Kootenai Valley Inflatables - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-01-2010   #1
 
Carbondale, Colorado
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Kootenai Valley Inflatables

Anyone ever heard of them? Feedback?

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Old 08-01-2010   #2
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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No, but I googled and their flyer shows that they are selling Woosung IB / Zebec boats from Korea. I.e. same as Star, etc.
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Old 08-02-2010   #3
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Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
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Shaps got it dead on-Woosung/zebec factory in Korea, same as star. I have been seeing these things for sale over the last year and they are unmistakably the same boats. I think Gary King is another one. Anyways, just like Star, they order them from the factory in Korea, who then simply puts the logo on for whichever company ordered it. Not bad boats but definately not high end commercial quality. It seems like Kootenai and Gary King are selling their boats for way more than Star. I have seen quite a few of the Kootenai and Gary King Cataraft types (star bug series) selling for a lot more than the stars, like $3k+, whereas the stars are $2k-$2.5. I'm not trying to plug star here, just letting people know that these other "companies" are trying to sell the same boat for a lot more. Seems like they are trying to take advantage of the ignorant/uneducated raft purchaser. Just my observations, If I am wrong please let me know.
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Old 08-02-2010   #4
 
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A lot of the Bug style resellers seem to be selling more to the float fishermen then the straight whitewater folks. With the solid floor to stand on, they do make a good platform for casting. When they are advertised this way they seemed to be priced higher to me.
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Old 08-03-2010   #5
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they definately dont come with a solid floor, just s saggy piece of pvc stretched between the tubes
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Old 08-03-2010   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt cook View Post
they definately dont come with a solid floor, just s saggy piece of pvc stretched between the tubes
My floor is tight as a drum and I can walk and cast on it with no problems.

If your floor is sagging, you aren't setting the boat up properly. If your using the thwarts, make sure that you strap the thwarts to d rings on the floor and pump them up to full pressure. If your using a frame, make sure you tighten the straps going to the inside d rings before you before you tighten the outer ones. That will pull your tubes out and make the floor as tight as it is with the thwarts. Then use the frame cross bars to strap to the d rings on the floor.
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Old 08-03-2010   #7
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Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
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Yeah, I sold that thing after using it once. It just didn't make much sense to me;the tubes are so wide theres no room in between-you practically trip over the tubes reaching for the water, and the tubes draft deeper than a regular raft-I got stuck a lot, in places where I normally dont. Maybe the Bugs have their application, but not for me in the rocky, low-water southeast.
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Old 08-04-2010   #8
 
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There are definite trade offs with the bugs. The narrow middle does limit your choice of coolers quite a bit, and makes it hard to stow a lot of extra gear.

I don't think it makes a very good paddle raft. You have to lean out much farther to get your paddle in the water than most people are comfortable doing. It is basically a cataraft, and is real easy to overload with people and gear. When its overloaded it turns into a real pig to handle. I love it with a frame though. Lightly loaded it handles great.

Here is a few shots of us hitting a nice hole on the Hudson River on our 13.5 ft bug.
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Old 08-04-2010   #9
 
Carbondale, Colorado
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Great feedback. Thanks all.
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Old 08-04-2010   #10
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Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
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Nice pics bosco. I guess I have been ragging on the bugs a bit but I mean no offense. They are stout boats and have their application. Maybe I didn't spend enough time messing with the rigging, but knowing I wanted to paddle the boat as well I could tell the tubes were just too big. You are right though, too much weight and they are super sluggish-did an overnight trip in it-was our first and last trip in it.
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