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Old 07-25-2015   #1
azpowell's Avatar
page, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 134
need opinions on new tributary rafts

i have been looking to buy a new boat for the family, i have my mind pretty much set on the new aire tributary 16hd. main reason for going with this boat is its cheap, and the deminstions will allow me to put my cat frame in it for now. just looking for some insight

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Old 07-25-2015   #2
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
Aire is a great company and Tribs are great boats. I'd be sure about interior width- it's kinda narrow for a 16' I would look at cooler dimensions and be sure you're not locking yourself out of a cooler large enough for your brood. Another consideration is color- I would never go with a dark colored boat for the rivers I float. I have no idea what Aire was thinking with this color change.

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Old 07-25-2015   #3
InflatableSteve's Avatar
Cave Creek, Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 671
I say go for it! I am a big fan of Aire. I have heard very few issues with the tributary line. There is the thread right now about the guy having zipper issues with the Tomcats, but to tell you the truth, I have probably seen more people post issues about higher end boats like Hyside and the like than Tributarys. That could just be a number thing than actual quality though. Since you would be actually dealing with Aire if something were to go wrong, you will be in good hands. Even if your boat is out of warranty they will give you the best solution for getting your problems solved.
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Old 07-25-2015   #4
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 102
I love my 14' non HD. The only possible downside I could see to the HD is it doesn't come with 3 thwarts if you ever intend to run it as a paddle boat - which is a lot of fun for the family.

You could probably find a cheaper used boat and your frame will probably fit in a lot of various boats (big 14s, 15's, small 16s). Or you could try finding a used 16 ft boat with frame for less than a new boat.

Since the frame fit is a huge factor try and find a shop that carries Tribs (or a used boat) that will let you blow up a boat and put your frame on it. Until you actually see what a frame looks like on a boat the wireframe numbers can be confusing / misleading.
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Old 07-26-2015   #5
azpowell's Avatar
page, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 134
I probably won't be able to find a used boat at what I could pick this one up for .... same perk you got on your 14, I would like to run it as a paddle boat on occasion... but that's definitely not going to be the norm... I would have no problem with a 14 but I really enjoyed running the grand canyon this year, and that extra 2 feet might come in handy if I miss my line in hance or get typewritered into the hole in upset again...any guides run the HD series yet that can comment on the durability of the new materials? How much of a shit show is it to roll up?
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Old 07-26-2015   #6
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
Read the Boat People review- they rave about how well it rolls

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Old 07-26-2015   #7
The Box, ~
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 199

The 2015 Trib 16ft HD is the exact same width and tube diameter as the AIRE 156R, by-so, you'll have 42" between tubes. The 42" width will give you numerous choices in today's cooler market to choose from.

This 2015 model comes with two thwarts and are now the exact same attachment as the AIRE line of thwarts, so you can borrow one or buy an extra used one if you need a third.

I have a 19 year old AIRE R series raft that is been used a lot and I've been extremely pleased with it. It has mostly ran silty desert rivers (90+%) and it has never had any silt issues. It has also not experienced the urban myth of moldy and mildew. On the other hand, I did see a old foam floor get a little mildew.

If I were in the market for a new raft, I would very likely buy the Trib myself. I'm not even sure I could justify paying $2000 more for an AIRE (with 2-Thwarts) over the Trib.

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Old 07-26-2015   #8
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 102
I have not seen any HD Tribs out on the water - commercial or private. In terms of durability I think it is probably fair to expect at the very least 80% of an AIRE lifespan. Not bad for a boat that retails around 75% of AIRE price and is much easier to find a great deal on. The material is 42 oz 2000 denier which is beefier than what the 37 oz 1670 of an AIRE. It is cheaper Chinese PVC but still very high quality.

They roll up much better than most PVC boats do - it is still a pretty big and heavy bundle though. My 14 is rolled right now at 38 inches long with a 22 inch diameter. The 16 will obviously roll up a bit larger, but the weight difference is gonna be big. I can carry my 14 rolled solo, but doubt I could handle a 16.

One concern I would have about the HD is how they added material (pretty decent amount too) and cut cost (by like 15%!). I doubt they took all of that hit on their margin - there has to be something they did besides include 1 less thwart.
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Old 07-26-2015   #9
DesertRatonIce's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 217
On the Arkansas river, I have seen a lot of Tribs floating down Numbers and Browns canyon. I even got a good boof of one a few week again. It felt like a pretty solid boat. I do know that a few years ago, thew were viewed as a inferior, cheap raft. This opinion is changing and Aire is putting some better thought into the new ones. I wouldnt buy a used one. Acquiring somebody's elses problems sucks. They are cheap enough to buy brand new.
A hole so big, it sucked the leaves off the tree.
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Old 07-27-2015   #10
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
It's my opinion that the Tribs have the best bang for the buck. The only reason I don't have one right now is because I don't like the new darker color scheme but that is just me. I've been watching for a lightly used 16' trib in the 2014 or earlier model but haven't found one as of yet.

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