they leak a little
    -Rod storage is an issue, the DRE tubes are a great solution, you could also make your own for much cheaper. Coming from a drift boat, you'll want something

    I'm sure ill think of some more, Good luck!!

    Where in CO did you move to?
    Last edited by jpcmoriarty; 08-12-2019 at 11:41 PM.

  6. #6
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    Dibs I have thought about one of those for sure, but I think I need to be able to haul more gear than they would accommodate, think a 5 day camping trip on the Smith.

    JPC thanks for the very well thought out reply, that is exactly the kind of things I was looking for. What do you (or anyone else) know or think of a cataraft? I see some of those out there in my price range...

    We moved to Gunnison a little over a year ago. I have the best of both worlds, a place in Irwin, ID where we plan on spending summers and then Gunnison. I plan on keeping the drift boat here in Idaho and a raft in Gunnison, that way I dont have to drag a vessel back and forth.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Colorado
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    I have no experience running catarafts. I don't see a lot of them on the rivers I typically fish with the raft. (eagle, roaring fork, Upper Colorado, Green). I do see them more on bigger stuff like westwater and the desert floats. From what I understand they are great in big water, and are a little cheaper because there is less rubber. I'm not sure how well they perform when stuff gets skinny. They can be built out nicely to fish from. Maybe more common in the PNW??

    From a boat size perspective, I have done several overnights in my 14 ft with 3 guys and gear. Works/fishes really well, but is fully loaded. Going for 5 days would be a different story. My rig would be better suited for a 2 man crew in that situation. Use the back to carry second cooler, extra gear, fire wood, ect. While you can run pretty minimalistic if you want, raft camping is like car camping for me. I bring a ton of shit because I can. If big multi days is your focus, you might want to think about a 16ft rig, this would get you a 3rd gear bay. Downside of that is, it would be a lot of rubber to move around fishing the Gunny, especially in low water.

    One other thing I really like about my boat and did not mention in the previous post is the integrated anchor system. back rowing the raft is a lot harder than the drift boat. Ability to anchor up on rising fish is really nice. not a necessity, but something to consider

    If you haven't already, spend some time on the mountainbuzz forum. lots of very good info and knowledgeable river folk over there.

    We were just down in the Gunnison area last weekend. The high country is really popping right now! Super lush/green and the flowers are insane. It was mainly a biking trip, but I got a couple of good evening sessions wading the C&R section of the Taylor. An intense mayfly spinner fall had the big guys rising right around dusk. Pretty awesome!! There are some really big rainbows in that section. Tons of water still in the taylor/gunny, should fish well for the rest of the summer. let me know when you're down there. The Gunnison has been on my hit list for a while.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Hit up your local boater groups too. Outfitters tend to start dumping rubber at the end of the summer.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/130454407031894/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Tetons
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    Give these guys a ring. https://riverboatworks.com
    They might have something. Bought a couple rafts from them over the years.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Friend is selling a nice 14'er fully rigged, asking 4k.
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye 1on View Post
    Friend is selling a nice 14'er fully rigged, asking 4k.
    Cool, send me the details... Schwerty, I will defintley check them out, espescially since they are just over the hill from us in Gunnison.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver<C O
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    as you are likely figuring out....used rafts don't go down in price very quickly.....have to think about size (13' sort of standard for guide raft size....14' a little more space and still maneuverable....16' too big for smaller waters like the upper Eagle....12' getting more for one fisher and one rower....no regrets having a 14 footer for Colorado waters) and material....Hypalon (more $ lasts longer) vs PVC (Cheaper lasts less long but firmer can stand on the floor by itself vs a frame floor....Oars are expensive (IMHO step up from the cheapest Carlisle at least....they are heavy/clunky)....frames ie NRS (especially), DRE, Riverboat works are modifiable......after the first year of rolling up and frame on top of the Subaru got a trailer.....good luck, Chet

  13. #13
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    Nov 2005
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    Denver<C O
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    check out the Classified section on mountainbuzz.com website

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye 1on View Post
    Friend is selling a nice 14'er fully rigged, asking 4k.
    Do you have more info on it you could maybe shoot me a text? Think you still have my digits.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  15. #15
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    Do you have more info on it you could maybe shoot me a text? Think you still have my digits.
    They had a buyer but are going to reach out if it falls through.
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  16. #16
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    Awesome thanks man!
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  17. #17
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    Mar 2004
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    My buddy gets these in his shop all the time. I'm sure Homeland Security or MacDill AFB wouldn't notice if one went missing.


  18. #18
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    Feb 2005
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    I'm at this point an old river rat. The 14' is a sweet spot, but if I pump the floor, I can get a 16' down anything.

    Good luck, and welcome to the family.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    we pull off ladore the 10th or the 11
    youre welcome to meet us
    and use ours
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,065

    Raft Advice Wanted

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1OxGYOh...d=av8pbjyb5ntr

    $3500 DRE boat fully rigged minus trailer

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underoos View Post
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1OxGYOh...d=av8pbjyb5ntr

    $3500 DRE boat fully rigged minus trailer
    Thatís the ticket! Probably use them on the northgate section of the North Platte. Short season on that stretch.
    Good deal. Includes floors and oars.

    Bet you Could scoop this trailer in N. boulder for 1k, then head up to Walden for the boat

    https://boulder.craigslist.org/tro/d...949562713.html

    Just saw this one on the Eagle County Sporting goods FB page. (need to join group to see) would get you on the river cheap!..with trailer

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by jpcmoriarty; 08-17-2019 at 04:54 PM.

  22. #22
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    Oct 2003
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    Found one local! 13í NRS Outlaw looks brand new. Big Horn frame. And trailer for less than my budget. Click image for larger version. 

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    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  23. #23
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    Jan 2009
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    FEMA Region X
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    ^ sick. Mazal tov!

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