I just got back from my first long trip on with my new 15' Saturn raft, and wanted to pass on my thoughts. I know there has been a lot of discussion here on the various Saturn dealers, but not much info on the rafts themselves. So here goes.
I got my raft in May, and so far we have taken it on the the Filter plant run on the Poudre a dozen times, Pumphouse to Statebridge on the CO, and Sand Island to Clay Hills on the San Juan. We have run as an oar rig, R2 and full paddle crew (pack of kids). In every case it has performed great. It handles really well, spins on a dime, and for the most part tracks well.
One of my favorite features is the the dropstich floor. I am a big guy, and in the past have not felt really stables standing on most I-beam floors. The high pressure floors are solid and provide a great platform for standing. The pressure release valve open up at 6 PSI, at which point it felt like standing on a plywood floor, so we usually run it between 3-4 psi. The floor is glued in so there are no laces to deal with. Instead of foot cups it uses webbing straps, for bracing. They are a little small for my large feet (13) but I am able to wedge the front part of foot under them. I did check the fit on my kids (6 and 8 ) and neither of them had any issues with entanglement, or the possibility of the feet sliding all the way in and getting caught, so in my opinion I think the size is about right.
The raft itself is made of PVC, and has both a chafe pad and a full double bottom layer. The construction looks good, with all the seams looking tight and clean. It has 6 carrying handles and 18 D rings (16 on the outside, and 1 inside on the bow and stern). I am considering adding a D ring to each thwart, but that will be a winter project. The thwarts attach using paddles and are easy to put in and out.
So far I have been impressed on how it handles. On the San Juan while fully loaded, my 6 year old was able to row the raft by himself. He could spin and stop it at will, ferry across the river to hit every little ripple that he saw, and basically had a blast moving down stream. Fully loaded we were running with about a 4" draft, so we only got hung up once on the sandbars above clay hills.
We got the raft from Denny and Joe at RMrafts, and I can honestly say that they have been great to work with. They exceeded our expectations in all of our dealings, and I have no reservations on recommending them to friends and family (and no, this is not a paid endorsement
). So far we have met some great people on the river, and hope to meet more each day out.