Originally Posted by Matt J
Randaddy - have you personal experience with the quality of the Down River IK?
I used a DR duck a few times this summer from an outfitter here in the Fort. I saw 2 holes in a boat that was just a few months old. This isn't the only boat that had this problem. When I was looking at the holes I remember thinking that the boat was made of ridiculously thin hypalon. I would never ever ever buy any hypalon craft that is less than outfitter thickness now. I almost bought the Rio Bravo Mini Me at the start of the summer until I saw a Rio Bravo boat up close - much lower quality with shitty hypalon handles tearing off.
As for the Paddle Cat, I didn't get much chance to hop in one this summer, but I was around for many a Paddle Cat adventure. Some friends ran the Middle and Lower Narrows on the Poudre in theirs at low water. It may have been a Rio Bravo craft. He got it for about $1400 and stopped by to borrow hypalon and glue at the end of the summer....
The Mini-Me is an awesome R2 machine, as well as super fun to row. The nice thing about the Mini is that 3 -or sometimes 4- people can fit in it. It's more stable than the Puma (maybe not the foam floor Puma, but I don't think you can still get those) and easy to flip from the water and hop back in. I don't think there was a day this summer in my Mini Me where I didn't say "you would have to be retarded to buy a tandem ducky." It's a much better two person craft.
I hope this helps. I guess the moral of the story is don't buy thin hypalon. You'll regret it. The thicker Expedition, Outfitter, and Pro models are made to last a lifetime. The Rio Bravo types are made for one summer in the swimming pool.