Sotar and the radical

goeaux

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Mike- just a little input - the original SOAR was an exact copy of the METZLER CANYON, as I owned one myself in the 70's - fun white water boat. Larry had the foresight to put her on steroids and came up with a wonderful raft in the PRO-PIONER for her specific purpose. The design is still the METZLER. No big deal. SOTAR came out with the first self bailing raft in 1980, it worked and many other companies followed suit and many companies now make self-bailing rafts, no big deal. The idea of a long - skinny raft has been around for a long - long time. My very good friend Larry Bartlett has seen the need for this type of craft in Alaska and has opened up a lot of new country from his insight. There is no monopoly on a design as such. The name "RADICAL" is his and his design submitted to SOTAR is/was a good one. The "MOOSE BOAT" that I am having made is quite a bit different than the "RADICAL" in both design, length, tube diameter, ect. she is just another baby that does somewhat the same thing. The name "RADICAL" will never go on another SOTAR narrow, long raft. In my opinion life is way too short for worrying about all the trivial thoughts of who did what.
So many good rafts out these days. When I think of the "GREEN RIVER" and Military rafts we were running 20' waves, with long ash oars back in the 70's I am amazed at how far it is all come!! Just get out there and make the best of our freedom and beautiful Alaska!!
Peace and safe boating-
Goo
 

Michael Strahan

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Mike- just a little input - the original SOAR was an exact copy of the METZLER CANYON, as I owned one myself in the 70's - fun white water boat. Larry had the foresight to put her on steroids and came up with a wonderful raft in the PRO-PIONER for her specific purpose. The design is still the METZLER. No big deal. SOTAR came out with the first self bailing raft in 1980, it worked and many other companies followed suit and many companies now make self-bailing rafts, no big deal. The idea of a long - skinny raft has been around for a long - long time. My very good friend Larry Bartlett has seen the need for this type of craft in Alaska and has opened up a lot of new country from his insight. There is no monopoly on a design as such. The name "RADICAL" is his and his design submitted to SOTAR is/was a good one. The "MOOSE BOAT" that I am having made is quite a bit different than the "RADICAL" in both design, length, tube diameter, ect. she is just another baby that does somewhat the same thing. The name "RADICAL" will never go on another SOTAR narrow, long raft. In my opinion life is way too short for worrying about all the trivial thoughts of who did what.
So many good rafts out these days. When I think of the "GREEN RIVER" and Military rafts we were running 20' waves, with long ash oars back in the 70's I am amazed at how far it is all come!! Just get out there and make the best of our freedom and beautiful Alaska!!
Peace and safe boating-
Goo

Yes, I know the pedigree of the SOAR S-16; I knew Metzler originated the design, but did not know the name of the boat (thanks!). When Grabner bought Metzler, they continued to produce the boat, under the name "XR Trekking". The SOAR S-16 is a copy of that boat, with a few modifications (no inflatable bow and stern cover, etc.). But the design itself is essentially the same. I haven't discussed this with him, but I suspect that when Larry Bartlett began his float hunting experiences in Alaska, he used the only boat he had access to-- a SOAR S-16. It worked after a fashion, but was not quite enough to do the job. So he had SOAR "Super Size" the S-16, and in so doing he pushed the Alaska market toward the "long skinny boat" market in a big way. That's what led to the development of the Radical and the others, which was my point.

There are very few original designs around; almost everyone is copying / modifying what someone else has done, adding what they consider to be improvements. Sometimes they completely flop and sometimes they are a huge success. But most of the time the person trying to create something new really sticks their neck out and I think that's what Bartlett did.

From a performance perspective there's no question that a long, skinny urethane boat (the SOTAR) is superior to anything else in that market. It's bombproof. But if someone could figure out how to get it to roll into a smaller package...

Anyway here's the two canoes side-by-side- the Grabner and the SOAR.

-Mike

canoes-1.jpg
 

BlueMoose

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I know this is off subject a little but what the hey if we are going to have open line open forum.

Mike that took a lot of Moxy! Congrats to both you and Larry for finding a resolution and middle ground.

C ya both at the show!
 

goeaux

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Mike, I totally agree with you on the rolling up problem, the nature of 40 oz. and 4,000 denier polyester. Have tried to get the factory to make some lighter urethane boats with 32 oz. fabric-- but we are such a small market up here compared to their world wide sales and they are buying fabric thousands of feet at a time and as you well know how much more urethane cost. I personally own a 16' non-bailing ST from a limited run of 32 oz. she weighs 74 lbs. and rolls up like an AVON ADVENTURER. As we are unique in the rafting world by relying on air transportation, they feel, as of now, that it is not to their financial advantage to do so. they are sticking with their bomb-proof heavy duty stuff. Im working on it-- trust me. I have to fly them in too.
Goo
 

Michael Strahan

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Mike, I totally agree with you on the rolling up problem, the nature of 40 oz. and 4,000 denier polyester. Have tried to get the factory to make some lighter urethane boats with 32 oz. fabric-- but we are such a small market up here compared to their world wide sales and they are buying fabric thousands of feet at a time and as you well know how much more urethane cost. I personally own a 16' non-bailing ST from a limited run of 32 oz. she weighs 74 lbs. and rolls up like an AVON ADVENTURER. As we are unique in the rafting world by relying on air transportation, they feel, as of now, that it is not to their financial advantage to do so. they are sticking with their bomb-proof heavy duty stuff. Im working on it-- trust me. I have to fly them in too.
Goo

Goo,

Please don't give up on this! I don't know how many light-weight SOTARs you would move in Alaska, but it would be a HUGE contribution to the float hunters here, and even to your folks who are doing the whole Russia thing. If anyone can do it, I know you can...

-Mike
 

Birdstrike

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Anybody have a pic of the SOTAR or SOAR Pro Pioneer rolled up? I assume the PP will roll smaller than my 15' Otter, but what about the SOTAR? Just trying to get a size comparison.

While we're at it how about a 15' SOTAR round raft too?
 

Larry Bartlett

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Mike and Goo, thanks for the compliments. We all serve the same mission when it comes to float hunting and rafting Alaska. We just keep it up and afloat, people can and will make the best decision for their indivual needs.

Birdstrike, here's a couple of pics for you, hope they help show the size comparisons you asked about.

The rafts in the photos are:

1. tan color in the back is a SOTAR Alaskan (standard 14' round raft with self-bailing floor)
2. Blue/black raft on the left is SOAR Levitator
3. Black one on the front right is a Pro Pioneer (18"X20"X15") for size reference

Hope this helps. Oh yeah, the rafts were all rolled the same day last september (70 degrees F). The tan raft won't be that small if rolled is cooler temps, but that's the tightest i was able to get her.

Larry raft rolls 1.jpg raft rolls 2.jpg
 

Larry Bartlett

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One last point to consider when choosing the raft for your needs:

Any capacity should be considered a benchmark for what the raft will do for you when heavily loaded. I've learned that any given weight capacity is effective to about 75% of its max stated allowance. So, for example, a Sotar Alaskan (14' standard round raft) has a 2100-lb capacity, which is suitable for 2 guys and 2 moose on the heavy side. In most field applications, this raft will perform well with about 10-11" draft (required river depth) with 2 guys and 2 moose (average weight of this load is about 1800 lbs). Under that weight capacity, this raft will perform best at 1575-lbs load demand, so you're pushing the limits with the 1800-lb load. It'll do it, but it'll be floating deeper than it would at 1500-lbs payload (about 3 inches less draft with 1500 lbs load vs. 1800 lbs load).

Once you get beyond the 75% of max capacity, your raft will sink deeper in the water exponetitally with each 100 lbs you add. make sense?

So, for comparison, the Pro Pioneer has a 1500-lb capacity, best performance for this rig is about 1125-lbs, offering a, 7.5" draft (water depth) with this load. With 2 guys, plus gear and 4 caribou the draft has been about 6.5" draft. The weight of these bulls were about 95lbs per bull with headgear.

Levitator has a 3000-lb capacity, with an efficient load demand of 2250 lbs with a draft of less than 6" of water depth. With 3 guys and 3 moose plus gear we had about 2540 lbs total load demand, draft was about 7.5" water depth.

The lond and skinny design features of these raft allow a critical element to improve overall performance and draft, which is load displacement. When you can spread out the load across a longer plane, your floatation improves, vs. a round raft where the load compartments are generally limited to the bow and stern compartment...making it heavier and depper at the bow and stern, which is where you'll drag over shallow section. The other designs provide an overall shallower draft because the load is separated and spread out over a longer plane, providing efficient and maximum load carrying capacity in shallow conditions. Couple the shallow draft with a narrow widths, and you have a rig that allows access to creeks vs. rivers...thereby providing field performance by more extreme access away from traditional rafters.

lb, out
 

RANGER RICK

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Mike and Goo, thanks for the compliments. We all serve the same mission when it comes to float hunting and rafting Alaska. We just keep it up and afloat, people can and will make the best decision for their indivual needs.

Birdstrike, here's a couple of pics for you, hope they help show the size comparisons you asked about.

The rafts in the photos are:

1. tan color in the back is a SOTAR Alaskan (standard 14' round raft with self-bailing floor)
2. Blue/black raft on the left is SOAR Levitator
3. Black one on the front right is a Pro Pioneer (18"X20"X15") for size reference

Hope this helps. Oh yeah, the rafts were all rolled the same day last september (70 degrees F). The tan raft won't be that small if rolled is cooler temps, but that's the tightest i was able to get her.

Larry View attachment 47698 View attachment 47699

Larry

My hat is off to you and how you can roll up those rafts so tight !!!
I have watched your videos on rolling up the pro pioneer and to no avail mine looks like a tank.
I did manage to get it into the bag that is sent with the PP and after the bag got soaked there was no way that raft was coming out no matter how hard I pulled but I won !!!! I got so mad at that blasted bag I pulled my knife out and cut the bag off .
Now I use tarps to wrap my rafts in that way I can use them while out in the field .

Thanks for the photos Larry.

RR
 

Birdstrike

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Thanks Larry. That's about what I was guessing for the PP.....about 2/3rds the size of my 15' Otter rolled up.
 

Kavik

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Missing Sotar Radical / Moose Boat

Missing Sotar Radical / Moose Boat

Reward - I am offering a $100 reward for anyone out there whocan send me a photo of the serial number patch on a SOTAR Radical / Moose Boat witheither of these Serial numbers #7029 & 7030. All I ask is you tell me who you got the raft from that’s all.
 

RANGER RICK

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Reward - I am offering a $100 reward for anyone out there whocan send me a photo of the serial number patch on a SOTAR Radical / Moose Boat witheither of these Serial numbers #7029 & 7030. All I ask is you tell me who you got the raft from that’s all.

That's horrible that they were stolen. I have not seen a radical for sale anywhere but I will keep an eye out for them .
Sorry about your loss .

RR
 

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