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Thread: First Time Aire Owner

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Default First Time Aire Owner

    I just added a 13' Aire Wildcat to my boathouse for solo whitewater use and something for my kids to row on longer trips supported by my self-bailer. The boat was built in 2003 but is in good shape. I've never owned an Aire raft before. What do you recommend for the care and feeding of my cat or things to look for?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    I just added a 13' Aire Wildcat to my boathouse for solo whitewater use and something for my kids to row on longer trips supported by my self-bailer. The boat was built in 2003 but is in good shape. I've never owned an Aire raft before. What do you recommend for the care and feeding of my cat or things to look for?
    1. Open that zipper on each tube at least once a year, to clean the glacial silt out of the shell, and to clean the zipper itself. They get clogged over time and you cannot open them. Well... I guess you always can, but not without breaking something.

    2. Clean it at least once a year with mild dish detergent.

    3. Let it sun dry after cleaning, then give the tubes a rub-down with some 303 Protectant (NEVER use Armor-All; it permeates the material and you won't get a patch to hold).

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike. I haven't opened up the tubes yet but will after my first trip. Do you recommend waxing the zipper to make it easier to open in the very rare event I needed to make a on-river repair? I already gave it its first bath and will 303 this week.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Thanks Mike. I haven't opened up the tubes yet but will after my first trip. Do you recommend waxing the zipper to make it easier to open in the very rare event I needed to make a on-river repair? I already gave it its first bath and will 303 this week.
    I would advise against waxing the zipper. The wax will just collect silt. Better to just leave it dry. You can suck the silt out of it with a shop-vac when the time comes.

    Also be aware that the inner bladders sometimes crease inside the shells, and water that enters the shells through the zipper can freeze during the winter. So if you store the tubes inflated, outside, you have a slight risk of ice cuts. Right now one of my Super Leopard tubes is flat, and when I checked it out, there was ice inside. I've got to take it apart and figure out what's going on.

    One other thing I forgot to mention, is to make sure your valves are clean too. Sometimes silt can get trapped in there, and you'll have a slow leak.

    -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 Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Will do. Aire emailed an owner's manual to me also. This should be a fun boat.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    I'm betting there is a different patch kit too.
    My only gear sponsor is the salvation army - Dick Griffith

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_rn View Post
    I'm betting there is a different patch kit too.
    You can patch the inner bladder with urethane tape. You can close the hole on the shell with urethane tape or even duct tape, applied from inside the shell. It will hold until you get home and can do a glued repair in your garage.
    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 Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    You can patch the inner bladder with urethane tape. You can close the hole on the shell with urethane tape or even duct tape, applied from inside the shell. It will hold until you get home and can do a glued repair in your garage.

    Yup. Since I already had TearAid in my repair that will work on the inner bladder all I did was buy a valve wrench and valve repair kit for the older style Leafield valves. The boat works great.

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