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Old 02-18-2016   #31
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
You have to get to the inner bladder- in a loaded boat. Patching the outside isn't going to do a thing

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Old 02-18-2016   #32
Matty's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 213
I own 2 Hysides and love them. I'll leave the question of manufacturer to those with more knowledge of the Aire and Sotar lines.
My question is:
Why do you think you see so many 14' boats on the buzz, and so few 16' boats?

I would say the reason is that many of us start with a 14' boat thinking that it will be cheaper and the lack of cargo and passenger room won't be a problem. Then, after a few years, we realize how happy we would be with a bit more space. Then we sell our 14' boats and take the hit on the depreciation. You don't see many used 16' boats, because most of the 16' owners have already made the expensive mistake of trying to make due with a smaller rig.

I have a Hyside Pro 16 XT for multi days with the family, and a Mini Max with a super light day frame setup. Couldn't be happier with either. Well, that's not true, wish I could justify an 18'...

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Old 02-18-2016   #33
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
I know I'm going to catch hell for this one but I'm really starting to wonder. First, puncture resistance is not the same as abrasion resistance and I don't think the Sotar is any more puncture resistant than the Aire. Everyone says they are more abrasion resistant but I can't find anything to back that up. In the last three years I have visited tons of commercial outfits in five states and the Sotar boats didn't have any less problems than the Aires. In fact the only boats that showed an advantage were the Maravias. Honestly, Is there any independent research or test to confirm the claim about the materials? I'm not saying that it is one way or the other but I'm simply not convinced. And, I've seen A LOT of boats in the last three years, one thing I can say for certain is that the Sotar material is not "much" stronger in any form.

nubjam, you are going to hear a lot of stuff from a lot of people and my two cents are that there are 6 High end boat makers that all fit in the "top end" category. On a scale of 1 to 10 they all range in the 7-9 area as far as "strong" materals go. They will all last you for the majority of your boating life. I personally love Aire boats because of the Warranty, inner bladder and easy of repair and the materiel is still very strong, if not quite as strong as some of the others, but keep in mind that Aire boats can be back on the water within minutes of a puncture and then they are the only boat that can have a patch welded from the inside so that it is stronger than it was before.

Also nubjam, make sure you check your PMs
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Old 02-18-2016   #34
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,150
I call this a troll.

Both brands are great. You will be happy with either.
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Old 02-18-2016   #35
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
Why does Aire offer urethane as a costly upgrade if there is no advantage?

P.S. If you're gonna claim 6 top brands, ya gotta step up and name them!

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Old 02-18-2016   #36
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Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 781
Originally Posted by Osseous View Post
Why does Aire offer urethane as a costly upgrade if there is no advantage?

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Cause some people will pay it. 😆

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Old 02-18-2016   #37
bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11
Thanks everyone for the input. This has been a really interesting discussion - very helpful.
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Old 02-18-2016   #38
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
I use PVC flylines and I use urethane fly lines. PVC barely lasts a season- urethane lasts and lasts. I've yet to wear one out, actually. Clean it and it looks like new. The PVC cracks and takes on crud that you cannot get out of the material.

I like Aire boats- but I believe their urethane is an upgrade for sure.

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Old 02-18-2016   #39
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Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
This may have been asked and answered, but how are you storing it? If you can keep in on the trailer, and sheltered all year, then a shiny SOTAR would be what I say since it is what you said. Get another year out of your old rig and wait for the fall say where the price will be 20$ off. They always go on sale.

I don't think you need the top chafe. Wait until (a decade or more) you start seeing real wear on you tube tops then send the boat in and have it all serviced and tidied and add wear strips then. Unless of course you just need that different colored accent to get afloat...

If you want to save a bit of dough, and especially if you want to store the boat rolled up, look at a quality used Hypalon boat. They really do store better that way than PVC or Urethane. You can go new Hypalon too of course.... Good luck.

AIREs are great. I own one. I roll it up wet and store it in the garage... Its my hard-use creeker/ELF boat. I don't expect it to last as long as my other boats. Sometimes if I haven't gotten out in a while, it smells when I open it up. Sometimes it grows a funny slime layer too--like it's pissed at me for not storing it properly and wants me to fall in the river...
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Old 02-18-2016   #40
Atomicrider's Avatar
Arco, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 74
I've spent quite a bit of time rowing a 156D, it's a great boat. One thing to throw out there, although I do like the look/lines of the diminishing tubes, you might look into the R version for handling the bigger loads associated with a family.

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