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I'm planning on doing a trip on the Escalante River this spring then a trip in the Bob this summer. Probably the SF of the Flathead. Would a Scout be sufficient for trips like this? My wife has nixed the Yukon Yak, too expensive. Guess I could portage around stuff that would be too much for the Scout.
Get a used Yak. You will be kicking yourself if you buy the Scout for running rivers. Talk nice to your wife and explain how the bigger boat is a safety requirement. And that packrafts hold their value really well, so you can always sell it at any time. I got my Llama for $500; it had only been in the water once. Watch the forum here, Craigslist (especially in Alaska), Ebay, Kijiji, ect. By the spring you should be able to find one for the price of a new scout or pretty close. Even if it's a couple hundred more; it would still be worth it.
Thanks for the reply CrookedRiver. I ordered a new Yukon Yak with a cruiser spray deck. My wife warmed up to the idea and I got a Christmas bonus. I decided I would be a lot happier with a Yak and it would be worth a couple hundred extra dollars. Plus as my river skills improve I'm sure I will start floating stuff that would not be good in a Scout. Can't wait to use it next year!
The Scout is fine for something like the S Fork Flathead at summer levels, providing your pack isn't too big, and the weather is decent (as you will get wet). I did both the South and Middle Fork in mine this summer and in warm weather it's a fine option for a reasonably skilled boater going UL.