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Thread: Help me choose a raft.

  1. #1

    Default Help me choose a raft.

    Hi Guys, need some help on choosing a raft. Spent alot of time looking here on the forum and the internet in general, but still no luck helping me reach a decision. So I am after a 13' raft to be used for fishing. Most of the time it would be just 2 people on the raft, and then on trips with gear for up to 7 days. Will be used for local stuff and flyouts in the state. Am limited on how much I can spend, so have narrowed it down to an Aire Tributary or NRS Otter. Fully aware of the issues between the two rafts on construction techniques and raft material, patching.... Am more into smaller waters that are more technical and not big waters that push. So I guess which one rows better is my main question, not just when running rapids, but functioning more like a drift boat. Also which one rows better when heavily loaded. Oh yea, and it will have a rowing frame on it.

    I have had a Aire Puma in the past and currently have a Aire Traveler with a tricked out rowing frame and stern motor mount, that has been all over the state, so I know about Aire's construction.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Rent both boats and compare them on the water. That's the only way you'll know for sure.

    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/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  3. #3

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    Here ya go, Mad. Our new Legend might be something were checking in to. We'll have them at the Outdoors Shows this spring (April 2, 2015 I believe).

    Specs and videos on our site!

    http://www.pristineventures.com/prod...es/legend.html

    Larry

  4. #4
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    You can't go wrong with the NRS Otter IMHO. I've had one for 6 years and it probably has over 800 AK river miles on it without any issues. It's been on planes, trains, and automobiles getting to/from trips and is always reliable. It's the Ford Taurus of rafts. Reasonable priced, does what you need it do do, and is made in North Amercia. Aire raft's are IMO the BMW's and SOTAR's the Mercedes. It just depends on what you want to spend and what you need vs. want.

    i think a 13' is ideal for two on mostly day trips with occasional longer, overnight trips. I have a 15' and there are many times when I wish I had a smaller boat (by myself) nd sometimes a bigger one (family on a long trip).





  5. #5
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    I love that first picture, it is so now-a-days.......the kids are sitting on there axx and the dad is doing all the work. So funny

  6. #6
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Well...to be fair to them (and me) they did do their share. Everybody humped gear from the train to the river. I think the kids carried more loads than me. I spent most of my time assembling the boat and frame. Hopefully someday soon they will be fully capable of doing it all and then the Mrs. And I can just enjoy being rowed down the river.



    A different trip


  7. #7
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Birdstrike Great Photos and as always thank you for sharing!!!!!

    I love the otter have had several in the fleet for years 15ft is a work horse for trying to combo use i.e. hunt / fish / fly out etc... I also have some of the smaller otters to include Bucket boats. I also have or have had Tribs down to 9.5ft buckets and up to 16ft Self Bailing boats like them all and they do fit a niche in the market for option use versus warranty versus cost against performance.

    As much as I like the otters if I was looking into more technical water i.e. short bends, sweepers , boulder hoping etc.... I like the AIRE Puma. Nothing wrong with the SOTARS as well great little performance boats available as well however they can be somewhat cost prohibitive if a person is trying to change it up a little.

    I guess I should stop rambling and give an opinion. If I was searching for a technical boat and the PUMA was not an option I would look at the Trib versus the Otter in a shorter length and would even consider a Bucket boat if weight is going to be an issue. That being said now that NRS offers a PVC version of a 13ft in a bailing boat at 105 lbs with drop stitch floor for under 2K it may be worth a look

    http://www.nrs.com/product/86038.01/...-bailing-rafts

    I have never used them and can not vouch for their quality or performance so if I were to consider it an option I would have to call and speak to Dan at NRS in-depth about performance and quality.. Dan is a stand up person and has never provided me bad information.

    Same goes with Shawn at AIRE always willing to chat about boats and specifics.

    AIRE TRIB in 12ft: Is the same weight 105 lbs however has a significantly lower kick to the bow and the stern i.e. not for punching waves visit the links and look at the Specs.

    Any who hope I did not muddy the waters much.

    Good Luck with your purchase.

    P.S.

    Hard to beat the PUMA when it comes to performance and versatility with the 12 inch Kick and coming in at 89 lbs just under 12ft it is a great combo boat for running smaller water that requires fast turns in skinny water.

    Regards

    RMM

    http://www.nrs.com/product/11681/tri...-bailing-rafts

  8. #8
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mad View Post

    I have had a Aire Puma in the past and currently have a Aire Traveler with a tricked out rowing frame and stern motor mount, that has been all over the state, so I know about Aire's construction.
    Thanks in advance.

    Mad..... Am curious what became of your Aire Puma? Sold it? How old was it? And how much did u get for it (if u don't mind).
    I've done several 12 day trips in mine and it served me well over the years.
    Mike has some good advice. Rent a couple and try them out.
    Birdstrike.... That looks like a nice float boat for hunting purposes. Thanks for the pics.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    You probably know this, but the AIRE Puma comes in three different sizes, with correspondingly larger capacities. Personally I think the Puma is an excellent boat, if it will handle your loads without flooding the self-bailing floor. It's narrow enough for woody streams, yet wide enough to prevent capsizing in many broaching situations. You could rent one of those from Alaska Raft and Kayak if you need to verify.

    -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

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the info guys. I loved my Super Puma. It was very nimble and being almost drum tight when inflfated it rowed very well without much effort. I found it was much easier to pack using dry bags and forget coolers due to its narrow width. That was the only issue I ever had with it. To answer your question Cod, it was stolen from my truck while down on the Kenai years ago. Thanks for the info Blue Moose. Would love to find a used Super Puma for sale, but people in Hell want ice water to, haha.

  11. #11
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    It is never too late to get a SOTAR(State of the art raft). Best rafts in the world. Check one out next time and you will never buy another raft. High quality, American made, and world class winner.

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