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Old 07-10-2007   #1
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1
New raft - suggestions?

I'm looking to buy a new 13'+ whitewater raft and I'm wondering about member's experience with Maravia and NRS rafts in comparison. Mostly to be used for spring runoff on the Animas River (Durango area) and the Arkansas, and later in the season for more mild trips and fishing. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 07-10-2007   #2
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
I've had an NRS E-140 for four years and love it. It handles well empty or loaded, as an oar rig or paddle raft, and it's bombproof.

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Old 07-10-2007   #3
on your sister, ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 137
I owned a Maravia Ranger a few years ago. It's a fine boat if you trailer it. If you don't trailer and need to roll it up small and frequently or plan to do fly in / pack horse put in then go hypalon / nrs. Maravias are a serious pain in the ass to roll up due to the material stiffness and a big reason I sold it.
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Old 07-10-2007   #4
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I don't have a firm opinion about either boat (I have an Aire), but if budget is an issue, then you might wait until the off-season at NRS this winter. You can save about 15% if you order your boat in September for January delivery. It's supposed to keep their boat builders busy during the slow season. Check with an NRS dealer.
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Old 07-11-2007   #5
oarbender's Avatar
ww guide/ frame builder/welder, mobile fabrication gig
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 247
I love my maravia willawa 2, but agree that they are pretty tuff to roll. IMO its not to bad, but in comparison to rolling other boats....hypalon, it is more difficult.
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Old 07-11-2007   #6
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 151
NRS makes great rafts. I drove one for many years commercially. They stand up well to abuse and handle really nicely too. They may be already sold out for the year though. The years production run tends to sell by May.

Don't know much about Maravias other than they are really stiff and handle differently than rubber/ soft PVC boats. I think that these stiff boats (Maravia, Wing, etc) tend to flip more easily, but thats just an assertion on my part. They also make your butt more sore from sitting on them all day.

Maybe look into a Vanguard. They are a pretty good deal for the money. Essentially a copy of an Avon, with as higher floor. NRS are Avon copies as well. I have a 14' Vanguard and like the way it handles.
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Old 07-11-2007   #7
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
I have a 13' NRS otter, and love it. But, NRS significantly downgraded their construction of their rafts last year. You can find it on their website. Not as thick hypalon, not as bit wear patches, etc. They are now made somewhere offshore, China or something like that.

I have a friend who just got a Maravia and it seems far superior in construction. The urethane is applied after all of the accessories, so all the handles and drings and such are further protected. Plus the seams are coated in the urethane. Overall it seems to be a great boat, but I believe they are a bit more expensive.

The Maravia floor is really cool too, not tubes like the NRS but what seems to be a solid floor. Not sure how they do it.

Maravia uses rope to hold the floor to the boat, which seems inferior, but given all the pluses of their boats they probably have good reason.

Plus you can get it in any color.

P.S. Get a 14' as 13 - 14 is the cutoff for larger tubes, wider boat and they are much roomier. Unless you want to run lots of low water, I would like to have a 14' for the room.
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Old 07-11-2007   #8
oarbender's Avatar
ww guide/ frame builder/welder, mobile fabrication gig
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 247
Ive never owned anything other than a lace in floor. I may be missing something, but i like the idea of being able to remove thr floor without trouble. I bought my boat used, and it had a small tear in the floor. it was sent back to maravia for a factory repair, and by pulling the floor the cost of shipping was well worth pulling it out.

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Old 07-11-2007   #9
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 137
I Love this Boat.Quick Fast to turn. Aire is a good company.

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