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  1. Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by woolyworm View Post
    Look at the NRS Outlaw 14. This would be a great starter raft. I have a 14ft Scadden with an NRS frame, and would not go the scadden route again. I think there are better products out there for the same money. Also, I went the raft route thinking it would save space and I would not need a trailer. After one season inflating the raft when I got to the river, I got a trailer.
    As a matter of interest what specifically was wrong with your Scaddon? I didnít know he made a 14ft, which model is it?


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  2. Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    Scadden's boats are well suited for fishing or flatwater boating. The oars, oarlocks, and materials are not even on the same planet as other reputable manufacturers. If I were hauling gear, family, dogs, and doing any whitewater at all I would look past Scadden and buy a boat that is more suitable for that purpose. There are a plethora of online reviews that by and large will echo that sentiment.

  3. Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    why is it that a few people seem to troll Scaddon products and donít give specific reasons why they donít recommend them?
    Yes, his frames are not pretty but they break down to a small package. On my Scaddon I have a NRS frame, but the only reason I have that is because it was included in the sale from a guy who never used it. True, the material used is PVC but itís the same material used by many of the upmarket raft manufacturers. Scaddons is very heavy duty. Heís not the easiest person to communicate with but ignore his web site pricing , he always seems to be having a fire sale.
    Of course I would prefer to have a raft made out of hypalon, but the price difference is to much for me.
    Bazza


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  5. #14
    Join Date
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    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    Having owned 3 different rafts (still have one) I have a few questions for you. It's not my intention to play devils advocate but I have opinions built over time and experience. Remember I'm in Alaska and your situation may be very different in Utah on many points I may make regarding my own experience.

    Do you live close to a river large enough to use a 14' raft on without too much low water?

    Are you planning to use shuttle services or plan your own logistics?

    Are there already many rafts on the target rivers & do you mind social interactions while on a trip?

    My first was a 13' raft large enough for 2 people - a large German Shepherd and gear. It all fit but packing and repacking the load was challenging. When we first got it we used the raft a lot for the first season, possibly because it was new and also because we had spent a lot of money on it. There were no shuttles where we floated so we had to leave a vehicle at the take out point before launching 66 miles upriver. That became a pain after the first 2 years. It was all good until we started running into other rafters who traveled in groups some of which groups left litter behind at campsites. Slowly we drifted away from that annual float...........

    Then there was the promise of being able to float other rivers and fish places where a walking / wading fisherman could not go. That was good but the long hauls (250 miles one way) soon took the fun out of the trips as did the fact that there were many other rafts and drift boats on the river. Creeks were out because the raft was just too large so I bought a pair of Fish Cat Cougar's which were the one man with duel pontoons on each side. They worked out on the creeks but access here was limited and there were (you guessed it) others rafting the same waters. Lastly there is the fact that you need a trailer to haul a big raft or even 2 small ones...........

    All the while that I was using those rafts albeit less each year I was also using a river boat with a jet outboard. They too require trailering and access but offered the ability to go upstream as well as returning down. There was no need for shuttles or 2 vehicle logistics with the power boat and it took over from the rafts. I guess my experience was that rafts are cool now and then that's why I kept one of the Cougar's but they didn't see enough use to make them worth setting up & tearing down every year. I did not let mine inflated during winter so that was another part of raftmanship. After the second year of assembling them only to find summer fading into fall with the rafts unused I sold 2 of them.

    Sorry to be the negative guy but I really believe that unless you live right near a good floating river rafts get to be a hassle in some regards. If I ever want to use a large one again I'll rent one for the trip. Up here a good 14' with all the trimmings costs in the $,000 range and I just don't get the money's worth from owning one. The little one man types are cool because you can transport them uninflated and air on site before use. The big boys and frame rafts are a totally different proposition.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  7. #15

    Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    Thanks for the insite, lucky in my part of the world I have endless rivers to float all relatively close with varying levels of crowds.

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  9. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    That's a good thing,

    I just said what I did because I'm not the only person that ever ended up with rafts that sat for whole years unused. They are fantastic for enjoying rivers and large creeks but up here logistics can get in the way. The river I want to float the most costs me a 500 dollar float plane ride to get there because I need to transport the raft and all the gear to the outflow in order to do it. I can get home by boat after a 50 mile float but you must fly in. Beside the cost the business of tearing down to fly then reassembling on the other end gets harder to do with age.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  11. Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    It is an Assault Outlaw that I got about 5 years ago. I don't think he sells the same boat anymore or it has been rebranded/reconfigured. It did not come with a frame, but had these poorly constructed boxes you sit on and oars are attached via pins that are attached to the boat. The attached oar locks were too low and you would bang your knees when trying to row. The oars that came with it were cheep aluminum oars and too short for the boat. Scadden doesn't publish his PVC specs, but it appears to be thinner than what I have seen on other PVC boats (NRS, Flycraft, Saturn). I had to add strap rings to attach the NRS frame. The boat is called self bailing, but the floor sits so tight that it really doesn't drain. After going through a rapid I need to jam the handle of my net between the tube and floor to create space for water to run out of the boat. I have also had problems with bad glue jobs on some of the D-rings and handles on the boat. They (Scadden) sent me a tube of Aqua-seal to fix those. Lastly he uses a non-standard valve (not C7 Leafield or Halkey-Roberts)and you have to get valve repair parts directly from him or he will tell you to repair with Aquaseal. When I inquired about getting a spare for my repair kit he told me to just use Aquaseal if it started to leak.
    I think the Scadden's are OK crafts, but there are better options out there with better materials and customer service for the same price.

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  13. #18

    Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    I've been researching rafts for awhile and my choice right now is the NRS Otter 13. It is a good all around design, has a good record of performance, and is reasonably priced.

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  15. Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by fishgolf View Post
    I've been researching rafts for awhile and my choice right now is the NRS Otter 13. It is a good all around design, has a good record of performance, and is reasonably priced.
    I've been looking myself. i'm a Made in America guy, but not a real stickler when it comes to rafts. But, between PVC and Hypalon (thought it's not called that anymore since DuPont stopped making the rubber) I think i prefer the urethane of Sotar. They are more whitewater rafts but the Strike was designed for fishing. I don't like the standard fishing frame for those. The seats are too high. I prefer a more cargo frame style with three bays with seats on the dry boxes and one framed seat low over the stern.

  16. #20

    Default Re: First Raft Recommendations

    I ended up going with a 14' NRS Outlaw with the NRS frame. Only had it out a few times but I am very happy! Love the drop stich floor and the boat handles great! Definitely worth a look for anyone in the market for a raft and the customer service at NRS has been top notch!!!

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