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Old 08-16-2012   #41
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
Hey Bryan- Wondering if you could give us an update on your boat? I'm in a similar situation right now, trying to choose between these two brands for mostly the same reasons you were. I'm wondering if you have rowed Shoshone in your boat and how that length of boat handled in that (at least this year!) tight section? I'm also in Evergreen- you may see me towing my tan Sotar cat around sometime- Jeff

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Old 08-16-2012   #42
Cpt. No Scout
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In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
I own both a sotar (15 years old) and a maravia (13 years old) Both are sweet boats and you can't go too wrong with either. My .02

1.)Urethane coated PVC known for its durability, but heavy.

No real different in weight differenced noticed when actually on the river.

2.)Smooth floor which makes it nimble in the water. I hear it tracks well also?
Maravia floors are the bomb, if you use them properly. Tracking, turning, and bailing rate can all be somewhat controlled by how you lace the floor and how much air pressure you put in the floor. As with all drop stich floors, if you over inflate them they will develop pinholes. Maravia recomends 1.5 to 2.0 psi. Most ppl way over inflate them and cause thier own problems with the floor. My floor holds air all weekend and its 13 years old. My sotar I-Beam has blown once and is repaired. Sotar tracks better due to I-beam but don't do well when crossing strong currents in must move rapids.

3.)I see many more Maravias on the water here in Colorado and few Sotars making me think that at least most people feel it's a better or best raft out there.
Shouldn't even be a consideration in my book.

3.)Stiff when fully inflated.
Both boat can be adjusted easily by air pressure. You will find times when you want a flexi boat (ie Low rocky h2O and big rolling wave trains) and other times you may go stiff. When ya gota pound out 15 miles of lake.

4.)Nice color choices, wif and I both like the dark green.

1.) heavier by approx. 20-25lbs.
Thats just splitting hairs here. I have never heard anyone say, "only if my boat was 30 lbs lighter" maybe 50 or 100 would make a bigger difference

2.) Urethane coating makes patching slightly more difficult.
If I had to make a river patch, I would rather do it on my maravia. But really both boats a very easy to patch.

3.) Floor is PVC and not coated with Urethane.
The PVC floor is coated with stock urethane, not maravia urethane. You can apply new coats of urethane to floor. I have done that to the bottem of my maravia floor 3 years ago. Sotars a more difficult to apply urethane too, but still very doable

4.) have read that Urethane can crack over time.
I would disagree here and say that the cracks in tubes on both boats come from poor care. Maravia boats don't like to be folded and if done poorly will cause damage to both types of boats. Sotar boats are a bit better about folding. If you need a boat that will be folded often consider a rubber boat.

5.) needs to be shipped back to Maravia in Idaho for warranty work.
Not always ture. I believe that there are supported repair facilities in CO. and really you probabily wont need repair work for either boat.

Both are solid boats you can't go wrong with either boat. Just be careful out there and have fun. My "prefference" is maravia. My sotar only goes out with a friend needs a boat. But I'd never sell it and if my maravia dies then I would be a very happy camper to run the sotar the rest of my life.

PS, edited to realise that I am a bit late. as mentioned about your 16' boat will run like a 16' boat only weter.

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Old 08-16-2012   #43
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 505
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Old 09-07-2012   #44
Evergreen, Co.
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 153
I've been rowing the Maravia for two seasons now. Two trips down Gates of Ladore both at lower water levels many upper C trips (one at high water for what it's worth), a couple Sa Juan's. And several trips down Browns Canyon w at least one at high water Etc., my over all impression so far is that I have a very solid boat that will last 20 +years assuming its cared for properly. As you can see from my past trips I have not done any huge water in the boat yet, but from what can tell so far is that the boat should handle most anything you could throw at it within reason. The tracking is outstanding, and it is very nimble in both flat an whitewater. I will say that with my Typhoon being over 16 ft long and 7 ft wide it is a beast, and requires early set ups when heading down stream in fast moving water when loaded w gear. Probably true w any large boat. I am still getting used to rowing her and hence have put it up on a few rocks fully loaded and she so far is none the worse for it. I admitidly damn near wrapped her on pyramid rock at the bottom of zoom flume at 2,000 CFS loaded for overnight but was able to pull off a high side maneuver which meant hanging on to down river tube like spiderman bouncing while upriver tube all but fully submerged. This process took about 20 seconds and felt like forever. I think the stiffness of the Maravia fabric helped keep the boat from fully wrapping and eventually roll off the rock.
I have a wife and two kids and we pack the gear in there for long trips. This brings up the topic of how it handles being loaded w gear. I run a drop bag under front of frame with aluminum river table over the top of this for passenger seating. Behind this I have my dry box followed by rowing compartment with captains box on left and say cooler on right in custom sling from Jan at Stitchrs-N-Stuff. Then my 123 Engel fits under AAA flip seat. For gear storage in back I use again by Stitches -N-Stuff, an Everything bag. I love my set up and have had numerous complements of how clean everything fits in the boat. With the family loaded for an 8 day trip down the San Juan, we pack her to the hilt and she handles the load very well and usually seems to sit level in the water when passengers are loaded in front even w huge amounts of beer in the cooler. I do have my seat and oar towers positioned behind center of boat which looks a little odd on the river especially w such a long boat but doesn't seem to affect rowing that much. This was necessary to have three 19" compartments in my frame and 25 inches in rowing compartment which was what Mark at AAA assured me was the best set up. I deferred this decision to him since he has logged many many more river miles than myself and was going to be making my frame custom to this raft. He was right and I have no complaints about the set up, only praises (thanks Mark) I did go with the diamond plate runners for comfort. If I could make a complaint about my rig, it would be the weight of the boat and frame alone. It is virtually impossible to load and unload on the trailer without at least one other person. Preferrably you would have at least three people to trailer it at takeout. The other down side is the Maravia spray coat with grit in it stays filthy on the river and is not real easy to clean when you get home. I use a coarse straw brush to clean it when I do clean it and this helps get in between the course coating. I have two rafts, one is this Maravia Typhoon and a smaller fishing raft which is a RMR 12 ft. My kids are usually vocal when they hear we are taking the scratchy boat out ( the Maravia) because its hard on their arms an knees when climbing in and out of it. They are 5 and 8 years old and don't realize the benefits of the non skid to prevent slipping when walking in the tubes only that it is like sand paper on their skin. I like the rough coat and feel it is a plus concerning overall safety.
I would recommend this boat and I am especially sold on the dimenishing tubes for both handeling and roominess. even if you are a purest and feel like Maravia Williwa series is the only way to go, you should at least find a diminishing tube boat and row it to feel the difference. I do feel that the boat rows like a 15 footer instead of a 16.6ft. That being said it still is 16.6 ft long and requires early set up as stated above. I should also mention that when loaded and balanced properly, she will track fairly easily in as little as 6" of water. Feel free to contact me for more specifics if you like or want photos of my set up.
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Old 09-07-2012   #45
Evergreen, Co.
Paddling Since: 2000
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Correction, the Maravia Typhoon is 16 ft Long and 7'6" wide.
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Old 09-07-2012   #46
Winter Park/Canon City, Colorado
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Old 09-07-2012   #47
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ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
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Originally Posted by Bryan View Post

1.)Urethane coated PVC known for its durability, but heavy.
2.)Smooth floor which makes it nimble in the water. I hear it tracks well also?

1.) Maravia's are actually pretty darn light compared to any hypalon boat, or an AIRE.
2.) Maravia's actually track pretty poorly, unless you run a soft floor... always run a soft floor in a Maravia.

ps. I know they are heavy, but I firmly believe that AIRE's perform best on the water. As far as the floor goes, I've dealt with allot of AIRE floors and allot of Maravia floors... a floor is a floor is a pain in the ass no matter which way you slice it. And the zippers really aren't that bad. One Maravia floor perk though is that the wider lacings are allot easier to get your fingers in to climb on top of an upside down one! Good luck choosing your boat, whatever boat you get I'm sure will treat you well. And yeah, re-consider dark colors... can be a serious issue in the hot sun.
Journeys of a River Mamma Blog "Ever onward, ever forward, ever down the River!"- Ed Abbey
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Old 09-07-2012   #48
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
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You don't see many older maravias on the water if any. I know they had some serious issues in years past.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. KARL MARX
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Old 09-07-2012   #49
Evergreen, Co.
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 153
15 ft Hyside pro hypalon 119lbs
15 ft Maravia Williwaw 145lbs
I'd say Maravia is a fair amount heavier than its hypalon competitors.
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Old 09-07-2012   #50
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ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
Paddling Since: 1985
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I donno where you got your beta, but I didn't look up any numbers... I'm just going off of actually tossing boats around at the put in. & I toss allot of boats... You know though, honestly, I'm used to OLD hypalon. You can't tell me that an old Riken is light.

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