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Old 04-12-2009   #1
Fort Defiance, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1900
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 17
11-12 foot raft + tube size

Hey everyone, so i'm still searching for a smaller raft, 12 footish, and would like to buy hypalon just because that is what I have used forever. I like the 21inch tubes of the NRS 14 footer, and thought that I might be able to find a smaller 11-12 foot boat with big tubes on it made out of hypalon but learned that other than avon (which I can't afford and don't wan't the weight) 18'' is as big as I can go. With that said, I stumbled onto Sotar's website just to check them out and saw that you can get 19's on a smaller boat and can get a custom rig, which I could potentially push to 21'' tubes. Maybe I am crazy and this is stupid of me to want to do? I dont know. Looking for advice. Anyways, I am super interested in the Sotar boats, and know they are a bit expensive but I could get exactly what I want and it sounds like they handle great. BUT, the downside I hear is the maintenance/care issues. I would have some room in my garage to leave the boat unrolled and partially deflated in the winter, but what I am more worried about is repair issues.

1. I know they're pretty tough, but if I were ever to spring a leak on the river, how difficult is it for repair to be done? I know hypalon is super easy, and am dreaming if I think they could be close, but how bad is it really?

2. And finally, possibly my dumbest question is, if needed, could I roll (haha?) this boat up to throw in the back of my truck or does it have to be on a flatbed for transport to the put in?

3. Is there such a thing as an 11-12 foot hypalon boat with 20-21 inch tubes?

4. People's overall impression of Sotar boats?

Probly dumb questions, sorry, just thought I would ask. Thanks a ton in advance

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Old 04-12-2009   #2
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
Sotar = Polyurethane, different from PVC. To the best of my understanding Poly doesn't have the same issues with rolling that PVC does - so roll away. Polyurethane is what many people now coat the high wear areas of their boats with - NRS, Hyside; and Maravia now coats their entire boats in poly - so it is tough stuff. Riverside repairs aren't bad, different glues and solevents than hypalon, otherwise quite similar.

I don't know of a 11-12' Hypalon boat w/ 20-21 inch tubes.

My impression of Sotar is that they make one of the best boats on the market.

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Old 04-12-2009   #3
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
Sotar's are recommended to be stored inflated/partially inflated. I've never used a pvc boat, so I can't compare how hard they are to roll. My sotar did come rolled, and while it was much stiffer than our previous nrs otter, it didn't seem unbearable.

After some thought, if you can store it inflated (or partially), and need to roll for transport, that would probably work just fine.
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 04-12-2009   #4
The Box, ~
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 199
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Originally Posted by mattvogt7 View Post
3. Is there such a thing as an 11-12 foot hypalon boat with 20-21 inch tubes?
I've not seen over sized tubes on a smaller raft since Pro Advantage (Legacy Rafts) went under after the 80's.

21" tubes on a 11' raft would have a compartment space of a duckie, I would think! If the boat was 11' x 5'2", that would leave you with only 20" between tubes. You would barely get a rocket box in there sideways.
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Old 04-13-2009   #5
Mr Beaver's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 188
I am basing my opinions on my Aire Super Puma, because that is what I own, but I have to agree with henry, you wouldn't have much room at all with 21" tubes.

I was looking for about the same size boat you are and really your options are a reducing dia. tube, if you want to have any interior space.

I went with an Aire, because I was familiar with them, my friend literally patched his once with duct tape and it lasted 2 days on the river and we never really topped it off. I don't know much about Hypalon repairs.

Let us know what you plan to do with the thing and people might have better suggestions. I am guessing R2 and overnighters?

If you really want Hypalon I would suggest NRS E series, it will be the last boat you buy however, so pick a color you like.
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