riken rafts??? - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-24-2016   #11
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 210
Riken was the successor to Campways (i.e., buyout) and production moved from Japan (Tokyo, actually) to Korea. Late 1980s to early 90s? Riken built and sold a ton of boats in variety of designs, from Pioneer to Aztec, including Miwok, Cheyenne, Shoshone, Nez Perce, Hualapai (that's what the boat on KSL is) and others I can't remember. Early on they were boats, i.e., what are now called bucket boats, later self-fillers (i.e., self-bailers). Regardless, both Campways and Riken had/have great reputation for the durability of their Hypalon. (riojedi's comment notwithstanding)
The Havasu, designed by Vladimir Kovalik (sp?) of Wilderness World, was a game-changer in the 17-18' class and lots of its features were incorporated by later big S/B rafts. There are Havasu's (I, II, and III's) still out there today, almost 40 years after production, running big water (Cat and the Grand, mostly).
NRS bought the Riken designs (Nez Perce and Hualapai at least) when Riken went OOB early 2000's. Production moved to Mexico, far as I know.
The Charger and River Rider and some Pioneer models are not quite as stout as the "commercial" quality boats manufactured by Riken. But I've seen all three boats in the last couple of years in Cat and on the Grand, properly cared for they last a long time.
I cut up my last Havasu rather than try to sell it for a "project boat." It would still go anywhere but was 2X or even 3X daily pumper and eventually the fabric rot just got beyond comfortable for extended trips. There are still a couple of Havasu III's at my pard's warehouse that are ready to run anything tomorrow, but you do need to pump 'em every morning - and maybe evening, too!

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Old 08-24-2016   #12
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 38
I just put 17 patches on a late 80's/early 90's 16 foot Nez Pierce and have run it twice down Deso. We'll use it to fish the Green, go out on lakes, run the San Juan, and Do the Moab Daily section of the Colorado. I call the the Millennium Falcon because she's old and beat up, but she's got it where it counts. It was a U of U rental for a long time and then made it's way to me after a few other owners. It ran the Grand 5 years ago, but I wouldn't trust her on it now. This boat was "rode hard and put up wet" a lot. All the leaks were due to folding and being stored folded. In the fall I'm going to put some of that interior pinhole sealer in it and catch the last of the pin hole leaks. She will live the rest of her days lightly inflated on the trailer in a garage so as to eek the last few reliable years out of her. I think I can get 4-5 years more doing 10-15 days a year. That'll get me a few years out of grad school, and I'll be able to afford something better. I don't fill her really tight as I want to avoid a blown seam and I'm not running anything above a mild class IV. That said, it's a great boat for my young family and the price is right.
The way I look at it: It is what it is, and it's not what it's not. It's not a shiny new Maravia. It is a high quality boat with a lot of river miles on it. I treat it accordingly and I'm not disappointed at all.
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Old 08-25-2016   #13
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 171
I appreciate you guys commenting on this. If this deal goes through it will let me get out on the water as a beginner without dumping in a huge amount of money, and a recently serviced late 90s Riken seems like a reasonably safe way to do it. So thanks.
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Old 08-25-2016   #14
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
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They are popular on the West coast, and yes, there are still many of them in service today as rental boats on the Deschutes in Oregon. My Dad has a 1996 Pioneer and I believe the Pioneers actually have the thicker, stiffer material. The Silver/ grey boats are regarded as the best material. Rikens were distributed through B & A in Portland Oregon and our local long standing raft shop Andy and Bax sold them. I think they are great, and I have friends still using their 20 year old Rikens with great success.
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Old 08-25-2016   #15
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
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Old 08-25-2016   #16
 
Denver, Colorado
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The one I am looking at is the seemingly typical grey top, red rubrail, and black lower tube. The seller didn't have an exact year (surely not the first owner) but said "15-20" years, and I'd assume closer to the latter. In the photo it does appear to have some fading, and I can see at least patch and there may be others.
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Old 08-25-2016   #17
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
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The last 3 digits of the hin number will be the month produced and year produced. So if the tag ends with 696, sixth month of 1996 would be when it was made


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