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Thread: Pro Pioneer vs SOAR 16

  1. #1
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    Default Pro Pioneer vs SOAR 16

    What is the difference and is the SOAR 16 suitable for Alaska moose and caribou float hunting?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default S16 vs PP

    Quote Originally Posted by IFLY4U View Post
    What is the difference and is the SOAR 16 suitable for Alaska moose and caribou float hunting?
    The PP is essentially a "Super Sized" S16. The hull configuration is the same, but the PP is longer, wider, and has larger tubes. In my opinion the S16 has a place in Alaska float hunting in the following areas:

    1. Sheep or goat hunting in small headwater areas.

    2. Use it to shuttle meat / trophies out of small tributary streams, sloughs or ponds, back to the main river where a larger boat awaits.

    3. Use it on base camp hunts as a way to access beaver pond areas, slow sloughs and to cross ponds and such on moose hunts.

    4. Use it as a satellite boat on regular float hunts involving larger boats. The satellite boat is used to hunt oxbow ponds and sloughs off the main river, or for hiking in and floating tributaries back to the main river.

    Because of its smaller size, I would not recommend the S16 as a primary boat for moose or caribou hunting. It just doesn't have enough capacity. Another drawback is that the boat can flex under a load and will literally fold in the middle ("taco", in the vernacular) if you go over a drop or find yourself in rough water. I have even seen recent video where the PP did the same thing with a solo paddler and gear aboard (no game meat). This is partially due to the boat being made of rubber materials (Hypalon and neoprene), which are less rigid than plastics (PVC and urethane) that some other canoes are made of.

    If you are looking for a comparable boat to the PP, you might have a look at the Soar Canyon. Here is a comparison of the two boats. I've highlighted the differences in color to make them easier to see:

    Soar Canyon
    Length: 15'
    Width: 48"
    Inside width: 18"
    Tube Diameter: 14"
    Floor Thickness: 5"
    Weight: 80 lbs
    Load Capacity: 1200 lbs.
    Warranty: 5 Years
    Retail Price: $2,010.00

    Soar PP
    Length: 16'
    Width: 46"
    Inside width: 18"
    Tube Diameter: 14"
    Floor thickness: 5"
    Weight: 80 lbs.
    Load Capacity: 1500 lbs.
    Warranty: 5 years? (not sure)
    Retail price: $2195 ($2050 for "Members")

    I should note that I have heard very good things about Mr. Bartlett's support of customer issues with the PP. He told me that he personally unpacks and inspects every new boat that he ships to customers, and users have said many good things about how he has taken care of them. That's a huge plus.

    Hope it helps!

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 09-21-2007 at 11:49.
    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.
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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

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    Thats a very good comparison write up Mike, unbiased and to the point. It's good to see someone respond specifically to what the poster wants instead of adding unneccessary comments, good job!

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    Default Another question for another use

    We do a black bear hunt every few years on a lake that is 2 miles long. On our last hunts, we would spot bears on the other end of the lake but by the time that we walked there, they would be gone. We are considering taking a small light weight inflatable next time to close the distance faster. Does anyone have any suggestions for a cheap but reliable inflatable canoe or kayak that would fit the bill? I saw a small one for $400 at Sportsmans Warehouse in Anchorage but I wasn't sure of the quality of it. I also saw a 12 foot used SOAR on Ebay last night with a starting bid of $560 including shipping.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Some ideas for you-

    Quote Originally Posted by IFLY4U View Post
    We do a black bear hunt every few years on a lake that is 2 miles long. On our last hunts, we would spot bears on the other end of the lake but by the time that we walked there, they would be gone. We are considering taking a small light weight inflatable next time to close the distance faster. Does anyone have any suggestions for a cheap but reliable inflatable canoe or kayak that would fit the bill? I saw a small one for $400 at Sportsmans Warehouse in Anchorage but I wasn't sure of the quality of it. I also saw a 12 foot used SOAR on Ebay last night with a starting bid of $560 including shipping.
    Ifly-

    My initial thought would be to grab the S12 if you can get it that cheap. They normally cost over a grand. Then I would outfit it with a pair of Kent Rotchy's Oar Saddles. I have known Kent for several years, having had him as a guest speaker at my float hunting seminars at the SCI national convention in Reno, Nevada. He knows his stuff and makes a great product. Make sure you get the ones designed for smaller tubes. Two miles of lake is a lot of water to navigate without a rowing system.

    I would steer clear of unknown brands or cheap vinyl boats that may leak at a critical moment, even if it is just for isolated situations. Those can be the most dangerous, because you are not regularly using the boat. Things go wrong that you don't expect.

    Most damage to inflatable boats happens off the water; during shipping, handling, storing, etc. This is where a cheap boat can really get you in trouble.

    You will likely have to make more than one trip in an S12 to pack out a bear, but it would work.

    That's what I'd do.

    -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 AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default SOAR and PP

    Looked at the one on Ebay, several patches, it is white and over 10 years old. I would recomend spending more to get something in a little better shape (newer). The PPs are tough boats, I abused the one below on 26 portages on a Spring Hunt. We did roll the boat once but that was operator error. Two people (~180lbs and ~300lbs), ~250lbs of gear, and one black bear (hide and meat). Handled very well on the entire trip and that was after I air dropped it out of a 185 on to a gravel island.
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