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Thread: Seeking raft advice

  1. #1
    Member AKdutch's Avatar
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    Default Seeking raft advice

    I am in the market for a new raft and am not sure really where to start. I have some things in mind and thought I'd throw them out and see what advice the experts out there can give me.

    What I need: I'm want to use the raft for hunting and fishing with my kids (4 and 10 yo). I want to be able to keep the kids in the raft, but have a frame to row from and use an electric trolling motor for fishing on small lakes with my girls. I also want to be able to load up the boat with hunting gear and a moose and not worry about overloading it.

    I don't really have any experience and was hoping some of you could post some photos of what setups you have. I don't plan on going on any class III rapids or going in the ocean. Any help would be greatly appreciated. John

  2. #2
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    I would recommend a 13-14' conventional (round) raft with a simple frame. A self bailing type is easier to walk around in, but that wouldn't be necessary, and the non-bailing are lighter and cost less. There are several options for adding a small motor mount.

    A cataraft is another option, but they are generally not the best things for keeping kids inside.

    Lots of good brands to choose from, and the Anchorage area Anchors Aweigh Boat Show is coming up, so you should be able to get a look at lots of them. There will be some nice sales going on too.

  3. #3
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default

    I am new to rafting and more experienced guys will surely chime in later. I will share what little I know with you though.

    I bought my raft from Goo Vogt of Alaska Wildwater in Anchorage. He is a Sotar rep in Alaska and a heck of a guy. A been there done that type that tells you like it is. Thank goodness I met up with him. He made my entry into rafting a smooth one. He knows his stuff. Also, Bluemoose Rafting, in the Fairbanks area is a place you should check out. He is also an active forum member "Bluemoose". Nice guy. If in Anchorage, check with Tracey at Alaska Raft and Kayak. As with Bluemoose, very nice guy and informative to say the least. He is also a forum member, "Tracey Harmon".

    Everyone has their own preferences here and your intended usage will determine what is right for you. Don't run out and buy a cataraft because someone says they have one and love it. Get lots of opinions and see if you can even go out with someone a time or two, row their raft/cataraft, etc.. and see what you like and what you don't like. Had I ran out and bought what I was first told, I would be very unhappy right now. Take your time and do it right.

    First thing to determine, raft or cataraft. Lots of strong supporters of both. There is some great older threads here on this. Search the rafting forum and you will find tons of opinions. Some worth more than others. But all will help you find your way. Pros and cons to each, so read up as much as you can on both. One thing that you mentioned, using a motor, lends itself more to using a cataraft. So this one interest of yours may have already made this decision for you. Generally speaking, I have seen very little reference made to using a round boat (raft) with a motor mount. It can be done, but the cataraft will have a hands down benefit in this department. Not just for the tracking and performance, but also the actual frame to support a motor. My suggestion, get a canoe for the lakes and use your raft on the rivers. It could simplify your decision to do this. Food for thought at any rate.

    For me personally, I wanted a very lightweight raft that I could fly with from NC to take yearly float trips in Alaska. Usually arctic float trips. We have a 14.5' Sotar non self-bailer, custom breakdown frame, and three piece Sawyer Pole Cat oars. Reason I tell you this is not as a suggestion, but as an example. What is right for you will be determined by what you will be using the raft for.

    If driving it around, the weight is not an issue, nor is an elaborate frame. But if you are using bush pilots to access remote rivers, these are things to keep in mind. Your intended usage (for now) sounds simple enough. But allow some room to grow. You may very well (likely will) want to tackle some class III rivers at some point in the future.

    Wish I could be of more help, but I am new to rafting myself. Usually use an Ally pack canoe on our float trips in Alaska, so I am still in the learning phase. There is one book that you need. It is the perfect book for beginners like you and I. Below is a link. Also, there is a pretty informative dvd "Get Wet" that has some info on rowing a raft. I found this very helpful and is a good intro to rafting and whitewater in general. Link for the dvd is below as well.

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-White...6660319&sr=8-8

    http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Get-Essen...ref=pd_sim_b_5


    Below is a pic of my raft. In this picture, it has a borrowed frame/oars as this was our first trip in it. We were in NW Alaska this past Sept fly fishing for dollies.

    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  4. #4

    Default sounds

    like a 14' standard raft might do it for you. Or maybe a Sotar Radical or Soar Levitator, the later two are narrower designs of the standard raft, they offer a little more flexibility when you start to consider smaller creeks. Lots to consider and I havnt even scratched the surface. You will find a lot of info archived under the search function.

  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default

    Not sure if the number below is current, but found this searching on the forum...

    Fairbanks

    Fairbanks Paddlers Association
    Telephone (907) 455-6559 or (907) 479-6172
    To Protect access to and navigation of rivers, water bodies, and waterways in Alaska by canoes, kayaks, rafts, and other non-motorized craft of all kinds. To Support the conservation of the quality of Alaskan waters, and of the shoreline environment, and in stream flow reservations of enough water quantity for boating. To Encourage water safety on rivers and lakes through training, instruction, and the assimilation and dissemination of information pertaining to waters of Alaska. To Encourage boaters to progress in their skill level and help others to progress, in hopes of maintaining a sufficient pool of available and willing paddlers to ensure a members’ opportunity to boat with others whenever he wishes.



    Below are a few old threads that may be of use to you.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=44734

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=19574

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ead.php?t=5298

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=28673

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=38578








    .
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member AKdutch's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    for the info. This may be a stupid ?, but what is the difference between the self-bailers and non-bailers, besides the obvious? I really like the look of the Kenai drifter and something like that is what I had envisioned. But just lookin for other setups. I live in Fairbanks, so will be going to see Bluemoose asap when he is open. Again thanks for the replies. John

  7. #7
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default differences

    You mentioned the Kenai drifter.
    the idea behind this design is to offer the self bailing with the inflated floor, and the trick was to design the tubes that are normally resting on the water to have a much larger foot print.so they made the tubes that ride on the water bigger around,,. The normal tubes of standard rafts are 18 inch to 22 inch for a 14 ft round boat.
    the Kenai drifters are like 24 to 26 inch tubes depending on the length of boat.. then the tubes taper at the raised ends down to 18 inches,,.. this offers a little extra usable space in the boat ends..
    the other thing is that the floor is raised 4 inches so that the center of the raft during normal conditions is not touching water,, this in effect gives the boat a Cataraft type feel.. the only thing touching water is the two tubes running the length,,, and supported on large footprints,
    this bigger tube is for extra displacement and works quite well..
    The benifit of the round raft in this series is that the floor does not offer displacement until you ask it too.. such as in heavy white water, or loading the boat heavy,, then the floor adds to the displacement and will help in floatation..
    The Kenai drifter does not weigh any more than anyother self bailing boat of equal length because you have not added any thing to it other than making design changes..
    I carry in my rental fleet a couple of Kenai drifters and I also have several standard self bailers in the same lengths....
    For moose hunting I prefer the standard self bailer due to the floor working for me immediatly with displacement.. and also because many rivers that I moose hunt are shallow and so I prefer the most displacement possible..
    for the Kenai and rivers with plenty of water under me, the Kenai drifter is a real sweet heart and is my number one requested boat for this river..
    Folks love the quick response they get from this boat, they enjoy the added room in the end areas, and the ease of paddling..
    ,, As far as bucket boats go,, I think they have there place,,but I love the way the inflated floor of a self bailer keeps my feet warmer and much dryer... water cannot stay in the self bailer,,but a bucket boat will hold every single drop that makes its way into your raft and stay with you until you dump it and wipe it clean.. I do not have any bucket boats in my fleet now, and I really don't miss them...lol,,,but,,,,,,
    the advantages of bucket boat are this..
    More displacement due to not having any holes for water to come in.
    Weight,, you can make the raft lighter by about 20 lbs give or take by not having the inflated floor.
    Smaller rolled up.. It will be a bit smaller when you try to put it in the plane...
    There may be other advantages,,but I am at a loss for any right now..
    oh,,, you may save a few bucks on the bucket floor over the self bailer..
    Max
    Last edited by Alaskacanoe; 03-10-2009 at 05:18. Reason: adding stuff
    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

  8. #8
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Hey Dutch!

    Was that a shot? :-) Well deserved Been a long hockey season thank goodness it is over :-) I will be there this weekend we start our extended hours in April.

    Great advise given with lots of options and lots of threads over the past couple of years concerning those options.

    Although I sell NRS & AIRE products I will try my best to provide you a breakdown of what is availalbe in the state pro's and con's from what I know which accroding to some is a lot to other a little.

    We do have some used boats with frames which is allowing us to pass on some reasonable deals to our local clients as well.

    Bottom Line:

    Appliaction
    Warranty
    Cost

    After you break those three things down you can narrow down what type of boat you will purchase to a hand full of options verses many.

    Richard Mousseau
    www.bluemooserafting.com
    907-460-7758

  9. #9
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Color & Boat Love

    Quick additions to the "Bottom Line" info suggested by BlueMoose....

    Bottom Line...

    *Application
    **Warrenty (go with AIRE)
    ***Cosmetics-Color.....You will spend hours and hours of quality time with your boat.
    Sometimes you will even have your family with you. Boat color is important.
    Boat love is not colorblind.
    ****Cost... is not important. It's only money. You will get more.

    ...just trying to help...

    Dennis
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    Default Color, you say...

    I bought a bright yellow cataraft years ago, because I thought that if I ever lost the thing it would be easier to spot it from an airplane. That was insurance that I've never needed to cash in, but since I still have the boat it might actually help some day. -- But I don't like yellow boats, so I don't think I'd do that again. I also bought an older self bailer a couple years ago. It was constructed during a time of world wide artistic design confusion, and my boat ended up PINK! What were these people thinking?! -- Dennis is right. Get a color you like.

    You asked about the differences between bailing and non-bailing rafts, and most of them have been mentioned. The bailing floor is a 5-6" thick inflated air mattress that is laced or glued into the boat instead of the standard piece of heavy waterproof fabric. The floor floats on top of the water unless the boat is so heavily loaded that it sinks (not a good thing). There are holes along the edges where water can get in and out. Any water that splashes over the sides runs out the holes, so it's "self bailing." That's it's primary advantage over a "bucket boat" or "tub floor."

    But the self bailing floor also is much easier to walk on since it is far firmer than a single piece of stretched fabric. It also adds some rigidity to the boat. And the floor feels warmer on your feet even if the non-bailer is dry inside, which it usually isn't. Another advantage is that you can load gear directly on the floor without (much) fear of pinching a hole in your floor between your cooler and a rock. In a perfect world gear in a self bailing raft should be suspended too, but it often isn't, and that's usually ok. The final advantage that I can think of right now is that it is so much easier to clean the floor of a self bailing raft. You just poor water on it, and let it drain.

    I much prefer a self bailing boat, but there are some advantages to non-bailing floors too. The self bailing floor is more money, more weight, and more bulk. And the self bailing floors also drag some extra water with them along the edges (and inside the floor casing in Aire's case), so there is more mass to move around while rowing. Also, since the bucket boat has no holes in the floor, it can displace far more weight when absolutely necessary. Danattherock, chose a non-bailing boat for weight savings when flying from NC, but that extra weight savings makes the boat easier to handle in other ways too.

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Bailers vs Non-Bailers

    Quote Originally Posted by AKdutch View Post
    for the info. This may be a stupid ?, but what is the difference between the self-bailers and non-bailers, besides the obvious? I really like the look of the Kenai drifter and something like that is what I had envisioned. But just lookin for other setups. I live in Fairbanks, so will be going to see Bluemoose asap when he is open. Again thanks for the replies. John
    Hi John,

    As was mentioned, a lot has been written on the topic of bailers vs non-bailers on this forum, so it would be beneficial to do a search through the archives on this topic. That said, here's the nickel tour (well, maybe a quarter's worth):

    SELF-BAILING RAFTS

    1. Greater rigidity. This translates into superior performance in rough water, because the inflatable floor stiffens the whole boat up.

    2. Stability. You can walk around inside this boat fairly easily. Walking around in a non-bailer is like walking on a waterbed; it's very unstable.

    3. Superior tracking. If the boat has a ribbed floor (NRS and many other rubber boats are built this way), it tracks better because the ribs act as mini "keels" to keep the boat pointed in the direction you want it to go. The tradeoff of this is that it doesn't spin as well. AIRE's boats have a flat floor, so they spin effectively. It's doubtful that this will be much of an issue in your situation.

    4. Warmth. Your feet will be resting on the floor most of the time. A non-bailer transfers the water temperature to your feet and your feet will be very cold. This can be a real factor on extended trips. The inflated floor gives you a very effective layer of insulation between you and the water.

    NON-BAILING RAFTS

    1. Lower cost. Non-bailers are much cheaper than self-bailers in the same size class.

    2. Lower weight. That extra rubber in your floor increases the weight of the boat. For example, an NRS Otter Livery 140 (a 14' non-bailer) weighs 95 lbs. The NRS Otter 142 (a 14' self-bailer) weighs 116 lbs, a difference of 21 lbs. Many consider the Otter series to be entry-level boats though. So if you move up to an expedition-type boat, such as the NRS E-142, you'll see a weight gain of 44 lbs. If you go with the AIRE 143R, you'll have a gain of 51 lbs, and the SOTAR STR14 gives you a gain of 30 lbs. The Alaska Series 420S/B comes in at 41 lbs. heavier, and the Kenai Drifter Max mentioned, if you get it in a 14-footer (the KD14-26), is 33 lbs. heavier than the non-bailer I mentioned. The weight is a liability when you have to portage the boat, and it can be a liability in shallow water.

    3. Smaller package. If you have a copy of my book, "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers" (which is available on this site now), page 110 has a picture of a folded bailer next to a non-bailer of the same length and width. You can see that there is a substantial difference. This, combined with the weight difference between the two, makes the non-bailer much easier to carry on a pack frame (if you have to portage it), load into an airplane, or handle anywhere off the river.

    4. Greater displacement. Because the non-bailer has no holes around the perimeter of the floor, it displaces a greater load. Simply put, you can haul heavier loads with a non-bailer. It took me a while to realize this, but it's simple. Push a bailer into the water deep enough, and water comes in through the bailer holes. I would not generally recommend loading your boat that heavy in the first place, but if you did, the non-bailer would carry more weight.

    OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

    1. Not all boats are created equal! Educate yourself on the difference between I-beam floors and C-beam floors (the better boats use I-beams). You should know that there are cheaper bailers out there that can give you trouble. For example, cheaper floors can come apart internally if the beams are not glued in correctly. This results in a costly and time-consuming repair. Some companies don't do a good job of selecting their fabrics, or the quality of the construction is low. The results are leaky boats that go soft on you from air loss. Other companies use an inferior grade of Hypalon in their fabric, resulting in premature color fading or oxidation or u/v degradation.
    2. Warranty and customer service. Unless you want to become a raft techno-geek and have to know all this stuff, your best protection from these and other issues is to go with a company with a stellar reputation in customer service and warranty. I have not owned every brand on the market, and there are many folks here in the forums who have been at this way longer than I. But I can tell you one experience that sealed the deal for me. Last winter I purchased a cataraft from a guy out in Wasilla. The frame was almost new, there were several accessories that came with it, and the tubes still had two years left on warranty. The tubes themselves were a potential problem though. The fabric on the ends had started to become stiff and almost brittle. But the price was right ($2000 for the whole package), so I tossed it on the trailer and hauled it home. I contacted the manufacturer of the tubes (AIRE), and told them the situation. The boat is a Super Leopard; a custom boat that was originally built for Wild Alaska Rivers Company (a raft rental shop in Anchorage that no longer exists). Several of these boats were built, but they were too expensive and it went out of production for a long time. Anyway, it looks like AIRE ended up with a bad batch of fabric for the Super Leopards. At any rate, AIRE replaced both tubes FOR FREE. They didn't just give me new shells (the shell is the outer layer that was degrading), they gave me new bladders, new zippers, new D-rings, new valves... everything. They built me a brand-new set of tubes and shipped them to me at no cost! When those tubes were new ten years ago, they cost $3500 a set. So I'm a believer in AIRE's warranty. I believe they are the only manufacturer in the business that offers a ten-year no fault warranty. What that means is that no matter what happens to the boat (bear ate it, flipped off the trailer and ran over on the highway, mice bored a hole through it in storage, ripped during loading out of the pickup, speared by a forklift during shipping to a village... all of these have happened by the way), AIRE will take care of it for you. They're not going to say it was your fault, they won't blame it on a bad batch of material, they will just fix it or replace it at no cost. You must ship the tubes to them on your nickel if the local shop can't fix it, but they'll ship them back to you at their expense unless it was your fault. In that case you have to pay the return shipping, but the repairs are still free. You won't find a better deal.

      There are two AIRE dealers in Alaska that I know of: Alaska Raft and Kayak in Anchorage (the largest shop in the state), and Blue Moose Rafting in Fairbanks.

    3. Cataraft considerations. I would strongly suggest you consider a cataraft. There are many designs, frame configurations, and so forth. Based on what your requirements are, I think you could come up with something that would keep the kids reasonably contained, would easily allow you to use that outboard, and would provide all the lift you need for float hunting and fishing. There are limitations to a cataraft, to be sure, but it would be worth a look.

    FLOAT HUNTING RESOURCE

    Finally, I have written an entire chapter (almost 40 pages of text, drawings and photos) on the subject of boat selection in "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers", which contains a ton of information you need. I don't tell you that to sell you something; the truth is that it is the most comprehensive read on the subject of boat selection for float hunting.

    I hope that helps; there's a lot to think about.

    NOTE: It took me almost an hour to put this together for you and in the meantime, Mr. Strutz made many of these points much more succinctly. But I put so much work into this I'm just gonna leave it here. :-)

    Best regards,

    -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

  12. #12
    Member AKdutch's Avatar
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    Default Wow

    I wasn'r expecting so much info so fast. You guys really know your stuff and are willing to put in the extra effort to get the information out. I am very impressed.

    Blumoose, I apologize for how that came out. What I meant was that I work evening/night shift with sun,mon,tue off. I drive by your shop almost every night at work and have been wanting to go see your shop for a while. When you open on Sun I'll stop by with the fam.

    Thank you all for you detailed information. Things are much clearer now. I have weekends off this summer for the first time in about 10 years and plan to do alot of rafting and camping with my family and want to make sure I get the right raft the first time. Thanks again, John

  13. #13
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default No worries

    Was just having fun honest! We are limited till Mid April this year as we were in 2008 for winter operations. Give me a shout I will meet your needs. Promise not a "Big Sales" pitch just some options to include othe boats pro's and con's. 907 460-7758

  14. #14
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default another option

    Quote Originally Posted by AKdutch View Post
    I wasn'r expecting so much info so fast. You guys really know your stuff and are willing to put in the extra effort to get the information out. I am very impressed.

    Blumoose, I apologize for how that came out. What I meant was that I work evening/night shift with sun,mon,tue off. I drive by your shop almost every night at work and have been wanting to go see your shop for a while. When you open on Sun I'll stop by with the fam.

    Thank you all for you detailed information. Things are much clearer now. I have weekends off this summer for the first time in about 10 years and plan to do alot of rafting and camping with my family and want to make sure I get the right raft the first time. Thanks again, John
    Hey Dutch,

    Speaking of Moose, in case he hasn't offered yet, I'm pretty sure he might make an opportunity for you to try different boats on the water before you purchase. That's really the best way to find out what works for you.

    Best of luck!

    -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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    Default I've Decided

    Just so you know your not alone--I posted a thread about one year to 18 months ago entitled "rafts vs cats". It's taken me this long to decide and I'll let you know why I came up with the conclusion I did. I have plenty of experience running power boats statewide (from the Kenai, Yukon, Clear Creek, and Naknek, etc), consider myself pretty good at reading water, but am a complete novice about inflatables and rowing. By the way, I too have small boys (5 and 2). I own an ocean boat with twin 100's and a river sled with a 50 jet, but feel that an awful lot of the State necessitates something to throw in an airplane.

    The most influential on my decision was Strahan's book, this website, and speaking with Tracy Harmon. I'm going to purchase an Aire 156E. I had my mind made up on an Aire Leopard Cat, but changed it. Here's my reasoning:

    1. There are some streams too small for an 18' cat that a 15' raft will handle with ease.

    2. Draft with identical loads. Raft wins.

    3. Although a cat is more spacious, it takes a lot more parts and pieces to "make" that space. I don't like to "bow" fish out of the boat anyway (I prefer travelling to a spot and fishing from shore).

    4. Not looking to rig a boat to get on step (much more involved). 6 hp max and get me through slow water or between flowing water (ie Tikchik's)

    5. Maneuverablity is a toss up (probably leaning toward the cat from what I've read). A raft will spin and move quicker, but a cat will move faster. I'm looking for furry animals and big rainbows, not whitewater.

    6. I think a raft wins from a safety standpoint with kids, but both are very "safe" boats.

    7. Simplicity and ease of setup favors rafts.

    8. Aire's warranty.

    Mike, Tracey, or anyone out there please correct me if I've mispoken. And yes Tracey I will be making the purchase sometime around the show (spoke with you at the Jan show with my kiddos).

    Good Luck

  16. #16
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Smile Color!!!

    Yo fish-n-fur,
    In addition to a great warrenty, AIRE has a great color selection!

    Jim S.,
    You don't like yellow?
    My third and most recent acquisition, an AIRE 156D, is yellow. Beautiful, canary yellow.
    Now, I'm not certain if we can raft the same water.

    I don't tend to "over-think" this stuff.
    When I got out of work today the temp was 34 degrees...the sunny (yellow sunshine) days of early May, and flowing waters are just over the horizon....

    Dennis
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    Default

    You know Dennis, the main problem with yellow, as well as pink, is that they show all the dirt & scuff marks so well. I gave up trying to keep mine clean. On the other hand, I've grown weary of all the blue and gray boats out there.

  18. #18
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Raft Love

    Yah Jim, the yellow is harder to keep clean, and as a recreational rafter and Register guide-outfitter contracting float hunts, I actually keep my boats clean. When I ordered the yellow boat, the girl at AIRE really attempted to pursuade me to consider any other color, but I like my yellow boat. I told her that she might have a fat, cross-eyed spouse that nobody else could ever love, but as long as she does, thats all that is important. I got my yellow self-bailer, and really have enjoyed it for the first 100 water miles in Sep '08.

    The brown bears in western AK apparently also like this yellow raft. This boat, now nicknamed 'ol bear bait, got bit on two consecutive nights. I hope it was the same bear 'cause my client-hunter then shot a brown bear when it returned to camp during the day. (Which made for a very short pelt packing job.)

    One more reason to buy AIRE...ease of maintenance/repair following bear bites.

    The perfect raft is kind of like the perfect pick-up truck. Is a Ford really better than a Chevy? And why arn't those trucks as great as my Dodge RAM?

    Anyway, all these repeat questions are still fun, always fun to read and answere. Lots of experience and information here on the forum. The forum is the friendliest place on earth. Imagine all these people wanting to help each other! And Jim, I do enjoy your forum contributions.

    I'm sure we are all looking forward to the arrival of spring.
    See you, with your good-lookin yellow cataraft, on the water...

    Dennis
    AK TAGS

  19. #19

    Default One Aire drawback

    I have an Aire and it is purple and I even have a matching purple bowline (and yes I like women).

    There is only one drawback to Aires that I have experienced, if you can't store it inflated and don't get the sealed floor pocket, there will be some water in the floor even after drying for several days partially inflated. When you roll it up that bit of water will seep out and keep the boat somewhat wet inside the roll and can cause a little mold growth under the right circumstances. After about a month or so, rolled up, I unroll the boat and flop it round in the shop a bit to let that little bit of water evaporate, then roll up for the rest of the storage season.

    That being said, this little issue would not preclude me from buying another aire, nor would it make me pony up for the extra $ for the sealed floor pocket.
    Shapp

  20. #20
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKdutch View Post

    I am in the market for a new raft and am not sure really where to start.

    John

    John, finding all the info you need? If not, don't be shy. Lots of folks here happy to help you out. Just ask. Not much else to do with it being winter time and all
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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