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Thread: AR&K is now a SOAR Dealer.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Default AR&K is now a SOAR Dealer.

    Stopped by Alaska Raft & Kayak today, to check out the latest developements in the Aire line of rafts, prior to the upcoming Sportsman's Show. It was nice to talk rafting at a relaxed pace without all the GASS crowds. Anyway, I noticed a SOAR poster up on the wall, and an inflated Pro Pioneer in the back room, so I asked the obvious question. Turns out that AR&K has very recently started representing SOAR products. They are also listing PP's on their new 2012 rental sheet. Nothing on their website yet, it just happened. That's the latest scoop!

    A few questions for all you SOAR Pro Pioneer owners out there:
    Has anyone ever removed the glued flaps from the corners of their PP's floor, in order to convert it into a self-bailer?
    If yes, How did it work out? Have you left it that way? Or glued the flaps back over those factory made holes?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  2. #2

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    hey Dave,

    yep, i started working with AK Raft & Kayak recently to offer better service to some anchorage-area customers. Hopefully it'll do well there.

    As for your questions, good ones. Here's my 2 cents:

    The bail hole patches are bitter sweet features on the Pro Pioneer. If you keep them on from the factory, over the years with repeated inflate and deflate and running in silty or sandy currents...the bail patches will start to develop fine grit underneath the patches and seeps could be noticed over time. Most times the water is negligable and requires tipping it over each evening or bailing manually any water that might collect above the floor.

    The easy fix in this equation would be to find the leaky hole patch and remove, clean both areas, skuff both surfaces, clean again, apply glue layers and reapply patch (hypalon shore adhesive).

    If the user wants to remove the patches to make the PP a self-bailer, then simply rub the edges with a little toluene or xylol (goo off) and pull off with your fingers or plyers. Fingers are best if possible to avoid pinching the patches, which might not seat well when reapplied.

    Same procedure as before, remove, clean both areas, skuff both surfaces, clean again, apply gluing layers and reapply patch.

    If running whitewater, i prefer the bail holes open. if hunting and loading heavy loads, i prefer a non-bailer to maximize flotation and reduce on-board water on the floor.

    good luck,

    larry

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    Good! About time! Is there a Soar dealer in the Interior? Thanks!

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    I drove past Alaska Raft & Kayak a couple hours ago and wondered why there was a Pro Pioneer on the snowbank by the road!
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    Default PP as a Bailer

    I agree with Larry on this one. My hunting groups love how much weight our PP's can handle but keeping meat dry is critical! When meat gets wet it will sour quickly. It is also important to make sure you wash your rafts out every evening and re-hang your meat so it can cool down and dry out. Rafts make crappy freezers! Meat tends to get wet and warm through out the day and guys who don't hang their meat every evening loose meat. I don't know how many times I gotten rafts back from hunts (early ones) that just smell like sour meat! Bears just love stinky rafts as well. I always stress how important it is to wash your raft out. I lost a nice Avon on the Wulik in 2008. I guess Griz love to chew on bloody rubber! Man I loved that Raft!

    On the Delta and upper Gulkana we peal the tabs off of our PP so they shed the splash water. Makes floating the upper section a lot more fun and safe.


    Walt
    Gulkana River Raft Rentals
    www.gulkanaraftrental.com

  6. #6

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    yes, Woodsman, that would be me (pristine ventures) in Fairbanks, as well as Sportsman's Warehouse in FBKS and Wasilla.

    larry

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Are they only stocking ProP boats?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  8. #8

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    yes, right now they only stock pro pioneers. Most of our other models are sold before they arrive from overseas.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Thanx Larry & Walt for the info about the PP as a self-bailer.

    Any chance that SOAR might start offering a wider choice of colors for their boats? I note that their new 10-footer is Red, the Magnum is (glacier) Gray, the Levitator is (grassy) Green or Blue, but everything else is Blue, Blue, and Blue. Obviously, SOAR can offer different colors when they want to. But, except for the Gray, none of these seem to be chosen for hunting type activities, even though SOAR promotes the PP as specifically designed for float hunting in Alaska. I'd love to see a PP in Brown, dark-Green, Black, or dare I dream . . . Camo!

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Hey BluNosDav, The three designs you mentioned are my designs, so I can answer your question:

    I have tried for years to get SOAR's factory to build me the Pro Pioneer in other colors.

    We have the Levitator built in China, so other color options are available.

    We have the Magnum in gray because that's all I would accept.

    The downside to gray hypalon is that it stains easily. Greasy blood from bears, fish bait, etc...hard to come clean. Blue has a longer color stay from UV exposure, so it's a better choice than red, for example, that oxidizes over the years and turns slightly pink if not maintained.

    I'm considering asking for 2013 model Pro Pioneers to be Gray, to test the market for other colors. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

    Larry

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Now, that it's 2013, I'm bumping this back up, to see if any new colors are available?

    Also, expanding my interests to include the SOAR 16. Thinking the narrower beam would be easier to paddle like a canoe?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  12. #12

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    You might want to drop by the AR&K booth this spring in Anchorage and our both in Fairbanks. You'll see the new SB Pioneer X-stream that will blow your mind. Color options are RED and GRAY. Features are 15" tube diameter tapered to 19" at the bow and stern. No wood, no metal, PVC construction, full SB model, drop-stitch floor, weighs only 65-lbs. This boat also adds greater weight capacity, roughly 1900 lbs.

    Larry

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    You might want to drop by the AR&K booth this spring in Anchorage and our both in Fairbanks. You'll see the new SB Pioneer X-stream that will blow your mind. Color options are RED and GRAY. Features are 15" tube diameter tapered to 19" at the bow and stern. No wood, no metal, PVC construction, full SB model, drop-stitch floor, weighs only 65-lbs. This boat also adds greater weight capacity, roughly 1900 lbs.

    Larry
    What's the length on that boat, Larry? Pics?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Any chance that this new Pioneer X-Stream raft will be on display at next month's Anchors Aweigh Boat Show?
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  15. #15

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    I don't know, let me ask AKR&K if they will be there. If so, I'll get them a boat to display. stand by.

    larry

  16. #16

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    Mike, the specs are:

    length: 16.5'
    Tube diam: 15" tapered to 19" at the bow and stern (last 48" of each end)
    Rise: 4"
    width: 47"
    floor: drop stitch 4" thick
    chambers: 5 ea
    valves: Leafield
    Material: PVC
    weight: 65 lbs

    Pioneer.JPGPioneer-C.JPG

  17. #17

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    how does this one compare to a aire traveler and can you mount a small outboard

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default AR&K is now a SOAR Dealer.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackbear View Post
    how does this one compare to a aire traveler and can you mount a small outboard
    Right off the bat a rated increase of 1200# load.

    http://www.aire.com/aire/products/default.aspx?id=205
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  19. #19
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    Mike, the specs are:

    length: 16.5'
    Tube diam: 15" tapered to 19" at the bow and stern (last 48" of each end)
    Rise: 4"
    width: 47"
    floor: drop stitch 4" thick
    chambers: 5 ea
    valves: Leafield
    Material: PVC
    weight: 65 lbs

    Pioneer.JPGPioneer-C.JPG
    Some more questions:

    1. Fabric weight?

    2. Is it a non-bailer?

    3. Where is it made?

    4. Is the bottom urethane coated?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    Right off the bat a rated increase of 1200# load.

    http://www.aire.com/aire/products/default.aspx?id=205
    Keep in mind that manufacturer's rated capacities don't necessarily equate to field realities. There are no industry-accepted standards for determining raft capacities, so the manufacturers just post whatever numbers they are comfortable with. Some years ago I noticed the following stats posted for three identical sets of cataraft tubes:

    AIRE Jaguarundi: 1099#
    Maravia Cat: 1178#
    SOTAR Elite Cat: 1650# (I would post a link, but it's not on their site anymore)

    All three boats were 16' long, with 24" tubes, and similar bow and stern transition sections. Yet there was a difference of over 550# rated capacity.

    Second, if Bartlett's new boat is a non-bailer, as some of his are, it's going to displace more water than a bailer, simply because when you push a bailer down into the water with a heavy load, as soon as the boat rides deeper than the top of the floor, water will back-flow into the bailer holes into the boat. That's why non bailers have larger load capacities. I have heard of some folks using Nerf footballs to seal the bailer holes on an AIRE Traveler. You tie two of them together with a short nylon rope, and shove them into the elliptical bailer holes from the top before you inflate the boat. The pressure in the floor, combined with the pressure of the inflated tubes, keeps the footballs in place and supposedly keeps the water out. I haven't tried it yet, but I can't imagine it will keep all the water out. Seems to me you would have a slow leak. Still, it might be worth a try if you have a traveler. In summary, a bailer will carry more weight than a non bailer. So I'm not disagreeing with your post, just clarifying one of the reasons for the higher capacity.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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