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Old 06-23-2008   #31
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Gee, Aire has a 10 year warranty. That's pretty darn good, must be well built boats by a company that stands behind them.

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Old 06-23-2008   #32
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Originally Posted by raftus View Post
Coloradoboatman - if you have been in the industry so long, how come you can't spell Hyside correctly?

I was wondering that same thing. What kind of industry professional repeatedly calls it hiside.

Sounds like Aire speaks for itself.

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Old 06-23-2008   #33
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I'm on my second Aire boat- My first was a Jaguarundi cat that I had for 8 years, logging thousands of river miles as the over-loaded gear boat, before I sold it to someone who was happy to have it. Other than scuffs on the skid pads, it was still in great shape. The only problem I ever had with it was a leaky valve, and with the bladder system that's a relatively easy repair as long as you have the parts & some Marine Goop. Aside from the warranty, which is a big seller for me, I also like the fact that on-river repairs can be accomplished in half the time of boats that require a bunch of glue. Aire Tape and a Speedy Stitcher, and you're back in the water. Save the time-intensive glue repair for when you're back in your garage. New bladders are relatively cheap if you need to replace them past the warranty.

Now, I don't any kind of self-aggrandizing Super-Guide resume when it comes to rafting, but for 99% of the recreational users out there, you're going to easily get 10 years from their boats. If you take care of the valves & zippers, and 303 the fabric, you're going to get a ton of mileage. I believe that all warranty repairs for Colorado owners are now done by AAA, so you don't have to ship it to Idaho if it drops off the back of your truck.

Something about Coloradoboatman's post smells like a vendetta. What did they do, turn you down for a pro-deal despite the fact that you are The World's Most Knowledgeable Rafter?
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Old 06-23-2008   #34
I'm wrong 50% of the time
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RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
I have a s puma from 2000. Bought used with a large tear in the shell and bladder that had been repaired. The patch job on the shell was on the inside and held until last year. I did a new patch on the inside after coming off Wwater ( on river job was a duct tape patch just to hold shell together) and the boat is solid. I store it rolled up in the winter (against manufacturer wishes).

I called Aire about a weld on outside patch and they told me to send it to them or take it to an approved warranty repair center and they would take care of it.

Zippers can be a pain if you are not used to them. At home I spray off the zippers with the hose. Then I use a spray bottle with a 1/3 to 1/2 mixture of bio degradable dish soap and water. Use liberally on the zipper and clen with an old tooth brush. A keychain splitring w/ a 1 ft strap is better than using pliers on the zipper pull.

A little 303 every season (not on thwarts or top sides) keeps it looking pretty.

I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

I've also seen lots more Aire than any other raft in Co's manky IV+ and V creeks. I aslo have seen many many outfitters and companies using Aire boats.

I know nothing about vanguard. They look nice

my .02: Aire boats are quality, track well, can be repaired easily, are used by many people in CO and are built by a company that stands behind their Boats.
Claimer: Someone that makes a claim that they have been there and done that, can do anything you can do better than you. I hate "claimers"
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Old 06-23-2008   #35
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 328
Aire boats good.

I used mostly Aire boats during 7 years of guiding. The only time I have seen a major problem with the zipper was when someone left one without the ring on it, and then left it on the sand in the sun. When we got back the entire bladder had popped out of the side of the raft and exploded. But that was from total mistreatment. In my experience Aire rafts are bomber, easy to repair and go where you point them. Almost all of the people who I guided with agreed that Aire made quality products. I don't know what people are talkin bout when they say Aire rafts are cheap, they must be smokin cock.
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Old 06-23-2008   #36
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Yeah,and i'm pretty sure my Aire was not cheap.
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Old 06-23-2008   #37
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 103
Glued versus welded seams

The biggest difference between the two rafts (that I can tell) is that the Vanguards are glued together while the Aires are welded. What I've heard is that the PVC is constantly degassing and that it eventually weakens the glue, so the seam starts to come apart. Because Aires are welded this supposedly doesn't happen (and a 10 year warranty would seem to support this).

And by the way, I just went to the Vanguard website - I couldn't find nuthin' about a warranty and the page that discusses materials and construction is blank. I dunno, but that raises red flags in my book.

Personally, I don't own either. I have a gazillion-year-old, beat-to-hell NRS. I'd replace it if I had the dough, but it still gets me down the rio.
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Old 06-13-2012   #38
missoula, montana
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 46
I dig em all

I have three Aires, dropped 4700 on my 18ft' cougar, wouldn't call that cheap. I can load that hog down with just as much gear as any raft that I've been around. I also bought a 16' panther this spring that was made in 1993 from... get this... an Alaskan outfitter who used to haul out moose, grizzly bears, and haul four wheelers across streams with it. It still had blood drips on the tubes when I got it. I don't think it was taken care of very well from the looks of it, ibut doesn't have a single patch on it and I just slayed the biggest holes I could find on the Selway with it this spring. I bought a wildcat when I was fresh out of high school because it was affordable and I beat the holy living shit out of it. Ran it over boulders, drug it across pavement, and yanked it through deadfall. Its still holding aire fine and looks great. None of these boats leak a bit. plus their super easy to patch if it does happen.
I wouldn't knock any boats on the market today. I have friends that run cheap odyssey's year in and year out on the lochsa at every level. If you take care of your gear, keep it out of the sun as much as you can when your not using it, keep it dry and dont treat it like trash it should last you a long time. Whatever you end up with, you just better get it soon, the 2012 end of the world super tsunami is only a few months away and you'll need it.
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Old 06-13-2012   #39
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 74

I have had my Aire for over 10 years with no issue. They are far better boats than Vangaurd.
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Old 06-13-2012   #40
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vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
Thanks for resurrecting a dead thread. The only way Vanguard (am I the only one who can spell??) beats Aire is it's got more consonants. The idiot Colorado dude with four posts in 2008 and zero since is clearly a vanguard dealer. I own two Aires and used to own two more.

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aire, rafting

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