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Old 08-29-2010   #41
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Hmnn, anyone who thinks an Avon handles has never driven a Wing, or a Sotar, or a Maravia, or a Dib, and so on and so on.
An AVON doesn't in go with the flow......

Raft guides learn to race down the you get older you'll learn to go with the flow and spin to win. I leave my driving to motor boats.

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Old 08-29-2010   #42
Huntsville, Alabama
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by caverdan View Post
An AVON doesn't in go with the flow......

Raft guides learn to race down the you get older you'll learn to go with the flow and spin to win. I leave my driving to motor boats.
Thanks for explaining that.

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Old 08-29-2010   #43
Goshen, New York
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 63
Haha, just stirring the pot. I probably wouldn't mind rowing one, but having to J stroke them with an 8 load of Americas chubbiest non paddlers is not my idea of a good time.
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Old 08-29-2010   #44
JustKip's Avatar
Fresno, California
Paddling Since: 1979
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Haha, just stirring the pot. I probably wouldn't mind rowing one, but having to J stroke them with an 8 load of Americas chubbiest non paddlers is not my idea of a good time.
This brings up another important point.
Several people have recomended that the OP get a 14 footer. While that would be good for multi-day trips, family fishing, or 5 peeps and a cooler and drybags, it might be a bit much for a couple and 3 small kids...unless you row it. I have a freind who rows a 12 foot Otter from the stern with 4 bow paddlers, so 12 IS big enough for 2 adults and 3 kids. He also flips a lot on some of the bigger class III rapids we've done together.

ANY 14 foot boat will be a handfull for the family on dry land , but Maravia is lightest and on the water it performs like a dancing bear.

FWIW; I love my NRS E-136 for gear hualing or groups of up to 7, but it's too heavy for two to handle. I bought my Sotar Legend cat for 1-2 peeps playing and day trips.
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Old 08-29-2010   #45
Eugene, Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
I find it interesting the STRONG opinions many of you have about your boats.

From my research and what you have said, I see that there are many good boats ... both Hypalon and PVC coatings.

I'll probably be looking for a good used boat (not old) at the end of the season-probably a smaller one (12'-13') because my family is small and it will be my wife and I doing most of the maneuvering until the boys get older.

For the rest of the season I will continue to have fun in my cheap, but fun, Sevylor Rogue (with one family member at a time).

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Old 08-29-2010   #46
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 140
I own a Avon, a Hyside and a 14' Saturn. I like most things about the Saturn except for 1 item. The valves suck. I am hoping to replace all the valves this winter. When I try to close the valves after deflating and then inflating the boat, the valves stay open. It has happened with most of the valves on the boat 1 time or another. The boat is new this season. I worry about taking the boat out because of the valves.

I enjoyed running the Saturn as a paddle boat with anywhere from 2 - 6 people in the boat. It rowed well. Since it is PVC it is a bear to roll up. There is not seam tape on the edges which concerns me.

If you have the chance, see if you can find a used hypalon boat. I bought the Avon from an outfitter. The boat is over 30 years old and it is still going strong. The Hyside cat is probably 20 years old and was not run commercially. There is very little wear on that boat.

Unless you only run class 2 water I think you would prefer a 14' boat with the little ones. And when they get older, the boat will be big enough for them when they want to take their friends out and leave the old man home.

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Old 09-16-2010   #47
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4
So here's my advice to you. I own a 2010 13 ft Saturn raft. I purchased it at the beginning of this season and had it shipped to Portland, OR.(If your ever in town and want to see it feel free to contact me) I overall love this boat it is the right size to really enjoy the whitewater. I purchased this because I already own a 15 foot old balls Sotar gear boat and needed something smaller for high class small rivers. The one thing I don't like about it is the valves. They work fine almost all the time except they occasionally get a bit stuck but come undone right away. Good size for a fun paddle boat, but I still think you should go with a 14 footer. The price is great $1350 for a new boat. Now I'm not sure how long it will last, only time will tell. I store mine inflated and deflate it to travel. The floor is so thick it's almost overkill, but at least I know it won't ever get a hole in it. So I guess your stuck with the decision of what you can afford and raft life expectancy. Used rafts are always way overpriced in my opinion(even though I did find a steal on my Sotar-Rare find though). So you can either spend, $1800+ used hypalon-15 yea,rs left of life depending on age, $3700+ new hypalon-20-35 years of life, or $1350 for PVC Saturn-maybe 15 years tops out of it, maybe more time will tell. It's all about what you can afford. I could afford a $4000+ dollar raft I just could'nt justify it, so I gambled and bought a Saturn. So far it has been great. So get whatever you want and get out on the RIVER. So many great ones in Oregon.
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Old 09-21-2010   #48
Eugene, Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Your reasoning makes sense bodacious29.

Good conclusion: "So get whatever you want and get out on the RIVER."!!!
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Old 09-22-2010   #49
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
Originally Posted by caverdan View Post
An AVON doesn't in go with the flow......

Raft guides learn to race down the you get older you'll learn to go with the flow and spin to win. I leave my driving to motor boats.
What, no rapids in the rivers you run?
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 03-21-2011   #50
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by RCinAL View Post
Here is my 2 cents:

There is no easier raft to own and care for than those coated with hypalon. There is no coating more impervious to the elements - you don't see PVC or urethane being installed as roofing on hospitals and office buildings. There is no other coating proven to outlast it that I am aware of, and if there is it will come with other issues like stress cracking when stored rolled up; or being difficult and expensive to repair; or becoming brittle with time and temperature extremes. Hypalon, being rubber-based instead of plastic, rolls and stores better than anything else on the market because it doesn't tend to bend in the same place every time and develope stress cracks that will cause weakness and, eventually certain failure. And if hypalon gets a hole (doubtful on the rivers you describe) you just glue on a patch and it is there for the life of the boat.

I have owned hypalon rafts for 20 years and all I have ever done to "care" for them is ride them hard, roll them up, and sling them in the shed wet. Never needed a trailer either. I just throw them rolled in the back of whatever vehicle I am riding in and go. If you don't have the room, one of those trailer hitch carriers works great. My last Hyside still looked to be brand new after 15 years of what some would call "neglect". I used it on some pretty scrapy class III and IV rivers, 20 weekends a year at the time. It sold fast too. The new owners paid to have it shipped accross the country on top of the asking price and were overjoyed to get it.

The only draw-backs you hear from the nay-sayers is expense, weight, and "performance". I will give them expense and weight - the finest, most durable boats are not cheap or light - but if they do not like the performance they have never paddled an Avon or Hyside. Some complain that they are not as ridgid as the plastic boats, but my 13' and 14' hypalon boats worked great with up to 8 paddlers and this was never an issue.

If you want a boat to enjoy with no regrets, to use and abuse without consequence for decades, you just can't beat hypalon. Period.
dude. I have about 1000 days on the water. I have been a professional guide for 12 years, as well as being a representative for a manufacturer (completely neutral in this case) in the industry, and my family has been in outfitting for 18 years, and owns one of the most successful and accomplished outfits on the Salmon R. I've run Avon, Hyside, NRS, Aire, Maravia, Wing, Sotar, Riken, Achilles, and many more... There is no truth to saying that a hypalon boat performs better than a urethane boat; none AT ALL, and anyone who has ran professionally and has any sense to them will tell you the same. A urethane boat is durable as hell, an hypalon boat has not one chance whatsoever of competing in that department, there is no manufacturer in the world that makes a hypalon boat as durable as what Sotar, Wing, and maravia are putting out there; this is why rivers like 6 mile in AK, and so forth cannot run hypalon. I've seen hypalon boats literally pop when used by guides who are used to the durability of a maravia... I'm so sorry, but this is just such HS. I just want to speak to anyone that may read this and get the wrong idea. What is being said here is complete hogwash. Hypalon boats are fine in some cases, but Urethane boats like Maravia, Wing, and Sotar, are by FAR, and I mean BY FAR superior as far as weight to strength, build quality, and durability. Now, let's get this straight here. I've seen, not one, not two, not three, not four, but I've seen HUNDREDS of patches on hypalon boats. If you run a hypalon boat and you're a professional (sorry for being offensive here to the guy from Alabama) in a place like Idaho where you're 6 days from a road and everything the boat touches is granite, you MUST carry a patch kit. Running Maravias, companies run full boar, and 5-6 years later they have NO patches on their boats. 5-6 years with some hypalon boats and they are toast. My .02 cents, and you kiddies out there better take a listen. Hypalon boats are also worse for the environment as they are complete litter, all over the landfills, and they are typically the cheaper built ones since the material is CHEAP. YES CHEAP. Urethane is far far more expensive to build. You want a nice boat for personal rec use; get a nice hypalon boat, no problem; but saying that they are superior to urethane is on par with saying that your moped is better at pulling your 5th wheel than an F-350... sorry man, but what you said there is complete hogwash. Saying their a great value is absolutely true; as urethane boats like I mentioned are expensive. But aside from that; advantages stem overwhelmingly to the urethane boats. Anyone who seriously disagrees should take a physics class and study the composition of the two materials, and take a few interviews with some outfitters in Idaho. I've run the Gauley, and I realize that Hyside, and NRS are widely used there and all over, but there is one great reason for this: profit. You can buy 2 hypalon boats for the cost of one maravia. the only thing you could say is that the boats track better or something like that, which isn't true either really, but if you can't run a boat, then I'm sure the boats mentioned here will suit you fine... seriously.. this is a silly conversation to be having.

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