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Thread: Grabner Variant SL

  1. #1

    Default Grabner Variant SL

    I am interested in buying a Grabner Variant SL. I emailed the company in Germany but they are no longer making that model. Does anyone know where I could obtain a good used one? Thanks and Happy New Year!

  2. #2
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Powered inflatable raft?

    Interesting looking raft.
    Looks like a transom at the stern.
    Is this a power-capable, inflatable raft for 6 people?
    Does the trailing segment of each side improve flotation or directional control?
    Where did you have in mind to use this raft?

  3. #3

    Default Variant

    The literature says it can handle Class 2 rapids and a 65 kg./ 25 hp motor. It weights 90 lbs and has a 750 kg payload. I have never been in one, but with that combo I am willing to risk the money to see if it might serve several uses in the Interior for which it now takes at least two boats...big rivers upstream with a prop; smaller rivers upstream with a jet; flyin - float out, etc. Unfortunately, its looks like its an academic question; the company does not make them anymore and I can't find any used ones.

  4. #4
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Ranger SL ... still good weight capacity

    Not 18ft long, but at 14ft (63" beam, 78lbs) still rated to carry 1,653 lbs, though only 15hp motor recommended. Still that seems like pretty good capacity: raft weight ratio.

    A similar Zodiac (Mark 2C HD, capacity 1,653 lbs, 6psngr, 25hp motor, REF: http://www.zodiacmarineusa.com/the-z...e-zodiac-boats) would weigh 169lbs.

    Where did you hear about these rafts?

  5. #5

    Default

    I saw one on top of a truck at a boat shop. He was getting his OB tuned up for moose hunting. He was a German (landed immigrant, I guess) and so was tuned up himself on Grabners.

  6. #6
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    Default Variant Availability

    Topcat,

    As the Anchorage dealer for Grabner I checked with Grabner proper, and their U.S. importer, about the availability of a Variant. Both told me the Variant had been superseded by the Hobby (http://www.grabner-sports.at/index.php?id=1746&L=2). Neither had a Variant (new, demo, or used) stuck back in any of their warehouses. The rest of the bad news...I have never seen a used one for sale. That's not to say there aren't any used boats, I just have never seen one. Possibly a search of other dealers across North America could turn one up...?

    We just built a custom frame for a Grabner Ranger, then hung a 25 hp jet off the back. If you are interested I can send you a photo of that package.

    Good luck in your search,

    Tracey
    Alaska Raft and Kayak
    1.800.606.5950

  7. #7
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Hold the phone

    Tracy thank you so much for taking the time to get on to the forum and providing data.

    Nice to see you out and about! Hopefully we will continue to be blessed with your inputs now and again. Keeps me from sending PM's to people stating you should contact Tracy and Mark at AR&K.

    :-)

    Blue Moose
    Last edited by BlueMoose; 01-08-2009 at 14:35. Reason: Spelling of course

  8. #8

    Default

    Tracy, thanks for replying. Yes, I would like to see the pics. I would also like to know how heavy the combined Ranger and frame is, and also how much the whole unit costs?

    Thanks again.tc

  9. #9
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Interesting design...

    the trailing segment (of each side) apparently aids directional control.

    Corrected specs - from Grabner's website:

    Model: ---Length--Width --Packed weight---Weight capacity
    Ranger ---13'7"----63"------68 lbs ----------- 1,102 lbs
    RangerSL-15'7"----63"-------78 lbs ---------- 1,653 lbs

    Both Ranger models rated for 99lbs motors or 15hp, but sounds like they'll handle more.

    The Hobby model looks more like a Zodiac design- but seems to weigh less. The Ranger SL sounds like quite a raft; maybe offering a drier ride (less spray?). Are there many of these around? How many sold each year at ARK, I wonder?

  10. #10
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    Default More on the Grabner Ranger

    Topcat,

    We sold the Grabner Ranger to the ADF&G this past late summer, then made a custom frame for the boat out of 1.25" ID aluminum pipe this winter. After that we hung a Yamaha 25 hp jet (supplied by another company) on the back of it. All sounds well to this point. But, as you can see from the photo, this is a highly specialized package! I did not bother to weigh the setup as it is not something I will be building for anyone else. However, if ADF&G lets me borrow the system this upcoming Red season I will weigh it and get back to you, right after I collect my winter supply of salmon steaks! Anyway...though we know the weight of the boat (68 lbs) and the weight of the motor (126 lbs) I cannot tell you what your frame would weigh, until you and I discuss your needs and then sketch out a design. You may not need such a robust frame. Come on in to Alaska Raft and Kayak one of these days and we will paper out a frame to fit your needs and your budget.

    Tracey


  11. #11
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Tracy, so

    Is that variant gonna be used to find the Locheness monster or what?
    ..
    Looks like a very special outfit for sure..
    One thing I have found on using these jets, is the spray you get that can come up and over the transom..into the boat and on the operator,
    I have had to make a skirt to keep the spray from getting me from getting soaked..
    I know you have not had this baby out on the water yet, but let us know if it does have that back spray problem..
    See you soon Tracy..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  12. #12
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    Default Spray Issues

    Hey Max,

    That's quite the rig isn't it! A seat will be attached to the front cross bar. The netter will sit there, net the stunned fish using a long-handled dip net, and then dump the catch in the cooler/live well, which will be hung in the forward portion of the frame. Specialized it is!

    I do expect to spend a little time on this boat to make sure the jet is usable, rather than an expensive outdoor shower! As soon as the water is a little less hard, and a little less shiny, we will be out "field researching" the package's performance. I will be happy to pass along my findings.

    Take care,

    Tracey

  13. #13

    Default

    Tracy,

    Thanks for the photo and for all the information. I am not sure that is just what I had in mind...although, maybe it could be modified to put a power winch under the seat so I wouldn't have to lift moose parts in and out of the boat anymore?

    Now that I have done a little research on the Ranger SL, it looks like that boat might be a better configuration for river travel than the Variant SL due to its abilitly to handle the heavier white water (I note it has bigger tubes) that we sometimes encounter. If only it did NOT have that soft transom!

    Maybe I'm dreaming, but it seems to me that if the Ranger SL had a hard transom like the Variant SL that would be the ideal interior AK boat, at least for the things I like to do! Maybe there is more engineering to putting a hard transom in the Ranger SL than I know, but if a Ranger SL could just handle a 25 hp outboard, prop and jet, and still maintain its light weight, payload, and portability...WOW!

    Since I am having this dream; I wonder how many orders a distributor would have to come up with before Grabner would make a limited run of a Ranger SL with a hard transom...the Ranger SL/AK?

  14. #14
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    Default "THE" Boat

    Topcat,

    I have asked the Canadian importer of the Grabner boats to have a go at locating a Variant (demo, new, or used). He is looking in both Canada and Germany.

    I have also asked Grabner if they would build the Rangers with hard transoms, and if so how many would need to be ordered to make the program happen. We shall see how they respond.

    Tracey

  15. #15

    Thumbs up

    That is just great! Thanks for the good service! I will wait to hear what you find out with great anticipation.tc

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