beating a dead horse, aka saturn - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-22-2011   #1
 
g.soutiere's Avatar
 
leadville, Colorado
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beating a dead horse, aka saturn

ok i know i tried to post on the old thread but couldnt. yes now that rm rafts makes an afordable good raft saturn is a no topic, but i said i was going to keep people informed on the short buss. after three years of learning how to be captin tow flips and neumorus scrapes over rocks and playing bumper boat. I am still proud of my purchase at fibark. it showes minimal ware with keeping it folded in the bag. it has its draw backs but what can you expect from a $1100 glued pvc raft. its easy to r1,r2 yet can have a paddle crew 8. i hit a few sharp branches head on on boulder creek at high water(thanks andy it was fun). so for a beginer raft when i bought it it was a grate buy, shuld have it at least 4 more years hopefuly more. now hearing rm rafts is making hyphlon welded rafts at a good price i will be thinking about a 16' rm raft in the next few years. .

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Old 09-22-2011   #2
 
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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That's cool, I've been thinking about buying a Saturn. RM's website had some kind of store closing sale the other day, so i thought they were closing down soon. What were your drawbacks of the Saturn?
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Old 09-22-2011   #3
 
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leadville, Colorado
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The scuff pad is starting to lift. Can see the possible entrapment issue between the tube and the floor especialy the way I brace r2ing. If I have a good wrap she will probably die. Other than that No issues I love the short bus.
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Old 09-22-2011   #4
 
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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Thanks for the beta
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Old 09-23-2011   #5
 
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Vail, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.soutiere View Post
now hearing rm rafts is making hyphlon welded rafts at a good price i will be thinking about a 16' rm raft in the next few years. .
Welded Hypalon?

Someones starting rumors....
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Old 09-23-2011   #6
 
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leadville, Colorado
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Sorry was a while since reading the rm rafts thread got confused in my memory when they were talking about the hyphlon and pvc, reread it and still sounds like a decent raft. Don't mean to start rumors.
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Old 09-23-2011   #7
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Grants Pass, Oregon
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I bought a Saturn 14' last year from RM myself and have been rafting quite a bit last two seasons. Hell, it's already paid for itself in rental fees I've saved already!
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Old 09-23-2011   #8
 
pocatello, Idaho
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Well, since someone else started it.

I bought 2 for my rental fleet this spring. They didn't go out much because they were mainly as backups if another boat had a problem but I did take them out myself several times. I got a 2011 14' and a 2011 16'

the bad:
the valves suck. you have to do them just right and the spring seems too strong making it hard to pump unless you twist them to open the whole time. They sometimes slip off of open accidentally. They take a certain touch, then you are good to go. they do not leak- so far.
The floor design
I did slip my leg under the floor once to check it out but it came right back out. If you happen to get wedged in there and happen to wrap at the exact wrong moment and happen to be very unlucky it could be ugly. Probably no more dangerous than a bow line coil, a loose chicken line, a cargo net or any other entrapment hazard most people deal with.
Some sand can get between the wrap floor and the inflatable floor but is very easy to clean and hasn't been a big issue
They are super heavy. the 16' is heavier than a hypalon 18'/
they don't roll well. even if you suck the air out they roll pretty big. I would have a hard time getting a 14' in a sedan trunk. hypalon fits easily.

I ran the grey's twice at low water in WY. I did not bring my A game. Both in 1 day runs I RAMMED a very sharp pointy rock coming down a slide/rapid with 10 people in a 16' saturn. The rock compeltely stopped the boat. 20 to 0 in 1 second. The first run left a visible but inconsequential line down the middle of the floor. The second hit put a pinhole through the wrap and inflatable floor directly below the valve. the hole was unnoticed through the rest of the run, though the floor did get soft.

The inflatable floor does not seem like bomber mega thick material. I would be worried if I dropped my knife point first. This said I have had no issues dropping dryboxes, misc gear and tools in it and jumping on it for fun.

I ran the 16' boat on the lower salmon and noticed the floor going soft on the first day. I found the leak (from the grey's) and patched it with my aire PVC kit. Took 30 minutes and looks perfect. since the patch is between the wrap floor and the inflatable floor I do not expect any wear problems. It is holding like a rock star.

The good:

the price is right. I paid about $100 per foot. that is 1/2 of my other boats and 1/3 of some.

the build is clean. I can't complain about the seams. they are straight and tight.
The materials are thick and holding up very well (with the noted exception). I have had them on very bony rivers, rammed everything in sight and the floor materials are doing very vell.

The performance is good. I've run the class IV and been fine. The bail as fast as any and get around OK. Maybe not a sportscar but I always have a full load so it is hard to say, if I go light I take a cat.

The floor can take something like 10psi. it is a solid fishing platform. Better than hypalon.

The boats take all of my standard frames with ease, though a stern frame pulls on the d-rings funny. I should add more but I am lazy.
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Old 09-23-2011   #9
 
Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
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I have a Saturn and love it, never had a problem. I would recommend this boat to any one. I think it is funny that the old Saturn rep is the new RM rep. "Some people raft so they can buy gear, and other buy gear so they can raft."
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Old 09-24-2011   #10
 
Bend, Oregon
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Same good reports

I'm a kayaker who wanted a raft for multi-day family sorts of things. I'm also a former raft guide and I've run many different brands and makes of rafts. Bought a 16' Saturn from RM last spring and used it on Deso and the MFS both when they were peaking. The raft did great- had no trouble making the line in Velvet when the commercials were lining around it. Forgot about the monster hole in lower Cliffside but the raft was stable until we surfed out of it. Stayed rock solid for both trips. The big tubes make it a great gear hauler. I'll second the finicky valve deal but once you figure it out it's worth the $4000 differential. The D-rings were improved for frame placement but they're still not in a great place. I'll probably add more eventually. The floor is a love/hate thing. It does feel a little sketchy with entrapment possibility but I do like the extra layer of protection.
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