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Old 09-14-2010   #1
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30
New boat time

Well, my 1984 Sotar is finally giving falling apart. It's been tough as concrete. Want to replace with 16 ft type now. More into multiday or multi-occupants, plus beer. More into class 4 to 2. Those class 5 days always seem to cost $50 and up in equipment. And sometimes I spill my beer. I always keep the raft rolled up.
So, what rafts, besides Sotar, can be rolled up that still last 30 years?
I wont last 30, but I can hand it down to my kids.

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Old 09-14-2010   #2
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
If money isn't an issue I would spring for an Avon Pro 16'er. Bomber hypalon that can be rolled up but with that size boat and that sort of investment I would suggest to get a boat bag to store it in to protect it from bumps and abrasions while moving it around rolled friend just got a brand new Avon last year after trying to repair and re-repair an older Hyside...those Avon rafts are a perty boat!

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Old 09-14-2010   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 140
I have a 16’ Avon Pro from the late early 80s. It was used many years commercially and I bought it used 15 years ago. While it does have a few patches it is still going strong. They retroed a SB floor before I got the boat.
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Old 09-15-2010   #4
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30
Thanks for the input merritrd and calendar16. Any Maravia, Aire, NRS folks want to chime in. One post I saw mentioned how the Maravia does not roll up well. Has to be folded. My Sotar rolls up, but not tight like a sleeping pad. It chunks up, but never the less is in roll form, especially after sucking the air out of it.
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Old 09-15-2010   #5
Kayenta, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 95


We have an NRS 14 Foot Otter, it rolls up well enough which was the main reason we got a hypalon boat for the ability to roll it up. If I had had the extra cash we would have sprung for the E-series, but that also it about 25lbs heavier which could detract from the ease of use if you are rolling it up regularly.

The Otters come with a 5 year warranty and the E-series a 10 year. From everything i have seen and heard they stand by their products well and will take care of you. We just got our boat in May, but I foresee it holding up for a very long time...hopefully the only boat I ever need (not that I won't WANT another down the road.)

I have friends who still use their older NRS boats all the time and wouldn't want to change a thing. For a Hypalon boat I think the NRS is great for the money...just one man's opinion.

Whatever you get good luck and enjoy the fun shopping around process!

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Old 09-15-2010   #6
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30
Forth or fiftth time of use on my Sotar I slid it inflated down a grassy hillside by the bridge next to the put in. Didn't know till a little later there was a broken glass bottle that put a deep scrape in the floor down its entire length. I threw duct tape on it then. It has never leaked. The boat has had many class 5 days. Never had to patch it. I saw on the NRS site mention of not sucking the air out of their boats when rolled up. I've always sucked mine down to the ribs showing. Then it rolls up better. Only thing that leaks now is a very slight leak of the floor valve. D-rings are starting to peel and delaminate, floor starting to come detached from its lacing connection, lots of bubbled in the flooring bottom and frame chafe material. Around 1k to bring it back up to looking good, but may only last a short while after that. Not bad for 26 yrs.
So what does any other brand now have going for it that a present day Sotar wouldn't in regards to rollability, ease of maintenence, and durability? Oh, it also used to whip around on the water pretty good too.
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Old 10-04-2010   #7
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30
Well, color me ignant. My old boat has a full wrap on the bottom that I did not realize. Just though the black bottom was part of the standard rig. I bought it as a second. Some guy named Bill Wing said I should get it, way back then, so I did. No wonder it has been so tough. I contacted the Maravia folks and they felt better to not keep their rafts rolled up during storage. The Sotar folks said it is ok and mine has always been kept that way. My boat is turning to toast because of the glues used back then just didn't last 26 years. They have that resolved now, not that I will be around in 26 years, but my kids will be. So I ordered up another Sotar. They are on sale now for 20% off. No wrap this time. It is over $1k to have it added and I am not going to be using this boat for constant battle of class 5's.
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Old 11-13-2010   #8
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30
I ended up with a 15.5 ft Sotar. Had it out surfing class 2 waves with 4 on board. It seems a lot bigger than the old 14er, which is what I wanted. It still manuvers good. Without the bottom wrap it's only a few pounds heavier. Rolls up easy, especially after sucking the air out of it.
Any eager gluologists out there want my old 14er that has never been patched?
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