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Thread: Anyone heard of Vanguard Rafts?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone heard of Vanguard Rafts?

    So I was debating on the NRS Otter or the Aire Tributary.

    Now I find this raft. Can anyone tell me anything about them? Looks like NOVA runs them so I was thinking they must be good??

    http://www.vanguardinflatables.com/b...aks/boats.html

  2. #2

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    Yup, a very good pvc boat. more bombproof than either of the the other choices. a boating bud has had a 14fter for about 4 years and loves it with no problems. good reviews from people on the river you bump into running them, as well. stiff sb floor so easy to stand on and very, very well reinforced in high wear/impact areas along the tubes and frame chaffers. the designs come from essentially knocking off avons from a previous generation of their boats.

  3. #3
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    Great info

    Thanks.

    Anyone else care to chime in?

    Thnaks

  4. #4
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    Default

    Honestly, not sure about the Vanguard boats. But, I noticed you mentioned the NRS Otter. Those are the boats we use for smaller creeks and have also been used for some serious whitewater (Talkeetna Canyon). They have a weight capacity that exceeds most other rafts of similar size and are very well built. Granted the denier is less than other rafts that are intended for more extreme / expedition type trips, but for the cost and weight they have been great. I would definitely give a 13-14' Otter a good look.

    Tim
    www.matsuexpeditions.com - Alaskan Wilderness Fishing & Rafting

  5. #5

    Default How much does a 14' Vanguard sell for?

    Quote Originally Posted by 375ultramag View Post
    So I was debating on the NRS Otter or the Aire Tributary.

    Now I find this raft. Can anyone tell me anything about them? Looks like NOVA runs them so I was thinking they must be good??

    http://www.vanguardinflatables.com/b...aks/boats.html
    With the inflatable boat price war going on right now between the boat wholesalers and retailers in the Anchorage area there are some great deals to be found this season.

    If the 14' vanguard sells for more then $2100.00 FOB Anchorage. You might want to shop around.

    Jim King
    Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
    The Toughest Bottoms in the Business,
    River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks,
    Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats,
    Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
    WWW.alaskaseries.com
    (907)248-2900

  6. #6
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    Default

    Jim,

    I guess I don't understand your comment as I don't know of any of the 3 boats I mentioned selling for under $2800.00 anywhere.

    I went on your website and your up there as well.

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Interesting situation here-

    I don't want to dabble too much into the politics of this, but this is an interesting situation.

    I was recently reminded that "Nova" is actually "Avon" spelled backwards, harking back to their original association with Avon inflatables. Avon is a solid company with a good reputation. Anyway, Nova is primarily a rafting company that recently decided to get into sales (they are now the Alaska dealer for Vanguard.) Vanguard is a new startup, and like some others, are building their boats overseas. I don't know much about the quality of their stuff; I would defer that question to Tracey Harmon over at Alaska Raft and Kayak. I do know that they are a plastic boat (PVC). Many manufacturers in the past have had a hard time getting PVC to hold air. Historically I recall several brands that would go soft just sitting there for a couple of days. The usual remedy is to coat the material with urethane. Maravia does this by spray coating the finished boats with liquid urethane, and others do it differently. At any rate, I would check to make sure how well Vanguard holds air. Ideally, let it sit a few days fully inflated and see what you get.

    As to pricing, have you looked at the NRS Tributary series? They're gaining quite a following and the price is well below the numbers you mentioned. You can get into a 14' Tributary self-bailer for $2499 retail right off of NRS's website. Keep in mind that you're going to spend at least another $1000 on a frame and rigging, no matter what you get.

    Of course, you could go with AIRE and be done with it. You get the ten year, no fault warranty (which nobody else offers that I know of). You also get local service (who's gonna repair or service your Vanguard for you?) AIRE makes an awesome boat that you will likely never have to replace. They have a proven track record in Alaska. I like the smooth flat floor on their bailers, which allows the boat to spin well at times when you need that. Just a thought. It will cost you another grand, but you will forget all about this once you have the boat. You only have to buy quality once.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
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    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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  8. #8
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    Default

    Your right on the price Mike. I am thinking all the crap coming with it


    I am thinking the Aire cat as well as they are so versatile.

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default pricing and such

    Quote Originally Posted by 375ultramag View Post
    Your right on the price Mike. I am thinking all the crap coming with it


    I am thinking the Aire cat as well as they are so versatile.
    I forgot to mention that with the Great Alaska Sportsman Show coming up the first weekend in April, there should be some good discounts available on new inflatables too. Look at the base price of the boat, then figure your accessories. Everyone wants something slightly different, so your pricing will be a little different from mine...

    -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

    Default Anchorage pricing is half of what I list on my website.

    Quote Originally Posted by 375ultramag View Post
    Jim,

    I guess I don't understand your comment as I don't know of any of the 3 boats I mentioned selling for under $2800.00 anywhere.

    I went on your website and your up there as well.
    375ultramag,
    I stopped listing my sale prices on my website because I have several dealers in the lower 48 states now and they sell the Alaska Series boats for full list. Since I live in Anchorage I sell my boats wholesale direct to everyone in Southcentral Alaska. During the Anchorage boat show I was selling the Alaska Series River Rafts and Kenai Drifters for half of the listed website price. I'll have simular pricing during the Sportsman shows in Wasilla, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Soldotna. This makes the 14' self bailer a little over $1900.00 and the Kenai Drifter 14X26 just under $2100.00. When you compare and consider all the extras that come standard on my boats you'll be hard pressed finding better values for your money.

    I hope this answers your pricing questions.

    I'll see you at the sportsman shows.

    Good Boating

    Jim King
    Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
    The Toughest Bottoms in the Business,
    River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks,
    Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats,
    Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
    WWW.alaskaseries.com
    (907)248-2900

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