Hey its Matt here – I came up Friday to get the frame + sombrero for my Hyside.  I just wanted to say thanks so much to you guys for all the help.  The customer service and overall friendliness of Riverboatworks is second to none.  I will not hesitate to recommend you guys to friends and family.

-Matt & Cammie, Albuquerque, NM


I am now heading in to my twelfth season with my trusty 14-foot yellow Hyside and custom frame purchased from Riverboat Works in Salida, and I am super happy with it. I can’t say enough about the design and, more important to me, the great service I get from the guys at the shop, every time I go in.

I had the frame built with diamond-plate running the length of the side rails, which not only looks great but are also ideal for walking around on the boat and strapping ammo cans on top of. I opted to have the cooler as my seat under me, and instead of a drybox forward, I have a deck with drop bags that stow rocket boxes or stove and fire pan underneath. Makes for a comfortable ride for my passengers, and, way cool for me, a deck I can sleep on, which is not the norm for most 14 foot boats.

A number of times at put-ins and take-outs other boaters come up to check it out. Twice I have had guys say “that looks like a Grand Canyon frame downsized for a 14-er”… and I guess it is, as this rig has five trips down the Grand, 3 or 4 Middle Forks, 3 or 4 Mains, 4 Salts, a couple of Ladores, a few Yampas, and at least 10 San Juans under its self-bailing floor. Aiming for taking it on first time runs down the Chama and Rogue this summer. Yahoo!

– Patrick Willits, Ridgway,CO

Just wanted to say thanks for all the help with the frame for my Hyside Mini Me. I had the maiden voyage at Gauley fest last weekend on the lower Gauley during release. I stepped it up and ran the upper the next day. The boat worked AWESOME and everybody commented on the frame. They said how cool it was, and had never seen anything like it on the Mini Me. I bragged about Riverboat Works and there great customer service. Thanks again

– Matt Bowles Cleveland, OH

The fishing frame Riverboat Works built for my Aire “Puma” raft has been used a lot this summer. The reviews, applause, comments, gasp, “bird dog” stares have been deafening. I got a sign on it that says “No Groupies”. Thank you for a job well done.

– Gene Gwaltney Ashton, ID

Have had the raft on the river 7 days now (not enough). I’m completely blown away with your frame! Icould not be happier with the way it performs and all the small details thet make it so easy to fish from. I plan to have it on some sections of technical water in a canyon on the Madison, River MT. I look forward to it because this boat handles like a dream. The back deck is great & worked well for gear. On a 4 day float on the Smith River, MT. the back leaning bar & deck helped to secure gear in my opinion over traditional “heap” and tie down. People are used to seeing a lot of boats and rafts, but I have had numerous people stop in parking lots and look over the boat and overheard comments as I’m pulling off the water. The general theme is “WOW” or ” did you see that”.

Thanks for everything your happy customer.

– Ryan Turk-Bly Tioga, ND

My name is Bill, and I’m a float fishing addict. I’m also a Float fishing guide for Ark anglers Guide Service on the Arkansas River in Salida, Colorado. The boat I use, a Pro Guide Fishing Cat 3 Man raft, has been the most comfortable and capable boat I have ever rowed. From the comfort of the clients, both front and rear, to the stability in big water, and the maneuverability in skinny water, the Jack’s Plastic tubes, and unique Riverboatworks frame, does it all. Clients consistently praise the comfort, stability, and ease of moving along the open deck. I appreciate the dry storage and cooler under the front and center seats, and the open design that lets me move easily to net the catch. The foot controlled anchor system is easy to use and out of the way. Thanks for a great design, bomb proof construction, and one sweet ride.

– Bill Dobson, Crestone, CO

Riverboat Works in Salida work hard to provide their customers with the best products and a level of service that is second to none. I have been doing business with Riverboat Works for several years and they have always listened to my input on whats important to me in a fly fishing boat and then have designed and built the right rig for me. It is my opinion that Riverboat Works is always first with new ideas and new technology. Riverboat Works fishing frames are by far superior to all the other ones that I have seen. From the raw material to the quality welds and hardware, Riverboat Works finished product is durable, practical, and will last for many of years.

My lastest boat that Riverboat Works built for me is a 2-man cataraft with a complete fly fishing frame. With Jacks Plastic tubes this boat works great in the skinny water but is big enough to handle class3-4 rapids with no problem. It is designed with all the good stuff on it including rod holders, tractor seat, stripping basket, yeti cooler,dry boxes, and an anchor stystem that out of the way and works great.

My last comment is that Ron and his staff are guys that are on the river both boating and fishing. This gives them them the true experience to build and sell you the boat that will work best for your needs.

– Matt Brown, Swissvale,CO

I’m a professional fly fishing guide in AK during the summer and recently moved to Bend, OR upon returning. Out here drift boats are the rule and rafts the exception. I wanted something more versatile than a drift boat however and decided on a 16 foot cataraft. Others in the area told me that it was a mistake and that clients prefer to fish out of drift boats.

I took a gamble and ordered the three man cataraft frame custom built to fit the aire lion tubes. The guys at the shop were in constant contact with me about specifics, sending pictures with new configurations to tailor the boat to exactly the kind of trips I was planning on running. I was a little worried not being able to stop by the shop and see it in person but when the boat arrived I can assure you that every dollar was worth it. I’ve had nothing but radiant comments from those privileged to float down the river in her thus far and I get stopped at the boat ramps constantly.

I spend countless hours of my life in a boat and wanted the best of the best. I’ve rowed all kinds of boats over the years and can say hands down this is the Cadillac of all rafts. It’s safer, more comfortable, and a better fishing vessel than I could have asked for. I wanted a boat that stood out to my clients as if to say “That’s the guy we should be booking with,” and I feel that it precisely what I received.

You can expect top notch customer service, indespensible quality, durabilty and pride of ownership.

– fishingforsoul

Thank You to all at Riverboat Works for the great raft you custom built for me!

I have been paralyzed and in wheelchair since 1994 and thanks to the new oar-frame customized raft the guys at Riverboat Works built for me, I successfully navigated Lake DeWeese (had to see if the thing floated) and then Grizzly Creek to New Castle stretch of the Colorado River – didn’t gather any “style” points going down the river, but got in safely (that was easy, some stranger just pushed me) and most importantly out safely (some strangers made sure that I did Not miss the take-out) due only to the quality of my new inflatable vessel! Also, this was my first trip navigating down a river ever, as I did not partake in this sport even prior to my paralyzing accident!

Much was tested and learned. When the oar came flying out of its’ lock, into my skull and then into the water, I learned that I should probably keep the oars up, or behind me when going through the rapid areas. Great equipment test though as I was able to regather the tethered – oar and place it back into the undamaged and somehow still attached oar lock while floating backwards and sideways through the rapids.

When someone behind me yelled to go either left or right of a pair of big rocks, it dawned on me I that didn’t know how to steer. I ended up in between the rocks, of course, floating sideways, backwards and otherwise fully out-of-control again, but in the end I was happy to learn that the vessel you built me easily withstood the bounces off of both rocks and the turbulent water in the hole that was behind them.

Everything you built for me worked perfectly, from the seating to the custom footplate. Thank you again for your ingenuity and ability to create a custom, stable raft that easily kept me afloat during several of what I considered to be near-death experiences. I will be a better captain next trip and will also remember to fully inflate my raft (I guess I better not leave out the part where my pressure gauge registered “0” PSI before, during and after my trip – hey, it felt firm enough to me, I just thought the gauge was broken only later to learn that the raft could hold much, much more air than I thought – now registering at a solid 3.5)!

Thanks again to everybody at Riverboat Works and look forward to stopping in to accessorize (full body armor, face mask and snorkel perhaps) and say hi next time I am in Salida!

– rivercrip

I have a new Hyside and frame from Riverboat Works. I got a lot of great advice and Ron and Kurt put up with a lot of questions and changes from someone who knew nothing about what I wanted or needed getting started. I ended up with a perfect setup and exactly what I wanted. Thanks!

– Jon Snider

One of the best reasons is it will save you on broken rods, the unique rounded handles on the stand up fishing station/stripping basket are great places to place your rod VERTICAL while you release fish, tie knots, run rapids, it keeps the rod tip in a safe place, just pick the side away from the bank if you are pulling over.

They also have made great places to grab when your oarsman hits something he’s not supposed to…just sayin.

– Spade Hackle

I ordered my Hyside Mini Max w/ custom Riverboat Works fishing frame last Tuesday and picked up my boat on Friday. I wanted a 2-man fishing boat that could navigate through skinny water and that’s exactly what I got, plus some. This was my first boat purchase and Kurt was more than helpful (and patient) with guiding me through the process.

Although I have only had my boat out once so far, on the Upper C, I can already tell that some great thought and attention to detail went into constructing this frame. The practical, lightweight and functional design make this boat really easy to use and handle. My favorite part is the forward lean bar. Not only is it positioned at the perfect height to lean on for fishing, it also give the passenger something to hold onto in those big rapids and also doubles as a vertical rod holder.

I’m looking forward to logging in some serious hours on this boat and landing some serious fish!

Thanks to the Ron, Kurt and the whole staff over at Riverboat Works for giving me exactly what I wanted!

– Cypress

Read more testimonials at the MountainBuzz forum.

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