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Old 05-06-2011   #11
slamkal's Avatar
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
Avatard is no retard.

Brand new ocelot tubes are about $2200. New 2008's are $1850 you can probably get your local dealer to ship them to you for free and these will have 10 year warrantees on them. This is the route I took, and even if I put the max frame size on them a 14' shaped tube boat is still pretty tight for fitting two people and gear on it ...

not sure if the sportsman's boat is older pre-2007 design that were made in USA or if they were ~2008 design which was the older design just made in china as part of their value line. Its definately not the newer ones because the tubes don't have the same shape.

@70lbs for the pair it might be cheaper to ship as two smaller packages ...

The ~$400 you are going to save vs a smaller new boat would pay for a much nicer frame that would more than make up for the weight of the tubes ....

I'd ask the owner if they still have a warranty on them. If any years remaining then this would be a good boat to consider, especially if there is a way to get the lame sportsmans warehouse decal removed from the tubes (I see it done with used outfitter fleet boats so probably yes)

No warranty and you have to take this into consideration. I've owned an aire that was 15 years old that was used pretty extensively and I wouldn't have much concern about the durability if out of warranty as long as the boat was taken care of it should be good for another 10 years longer ...

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Old 05-06-2011   #12
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Originally Posted by slamkal
Avatard is no retard.
Thanks !!!

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 05-07-2011   #13
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks so much for all the advice and helping me make up my mind, guys. I really appreciate and value your input.

My whole point with this boat is to build something small, narrow, and lightweight that can handle 2 people and gear. It needs to fit on the safari roof rack of the Jeep Wrangler and be light enough for 2 people to put it there, plus light enough for one man and one woman to carry down to and up from the river. For this reason I don't want the total width with tubes to be more than 6 feet max, nor weigh more than 100 pounds with frame. I'll go mostly backpack style with gear.

It's starting to sound like Jack's is the way to go, because lightness trumps durability here. Besides, from what I've heard, JPW's tubes are not exactly fragile. The price of Jack's 19" 14' single-chamber tubes brand new is $1089, so they certainly seem like the cheapest and lightest solution. I can get a nice 4-bay single rail DRE frame built here in Denver that will weigh 60-some pounds in this size (53" wide, 79.5" long and 28" between tubes).

On another note, Aire's website really needs to say "frame not included", expecially since they specify the width of each cat with frame. Very misleading to a cat novice. I wonder how many people order thinking they are getting the frame that is pictured.
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Old 05-07-2011   #14
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
Jack's tubes are nice, and that price point is money, literally. If weight and cost are as big for you as they are for most, you should build your own frame. I can't remember if I saw Chip post on here but he is the man when it comes to homebrew modular frames. If you can get pipe for 4 bucks a ft(NRS) or cheaper, you will save a considerable amt. of money. Alum. is near 2x the cost of galvanized or EMT, but much lighter/stronger. It seems like a foreign language at first, but once you research and build your first frame, it's pretty simple and you'll have the knowledge for future reference. All you would need is pipe, fittings, a hacksaw and maybe a drill if you really want to do it right. If you want to give DRE your business that's excellent...but if you want to learn/polish some skills and save cash, give a shout and people will assist as needed.
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Old 05-07-2011   #15
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks Rafterman. I usually do everything myself and have all kinds of tools, so I really should build my own frame. I'm sure it would be no problem for me. I'm always happiest when I do things myself anyway.

However, I get a 25 percent discount on DRE frames for being a guide (canoe guide), so doing it myself won't save me a lot of money. I priced all the parts and decided to just let DRE do it, since they are not charging that much for labor. If I had to pay full price I'd do it myself for sure. I also wanted DRE's expertise on everything, since it's my first cat. Maybe I'll build my second frame myself, after I learn more about what I want and like.

I also really like DRE. Their shop and store are located only 20 minutes away from me, and they are good people.
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Old 05-07-2011   #16
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
It sounds like you should go the Jack's Plastic route. I have both; a set of Jacks and Sotar tubes. The Sotar tubes are 'sexier' but the Jack's tubes are also very tough and well made. I have friends with 10+ year old Jack's tubes that have had zero problems. All his tubes are welded and bomber. He will also customize to whatever you want. Jack is a great guy with an insane amount of whitewater, and inflatable engineering experience.
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Old 05-07-2011   #17
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks. I will go with JPW tubes. Isn't it great when a formerly cloudy decision becomes so clear? I have all of you to thank for that.

Everyone talks about how the Aire 10-year warranty is the best in the business, but I discovered JPW also provides a 10-year warranty, with tubes half the weight and in this case, half the cost. I think after 28 years in the industry, Jack knows a thing or two about building tubes.
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Old 05-07-2011   #18
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
Does Jack have a "no-fault" warranty?
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Old 05-07-2011   #19
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 10
Don't know. I do know from corresponding with Jack these last few days via e-mail that he seems to be a wonderful guy who is very concerned that people are happy with his product. He has been very responsive to my questions. He also seems very principled and I think will do the right thing if you have a problem. It would be great if people on this forum tell us of their experience with getting their tubes repaired by JPW.

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