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Thread: Update ARC

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Update ARC

    Hadn't been on here in a while... Wanted to update everyone on what's fast trackin' at ALASKA RAFT CONNECTION.

    We are now located in the heart of Lake Hood by the international terminal with highly professional customer services and providing float trip equipment statewide for rafting, kayaking, canoeing, sportboating with outboard motors, fly-outs, roadsides, guided and un-guided.

    While having by far the best new boats from SOTAR, AIRE and NRS... the real advantage/difference is the experienced customer care, easy pick-ups or returns, attention to detail and organization.

    The on-water instruction is going fantastic and thanks to all that have been participating. Instruction goes from mild to wild... starting with introduction to rafting intermediate to advanced... Class I through IV... 1 & 2 day courses. In turn, this provides savings downstream for our customers on many great rentals.

    Inflatable repairs do not sit on our shop floors... objective is to have any and all repairs in & out the doors to perfection with customer excellent communication/satisfaction in under 10 days. Our elves work day & night with our average so far being 2-3 days so that you get on the water and enjoy the summer. We will professionally repair, or detail any/all inflatables having it right back to you so you out having fun.

    We can now handle corporate and private parties up to 20 (have one going out noon today) all shuttles and boating equipment is provided.

    --- Working hard for you, thanks to all so far, what a great summer we are having... please let us know how we can lend a hand.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Been a Bzzzy Week!!!

    I think back on the week just realizing with all the super weather, great customers, enjoyin' what we are doing and stayin' busy... that summer is flyin' by!!!

    Here's a weeks pics in review:

    pic 1 --- SOTAR SP ELITE w/ custom high pressure drop-stitch self bailing floor on trailer ready for a day trip rental

    pic 2 --- another SOTAR SP ELITE ready for AK Dept. Fish & Game's swiftwater training
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  3. #3
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    Thumbs up More pics of the week...

    Two days were introduction to rafting days with two different parties...

    Pic 1 is coaching the dry-land and on-water day trip - this guy was all smiles and it was great to lend a hand to a deaf person that had not been rafting behind the oars, learning river physics, getting ferry angles, plus forming mechanics and good habits of basic river movement.

    Pic 2 is putting the boats to bed at midnight.
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    Thumbs up A few more...

    Pic 1 & 2--- Overnight we had a repairs come in that a guy hoped would be done as soon as possible so that he could get back out on the water.

    We worked until it was complete at 2:30am so he was on water again in 48 hours.

    The boat was prepped, repairs mapped out, patches were securely glued both bottom and top, with some transom work.

    Assessment was conveyed to customer about the repairs, things to consider for future care, and how to be watchful for maintaining a maximum boat life.
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  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Party of 20!!!

    These are pic of a group raft rental where we do all the rentals/trailering/shuttling. We had a fantastic group and a sunny hot day!!!

    Pic 1 --- is having all the boats stacked a ready on Lake Hood for a group of 20.

    Pic 2 --- is having rentals ready for a 6-day Lake Creek do-it-yourself fly-out float trip
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  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Party of 20 fun on river

    Here's a couple on-water photos of the party. Two 18 foot AIRE Leopards oar rigged and one NRS Otter paddle raft. They enjoyed a tail wind on the hot sunny day.
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  7. #7
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    Smile Fun Fly-out project of the week

    2 pics worth a 1000 words... loading up, flying out, & then unloading 18' G3 river sled in remote location.
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  8. #8

    Default

    how do you get your boats to roll up like that. I must be doing something wrong? I have an AK series and it is a pain to try to fold or roll.

  9. #9
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Two Reasons

    First off there a a Big difference in the material the boats are made of yours is Heavey PCV Brians is not.

    Also a deflator pump does wonders to get the boat small.

    Ben feel free to stop prior to wanting to fold and I will put the Gusto Pump to your boat.

    Blue Moose

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Rolling up Rafts

    Some rafts just roll up tighter and easier than others... under various conditions occasionally the very same raft takes on all together different dimensions.

    If we are talking mostly 14-16 foot self bailing rafts -

    Some of the smallest boat rolls you'll pack are going to be fabricated from 'rubber' family materials.

    Plastic family (plastomer) fabricated rafts (of same size compared to rubber materials) will generally make for a bigger roll; even if in many cases it may tip the scales at a lighter weight.

    Certain makes of rafts got the notion to use hard tracks of strake material over seam lines and also using additional hard material wear patching to extend from front to back along the bottom runners for added protection. Star, 6th ave, Ak-series, Zebec clones will all have creative names to describe the same wear track. In all --- it's not all that that bad a concept really... coming mostly from the ocean use of inflatables having added protection for beaching under power, barnacles, shale, and so on. Unfortunately, this design of wear patching does not lend itself to folding into a tight roll.

    I did some testing for STAR rep. back in the 90's... If you were not packing the boats up and flying out a bunch they did fine tho' handled a bit 'barge-like' mostly due to geometry & size. I did take a little STAR cat down the upper Sheep Creek that eventually runs to the Big Sue on what is considered by most to be the first raft decent. I also did extensive runs of upper class IV with big holes to see how the odd asymmetrical sharp nose/bulb back/not real rocker shape of the STAR cats performed in big reversals (only so-so and not nearly as agile or predictable as continuous curve symmetrical AIRE cats.

    In rolling up boats like STAR (your AK-series might be pretty much same) my best bets were to go at it like an MMA fighter. In other words it is never quite the same wet or dry, hot or cold, clean or dirty, flat ground or out in the snow, you're fresh in the shop or tired in a hurry out in the rain stuffing into a bush plane.

    In the shop have the boat nice and clean, try to vacuum all the air and condensation out first, then close the valves...

    Fold side-tubes inward a little over 1/3rd into the middle of the floor...

    Take the other side tube and now fold that into the floor meeting up with the outer edge of your first fold...

    If by yourself on stiffer plastic boats --- belt a cam-strap a little past 1/2 to a 1/3rd of the way up around the width so the folds do not walk out as you roll....

    Start to tightly roll up the boat & as you get to the cam-strap remove it if you like...

    Keep rolling tightly to the end then use a 1.5" cam-strap about 9' long to secure your handy work.

    If you have any questions on boats, rivers, or need accessories feel free to drop by Lake Hood or give a call anytime.
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  11. #11
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Rolling-up

    Here's a question: Someone mentioned in another thread that pumping all of the air from your raft prior to rolling will keep the fabric from developing cracks in the future. I have a pac 1400/ aire sdp. I have been pretty successful just locking the valves open, letting the raft self deflate, fold tubes-in as described and rolling-it-up. I use a cam strap to keep it together and it seems to be a nice neat package. I have noticed some small cracks in the finish already though, and the raft is just over a year old. They don't seem to be big/ deep enough that they'll cause problems, but should I be doing things differently or is this normal "break-in" for a new raft?

    Thanks in advance.

    Scott

  12. #12
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsum View Post
    Here's a question: Someone mentioned in another thread that pumping all of the air from your raft prior to rolling will keep the fabric from developing cracks in the future. I have a pac 1400/ aire sdp. I have been pretty successful just locking the valves open, letting the raft self deflate, fold tubes-in as described and rolling-it-up. I use a cam strap to keep it together and it seems to be a nice neat package. I have noticed some small cracks in the finish already though, and the raft is just over a year old. They don't seem to be big/ deep enough that they'll cause problems, but should I be doing things differently or is this normal "break-in" for a new raft?

    Thanks in advance.

    Scott
    I think that you might have it backwards. I think that mike stated that by sucking all the air out will encourage creases and thus cracking.

  13. #13

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    I thought I read somewhere NOT to make a habit of vacuuming the boat. I do on occasion but not always. thanks for the info and the offer Moose.

  14. #14
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Ooops

    Yup, you guys are right. I missed the "not" in Mike's post. So I've been doing it right. Are these small cracks I've noticed normal or am I rolling it too tightly? It could also be that I used it a couple of times in December and March when things were pretty darn cold. I tried not to roll it up too tightly until it warmed-up in the garage, but I still had to get it back in the truck in freezing temps.

  15. #15

    Default Folding inflatable boats

    Quote Originally Posted by bstacy1974 View Post
    how do you get your boats to roll up like that. I must be doing something wrong? I have an AK series and it is a pain to try to fold or roll.
    Bstacy

    There is a bit of an art to rolling inflatable boats up and each different model is a bit different. On the raft in your avatar pic you'll want to remove the thwarts and open all the valves and leave them locked open.
    Fold the tubes inward down the length of the raft along the seam where the floor connects to the tubes. (On a self bailer fold along the self bailing holes) press most of the air out of the tubes. Once the boat is folded the boat narrow and long along the floor seam. Then take the stern of the raft and fold toward the bow so you are folding the boat about 24” less than half. You want this first fold so it is between the HD D-rings and the side lift handles. This will make the smallest core fold. Your next fold about 2 feet up from the Core fold. You’ll find a soft folding spot between where the D-rings and lift handles line. Keep folding toward the raft ends. If you have your core fold in the correct spot your second to last fold will catch the stern tube and the last fold will catch the bow tube.
    Use the boat bag that was supplied with your raft to tighten your bundle. The best way to do this is to kneel on the edges of the boat roll and pull on the opposite end of the bag end flaps while a second person does the same thing on the opposite edge of the boat roll and pulls on your side of the bag flap. Once you have compressed your boat using the side flaps of the boat bag, then snug down the 2 straps on the bag.
    Then snug up the 3 straps on the side of the bag. You should have a nice tight bundle.

    If your boat is folded you should always stow and transport your boat in the boat bag! This protects your boat from abrasions during transport.

    I hope this helps.

    Jim King
    Alaska Series inflatable boats
    www.alaskaseries.com

  16. #16

    Default

    acouple of comments to add to the roll-a-boat discussion

    Note where the floor valve is located and roll towards that end to you do not trap air in the end of the floor.

    Also. I still use a rope to tie-up the bundle after the boat is rolled. Probably unnecessary, but I worry about losing track of where the cam buckle is, and rubbing a hole or cutting the fabric while transporting.


  17. #17
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Boat bags and such

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Series Inflatable Boats View Post
    Bstacy

    There is a bit of an art to rolling inflatable boats up and each different model is a bit different. On the raft in your avatar pic you'll want to remove the thwarts and open all the valves and leave them locked open.
    Fold the tubes inward down the length of the raft along the seam where the floor connects to the tubes. (On a self bailer fold along the self bailing holes) press most of the air out of the tubes. Once the boat is folded the boat narrow and long along the floor seam. Then take the stern of the raft and fold toward the bow so you are folding the boat about 24” less than half. You want this first fold so it is between the HD D-rings and the side lift handles. This will make the smallest core fold. Your next fold about 2 feet up from the Core fold. You’ll find a soft folding spot between where the D-rings and lift handles line. Keep folding toward the raft ends. If you have your core fold in the correct spot your second to last fold will catch the stern tube and the last fold will catch the bow tube.
    Use the boat bag that was supplied with your raft to tighten your bundle. The best way to do this is to kneel on the edges of the boat roll and pull on the opposite end of the bag end flaps while a second person does the same thing on the opposite edge of the boat roll and pulls on your side of the bag flap. Once you have compressed your boat using the side flaps of the boat bag, then snug down the 2 straps on the bag.
    Then snug up the 3 straps on the side of the bag. You should have a nice tight bundle.

    If your boat is folded you should always stow and transport your boat in the boat bag! This protects your boat from abrasions during transport.

    I hope this helps.

    Jim King
    Alaska Series inflatable boats
    www.alaskaseries.com
    Jim,

    Thanks for chiming in on this one!

    Just a quick note on the boat bags. My boats don't have bags, but we just use a plastic tarp instead. The tarp protects the boat during shipping, and we can use it in the field, to cover our kitchen area, cover our load on the boat, or what have you. Can't ever have too many tarps! The tarps are probably thinner than your boat bags, but we've never had a tear-through with the tarps.

    -Mike
    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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  18. #18

    Default bags

    Im with you Mike - SOTARS do come with a nice bag, but they seem to be just another part to fly in. I do as you with the tarp on my trips, you cant have too many--
    Goo

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