AIRE, MARAVIA rafts - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-01-2009   #1
bth
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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AIRE, MARAVIA rafts

just sold my 14' Sotar boat, and am looking to get a larger boat for my growing family.
If you have an AIRE R series (esp. a 156) or a Maravia Williwaw II, Cyclone, or Mistral will you let me know what you like/don't like about them??

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-01-2009   #2
 
timbuktu, Colorado
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I have a 156R, very well built, very stable boat. The main difference is the floor and of course virtually everything else about the construction. Aire's floors effectively have a ballast due to the floor filling with water. I've never owned a Maravia but I have been behind the oars on several. They have a more sporty feel.

For pure family truckster purposes I like the Aire. It's a really safe 3000 lbs capacity boat. If you ever consider adding the fishing frame, I personally would go with a Maravia for more versatility. It will handle the family thing in high style.
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Old 10-02-2009   #3
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Maravias track better than any boat I've ever seen. You don't even have to buy oars, you just tell it where to go.

Aire has a 10 year, awesome warranty and great boats. I don't think you can go wrong with either of these. Unless... do you plan to store them inflated. If not; if you have to roll it a lot, consider Hypalon.
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Old 10-02-2009   #4
 
Evergreen, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarmonymatoid View Post
I have a 156R, very well built, very stable boat. The main difference is the floor and of course virtually everything else about the construction. Aire's floors effectively have a ballast due to the floor filling with water..
Why do the aire floors fill up with water? I helped at a putout with an aire 156 D last year at Westwater, and the boat had gallons and gallons of water coming out of it when we pulled it out of the water. Is this a good thing somehow?
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Old 10-02-2009   #5
 
timbuktu, Colorado
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Originally Posted by kevdog View Post
Why do the aire floors fill up with water? I helped at a putout with an aire 156 D last year at Westwater, and the boat had gallons and gallons of water coming out of it when we pulled it out of the water. Is this a good thing somehow?
Good question. When I bought mine I didn't realize that they were designed this way. I don't disagree with Randaddy that Maravia's track well... but Aire's track like they are attached to an underwater cable.

Several of my boating friends have noted that I seem to work less than them on windy days as long as I keep that mass of water(the bottom of the floor) right in the current. I personally think you work harder to get back in the current if you get pushed out.

That's why I say I prefer the Maravia floor on tighter fishing floats where you are looking to surf on the edge of an eddy. You work a lot harder with the Aire to stay put.
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Old 10-02-2009   #6
 
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Originally Posted by kevdog View Post
Why do the aire floors fill up with water? I helped at a putout with an aire 156 D last year at Westwater, and the boat had gallons and gallons of water coming out of it when we pulled it out of the water. Is this a good thing somehow?
The floor is essentially an air mattress in side a sausage casing. The space below the mattress between the baffles, but inside the casing fils with water. It is below the the waterline, so it doesn't truly add to the wight you are trying to float, but if the boat tries to flip, then that weight comes into play in your favor. It is clearly weight that you have to move to ferry, so it is not without drawbacks.

They tout it as a design feature, but I think it is more just inherent in the whole air cell and casing scheme. The boat is all zippered together and the zippers are not water tight.
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Old 10-02-2009   #7
 
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
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Copied from Aire page
Two different types of floor pockets are available for all AIRE brand rafts. The Regular Floor Pocket comes standard with all AIRE rafts while the Sealed Floor Pocket is optional ($400).

The Regular Floor Pocket (RFP) is constructed by sewing the PVC floor top and bottom to a zipper along the perimeter edge of the floor pocket. An air floor AIREcell is placed inside the pocket which keeps the floor rigid and buoyant while in use. There are drains built into the bottom of the floor pocket, which allows water to drain out of it. While on the river, water can enter the floor drains which adds ballast to the boat. This extra ballast creates a low center of gravity, helping the raft ‘stick’ to the water and can sometimes help prevent a flip.

The Sealed Floor Pocket (SFP) is constructed by welding the PVC floor top and bottom together along the perimeter to form a waterproof pocket. Two watertight zippers are installed on the floor top so the air floor AIREcell can be accessed. The Sealed Floor Pocket cannot take on water as ballast, which will make the boat slightly faster and more responsive than one with a Regular Floor Pocket.

I Love my 156D
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Old 10-02-2009   #8
 
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I have the 156R for my family of four. I had Aire tubes for my cataraft for 8 years and was impressed with the durability, the ease of repair, the warranty, and the performance. It's a heavy mother, especially when you haul it out of the water and the floor drains, but I trailer it so the weight is not a big deal for me. I also like that they're US-made in Boise, and that warranty repairs can be made right here in Denver. As it's mostly seen use as a family truckster, I haven't really tested it too much on the flip-reducing function of the floor - but the boat sure feels like it would take a lot to flip it.
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Old 10-02-2009   #9
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The water in the Aire floor kind of makes it like a self bailing bucket boat. Weight to help in a flip situation, but no bailing.

I like mine.
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Old 10-02-2009   #10
 
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
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I like to load my 156R (SFP) with heavy gear, then at the Take-out the empty boat is light and easy to load. My older 143R (RFP) tends to carry quite a bit of mud or sand in the floor, needs opened and cleaned after every San Juan trip.
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