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Thread: Opinions on 14' SB Achilles

  1. #1
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Default Opinions on 14' SB Achilles

    I have an opportunity to pick one of these up. I've used NRS Otters, a few Aire's, and some other boats but never an Achilles.

    What are your thoughts about them?

    What would you guess for a lifespan with regular seasonal use?

    I appreciate any info you guys can provide.
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  2. #2
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Hi Phish So is the price right with a good frame and oars? Don't really know that much about them myself, but talked to a guy at jims landing that was heading down the canyon in a Achilles and he said it was almost twenty years old and my he must have really taken care of it as it looked brand new.

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    More info than you were asking for here, but others probably need the writeup too...

    Achilles makes some fine boats. You're not really going to have much trouble with any of the top brands these days; Achilles, Avon, NRS, Hyside, AIRE, SOTAR... they're all pretty good. I think as consumers have wised-up, and manufacturers have learned some expensive lessons, the quality has improved significantly.

    I would check the weight of the boat though, and compare it to some of the others. Most round boats are pretty standard in terms of construction, however one industry trend has been to offer lines of boats with stripped-down features (less D-rings, thinner fabric, etc.) at reduced prices. These cheaper boats are usually pretty good in terms of quality and they weigh a lot less (which is a huge plus for those of us floating shallow streams where dragging is the norm). A good example of this is the NRS Expedition series compared to the lighter, cheaper NRS Otter series. Both boats will last many years, but the Otter is lighter / thinner / cheaper. The E-140 comes in at 148# and retails for $4850; the Otter 14' SB weighs 126# and retails for $3660, a 22-lb, $1190 difference, for the same sized boat.

    For comparison, you could also go with the Otter Livery series if the self-bailing feature is not essential for you. That boat weighs 94# and retails for $2635. I'm seeing more float hunters trading the increased stability, better performance and insulating factors of the self-bailing floor for the increased load capacity, lighter weight, and cheaper price of the non bailer. Not to mention that they load into the airplane much easier. I've been re-thinking my position on that issue myself.

    Keeping with Achilles though, they do make a non-bailing 14-footer; the RS-140. But it is 10# heavier than the Otter. Marita Sea and Ski is the dealer in Anchorage; I don't know their prices, so you'd have to call. Their number is 1 (907) 337-2744.

    In short, though, the Achilles is fine.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 08-23-2010 at 10:30.
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  4. #4
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Drifter, the price is right with oars and frame.

    Mike, thanks. I'll give them a call tomorrow.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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