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Old 08-19-2015   #1
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Need Help: Maravia or Sotar

Looking to sell my 13ft and 16ft rafts and upgrade to a long lasting high quality raft in the 15ft range. Narrowed it down to Sotar and Maravia.

Any strong opinions of one over the other in the following areas:

Puncture resistance
UV resistance
Tracking and Handling
Resale Value
Sotar ST line vs SL line
Maravia standard vs deminishing tubes

I've done my research and am still on the fence. All of my trips use a 4 bay frame and most are overnights with two or three 1-2 week trips a year. max load is 800lbs. My goal is a great all around raft that will last 10-15 years.

Thanks for the opinions!

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Old 08-19-2015   #2
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 244
i bought my maravia 14x24 in 2003, used.

i still run it alot, it has no patches, no leaks. just this year i had someone ask me about my "brand new boat". i have no complaints with it. i think i got 29 days on the water this year, mostly day trips on class IV.

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Old 08-19-2015   #3
Frisco, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 19
Back when I was a guide we had several Maravia’s and they worked great and we bought our Sotar SL 14’ two years ago so I’ve got some experience with both… although I’m certainly not claiming to be an expert with either.

Puncture resistance: Maravia… that grit material wore holes in my board shorts when paddle guiding.
UV resistance: I imagine both are top notch… much better now than they used to be.
Longevity: Both.
Tracking and Handling: Sotar, no doubt. I was never a huge fan of the flat floors on the Maravia’s.
Resale Value: Couldn’t tell ya.
Design: Sotar.
Sotar ST line vs SL line: I’ve only had experiences with the ST… although the SL seems like it’d be an awesome ride!!
Maravia standard vs deminishing tubes: Same as above.
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Old 08-19-2015   #4
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 986
I've had my NRS 15 E series for about 12 years and have been nothing but happy with it. When it was about 4 or 5 years old I noticed a hiss when I filled it one winter. It turned out to be a leak in the baffle between the 2 front chambers. NRS fixed it free, paid freight both ways and had it back to me in a couple of weeks.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 08-19-2015   #5
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 102
^^^ pretty much any high end boat that you spend >$4000 on is going to be built to last and handle anything you can throw at it. I don't know if any companies in the business have reputations like NRS and AIRE for awesome
customer service and warranties.

IMHO the "performance" is all pretty comparable and not really that different when comparing boats made of the same material. Get whatever feels right and is priced right. The SOTAR hot sheet has some pretty tempting deals on it from time to time.
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Old 08-19-2015   #6
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
My passengers are generally not looking for a wetter ride, YMMV; I went with the ST.

FWIW, I recall some guides (Middle Fork River Expeditions) raving about their Rolls Royce Maravia's and speaking about the ability to customize by floor inflation -- harder for maneuverability, softer for tracking.
(I ended up with a Sotar anyway!)
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Old 08-19-2015   #7
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 46
I have no interest in hypalon or PVC boats. Thanks so far and keep the reports coming. Especially interested in Sotar SL vs ST for those that have tried both.

Not super happy that Maravia uses a PVC floor.
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Old 08-19-2015   #8
Caw! Caw!
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 62
I have a set of SOTAR cat tubes I bought new in 2006. I've been down dozens of rivers with them, I've dragged them over rocks, abused them, and have had no problems, no patches, no leaks, they hold air extremely well -- they're still going strong. So when I bought my round boat this year, I went SOTAR again, because I trust my past experience. They're great boats.

I went with the ST, primarily because of cost considerations, but I'm very happy with the boat. It tracks and maneuvers well, and hauls a boatload (heh) of stuff.

I hear really great things about Maravia, too, but I have no direct experience with them.

The designs are a little different, so you may want to check out which suit your needs better. I honestly don't think you can go wrong either way.
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Old 08-19-2015   #9
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,927
Originally Posted by galljr13 View Post
I have no interest in hypalon or PVC boats. Thanks so far and keep the reports coming. Especially interested in Sotar SL vs ST for those that have tried both.

Not super happy that Maravia uses a PVC floor.
Maravia is a manufacturer of PVC boats (not just the floor), they are just coated.

Its all subtle and personal experience so its going to vary. I have rowed multiple Maravias and while I like the geometry of rigs like the Spider I have been disappointed in the number of pinholes and leaks in just about every raft I have rowed from them. Its a rigid material that seems prone to such outcomes. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 08-19-2015   #10
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 727
I ran a SOTAR that had some of the toughest fabric I've ever been around for 25 years before I sold it. But you will be good with either.

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