A variety of OARS boats pulling to shore on the Lower Salmon River, including an oar raft, dory, inflatable kayak and dory.

The OARS Fleet

For modern explorers and legendary pioneers alike, it is the journey that counts, not the destination. At OARS, we offer a variety of watercraft, each delivering a unique and memorable experience for your journey. Get to know the OARS fleet…

OAR Raft

Oar rafts carry the bulk of the gear on most of our multi-day adventures. Your guide pilots the raft with long oars from a center-mounted aluminum frame. Ample deck space allows for lounging in calm stretches, while sturdy weight and width give your guide confidence to hit the big waves head-on. (3 – 5 passengers)

Paddle Raft

The sportiest of crafts we put on the water, everybody handles a paddle while the guide steers and gives directions from the rear. Paddling together is essential to finding the right run, and teamwork begets success. Helmets are required. (4 – 8 passengers)

Paddle Raft with OAR-Assist

The most agile of any boat in the OARS fleet, your guide powers the raft with two hefty oars on a rear-mounted frame, while the crew wields single-bladed paddles up front for added horse-power. Helmets required. (4 – 6 passengers)


Dories are the kings of big volume rivers like the Colorado and Salmon. These rigid boats were first used commercially in the Grand Canyon by writer, conservationist and river guide, Martin Litton. Hard-hulled and ultra-buoyant, dories shoot through rapids and make wave trains feel like roller coasters. (2 – 4 passengers)

Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable kayaks are available on many of our Class III river trips. These spunky craft float low to the water, putting you in touch with the pull of the current and splash of every wave. On most trips, double and single inflatable kayaks are available, depending on group size. (1 – 2 passengers)

Sea Kayak

The ultimate flatwater explorer—at home in open seas or inches from shore. Stealthy, quiet and quick, sea kayaks are the premier platform for wildlife viewing. From the turquoise waters of Croatia to island hopping in Baja, sea kayaks are a low-impact way to get out on the water. Generally two-person kayaks are provided, single kayaks may be available upon request.

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)

Rigid like a surfboard, but inflatable like a raft, stand up paddleboards are 10-feet long and surprisingly stable at close to three-feet wide. Hop on a SUP to turn stretches of calm, flat water into an active adventure! (Fun for one paddler at a time)

Motorized Snout Raft

Our stand-alone motor rig, this 22-foot pontoon craft is used on most of our Cataract Canyon rafting trips. Ride up front for the biggest whitewater hits, or sit in the rear for a more mild ride. (Up to 6 passengers)

Image of a dory watching a raft run a rapid with text OARS Guiding Life's Greatest Adventures since 1969; Legend Curt Chang & 50 Years of Dores in Idaho; Take Pause, 12 moments on the river you can't get anywhere else.

Discover your next OARS adventure.

Compare Adventures

Select up to 3 trips to compare