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Thread: Pro Pioneer seat ?

  1. #1
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    Default Pro Pioneer seat ?

    Hi all,

    I know many of you have used Pro Pioneers for years and I was hoping to glean some experience from you. I bought a used PP this year that I will be taking on a fly-in float hunt. In order to cut weight I was thinking of leaving behind the wooden seats and rigging something akin to the mesh seats used on the Pristine Ventures line of boats. My only hesitation is that the wooden seats seem to add structure and stiffness to the boat and without them a heavy load might present some stability issues, like a lot of flex and perhaps folding along the long axis of the boat.

    So, I was wondering if any of you have experience using a PP without the seats installed? And if so, how did it work? Either way, I'll be doing some on-the-water testing prior to the hunt, but it's always valuable good to hear from those who have gone before.

    Thanks for any help. I've learned a lot from this forum as a lurker, but this is a first post simply because I'm a newby and don't have much to offer!

    Corey

  2. #2
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    So, I went straight to the source and sent a note to SOAR. The response was that the seats actually don't provide much additional structure and that there shouldn't be any difference in performance. In case anyone else was wondering, there you have it...

  3. #3
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    I have used both a cooler and my favorite and Action Packer.. use the Action Packer for flying in gear, and use it for a seat. Keeps stuff pretty dry. I often use a cooler for rowing off . works well

  4. #4
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Are you suspending the cooler/action packer or placing it on the floor? From what I've heard loading a lot of weight on the floor is not advised, especially in shallow water.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  5. #5

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    I would dis agree with Laba from SOAR on the rigidity the seats provide in the PP. I've done it without wood seats and it works (maneuverability) in Class I-II, but anything more and the hull really warps under load and river strength (waves and hydraulics). If it's a mild float then sure it'll be fine, but if you have heavy loads and challenging currents or conditions...take the extra weight in seats and make it right.

    You might get by with mesh system slings like we switched to for mild conditions. Or, link your side tubes together with webbing or mesh to keep the outward splaying a factor. This can be rigged to grommet flange on each side tube. Should be fine, but the PP is definitely more rigid a hull with the seats attached.

    Just my 2 pennies after probably 2000 miles in the PP.

    larry B

  6. #6
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    We use SOARS in our rental fleet and they are in huge demand for fall out hunts because of the hauling chapatis and how light and tight they are in a plane. The seats make up very little weight and almost no space when they are rolled up in the rafts so to remove them really does not make much sense for those reasons. The mech type seat will make the SOAR "Spongy" and I think less responsive when fully loaded.


    The reason you have chosen the SOAR over a round boat is weight/space so the 2 seats really don't make much difference.

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Outfitters
    Drop and Float Hunts-Unit 23
    907-259-4290
    www.northwestalaska.net
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  7. #7
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    What would you recommend for quality paddles when not using oars with the SOAR rafts?
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  8. #8
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    One piece Carlisle paddles. Either the "Outfitter" or "Standard" grade.

    http://www.nrs.com/category/2886/rafting/raft-paddles

    You will not break a raft paddle but I have broken kayak paddles at the joint. You'll be moving heavy loads (hopefully) and lightweight kayak paddles are prone to fail. No matter what, take a spare means means of propulsion such as a paddle, spare oar, or a spare breakdown kayak paddle for the group.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the experience-based advice. At 5lb/seat, the weight is significant enough that I'd like to find an alternative, but not at the expense of safety. I'm going to play around and field test some options, but this is helpful information.

  10. #10
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    I agree with Larry, the wooden seats provide support, if you have a problem with the floor loosing air/ripped etc the boat can take on a "taco" shape and the wooden seats help keep it in a more original shape. I have used a PP on Ivishak, Nushagak, Tikchik and some others. If you float shallow keep as much weight on the tubes as you can. The wooden seats also give you a platform to stand and glass/observe from since the water is generally the lowest part of the valley. Good Luck

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