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Thread: SOTAR Radical

  1. #1
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    Default SOTAR Radical

    Does anyone own one of these rafts and if so, what do you think of them? Obviously, the name SOTAR is recognizable, so the boat should be good. Does anyone know the specs on it?

    Thanks,
    Moose44

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    "Three hunters with gear and two moose in one boat"? Not sure man, sounds a bit optimistic to me. But I am new to rafting and my opinions value should reflect that. I bought a Sotar 14'4" custom from Goo Vogt of Alaska Wildwater in Anch. He is a forum member "goeaux". If looking for a Sotar, perhaps contacting him would be a good move. If nothing else, that would at least give you something to compare against. My boat looked brand new and cost the same as the one I assume you are looking at. Food for thought at any rate. Below is a pic of our raft with borrowed frame/oars at the time...



    Alaska Wildwater
    Attn: Goo Vogt
    PO Box 110615
    Anchorage, AK 99511
    Ph 907-345-4308
    E-mail: sotaralaska@yahoo.com


    Below is an older thread about rafts and float hunting. Perhaps of interest to you...

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...light=goo+vogt





    .
    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.

  3. #3
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    Smile custom 'Radical'

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose44 View Post
    Does anyone own one of these rafts and if so, what do you think of them? Obviously, the name SOTAR is recognizable, so the boat should be good. Does anyone know the specs on it?

    Thanks,
    Moose44
    I can tell you that the custom 'Radical' is a narrow width (like nearly 1-2 feet skinny when compared with mainstream rafts) too long and too flat (no rocker) for it to be a great all around boat.

    That said --- It was constructed in the USA by SOTAR.. but a 'special needs' boat it is. It is not going to be found in the SOTAR catalog or Website.

    The design lends itself to less demanding (read as easy) waters where its real niche would be Alaska's northern or Arctic streams at low water levels, sneakin' out big game in mixed bag of wetland moose cover.

    The SOTAR 'Radical' is a much better, more capable, and certainly more expensive hunting boat than the relatively soft and under-performing (by comparison) version now called the SOAR Levitator.

    Expect any 'Radical' to be overpriced in the used market... It will likely have Tan Urethane and is well made for sure... just not that many made from custom orders and not much overall on-water utility or customer/commercial demand. Think niche boat here.

    As a Moose hunter... expect loads of about 1800-2000 (go ahead and even over-load it some) because remember it is not a performance design for tougher/rougher waters.

    One really poor piece of advice that sounded off on this design a few years back was to stretch heavy hind-quarters across the top of the tubes... Bad, bad advice... upping center of gravity atop and across narrow boats in addition to placing center of gravity outstretched from the boat width is a major error in good boating habits.

    Hope this helps -

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default SOTAR Radical

    The Radical was a custom built (limited edition?) boat built for Pristine Ventures of Fairbanks. It is my understanding that this boat is not currently in production, however there are some out there on the used market. I think it was discontinued in 2006 or so, most likely due to SOTAR's high production costs (urethane is not cheap). Please, if anyone has more current info on this, fire away!

    Like the Levitator (built by SOAR-- not SOTAR), the boat has no bow or stern rise customary on most boats. That is where the additional lift comes from. So when you see the huge load capacities on these boats, that's why. Another factor I'm trying to dig from the far recesses of my gray matter was whether or not the boat was a self-bailer. It's not coming to me presently, however I do know that other Pristine Ventures designs were not bailers (the Pro Pioneer comes to mind), and they generated more lift through displacement. Simple physics; plug up the holes and the boat holds more weight.

    Both of these tricks serve to generate lift, but they do it at the expense of performance and convenience. Here's the short list of the negative results:

    • Flat bow and stern contributes to a wetter ride in wind chop and waves of any kind. This creates challenges in keeping meat dry on float hunts.

    • Flat bow can create pitch-poling problems in steep drops, some hydraulics, and reversals.

    • Greater tendency to stall on wave faces, especially those with reversals that slide down the face on the upstream side of the wave.

    • Lack of bailer holes allows boat to collect sand and debris between the edges of the floor and the main tubes inside the boat. This can eventually contribute to rub-throughs on your fabric.

    • Lack of bailer holes forces boaters to physically bail the boat or unload and dump it on shore.


    Here's a short list of the benefits:

    • Flat floor generates a lot more lift and could be ideal on totally flat water with no upstream headwinds.

    • No bailer holes allows boat to carry more payload without flooding. Example from my experience; we once carried an entire moose and two men in a 12' self-bailing NRS Otter, and we had four inches of water over the top of the floor. It came in through the bailer holes. Thankfully, we were just using the boat to move meat across a small slough (it was not a float hunt).


    Brian mentioned the narrow width of the Radical. I have seen the boat and I do remember that, but I don't have the measurements. Some have reported a width of five feet, though. If that is the case, the boat is about 2.5 feet narrower than a conventional boat in its size class. I have always maintained that boats with a narrow footprint are much more susceptible to overturning than boats with a conventional footprint.

    CONCLUSION

    The Radical is a niche boat designed for very specific conditions. If you can afford to specialize in a big load hauler suited mostly to shallow, narrow streams with few obstacles, it might be the right choice for you.

    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.
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  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post

    Another factor I'm trying to dig from the far recesses of my gray matter was whether or not the boat was a self-bailer.

    Some have reported a width of five feet, though. If that is the case, the boat is about 2.5 feet narrower than a conventional boat in its size class.

    I ran across some info that verified both the above thoughts. Self bailer and a reported 5' width. Made that way to hold moose quarters off the floor to keep them dry. Read where PV had Sotar make the boats but the production cost was too high to generate much interest. PV had bought some for their rental fleet and they sold some (or all) of them. A few were made after the initial run on a custom basis as Sotar had the design and could replicate the Radical for anyone wanting one. Not sure if that is still the case, but as of '06 it was said to be so. I sent an email to Cherly at Sotar to see if they would still make the Radical and will report back here upon hearing from her.
    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.

  6. #6
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Here are a few pictures of loaded Radicals .
    This is not me or my hunts just some pictures I saved from other threads when I was looking into buying one.
    They were already discontinued so I went with the Pro Pioneer .

    I would still buy one today !!!!
    RR








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    Default No They Will not

    To the best of my Knowledge Larry still has the rights to the boat in question or at least the spec's are still guarded. Sotar however will make just about anything you wished cut and if your work directly with Goo and or the company the price is somewhat better prior to the start of the production year.

    Just food for thought. Might want to shoot Larry B a quick email on the PV site and see what he says.

    Blue Moose

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I am not sure how anyone could own specs on a custom raft design. I got an email back from Sotar...


    "We do have all three patterns for the different size moose boats. You can pass the info on to anyone interested and they can contact us or they can contact Goo Vogt our AK rep up in Anchorage. Thank you for your support and for asking."



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    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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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I am not sure how anyone could own specs on a custom raft design. I got an email back from Sotar...


    "We do have all three patterns for the different size moose boats. You can pass the info on to anyone interested and they can contact us or they can contact Goo Vogt our AK rep up in Anchorage. Thank you for your support and for asking."



    .
    I am interested in the info you have !! Can you pass it along to me ??
    My email is
    RGIBSON38@HOTMAIL.COM
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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  10. #10
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    No problem man. I will email you now.
    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.

  11. #11
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Got it ( E-Mail ) and thank you .

    RR
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


    USS SARATOGA CV-60

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  12. #12

    Default 3 patterns?

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post

    "We do have all three patternsfor the different size moose boats. You can pass the info on to anyone interested and they can contact us or they can contact Goo Vogt our AK rep up in Anchorage. Thank you for your support and for asking."

    .

    What 3 patterns is she referring to? Is it the Radical, Pro Pioneer and Levitator???

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RANGER RICK View Post
    Here are a few pictures of loaded Radicals .
    This is not me or my hunts just some pictures I saved from other threads when I was looking into buying one.
    They were already discontinued so I went with the Pro Pioneer .

    I would still buy one today !!!!
    RR








    Well, scratch two of my comments!

    1. The photos show some bow and stern rise. It doesn't start as far back as I'd like, but there is some. This will be a drier ride than the Levitator, which has none.

    2. Self bailer. I stand corrected on that one too!

    Okay, so at this point the main issue (er... besides availability) is the narrow beam.

    I like that the boat is made of plastic (makes it much stiffer than a rubber boat, which translates into better performance).

    As to availability, I second Moose's comment; SOTAR will build most anything you want, as long as you're willing to pay.

    On the ownership of "custom" designs, forget it. The industry is built on looking at what others do and imitating it. SOAR would not exist if they had not copied Grabner's design (which Grabner purchased from Metzler). Jim King's Alaska Series Tripper and Explorer canoes are copies of other designs. The Maravia Spider is a copy of the AIRE Puma. AIRE itself copied many of its own designs for the Tributary and Outcast series, which are made of less expensive materials. It's a common and somewhat accepted practice (depending to an extent whether you are the "borrower" or the entrepreneur who came up with something new and different. Sometimes the only consolation to the originator of the design is the flattery of imitation.



    Thanks everyone, for contributing! I learned a few things myself!

    Great stuff.

    -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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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Funny Thing

    I was in conversation with them Last Fall about the Radical and they stated the specs were protected with exclusitivy L.B. that being said maybe enough time has passed that it is no longer an issue.

    Good on you for checking eh!

    Boat on Brothers Boat on!

  15. #15

    Default Sotar

    Rick, Have no Idea who you talked to? We will build any size boat you want. If you want one just like the photo, give me a call and i can get them started on it. And NO Larry has no rights whatsoever on this size or design!! We are custom boat builders and all design rights belong to SOTAR.
    Goo Vogt
    ALASKA WILDWATER
    907-345-4308
    sotaralaska@yahoo.com

  16. #16

    Default patterns

    Mr. Corn- the patterns Ms. Cheryl is talking about are from 3 different sizes of this type of boat. I had some made for me that was different from Larry's in the fact that i planned to use paddles and not oars, so i had the boat made 15' long with 19" tubes, non bailer with inflatable floor. I also had a wider stern with less rocker to better accommodate a kicker. Like i said in the other post-- we can build what you want. 40 oz urethane over 4000 din base cloth- all welded, no glue in SOTARs.
    safe boating
    Goo

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    Default Radical

    All, thanks for the info. This has been very informative and I have learned a lot. I would guess that this falls into the category that there isn't one boat that will do everything, though I understand SOTAR boats come closer?

    Thanks,
    Moose44

  18. #18
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goeaux View Post
    Rick, Have no Idea who you talked to? We will build any size boat you want. If you want one just like the photo, give me a call and i can get them started on it. And NO Larry has no rights whatsoever on this size or design!! We are custom boat builders and all design rights belong to SOTAR.
    Goo Vogt
    ALASKA WILDWATER
    907-345-4308
    sotaralaska@yahoo.com
    Goo

    Email sent

    RR
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


    USS SARATOGA CV-60

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  19. #19

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    The NEW updated design will be here for the GREAT ALASKA SPORTS SHOW or I will have the prototype here in a couple of weeks.
    Goo
    907-345-4308

  20. #20
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Goo

    What kind of changes were made??
    Thanks

    RR
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


    USS SARATOGA CV-60

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...ex_2-1-1-1.gif

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