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Old 01-07-2009   #1
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2
Advice-Maravia raft

Hi all,
I'm thinking of buying a used 14 Maravia raft and wanted advice. The raft was new in 2000 and used comercially. It is made of Urethan and has 3 thwarts and is self bailing and in good condition according to the owner, a commercal rafting company. My questions to anyone here good enough to respond are:

1. Is the floor inflated self bailing and if not, what is the difference between inflated and not inflated floor?
2. Is urethan a lot worse than Hypalon? (According to the owner it is more suseptible to pin holes)
3. What would be a reasonable price for this boat in good condition?

My uses would be primarily 2-3 day trips down the colorado from Kettering CO to Dotsero CO. I would have a dog with me so I wondered if that material is ok for a dog to be climbing on. Also, I'm planning to build my own frame from the plans that I've seen on here. I really appreciate any advice you might have. Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2009   #2
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,150
May I make another suggestion:
Check out the 13' tributary from Aire on their deals page under factor seconds. I bought a factor second super duper puma last year and it is great.

AIRE | Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks Whitewater Rafting Accessories and Boats

the 1422 cataraft tubes are also a good deal, and might be a cheaper way to go if you build a frame as per Chip's info

If you get a new boat, you won't need to worry, especially cause it sounds like you might be new to the rafting game, so you wouldn't want to be learing how to fix a bunch of stuff if your assessment of the used maravia turns out to not be accurate. Maybe I am wrong, but if you are new to rafting, beware of buying a used boat without a knowledgable freind to check it out in person with you.

With the Tributary you get a bomber 5 year warranty, and 10 if you by the regular Aire series. The factory seconds have the same warranty as the new boats. My factor second boat had such a small blemish, I was surpised they sold it at a discount, hardly noticable unless you knew it was there. Hope this helps.


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Old 01-07-2009   #3
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 292
a self bailing boat will have an inflatable floor. Without an inflatable floor, the boat wouldn't drain. bucket boats just have a sheet attached to the tubes as a floor, and obviously, don't drain.

Maravias are tough boats, but as a hard plastic boat, they don't roll well for storage, especially not anywhere cold. they crack.

did you see this Maravia blown up?
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Old 01-08-2009   #4
Buena Vista/Summit, N/A
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 144
marvs yes pin holes I have heard of and seen it after just one summer on the river, mostly pin holes in the floors, they like to put rocker in the outer tubes but not in the floor, so it kinks, creases and binds the floor rite in front of the front thwart and rite behind the rear thwart. in a nut shell my opinion is a not thaught out design that makes for un needed glue huffing. they are sweet rafts but the owners need to buck up and put some rocker in those floors. wings have rocker in the floors, sotars have rocker in the floors, nrs even puts rocker in the floors, i say just go buy an old AVON
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Old 01-08-2009   #5
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
Personally, I'd hold out for an old Avon also......but if you can get the boat for $1500.00 or less, IMO, it would be a good deal. The dog should be find climbing in and out of the boat. rolling it can be a problem, but if you keep it inflated on a trailer you'll never notice it and cut down on pinholes at the same time.
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Old 01-08-2009   #6
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
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Posts: 4,347
Maravia floors inflate flat, like a giant bed, not tubes like most other boats. I have a friend who swears by his, and they are considered a higher than average company, according to many. He found it was important to NOT over inflate the floor, or else the boat was bouncy.

Urethane is tough, considered "better" than hypalon by some/many. I don't know if they have had pinhole problems or not.

If it has holes, don't buy it. Make sure to see it inflated, and go around listening for leaks.

If you are just getting into boating used is the way to go. You'll figure out exactly what you want later.

Dogs are fine, they love to boat!.

Ask how they stored the boat in the winter, if it was rolled, don't get it. PLan to store it partially inflated, creasing the fabric over isn't good for it.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 01-08-2009   #7
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794
LOVE my Maravia....bought it used from AVA (because of the kick ass paint job).

Self-bailing = inflated floor....gotta have it. Personally I like urethane better than hypalon.....but storing/transporting/repairing is a little more difficult. Susceptible to pin holes, yes....creasing/folding is bad (for extended periods). Dogs are fine, the material is tough if taken care of. I like my boat rock hard solid....can't get there with hypalon, IMO.

Very important to ask how it was stored, if it was rolled there's a high likelyhood it has some weak spots that could become leaks pretty quickly. If it was stored flat or partially inflated, probably good.

No more than $1,500 for a 9yr. old boat....if it was used commercially there would have to be some patches (if so, make sure they were done professionally and not by some part-time guide trainee). Check the floor thoroughly to make sure it's webbed well (grommets and webbing in decent condition) and that there aren't too many patches.

Avon's are the Cadillac's of the boating world.....but even used are pretty damn expensive. I priced just a floor for a 16' Pro that I have and it was about $2,500 (not installed, just the floor)......
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Old 01-08-2009   #8
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
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Originally Posted by GoodTimes View Post
Avon's are the Cadillac's of the boating world.....but even used are pretty damn expensive.
I was going to disagree with you, then I thought perhaps that wasn't the best comparison

Coming from England, with the exchange rate, I don't think their price = quality, but I'm not saying those are bad boats at all.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 01-08-2009   #9
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
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Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
I was going to disagree with you, then I thought perhaps that wasn't the best comparison
Agreed....price is exhorbitant in comparison to the quality of other great boats out there. I'm just kinda biased because I grew up floatin' in em and learned how to row on my dad's and granddad's laps.

On topic though, lots of great used boats out there if you know what to look for and this is the BEST place to get advice on deals.

Hypalon might be better for a newb.....atleast I think so....maintenance/storage is just a liiiiiittle easier.
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Old 01-08-2009   #10
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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Two tests you should do on any used raft

Testing for Pinhole Leaks/Leaky patches:

Simple, inflate the boat until it is hard. Wait 8-24 hours, re-check the boat. If it is still rock solid all the way around it doesn't have any significant leaks. Also know that if the temperature is hotter when you check it than when it was inflated, the boat should be harder; if it is colder, the entire boat will be softer. Hopefully check it at a similar temp to when you inflated it, and do the entire test in the shade if possible so the sun won't heat the boat up a bunch - or ideally do the test in a garage so sun and big temperature differentials aren't an issue.

Testing for Baffle Integrity:

If you are new you need to know what a baffle is. A baffle is a flexible barrier inside the outer tube of the boat - you can't see it unless the boat is cut open. The outer tube is usually divided into 3 or 4 different chambers. This is done so that if one of the chambers pops you don't lose the air in the entire main tube. Of course the thwarts and the floor are also separate chambers. Broken baffles can be replaced, but they are usually quite expensive to do and reduce the value of the boat in significant way.

Testing the baffles is easy. Assuming you have four chambers, inflate two chambers that are opposite of each other, say the front left and the back right, leave the other chambers valves closed. Once your two chambers are inflated the other two chambers should remain empty and un-inflated. Ideally leave the boat like this for an hour or two to make sure that there aren't slow leaks in the baffles indicating weakness.

My 2 on Maravias: Good boats overall. They are actually PVC boats coated with Polyurethane to the best of my understanding. Polyurethane is a great material, PVC has it's pluses and minuses. The floors in Maravias, as with most PVC boats, is firmer and better for standing and fishing from than most hypalon boats. As mentioned above PVC boats are harder to roll compactly, ideally are stored flat or inflated, and are more susceptible to pinhole leaks. Personally I don't care for Maravia's thwart attachment system, but it is quite secure (unlike NRS's card system that always seems to be working itself loose). A Maravia wouldn't be my first choice, but for the right price I would pick one up, they are solid boats. Assuming that the boat is in decent condition and passes the above tests - I would guess the normal price range would be $1400-1800, under $1400 would be a good deal, under $1000 a steal, much above $1800 would seem overpriced to me, but I wouldn't be surprised to see people asking as much as $2200 or even $2500 - I just wouldn't pay that much. Also the condition of the boat is a large factor in determining the actual price, and commercial use is generally much, much, tougher on a boat than private use.

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