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Old 07-09-2015   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 114
RMR vs old Achilles

Good evening,
I may have found a deal on a new RMR 14 foot boat, can get it for 2079, 20% off the retail of 2599.
I am currently running a 1985 Achilles bucket boat with a stretched floor and some of the strafing/bumper guard starting to peel in most of the guard. It is separated at one of the seams.
Debating buying a new one as I recently picked up a nrs bighorn frame that I will need to cut to fit the old Achilles, but don't want to cut it if I will need it longer for a newer raft in a few years. The current frame is too long and too wide.
How much more will I love the self bailing, what kind of life span can I count on for a PVC boat that's new. This old Achilles was used professionally for awhile and is still going strong, it is now 30 years old and probably has a decent amount of life left in it.

Please share thoughts and suggestions, I'm new to the rafting game, but hooked.

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Old 07-09-2015   #2
shredder-scott's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 257
Hi Jon

IMHO a sel bailing floor is a big improvement. ...that will = lots of smiles.

As a private boater you should see many years of life from that boat.....exactly how many....I have no idea.

If 2kish is what you got to is your rmr or a older used hypalon self think I would spend more and buy a lightly used hyside or othe hypalon boat.....plastic for sure works.....I just like rubber better for some reason.....may be it is the weight and roll up difference. ...I like smaller and lighter gear.


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Old 07-09-2015   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
The first time you plow through a big wave and see the boat half full of water one second, then watch it all drain out in about 10 seconds, you'll be sold on the self bailer.

I'll let others chime in on the rest of the debate.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-09-2015   #4
Coos Bay, 97420
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 21
I was in the the same boat last year (pun intended). I had a old bucket bucket boat with a great frame and boxes. I was in the 2K to to 2.5K budget range for a upgrade boat. So I found that I could buy a brand new RMR or a very old Hypalon. There is nothing like having something brand new. I went with the new RMR and have no regrets. Don't get me wrong, I wish I had Hypalon. But it was a struggle to spend that kind of money on something used (at 2K, the used ones were really used). As far as self bailing. No comparison. I spent the money just to have a self bailer. Best upgrade you will ever do. EVER...
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Old 07-10-2015   #5
River City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 195
NRS sells new side rails for 80-100, or you could source some aluminum side rails locally for less. That way it you want cut them to run it on your bucket but lengthen it later with a new boat you could. Or just stash that frame until you're ready for a new boat. Heck you could even source some cheap aluminum tubing for the shortened length you need for the Achilles and save the nice, uncut, anodized side rails for the next boat. That's the beauty of the NRS frame parts.

If you have the cash and want an upgrade to a self bailer you won't regret it. Just remember that if you are patient there will always be a deal out there. RMR, hypalon, or whatever.
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Old 07-10-2015   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 325
I have a 14' RMR and have been very pleased. Its my first raft, so I can't really compare it to rubber/hypalon from a performance standpoint. I can say that in comparison, it is heavy, and larger when rolled and I think its pretty well known that the PVC boats don't do as well with sun exposure. I've got mine stored on a trailer in the garage for the summer and I get out on the raft 1-2x per month so sun exposure isn't too big of a deal for me. And since its on the trailer, the weight and size (when rolled) isn't a consideration, and I baby the shit out of the thing so I plan to get alot of years out of it.
So, imo, if weight and sun exposure aren't a huge deal then I would highly recommend going with the RMR, its a great boat and a great value. If you need to roll the boat to transport and/or will be on the river multiple times per week and storing the boat outside, I'd maybe look at a lighter rubber/hypalon boat. With that said, storing a boat outside is going to shorten the life of any material.
Chris Morrison
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Old 07-10-2015   #7
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,932
I love our 18 foot Avon bucket. It rightfully earned the name "Fall Out Shelter" in the Grand and it has treated us well for summer trips down Deso, Salmon, etc. That said...

I am very happy to have also purchased a used 14 foot SB Avon Adventurer. It is a better choice on dailies, fringe season and to be honest my arms appreciate the reduction in work. It will be my go to boat for most trips just involving the two of us but we are definitely keeping the big boy. The principle change I have experienced with a SB is the behavior in squirrely water or zippered waves; it tends to slide more laterally than my bucket boat did. I am still playing with the exact amount I fill the floor to adapt to that change.

Best of luck in the choice.

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Old 07-10-2015   #8
2kanzam's Avatar
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 461
I'd go ahead and buy that RMR if I were you. Those boats are definitely the best deal around and a good solid raft for 2k really can't be beat. They are really heavy in my experience and don't roll up very small, but they are good boats.

I honestly like stiffer boats. I have hypalon, pvc, and urethane rafts of all different age classes. I don't really like the squishyness of hypalon anymore.

As far as the self bailing floor, you'll love it. There is something to be said for bucket boats (which I also have) in shallow light whitewater or fringe season fishing so you don't get wet, but overall it's a definite improvement.
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Old 07-10-2015   #9
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 728
Old Achilles = novelty, stopgap, lots of maintenance, wet feet.
New RMR = none of the above.

I appreciate older boats that are still in working condition, but man that thing is 30 years old! Go get your new boat, there is a bullet to bite to be sure, but you won't regret the ability to just go boating without wondering when the next fix has to happen before you can take out the old boat again. You may even be able to sell it for a few hundred bucks to go towards the new boat.
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Old 07-10-2015   #10
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AlanS's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 62
I loved my old Achilles, that boat was awesome, and we did some great runs together. But would I want to row it today? Not so much. Get the RMR.

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