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Guide to River Rafts

River Raft : What is it?

River Rafts

River rafts are very basic inflatable boats commonly made of waterproof plastic, PVC, or rubber. Early river rafts were made of reeds and wood light enough to float in the water. However, these rafts often became waterlogged. That is why modern river rafts are made of layered rubber that may come with masts, superstructures, and rudders.

River rafts may be used for recreational or whitewater purposes.


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Types of River Rafts

River RaftsRiver Rafts

Kinds of River Rafts include the following:

Budget

Budget inflatable rafts are made of PVC and may seat up to three persons.
They are ideal for use in fishing holes and campsites.
These affordable river rafts are usually deflatable. Deflatable rafts fit into small carry bags. Budget inflatable rafts usually come with two tethered paddles and a carrying bag that doubles as an inflating machine.

Mid-range

Mid-range rafts are made with lightweight PVC double hulls. The inner hulls are made of two airtight chambers and the outer hulls are composed of a nylon upper deck and composite floor.
They may come with a wooden roll-up floor, inflatable seats, and swivel oarlocks. They usually have holders for fishing rod and bait and tackle bags, making them ideal for fishing.
Mid-range river rafts can typically carry up to 700 pounds or four persons.
Some are equipped with small 2.5 hp motors.

High-end

High-end rafts are usually made of lightweight Kevlar, making them puncture-resistant.
They are large enough to carry six persons or 1,200 pounds.
They may be 12 feet long and may have fishing rod holders, a gear bag, grablines, tie downs, drain plugs, swivel oarlocks, inflatable seats, and chafing pads.
Some models are equipped with their own repair kits for quick fixes.
They may also be equipped with small 2.5 hp motors.

 

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Choosing River Rafts (Buying tips)

Best price: Choose a river raft that fits your budget and suits the type of rafting you intend to do and where you will raft. River rafts made of cotton are the cheapest, but they may not last as long. Consider nylon or polyester rafts. They are tough enough but may be a bit expensive. Kevlar river rafts are the toughest kind – they are the most expensive, too, though, and tend to be difficult to repair.

 

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