Originally Posted by SALRVRRT
I don't have much space so I'll be deflating it regularly.
I too like the fact of the good old US but, at least the Avon is not made in that ONE (I don't even want to start that) place.
I know I'll catch hell for it, but I don't care for the feel of Maravia. Sorry all, we have one at work and it's just too stiff. Nothing personal.
How difficult is it to find repair parts and pieces for the Sotars? I know that a local outfitter here runs Avon and I would make repairs easy.
Can you roll up a Sotar?
I think both are currently building their boats with Leifield valves / prv's, so parts are equally easy to come by. Sotars can be rolled and stored just like any thing else. They glue like anything else. I bought a new one last year, to me the big difference was not only American made, but custom made. I spec'ed the position of every valve and d ring, added d rings, changed tube diameters etc. Avon is a great boat, but you get what's in stock, on nothing else.
Before I bought last year, I tried to start with an open mind, looked at a lot of boats, and heard a lot of sales pitches. Almost all the new hypalon boats are including a Polyurethane "skid" on the bottom now. Some have a polyurethane chafe on top. By the time I ordered a Sotar during one of their sales, I paid less for it than I would of for a new Avon, Hyside, Achilles, or even an NRS, and got to spec everything on it. Did have to wait a few months for it, but for a boat I don't intend on replacing for 20 years, the 10 weeks isn't a big deal.
Urethane boats are a little different, there lighter, stiffer, they float a little higher, and carry a little less momentum. The down side is that they're lighter, stiffer, float a little higher, and carry less momentum. Did I mention they drain wicked fast?
As an outfitter in the 90's, I was looking for new boats, I had and liked hypalon, and pvc had a negative connotation for commercial use. But I ran into Bill Wing and quickly fell in love with his Polyurethane boats. Ended up buying 8 of them and one for my buddy. My buddy still gets compliments on his "brand new" Wing sixteen years later. The polyurethane just holds up better than any thing else. Add that to Sotar's customer service and customization, and you can't go wrong.
But the Avons are good too.