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Old 05-24-2007   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 143
Help - Which Raft to get I need to decide ASAP

I have 3 options and need to decide ASAP

1. A Brand new 2005 Aire Tributary 12' Self bailing floor - price $1420

2. A Brand new 13' Saturn Self bailing with paddles and a cheap pump. price - $1250

3. Keep waiting for something good to come up in Colorado used.

Please let me know what you guys think.

I'll probably split time between R-2ing bringing up to 4 people on day trips and a few over night camping trips. I really want something that is easy to r-2. I imagine the boat would get in the water between 10-15 days a year. Lots of colorado rivers and a few overnights on westwater, yampa, ark etc. Anyone have any experience with either of these boats? advice is much appreciated.


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Old 05-24-2007   #2
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
None of the above, (me personally). I would rather have an older used bomber boat, than a newer economy boat, but that's just me.

Edit: I didn't see option 3: I would wait for something good used. My 13ft Hyside R2's nicely, and has been on a few overnighters too. Mine is a 1995 model, looks like a worn out old crack whore, but holds air like brand new. I may sell it one day for something newish, but I can't quite justify it yet.

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Old 05-24-2007   #3
on your sister, ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 137
scratch the saturn,for sure.

i agree with WL that quality used boat is better than the other two options. Trouble is that the less $ you have for a raft the longer the search for what you want... and the summer is here and the water is flowing. Maybe get the Trib and save your pennies for something better when it comes up. Probably get a good chunk back when you sell the Trib if you don't destroy it.

At least with the trib you have a quality company like Aire behind it.
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Old 05-25-2007   #4
ecarlson972's Avatar
Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 288
Option three is your best bet! If you wait and be patient long enough something used will come up. My buddy bought a NRS expedition this spring off ebay that is practically brand new for $2200. He got lucky but it does happen.
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Old 05-25-2007   #5
rivermanryan's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
I love my Jack's Plastic Culebra. You can pick one up new in your price range. It won't allow you to pack much gear (light overnight gear is probably the max), but it is very forgiving, durable and allows you to R2 with someone without a lot of river experience. If you need more room for people and gear, go with a Puma, Super Puma or something similar. BTW- why were you selling a Puma on the swap if this is what you want?
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Old 05-25-2007   #6
west slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 49
i waited and ended up getting a 14' NRS older expedition for $1200.00.....and I love it.....i found it in gj .....be patient, your boat will come....no holes at all...material was great !!!! and yes, i do love bucket boats....
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Old 05-25-2007   #7
west slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 49
Nrs Gear Swap ???

post a wanted ad on NRS web site gear swap, i got a response the next day when i found my raft......just a suggestion......
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Old 05-25-2007   #8
I'm right 50% of the time
brendodendo's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
I'm assuming you are in GJ. So here is a list of places I would look. (all Links)
NRS Gear Swap
NickAds (search for raft)
Grand Junction Free Press (on side bar... classifieds ..... search ... Merchandise & Recreation .... IN .... instead of GJ Free press choose All 5 Dailies ( gets you Aspen Times, Vail Daily, Summit Daily News, Glenwood Post Independent and GJ Free Press)... Keyword ... Raft

There is a nice Maravia in the gear swap that is close in profile to a puma or super puma.

Greg at Timberline Tours 970-390-3020 has a bunch of rafts as well

I have a super puma and love it for r2 to r7. I have also used it as an overnight paddle raft with 4 people and support for 3 kayakers.
IU have a frame for it that I have heavily modified for my particular uses. Have done 7 days with 2 people on it. It is a tight fit for 4 people on an overnight as an oar rig, but it can be done. The super puma can go down anything. It is quick and stable. Great in low volume rivers and big water. I found mine here on the buzz. Screaming deal... $1650 for the rubber, a frame, 3 oars and 2 paddles. Thanks steven.

Hope this all helps.
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 05-25-2007   #9
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
Wait for something better to come along or get the trib and be ready to sell it later.

That said, I saw a Saturn run Siedell's last weekend. One of the boaters said that the water can't get to the bailing holes quickly enough because of a restriction between the tube and the floor.

monitor rafting and retail websites. Get a good idea of what you REALLY want in a raft, and learn what to look for (blown baffles, what valves you want, etc), how to look for it & inspect before you buy.

Good luck!


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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