Hyside's Rio Bravo Boats - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-29-2008   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Hyside's Rio Bravo Boats

Need some help here....

I'm considering purchasing a 13' Rio Bravo Hyside for a fishing rig. I've seen good, bad and the ugly posted on the internet about this boat, and I'm looking for any additional information anyone can provide about this model.

Another concern is that hyside is not producing this boat any longer - they are only rolling out the smaller versions of the rio bravo. I put a call into them and they stated that this was due to the manufacturing process. Sounded like they had a few kinks to work out with the production of this boat. They stated the design is solid and is an all around good boat.

Now, can anybody with first hand experience chime in?

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Old 03-29-2008   #2
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,165
When the Rio Bravos first came out there were at a significantly lower price point than Hyside's Outfitter line. Every season the RB prices went up a lot. Fairly soon they were barely cheaper than the Outfitter boats. I suspect that the Bravos were cannibalizing sales of the more profitable Outfitter and Outfitter Pro models, but that is just a suspicion. Also be careful when reading into production problems - that can mean so many different things, related to and completely unrelated to the quality of the delivered product.

While I have heard a number of people say negative things about the Rio Bravos, most of the comments have been superficial/subjective - ie., 'that boat sucks', not objective stuff 'the baffle blew', 'the seams failed,' or 'it dosen't punch holes well.' You might try calling outfitters and asking if they, or any companies they know, are running Rio Bravos in their fleet and how they are holding up.

It would also be great if anyone on the buzz who owns a Rio Bravo could post their experiences here.

My personal guess is that if you are getting a good price, and the boat passes the usual tests (check baffles, overnight air retention, visual inspection for obvious defects - delaminating seams, bubbles in the fabric, hypalon rubbing off exposing threads, busted i-beams, etc.) and the boat has been used for a few years that is is going to be good to you for a long time to come.
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Old 03-29-2008   #3
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
I was thinking of buying in one new until hyside told me, through a outfitter friend of mine, that they were no longer being offered. I got the impression they were having some 'issues' with them. They fabric is significantly thinner then the outfitter series. 1100 denier for floor and tubes vrs 1680 tubes and 2520 floor for the Outfitter. I got the feeling that some were trying to use them as commercial boats and they just could not take that type of daily use. I saw some evidence of that shopping for used boats. It's a shame, as for the occasional user like myself, I thought it would be a good way to start with a new boat, rather then pick up something used and beat up.

If you are just fishing from it, I bet it would suit you just fine. Since I intend to boat mainly whitewater, and carry my family of four on overnighters and longer, I ended up with the heavier duty Outfitter series.
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Old 03-30-2008   #4
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
I picked up one of these 12' Outfitter Pros for $1,100. They have some 13' too. Seems like it was a good deal. From NRS Gear Swap

Avon and Hyside Rafts (For Sale) Post #: 11387Category: Rafts 12 Foot Hysides, 13 foot hysides, and 1 Avon Scout. Have been used commercially and professionaly maintained. Can email photos of rafts upon request. Can ship UPS for additional charge. Contact:Zach Email:[email protected] Phone:719-275-3154 Location:Canon City, CO Posted:3/28/2008 Price:$1,300 to $900
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Old 03-31-2008   #5
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,466
I just ordered a Rio Bravo Mini Me. I don't need an Outfitter Line raft for a little play boat, and it was $500 cheaper. According to Hyside, the denier doesn't matter, it's the tear strength. They claim to have the highest.

The 1100 Denier is on both sides of the fabric, so essentially it's 2200. Plus it's a little softer and easier to repair than the 1650 or higher. Of course it's less rugged long term, but will still probably outlast PVC.

I used to take the Outfitter Paddilac duckies and the Rio Bravo duckies out from the shop I worked at. I never saw a difference in material, they both felt super durable.

Let me know if you get that 13 footer. I'd like to take a look at one. Is it the one on eBay and Mountain Buzz? I'd see if he'll knock a couple hundred bucks off. The ads say new, but they look like they aren't BRAND new...
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Old 04-01-2008   #6
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 10
two cents on fishing rafts

i do not know much about hysides, but from what i have seen, they offer nice boats for the price. I row an aire super puma.

if you plan on rowing any fishing water that has whitewater, get a good frame. and in my humble opinion, there is no better than the nrs. now all the extra frills are not necessary and add weight, but they are cool, and again we are anglers and love our gadgets. the nrs frame is adjustable, modified quickly, solid, when apart bundles nicely, stacks well, and cool.

Also, oars are worth investing in, blades are not.

fhipsch on!
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Old 04-17-2008   #7
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks! I think I'll probably wait and save up a bit of cash and get an otter. I've fished out of them and have heard nothing but good things from the people that own them. Cheers.
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