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Thread: Metzler Rafts

  1. #1
    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    Question Metzler Rafts

    After years of wheeling and dealing I am trying to move up to a raft useful for family trips or float hunts. I currently have a Scanoe which is cumbersome and heavy and have a chance to "upgrade" to a raft. Has anybody heard of Metzler rafts? The gentlemen selling is a friend leaving state and is giving me a deal (I think) of $500 bucks for a 12 1/2' Metzler. Hypalion (sp) material, and I guess similar to a zodiak type boat with the air chamber floors or wood floors and wooden transom for motor. Any input would be nice if any of you have stories or heard of these rafts......

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    Default raft for prop or jet?

    I have heard the metzler rafts that were designed for a jet are great!!!!!

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    From what I've read, and the little I remember about it, Metzler was bought out by Zodiak (2000-2001 perhaps?) and then re-named Jumbo. The Metzlers were usually made of Hypalon and occasionally neoprene. Grabner claims they bought a Metzler factory in 1989 and still uses it to make rubber boats, but I think Metzler continued after that. I believe this all took place in Germany. They had a good reputation, as I recall.

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    I have a metzler maya that's probably close to 30 years old...probably the same boat your looking at - wood transom, inflatable floor, two wooden tie in seats...good boat, but very small - don't know how big your family is, but the raft is small. Bigger than a scanoe though! This thumbnail is not as pretty as mine...but same boat. They even made a sail kit for them - saw one on german ebay once.

    some of the other rafts (Zod, Avon, etc) have a less pronounced taper at the bow resulting in a little more space...and the solid floors must be nice in use! On the other hand transporting the inflatable floor is real easy and if you're in an airplane or something space won't be as big of an issue.

    As I said mine is old, but it's in great shape - with the one exception that all the glued on items are delaminating. Pretty easy but time consuming work to remove, clean, and replace. The seams leak a small amount - not enough to notice in a 6-8 trip, but overnight you need more air. I plan to try some of that goo they sell (like fix a flat for a raft) next spring.

    With a 15hp short shaft prop, I've had mine in rivers, lakes, and even trolled for silvers in Valdez with it.
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    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the info guys, I decided not to buy it based upon the fact I have a four member family and the kids are getting nothing but bigger. I think we'd be cramped on the raft based on your comments and pictures. Thanks!

  6. #6

    Default Metzler Raft

    That sounds like the kind of raft I would be interested in trying. If it is available for sale, I would be interested. Thanks for info you can send.

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Comments on Metzler

    Metzler was one of the earliest pioneers in the inflatable industry, but alas, they are no more. They originated many innovative designs, including round boats, sport boats and even strange designs that were considered off-beat in their day. An example was the sled-type canoe they designed for flat water. Most of their designs were later either sold or somehow imitated by Grabner, another german company that is still in business today. The canoe still exists, and is called the XR Trekking. It bears a striking resemblance to another boat made by SOAR, which many of you have seen (the S-16). The S-16 is also made overseas, but imported into California and distributed from there. The S-16 is the boat that the Pro Pioneer was patterned after. I'm attaching a photo of the XR Trekking, so you can see what may have changed over the years, and what remains of the original design.

    Most of our current inflatables were patterned off of something from the past. Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to go with.

    Regards,

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 10-12-2006 at 19:59.
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    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    OutdoorsmanK - The guy who was selling took it back to the lower 48 with him.

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    Default Metzeler Maya S

    I have a Metzeler Maya S inflatable raft and I broke one of my colapsable wooden oars on a rock and I can't find a replacement anywhere. It snapped off right where the connection point is in the center of the shaft. Does anybody have a suggestion as to where I can find a replacement? It is the Qualitats-Ruder wooden oar bottom piece (the actual paddle half that goes in the water). It has the elephant logo same as the boat.

  10. #10
    Member Brian Richardson's Avatar
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    Wink Metz. Inflatables

    First let me start off by saying there is ton of misinformation out there on these older inflatables... and this thread does some of the same!

    A. Metzeler is best known as an originator of premium tires... yes... one of the first to go tubeless radial then innovations of belted radial. Some may also know of Metzeler premium motorcycle tires. This company is alive and well today in the tire business based in Germany!!!

    B. True the Metzeler of old fell into transitions --- Zodiac (of France) marketing was one of these that never went anywhere and Grabner (of Austria!) was another that's still making boats. Grabner is 'Austrian Manufacture' using 'German Fabric'.

    C. The Metzeler is made of Polyester strap-type webbing base-cloth and natural rubber while Grabner boats are made of Polyester strap-type webbing base-cloth a natural rubber outer and a butyl rubber mixture inner (3 layer fabric). This is a subtle difference in the Grabners not being any 'tougher' yet giving them a more elastic and stable fabric.

    D. Metzeler was and Grabner boats are still handmade and crafted using a hot vulcanization method (different then just laying up fabric and gluing it together)

    E. Is the Metzeler good w/ a Jet O/B? NO way - definitely not!!!! Talking very small low HP engines here!

    OK --- now on to the Inquiry:

    Is this Metzeler a good deal? NO!

    Is it priced within reason? Maybe??? & probably fair enough!

    For example: We have one of these boats for sale on Craigslist... priced about same! You can come see it anytime at our shop. For an older Metzeler it's alright and would give some more years of service as a little tender providing you top it off now and again.

    Metzeler (like Grabner) are boats built for versatility... not necessarily any pinnacle of performance, usage, or design for anything specific.

    New Grabners.... They are well built to a high standard, but in my opinion from lots of experience here... what real benefits are you achieving at that price-range to quality? NONE!

    Older Metzelers... always get small pisser leaks in the valleys of corrugations. They are also heat sensitive (while the fabric is color stable in UV) 'Hot' sun will deform the boats by hemorrhaging out the corrugations (think in terms similar to I-Beam failures inside the boat). Age or over-pressures will do the same.

    My first Kayak was a Metzeller Spezi L (still have it after 32 years JeeWiz... it needs to be topped off every few hours - sentimental boat). It has all the issues mentioned just above. Had a Canoe w/ full spray skirting... Thought it was so cool at first... that canoe was unstable, high bow and stern - not good in the wind, non-bailing, and mostly a poor design (that got sold off within a few seasons!).

    The sportboat-type mentioned by the original poster (like I said we have one at our shop - and have seen many) will very likely be having some of the issues with these designs that I mentioned. They were well made - just getting pretty old!
    Brian Richardson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Richardson View Post
    OK --- now on to the Inquiry:

    Is this Metzeler a good deal? NO!

    Is it priced within reason? Maybe??? & probably fair enough!

    He passed on the purchase.....






    3 years ago...

  12. #12
    Member Brian Richardson's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Here at Alaska Raft Connection, we have recently fielded several inquiries on these boats and have had a few in for repairs lately.

    Apparently still a few floating around or collecting dust in storage.

    Certainly pertinent info for this thread... maybe not necessarily the original poster... but fitting the person that may have one, looking to still use one, seeking repair options, or possibly values like selling/buying something similar on the used but not abused market.
    Brian Richardson

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    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    It's alive!! Thanks for addition info and corrections Brian. I did pass based upon lack of info, I ended up holding out for a few years and just recently purchased a ProPioneer for next season.
    Yesterday I ran into an Old Girlfriend and I thought I missed her...
    So I backed up and hit her again, ya know sometimes I really do miss her!!

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