Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32

Thread: Sotar and the radical

  1. #1
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Homer Alaska
    Posts
    704

    Default Sotar and the radical

    Had a couple of you guys ask me about the raft I used this year for our float hunt if I rented it and or had it made.
    The raft is a Sotar Radical and I had it made .
    I would like to give a big thank you to Goo Vogt at Alaska Wild Waters and Cheryl at the Sotar Factory for helping me all the way through in getting this raft made and into my hands .
    They both worked hard in answering all my questions about having this made and Cheryl would send me updates as the raft was being put together with pictures.
    The raft is not a full width raft it is a narrow raft at 63" outside width and 16'6'' long .Made for heavy loads ,shallow water and back woods skinny water .
    I went with yellow and red for safety reasons just in case I got hurt .My wife is my hunt partner and if I or she needed help for any reason the rescue could see us a long ways off otherwise I would of went with Purple or Black .
    The red strips on the top and bottom is Liquid Lex and is a Chaff material .Goo said I did not need it but I went with it anyway as this will more than likely be the last raft I buy for a very long time and just wanted the extra thickness in the rub areas .

    Goo also made the break down Aluminum frame so I could stuff it in the float planes , great job in building it.
    The raft preformed as I thought it would . I really like this raft and I also Like that it is US Made .



    Here are a couple pictures of it from the factory as it was being made and a few more of it at our house.
    Thanks again Goo for a great raft.

    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

  2. #2
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Homer Alaska
    Posts
    704

    Default

    Here are a few more of it when we first put it together in the yard .

    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

  3. #3
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    Thanks Rick... how many air chambers? i see Two... what is the weight of the raft? and load rating on your model? factory pics looks like solid floor... what are the laces in the finished pic? self bail???

    thanks
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  4. #4
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Homer Alaska
    Posts
    704

    Default

    Vince

    There are a total of 5 chambers , four on the upper tubes and one for the floor.
    The floor is a self bailer and not a solid one, it is laced in .The load Capacity is 2500 pounds .I have seen pictures with two bull moose and two hunters with gear in a Radical !!!
    I think the raft weighs right around 90 pounds + - .
    Hope this helps.

    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

  5. #5
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    okay on that floor.. did your feet get wet when stood on? or is it thick enough to support you?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  6. #6

    Default

    Hey ,Mate- The floor is 7" thick- you would have no problem with dry feet. The trick is to suspend as much weight on the main tubes, which leaves a lot more flotation on the floor. This is why i hang my coolers- dry boxes from the frame. The difference in the way the floor looks from the self bailing flaps on RR's is the fact that SOTAR puts a fabric flap on the lower bottom of their standard rafts this is due to low-water rivers in Calif. And Australian rivers because of grommet wear. I have my custom "ALASKAN" made with out it to save on weight and to fold a little better for small planes-- No big deal, same price. Having done a lot of white water my style bails faster. I feel that their standard floor would work much better with a kicker for standard northern rivers or on lakes and such. BLUE MOOSE has a proto type if you are in FBK's I had made last season. We can make any style, length, tube diameter,width, color or what you want. Our rafts are all 4,000 denier- 40oz. welded urethane. Made one at a time to suite our customers needs and desires in Merlin, OR.
    Check out their web site. sotar.com
    Any questions i will be glad to talk.
    They are about to have their Fall sale and i will match the prices if you want a quality USA urethane raft. I also have some slightly used personal rafts.
    This is not an advertisement-- only information.
    Sincerely,
    Goo Vogt

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Rick, great looking raft. I love the colors and folks won't miss seeing your raft. BTW, I read your write up on your Caribou hunt. Looks/sounded like a great trip. I envy you having a wife that is able to hunt with you. I have one of the earlier tan Radicals and love it. Did you get your raft made without the flaps that Goo was talking about?

    Vince, if you are interested, get it. I've used mine on skinny and deep water, heavily loaded, and it's great.

    Take care,
    Moose44

  8. #8
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    thanks for all that GOO.. i am aware of moose's proto here in town have not been able to get out to see it yet. but have been in discussions with some that are looking at it... I am looking for one to compliment my soar for sure.. in the easy to use and one person portable... as Dad brunts most of the load yet these years
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  9. #9
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Homer Alaska
    Posts
    704

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goeaux View Post
    Hey ,Mate- The floor is 7" thick- you would have no problem with dry feet. The trick is to suspend as much weight on the main tubes, which leaves a lot more flotation on the floor. This is why i hang my coolers- dry boxes from the frame. The difference in the way the floor looks from the self bailing flaps on RR's is the fact that SOTAR puts a fabric flap on the lower bottom of their standard rafts this is due to low-water rivers in Calif. And Australian rivers because of grommet wear. I have my custom "ALASKAN" made with out it to save on weight and to fold a little better for small planes-- No big deal, same price. Having done a lot of white water my style bails faster. I feel that their standard floor would work much better with a kicker for standard northern rivers or on lakes and such. BLUE MOOSE has a proto type if you are in FBK's I had made last season. We can make any style, length, tube diameter,width, color or what you want. Our rafts are all 4,000 denier- 40oz. welded urethane. Made one at a time to suite our customers needs and desires in Merlin, OR.
    Check out their web site. sotar.com
    Any questions i will be glad to talk.
    They are about to have their Fall sale and i will match the prices if you want a quality USA urethane raft. I also have some slightly used personal rafts.
    This is not an advertisement-- only information.
    Sincerely,
    Goo Vogt
    Goo

    Thanks for filling in all the details .

    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

  10. #10

    Default

    how is the raft on whitewater grade 3 and 4 with a moose in it? Looks like a good design. I usually hunt with a canoe but thinking of some rivers with some whitewater and if I get a big moose it is too much for a canoe.

  11. #11
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Homer Alaska
    Posts
    704

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose44 View Post
    Rick, great looking raft. I love the colors and folks won't miss seeing your raft. BTW, I read your write up on your Caribou hunt. Looks/sounded like a great trip. I envy you having a wife that is able to hunt with you. I have one of the earlier tan Radicals and love it. Did you get your raft made without the flaps that Goo was talking about?

    Vince, if you are interested, get it. I've used mine on skinny and deep water, heavily loaded, and it's great.

    Take care,
    Moose44
    Moose

    It was a great trip with a great partner .
    My raft has the bottom protection flap installed. Yes I agree my yellow and red Radical is easy to see .
    Thanks Moose

    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

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Yukon, I own a Radical and last year took the raft, myself & a partner, plus gear, and 2 Moose through class I-III, (short sections of class III) but not IV. I thought it handled as well as a raft loaded that heavy can handle class III. This year, I did the same, but only with 1 Moose. The person, gear, and meat in front is going to get a bit wet, but it handles it easily. There are other rafts that will keep you drier, but will also weigh a bunch more. The Radical, at approx 90lbs, is easily packable by one person, if needed. If you can swing it, buy it.

    Take Care,
    Moose44

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Okay, I know I'm resurrecting one here but need some additional input on the Radical. It sounds like it is proven for float hunts and heavy moose loads. My question is how does it handle during a Kenai fishing trip or an overnight Gulkana rafting trip with say, 4 passengers and camping gear? Would it keep up with and handle similar to my buddy's 15' Aire self-bailing round boat?

  14. #14
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rifle River MI
    Posts
    1,835

    Default

    In a nut shell not really however this statement is more about room and comfort. Major difference concerning the width and room for four people and camping gear. You can do a lot of things with a Radical however fishing and camping people i.e. 4 in it would be slightly uncomfortable. Could you do it for a day sure might be a little low in the water but doable. Can you run the upper gulkana for 5 days with 4 people and camping gear? Would not be my first choice. 15ft AIRE self bailing round boat more room, more weight carrying capacity more comfort also about another 70 lbs of boat weight. 15"6 D comes out to 169 lbs. Great boat however based on your previous post application application application. If you are considering AIRE you should look to the 14ft Super Duper Puma 115 lbs and would still give you more room for general applications such as 4 people and fishing. When I am fishing with clients in the past 4 people would normally be associated with a 15 or 16ft Round Boat for comfort on 5 day trip. If I am fishing over night or day runs I run a 14ft round boat. If your looking at day runs that changes the game and of course your application i.e. what are you buying the boat for. SOTAR also makes round boats as well so you have lots and I do mean lots of options. I am a little bias for AIRE and NRS same with anyone who is pushing product for the purpose of selling just the nature of the beast

    Rent Rent Rent is the best advise IMO. Check with Goeaux and or Brian and or Down Stream and rent one test out your application also contact Alaska Raft and Kayak and do the same with the AIRE or NRS. I am sure you will find your complete application associated with your purchase in a hurry.

  15. #15
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    931

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by iturner8 View Post
    Okay, I know I'm resurrecting one here but need some additional input on the Radical. It sounds like it is proven for float hunts and heavy moose loads. My question is how does it handle during a Kenai fishing trip NO or an overnight Gulkana rafting trip NO with say, 4 passengers and camping gear? NO Would it keep up with and handle similar NO to my buddy's 15' Aire self-bailing round boat?DEPENDS - SOME PLACES/CONDITIONS/POWER-TRAIN & FOR ITS NICHE - IT'LL GO WAY FASTER
    Let me first answer you questions... see above in green bold

    Now to shed perspective on the boat:

    Word out to Ranger Rick... good to see ya at the show & nice to meet you.

    Worth mention... RR asked what the most recent green, long, skinnier raft/canoe was called. I said, name it after yourself if ya like --- it's a SOTAR custom design... tweak it any shape, size, or color ya want. RR grinned with smile knowing precisely my point that SOTAR is the pinnacle of rugged commercial grade quality, design, fabrication, proven worldwide with matchless availability for personalized/custom featured offerings.


    So what is the latest industry-leading, custom, green, long, skinnier boat by SOTAR?


    At the show... this new 15' craft is an all-welded (read as no Glue nor the cold-weld stuff) of premier grade 40oz. urethane fabric construction. All seams are taped by double welds to the overlaps inside and outside. The design is raft-based on the proven full-collared over-sized tube that runs 360 degrees around the boat and a welded I-beam floor. Overall, what this provides is a very dependable, rigid boat that does not clam-shell, twist, or bend/droop like the pro-pioneer does or blow front seams out like a traveler.

    In its pedigree are a combination of a taking a SOTAR 10' self-bailing raft with oversized tubes and stretch 'limousining' them to a 15' hybrid with ST (think along the lines of more standard double-ender geometry) on one end, and SL (tapering/diminishing profile) on the other end. What this does is that it gives you a better entry dynamic for engine propulsion or paddling by using the SL as the bow ---- in turn swap to the ST end for bow to present a more efficient back ferry when using row-frames.


    Any truly great hybrid boat has a lineage to something well established like the SOTAR rafts, and someone seeking an excellent niche use for such a boat.
    Call it what you like… Radical, Moose Boat, Long/Skinny Raft, name it after a favorite river or yourself… It’s one heck of a boat.

    Felt it a real honor to be helping SOTAR at the Sportsman's Show With Goo (Geaux on here) from Alaska Wildwater and Cheryl that came up from SOTAR. I know of two of these Moose- Boats... one in Glacier Gray and one in Dark Green. Went through 'em myself personally with Goo --- both are exceptional as are the accessories like motor-mount and oar stations.

  16. #16
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    931

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by iturner8 View Post
    Okay, I know I'm resurrecting one here but need some additional input on the Radical. It sounds like it is proven for float hunts and heavy moose loads. My question is how does it handle during a Kenai fishing trip or an overnight Gulkana rafting trip with say, 4 passengers and camping gear? Would it keep up with and handle similar to my buddy's 15' Aire self-bailing round boat?
    I wanted to follow-up on a few things that stand out from several of your posts with regards to getting into or trying out rafts:

    I believe you need a boat that is highly-versatile, forgiving/stable, still simple, nice if its lighter weight while being extremely rugged/dependable. I sense buying made in USA is of importance.

    Based on all things so far considered: I see you best served in a SOTAR 15' SP or ST for the boat, a nice 3-bay rowing frame with full-length side-rails, plus three oars and the straps to hold your trips together. Along with that... kit should include a quality pump, repair kit and perchance coolers/dry-boxes.

    As some like Moose have said (and thanks Blue Moose for the plugs here and there - always appreciated),,, rent or try some of this out short term on day or multi-day ventures before you buy if ya need to. Simply said there is no urgent need to take salesmanship as any gold standards.

    If you want to go drifting down river faster than your buddies AIRE 15'... Taking nothing from AIRE at all, but I can easily tell you the SOTAR is often the much, much faster boat!!!

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose44 View Post
    Yukon, I own a Radical and last year took the raft, myself & a partner, plus gear, and 2 Moose through class I-III, (short sections of class III) but not IV. I thought it handled as well as a raft loaded that heavy can handle class III. This year, I did the same, but only with 1 Moose. The person, gear, and meat in front is going to get a bit wet, but it handles it easily. There are other rafts that will keep you drier, but will also weigh a bunch more. The Radical, at approx 90lbs, is easily packable by one person, if needed. If you can swing it, buy it.

    Take Care,
    Moose44
    I think I also met you at the show... if so - good to meet you. I remember you possible having a tan SP version

    I feel your assessment above is spot on for this boat.

    Cheers!

  18. #18
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Homer Alaska
    Posts
    704

    Default

    Brian

    Hello.
    Yes it was very nice to meet you and to be able to place a face to the name .
    That new green moose boat was something to look at . Very impressive to say the least and that boat will do some hunters justice . If I could afford it I would have another Sotar in my mits .
    The seams looked really heavy duty and I liked the aluminum motor mount . Wished I would of taken some pictures of that raft but got busy talking to you and Goo.


    As for the Radical being used on the Kenai for a fishing trip it works well .
    I had ours on the river last year with two adults and two Grand kids .It was fine but it would not work well with 4 adults and gear.
    I would get a wider boat for 4 people and camping equipment.
    It is a great boat for float hunting !!!!!!!

    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

  19. #19

    Default

    the first year after designing the Radical and having SOTAR manufacture it, I took it on several creeks, rivers and streams from class I-IV. The first thing i realized is that the design was spot on for what it was intended to do: provide extreme access to narrow channels and shallow depths.

    As for the handling, it was slick through rock gardens and rowed like a champ. The one major advantage i saw in the Radical is that it was solid urethane and had welded seams. I had roughly 50 of these rafts built in about 3-4 years by SOTAR, and only one has been warrantied since that time (over 5 years now). I have several in my rental fleet today and all are showing NO wear and tear.

    If you can find one, you won't be disappointed if you're using it for up to 4 people and gear, or just moose hunting with a couple of guys harvesting and transporting 2 moose plus people and gear. The price point on all sotar rafts is the weakness for volume sales, but american made is what it is...expensive.

    The Radical was the first of its kind, and I don't mind taking credit for that. SOTAR has built a few since we stopped doing business together, and they may have even printed the words Radical on them. I take that as flattery, not theft. Although, it would be nice to get credit for the design, as due credit goes. That's here nor there. The boat is rock solid. All others are based on this "radical" design, including the green moose boat and others touted here.

    As for whether it's faster or more strategic than other SOTAR or raft models, well, that depends on the rower, stream depth, and channel design. The quality of the radical is of the highest standards i have ever seen with inflatable manufacturers. SOTAR, IMO, offers the best of the best in workmanship. The material is wicked strong and holds up to miles of dragging and rock bouncing, period.

    To step up one level higher than what was offered with the Radical design, i had SOAR produce our Levitator. I needed a raft that holds up to 3 moose and 3 guys (3000-lb capacity), and the radical was a bit too small for this demand (2500-lb capacity). However, i kept the narrow design for Alaska stream widths and amped up the tube diam., floor thickness, and width just enough to provide the best overall design features for a wilderness float hunt rig. I do believe that the only drawback to having a larger raft built of urethane would mean that the raft roll would be size prohibitive for my style of access. A raft the size of our Levitator made of urethane wouldn't roll up as small as it does now made of hypalon. But, since we could use hypalon for its folding properties and coat the bottom with a tough urethane application...we now have a stronger hypalon raft that can be dragged for miles without wear or punctures. To date, the longest stretch i've dragged 2 Levitators is 28 miles during a 2006 hunt. Those rafts are still as rock solid as my old radicals, they just hold more shiznit and game parts.

    Just more info to add to the Radical discussion.

    larry

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default A note to Larry Bartlett-

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    ...The Radical was the first of its kind, and I don't mind taking credit for that....
    Larry,

    Thanks for chiming in on this; I was hoping you would.

    (this is my second dose of "crow" I've had today; I believe I'm getting to like the taste of it...)

    I believe in credit where credit is due, and nobody deserves more credit for this contribution to Alaska float hunting than you. The Radical and the Levitator turned a lot of heads at the beginning, including mine. But I was far less than complimentary on the design. My comments could have been summarized as, "what the heck is that thing?" Back then my thick skull was locked in to traditional designs and I had a hard time getting my mind around "a long, skinny round boat". Others did too, but I was pretty vocal in my views. The biggest objection I had was the flat bow and stern sections and subsequent splash-over issues. But to your credit, you redesigned the boat and gave it just enough bow and stern rise to overcome that issue, while maintaining the huge lift these boats offer.

    I know you have invested huge amounts of time, hair-pulling, and your own personal resources to bring this boat to Alaskans, and even though I don't know half the story of what went in to this, I want you to know I appreciate what you've done.

    Innovation rarely travels in a straight line, and these boats are no exception. I saw the first SOTARS you were involved with, then the design went to SOAR, then SOTAR started working their own similar designs; ("imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", don't you know?) Then you came up with the urethane bottom, then you integrated the bow and stern rise... It all took a few years, but in the end you have made a major contribution to Alaska float hunting with this design. By putting one of the most abrasion-resistant materials (urethane) on the bottom of one of the most flexible materials (Hypalon), you've created something Alaska has needed for years; a packable, "airplane-able" round boat with huge lift and shallow-water "drag-ability". "Thank You" is hardly enough.

    Finally, I owe you an apology. I know that while you struggled with trying to bring this boat to the Alaska market you were dealing with a lot of pressures. But over here on Outdoors Directory was a guy that added a few bricks to your load, and that guy was me. I'm truly sorry for doing that, and I hope you can see your way clear to forgive that offense.

    I don't know if you are aware of it, but I have been promoting this design in my seminars and to my clients the last few years, as it has dawned on me just how useful this boat is for float hunting. Of course it is not an "everything" boat (as you know, nothing really is). But for the conditions for which it was designed, I'm hard pressed to find something that would do the job better. As far as I'm concerned, you smacked this one clean out of the park.

    Thanks again, Larry. Nice work.

    -Mike

    (okay, everyone else... you can pick yourselves up off the floor now, it really is me...)
    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

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •