Anyone have one of thier boats??? If so how do you like it?
Anyone have one of thier boats??? If so how do you like it?
Gee AK, looks like you hit on a taboo subject here.
I have been looking at those rafts as well and it seems reasonable to think that at least one or two members of this forum have bought one of the 6th Ave boats.
Which one are you looking at?
Ak on The Fly -
Just got off the phone with them. Simlar to the STAR series of boats which I still run a couple. From the sounds of it decent beginer boat at a decent price with a decent warranty to back it. If your looking at boats keep your options open. I still have not found a boat with the performance and quality of AIRE however that being said one person's class IV rapids is anothers Class II if you get my drift.
If you are in the Anchorage area stop in an talk to them it should prove intersting, and as always stop in and talk to Jeff or Tracey at Alaska Raft and Kayak. Information is a wonderful thing.
Best wishes and good luck.
Richard M. Mousseau
Old Goat and BluMoose thanks for the reply.
Old Goat I'm looking at teh 14 footer it packs down and weighs 90 lbs they had two of them at the Winter Rec. Show. Looks like a nice boat.
BlueMoose my options are still open, saw eveyone talking about other boats just not this one so I thought I'd ask. (Thanks again for the response). Looking for something to do easy floats in fishing, hunting and that fits in the back of a 185. But I have to get rid of my Zodiak 1st.
First... let me say that Canada Goose Snow Mantra parka is "bad ass" awesome!!! Hope I can say that?
Really - 6th Ave Outfitters has a great selection of high quality gear plus the decent enough stuff that’ll do for the most part just to get you out and doing. I should get down there more often indeed.
All I have to say is that most often you get what you pay for.
The skinny on the boats is yep... STAR carbon copy boats from likely the equivalent Asian connections of reverse engineering. Just like an additional competitor in town with the same class and quality control on similar products.
“Alaskan Outfitters” name came from a good friend of mine the Alaska STAR and Jack’s reps. website and business name… now more or less idle – unless you decide to order a STAR evidently.
I was a product tester for STAR & Jack's rep. The boats are all right to good quality in general BUT just not to be confused with much superior/advanced quality, innovation, originality, and service of companies like AIRE.
Rafts are a great way to get out there and have some real family fun and they are an investment. Keep in mind that you most often get what you pay for.
I recommend that you look long and hard at what you’re going to buy as a 10-year investment. There are many inflatables out there but most are not good values in the long run because they are inferior in design, materials and craftsmanship. For my own use and use of my customers I think there are only 3 maybe 4 rafts really worth looking at because they are durable and easy to fix when they develop a leak or rip. I know many people will disagree with me but here goes!
*Avon-not pretty but just about bomb proof!
*NRS- Simply the industry leader, good boats!
*SOTAR-Pricy but worth it!
*Achilles-These are the low end of what I would choose to use but good boats.
PVC I am not a fan of the PVC material boats but the AIRE series boats are well built and the bladder system is easy to repair.
Ok I have done it, put my neck on the line. My cry is durability and all of the above meet that criterion and most are on the pricey end but you get what you pay for!
Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
Star Inflatables are generally considered along the lower end of the quality scale. I have not owned one though... your results may vary. Clearly some have had good results with them.
This may be a good place to introduce the performance differences between rubber (hypalon / neoprene) boats and plastic (PVC / urethane) boats. Some may not know...
Rubber is a stretchy - bouncy material and is generally very abrasion resistant. This is especially true of neoprene, which is sometimes used for chafer strips on the bottom of the tubes, or, in some cases, for the entire bottom of the boat. I spoke with one commercial operator in the Lower 48 that was actually pulling their boats out of the river with a pickup, dragging them over the rocks and such, so they didn't have to carry the behemoths up to the parking lot at the takeout! You could pull a neoprene boat across an asphalt parking lot and the bottom will have hardly a scratch on it. But the problem is that the material grips when wet. That's one reason why car tires have so much neoprene in them- wouldn't do to have them slipping on wet pavement! Hypalon has good abrasion resistance, but doesn't grip like neoprene. Currently the industry standard is an 80% hypalon mixed with fillers and used as a coating over a nylon base cloth. Common manufacturers of rubber boats are Northwest River Supplies, Avon, Achilles, and Hyside. Star and SOAR are also rubber boats.
PVC is a very hard coating, normally used with a lower-stretch base cloth like polyester. It tends to gouge more easily than rubber, so it is not very abrasion resistant. But it really shines on the water, especially with larger loads. Pump up a plastic boat and it's nearly rock hard. This is what you want in rough water or with big loads. Look at some of the rubber canoes out there, with big loads they tend to "taco" in the middle. Currently the most common manufacturers using plastic are AIRE, Maravia, and SOTAR. Wing is also a plastic boat, but is no longer in business.
My apologies for the companies I missed in this list!
Hope it helps!
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