Ever hear of Baltik Boats? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-08-2007   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Ever hear of Baltik Boats?

I just won one of the 13' inflatable Baltik rafts on ebay for $900 wet from these guys...

12.8' BALTIK WHITE WATER RAFT - BALTIK MODEL BR390 Affordable Inflatable eStore

I'm a firm believer in "you get what you pay for", but I couldn't justify spending 3x as much as I did for a top quality name brand just yet. And even if I could, I couldn't afford it. These look like pretty decent boats despite the price, and while I haven't found much for reviews on them, what I have found was positive...

Does anyone here have any experience with these? Anything I should watch out for? This will be my first raft, so I still need to read up on maintenance and get some more rafting training. I don't intend to take this on more than class 2/3 rivers.

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Old 08-08-2007   #2
 
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I bet that you will have a great time with the raft. Let us know how it treats you.
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Old 08-08-2007   #3
 
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I thought about getting that same size from Baltik for awhile- last year I went as far as emailing a couple of eBay buyers a few months after their purchases and they said they were pretty happy with the quality. I talked to one guy who had bought 4 of them for a commercial operation down in Costa Rica, and he thought they were well-made for the price..and he had been a guide on the Ark. He hadn't started using them yet, so no report on durability, but his only gripe was that the thwarts are permanently sewn in...which could be a big deal when you're trying to use the boat as an oar rig / gear boat.

But at that size, I wouldn't sweat it b/c you're probably planning to use it as primarily a paddle raft. I would still buy one as a secondary boat (I have a 16' Aire) for fun little decents down tight rivers, like the Gunni Gorge, of as a paddle raft down Westwater w/ gear boat support.

Besides- $900 delivered for a brand new self bailer is awesome, regardless of anybody's brand snobbery. Let us know how you like in 6 months- I'll be curious..
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Old 08-09-2007   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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thats a helluva deal ,a selfbailing raft of moderate quality for 9 bones!!A good ducky costs more new.
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Old 08-09-2007   #5
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Phew, I'm glad nobody said "Dude, you just made a huge mistake. Hope you can get your money back..."

So far my new toy has made it from Anaheim to Sacremento on its way up to Portland.

It's first float will be in Woahink Lake in Florence, OR. Does anyone know of a class I or II nearby?
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Old 08-09-2007   #6
 
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Quote:
his only gripe was that the thwarts are permanently sewn in...
Out of curiosity, how are thwarts usually attached? It won't be a big deal that they are permanently attached. As you said, it will be used primarily as a paddle boat. It would certainly be nice if they could be removed though for versatility and probably cleaning purposes...
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Old 08-09-2007   #7
 
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I think he mentioned that they were glued in. Separate chambers from the tubes, but glued to the sides.

Worst case, you could try carefully cutting them out and gluing in a lacing system. That's kinda scary, though. Or, if you really want to have removable thwarts, you could always buy some separately from Aire- I think they were about $180 each.
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Old 08-09-2007   #8
 
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Montrose, Colorado
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It's not near Florence, but it's not too far from where you live either- the Clackamas River in Oregon City and Estacada is a good get-aquainted-with-your-boat kind of float. Barton Park is the put-in, and the takeout is Carver. There's nothing bigger than a II through there, plus it's a really pretty afternoon float. Congrats on the great deal too! Have a great time with it and keep us updated on your trips!
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Old 08-09-2007   #9
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Ah yeah I had a guided tour of the Clackamas starting ~20 south of Promontory Park. Great stretch of river and pretty mellow. Had a couple great places to stop for a swim and jump from the rocks. I'll definitely be making my way over there again soon
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Old 08-17-2007   #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Okay, well I haven't been on the river with it yet, but I did float it out at Hagg Lake and it seems to be pretty well built. It feels tougher than the commercial raft I was on a few weeks ago, but time will tell whether it lasts. Right now I have zero complaints except for some minor things...

The air floor is not detachable at all. It is attached at the bottom-center at two points, front and back. When deflated you can fold one side flat over the other for cleaning, so at least there is that

The thwarts are, as said previously, sewn onto the tube.

Some of the good points...

- Seems to actually be built fairly rugged
- There are nice handles attached all around the raft
- There are a total of 10 foot straps, so you don't have to jam your feet under the thwarts or between the floor and tube
- The floor inflates nice and tight
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