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Thread: SOAR Levitator

  1. #1
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    Default SOAR Levitator

    Hello all, I was wondering if folks who have experience with this raft could post their thoughts. I have an opportunity to buy one, but would like some real world feedback on it in regards to performance on a float hunt. From what I can gather through various posts, you either love it or hate it.

    I would look to use it primarily on class I/II rivers, as that is all I have my limited experience on. This doesn't appear to be a raft that would handle a class III river (though I don't have any experience to back that up). Since it seems "flatter" (I don't know the technical term) than other rafts I have seen, it appears you may get some water in the raft if you do catch a rough patch of river.

    I appreciate any help you choose to give.

    Thanks,
    Moose

  2. #2
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    Default

    I've never used one, but I know others have taken it through class III water. It has no rise in the ends, so it will splash more than a conventional raft. And in bigger water it might torpedo into the next wave. It's also less stable if broached on a rock due to its reduced width. With those things in mind, it looks to me to be a good class I-II boat. Like the Soar canoes, it is light and packs a lot of weight.

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Levitator

    For sure there are folks who like this boat, and some that don't. In the end, you need to let the river choose the boat. The Levitator offers a lot of lift, but at the expense of performance on rough water. "Rough water" could be Class II or higher, or it could just be wind-driven waves. Either way you get more splash with this boat, some of which ends up inside.

    It all depends on what you need. If you're float hunting, you will be carrying big loads. If you want to get yourself and a partner in the same boat, I prefer something over 14.5' in a round boat, and 18' in a cataraft. If you want to run an outboard, the cat is by far a better rig. I run an outboard on most of my float hunts, because it buys me more hunting time. I simply identify the prime areas I want to hunt, and use the outboard to accelerate my drift speed to the next hotspot.

    If you've looked through our search function here, you will see lots of discussion on this boat. If it were me and I wanted a rig with huge capacity, the ability to run an outboard, and maximum versatility, my first choice would be two canoes rigged as a cataraft, next would be the AIRE Cougar cataraft, and the third one would be the AIRE Super Leopard. All of these boats are available at Alaska Raft and Kayak.

    Hope it helps!

    -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

  4. #4
    Member chano's Avatar
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    Default Class III

    I ran mine down Keystone Canyon last weekend. I don't have alot of whitewater experience so I don't have any deep insight. But, what I do know is it made it through fine and it wasn't any splashier that the Sotar I was in a few days before. For class I-II with big loads you will drag less frequently in the Levitator than the Leopard I have used both. If you are planning on a motor a cataraft would be the way to go.




  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Note to Chano-

    Quote Originally Posted by chano View Post
    I ran mine down Keystone Canyon last weekend. I don't have alot of whitewater experience so I don't have any deep insight. But, what I do know is it made it through fine and it wasn't any splashier that the Sotar I was in a few days before. For class I-II with big loads you will drag less frequently in the Levitator than the Leopard I have used both. If you are planning on a motor a cataraft would be the way to go...
    Chano,

    No disrespect intended, but the Levitator is indeed a wetter ride than a conventional self-bailer with the usual 9" or so of bow and stern rise. That, together with general rough-water performance, is why ALL self-bailing round boats, regardless of the manufacturer, have at least some bow and stern rise. Nobody else makes a flat raft, for good reason.

    If I were in the market for a round boat, I would choose something with at least 7" of bow and stern rise. I may not need it if I'm planning on floating slow Class I, but I have to think of the self-limitations imposed on me should I find a new hotspot with some Class II-III, and the resale value of a boat with splashing, stalling, and pitch-poling issues that may be important to the guy I'm selling it to.

    -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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