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Old 08-11-2010   #11
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 41
most of our range of water conditions will be flooded rivers with probably class 2&3 current but with extremely large volumes of water with water up in the trees, allthough we were in OKLA. City back in June rescueing in the residentual areas, need something versitale and portable we have a 16' Zodiac type raft with a 35hp outboard but can't allways get the trailer to the water.

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Old 08-11-2010   #12
rivermanryan's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580

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Old 08-11-2010   #13
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
As with many of us, a glued PVC boat is the issue. I know even Sotar has had problems with material de-laminating and pinhole leaks, and they have a pretty badass weld technique. I am wondering if there is a glue seam that will have the same strength as a welded seam like a Sotar or even Aire?
I know Hypalon boats are welded and can last a long, long time, but that material is a different matter. I like the PVC material in general. I'm a pretty big fan of Aire and Sotar, having owned one and paddled the other. I've had the most experience in Rikens, as my Dad has a 13 year old Pioneer and the first WW raft I rode in at the ripe old age of 9 was a 1987 Riken self bailer. That raft is still being used to do overnight trips!
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Old 08-11-2010   #14
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 41
I like the sound of the 13 year old raft still going strong, I don't know a whole lot about any of them, thats why I wanted some of you guys that know and that have used several different kinds to give me some advice. I need something that will hold up and take some abuse. Using it as a rescue raft, we may be going over rocks and trees one day and flooded asphalt the next, thanks for any help.
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Old 08-12-2010   #15
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
If you're going to be using it as a rescue raft, I'd suggest looking at the Aire boats. The one defining difference between the Airecell system and other boats is that the bladder configuration lets you repair a tear or a puncture very quickly, rather than to have to set glue & wait.
Plus they have a long warranty (10 years). The downside if that the boats are on the heavier side; but since you have a team and it'll be a 12' to 14' boat, I don't think that's an issue. Call them to see if they offer a discount to rescue groups - I've been very impressed with Aire customer service.

I think cheap boats have their place - I may pick up one of these inexpensive 12 footers eventually to take the kids paddle rafting (rather than on my Aire 156), and a smaller investment for light use is a good trade-off.
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Old 08-12-2010   #16
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
Sounds like you have big water and flooded trailer parks covered with the 16'er... If you are looking for something light and fast I would consider a 12' or 13' boat, and if it is an agency buying go with a quality boat.. look into Avon or Hyside. This size is very maneuverable and very versatile.
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Old 08-12-2010   #17
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 41
Thanks guys, I will be getting in touch with these companys to see what they have and maybe I can get a demo or a price break, money is tight right now in the fire and rescue world, spending it all on the Afgan's I guess.
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Old 08-12-2010   #18
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
try jacks plastic welding. they have made alot of custom boats for rescue applications. they are usually pretty interested in projects like that.

i'd suggest a small, straight tube (no rocker), cat. easier to scoop a pt, load a backboard, and easier to mount an outboard.
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Old 08-12-2010   #19
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Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
hypalon boats are glued.
zach baird
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Old 08-12-2010   #20
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 41
what is the diference between glued and welded, which is better or less apt to give me problems, I don't know much about either one.

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