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Old 09-12-2011   #11
Denver (only b/c of school), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by GregMB View Post
Haha, yeah I hear that about DU. Without the scholarships I wouldn't have gone. That's interesting that you hated the Mini-Me so much, while I know it's tippy I haven't heard anyone really dislike it - only people who preferred a different boats for different purposes.
Yeah? I can totally relate to different boats for different purposes but I can think of no purpose for it that suits me. I saw a lot more negatives than positives. Most of my experience w/ the Mini Me was on the Upper Gauley or Upper Yough when I had days off. Balance was another issue- if your R2 partner wasn't of a similar size- it was even tippier. Swims/flips happened in class II (the unexpected one I mentioned earlier) to class V. Not to say I haven't swam out of a puma, I have lots. But my puma swims were usually the result of doing something stupid (aka fun as hell) or being off line.

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Old 09-12-2011   #12
Truckee, California
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 31
Well, shoot. Now you've done and dragged me into that Mini-Me vs. PaddleCat debate that I knew I'd fall into. I liked the shredder I tried, but was drawn to the perceived advantages of a classic raft design.

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Old 09-13-2011   #13
Riverboat Works's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 222
I do like the 10.5 Mini-Maxi better than any of the 9 and 9.5 mini boats, because with the extra 1-1,5 they track much better and have that extra thwart making them better for R-2 and R-4.
We have both the Trib. 9.5 and Hyside Mini-Maxi on fall clearance sale prices So now is the time to buy while supplies last. Give us a call for current availabilites and package deals.
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Old 09-13-2011   #14
Denver (only b/c of school), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
GregMB- now that's a perfect example of different boats for different stuff. I love shredders. Super fun but completely different. In my dream world I'd have- a puma, a shredder and a 14' (haven't decided on company yet).
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Old 09-13-2011   #15
AIRE Inc.'s Avatar
Meridian, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 61
Well hello! Hey, I usually try not to post to much on "which boat is best for me" thread because, naturally, I'm way bias, haha! and the good boaters of the buzz do a great job pointing people in the right direction. But, I did just want to note a few thing.

The Tributary raft line up does use Leafield B7 valves these days, not the Summit II valves that we use on the Trib. kayaks. So, if you do find a used 9.5 out there it will have the B7 valve. (We used the Summit II valves for the first few years on Trib rafts, they were ok on the bigger diameter raft tubes, but not great.)

I also wanted to point out that we have had the Trib 9.5 with a standard floor (bucket boat) out for awhile. So, while you are shopping for a used Trib 9.5, be sure it has the self bailing floor.

The newest generation of 9.5 has a strap in thwart (like the AIRE boats) instead of the knuckle thwart. We had just enough feedback from people wanting to move and add thwarts that we made the upgrade. Not sure what your R2 style is, but having the option to move your thwart is somthing to consider.

I did do a little blog write up about the Trib 9.5SB if you are interested: AIRE Blog: R2ing = Good Foreplay

A used 9.5 might be a little tough to come by as they are still relativity new. That said, we do sell off our demo boats every year...The sale will be posted on our Hot Deals Page this month. (As of right now, I think the outfitter who has our demo 9.5 will be keeping it, but you never know, he might end up sending it back .

That is all, good luck in your search for a great little R2 Boat.

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Old 09-13-2011   #16
Truckee, California
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 31
Thanks for the reply Sheena, that's nice to know about the valves. It seemed like the original Summit II's weren't terribly popular.

You be sure to let me know when you're trying to unload those demo boats, I'll have to take a look .
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Old 09-13-2011   #17
sh$t show voyeuor/host
Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
Paddling Since: wen?
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 285
I love my trib 9.5. I don't know why some think tribs are junk, I've seen them stand up to some major use/abuse, and I have seen a number of fishing guides in colorado using them. I second that the hyside rio bravo (min/mighty max) have durability as well as quality issues. I've guided several of them and they seem to have things fall off(seam tape, rub strakes) and wear through the material quickly. I have also met a few people that have had major quality/durability issues with their paddle cats, which also appear to built with the rio bravo series fabric; It's just too thin!
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Old 09-13-2011   #18
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,408
I'd like to chime in one more time and say that the Tributary seems to be the most durable of the economical series of the major raft manufacturers. With the valves Sheena mentioned above I think a really good price (under $1000) wouldn't be a bad way to go.

I have paddled some Pumas that have been around for a long time though, and based on the quality of my Aire duck, the customer service, and the warranty I'd get the Puma. Maybe one will come up on the sale sheet...
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Old 09-14-2011   #19
Truckee, California
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 31
If I could find a trib 9.5 with B7 valves for under $1000, I'd jump all over it. This is pretty much coming down to what I get the best deal on (in relation to the product): mini-me, paddlecat, or trib. I'll keep patrolling the classifieds...
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Old 09-15-2011   #20
John the welder's Avatar
Delta, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 161
I like the mini-me. Why? good materials and most of all weight. I can carry it into the Gunny or go to Alaska. Unless you are a large person the mini's are great. With a rowing frame I did the Grand with one flip.

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