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Old 05-29-2012   #1
Aflo's Avatar
Nederland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 35
Looking for a raft

I'm looking for a used 14 self bailing raft. I have about 1000 to spend possibly more. It doesn't have to be pretty just semi reliable. Thanks

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Old 05-29-2012   #2
Conifer, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 131
Keep an eye on the Swap here on Mt.Buzz. Or the NRS Gear Swap. And Craigslist for most of the western states can be a good place to look too.

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Old 05-29-2012   #3
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
IMHO, increase your budget to $1,500-1,800 and you can buy a self-bailer in a lot better condition.

Deals can be had for $1k, but most likely, you'll find pretty worn-out rafts.
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Old 05-29-2012   #4
Scottsdale, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 48
I bought a new Saturn 2 years ago for $1200 and I am very happy with it. I live in AZ so there are not as many boating days as up north so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on one. It has been down several 4 day trips on the Verde and Salt without any issues. My only complaint with it is the crapy valves but they have replaced them with leafield on the 2012 boats. For a little more you can get a new Rocky Mountain raft that is welded pvc instead of the glued Saturn. I would have loved to get an Aire or NRS but it wasn't in the budget.
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Old 05-29-2012   #5
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
My buddy is rowing a Saturn for 3 years now, he beats the hell out of it and it's going strong through all Southwest rivers. I think he paid $1200 as well
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Old 05-29-2012   #6
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 11
I agree with the above post regarding your price range. I looked in the $1000 range for about a year and a half, constantly checking the buzz and my regional classifieds. What I found is that there isn't much middle ground for used rafts. Owners usually buy a new one and run it until it doesn't float any more. I found a lot of 20+ year old rafts for several hundred dollars and most of them couldn't guarantee to hold air more than a day. The next step up was a really nice used raft in the $2k+ range and at this point you might as well buy new.

I thought I found my boat when I bought a used Riken raft for $350 that "holds air well." That it did until I discovered it had a blown baffle between it's only 2 chambers just 3 days before a planned trip. Too risky for me. Ended up calling a local guy who imports PVC boats from China (think Saturn) and he had 2 left in the size I was looking for. Paid $1400 for a brand new boat and I love it. Hardcore gearheads and boat snobs will grill me for this (haters gonna hate) but I feel like I made the best decision for myself. Took it on the San Juan a few weeks ago and loved it. Also should note I am a more casual boater (2-3 trips a year).

So FWIW I would recommend upping the amount your willing to pay or going with something like myself. It's just not worth getting a used boat in that range that may have a lot of problems.

If you're interested here is the guy that sold me my boat (in SLC, UT):

Classifieds for Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming |
Your Site Name - Boats - Boats

He had one 14' left as of a few weeks ago, but I think he can always order more and can even get them made custom(not sure the price difference). I'm convinced these are made in the exact same factory as the Saturns or any other chinese PVC boat you can find online). If not, they are extremely similar.
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Old 05-29-2012   #7
NorthernAZ's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 93
Craigslist is a great resource especially if you use a smartphone or some other means of instant notification. Be patient, but jump on any deals that look good-they won't last more than a few hours. I picked up my boat that way but have missed several good ones since. Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2012   #8
snakester's Avatar
Mesa, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 161
Aflo, are you looking for just the rubber or a raft / frame set up?
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Old 05-30-2012   #9
Aflo's Avatar
Nederland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by snakester
Aflo, are you looking for just the rubber or a raft / frame set up?
I want a raft frame setup but can do the rubber first then make the frame
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Old 05-30-2012   #10
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 338
KSL.COM has some really cheap boats with frame.

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