Maravia Cat Questions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-05-2012   #1
 
JustKip's Avatar
 
Fresno, California
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Maravia Cat Questions

It's time for a new cat, and I'm kinda leaning towards Maravia 14 foot X 22 inch tubes.
I know this is pretty much exactly the same size as AIRE Ocelot, and I know Ocelot performs very well, but...those damned zippers and bladders!
I know, I know; there are thousands of very satisfied AIRE owners out there, but I have this perception that zippers require care and maintainance, and that tubes with bladders in them mildew.

So back to Maravia. Can anybody with experience with both 14 X 22 and Ocelot tell me if the Maravia handles anywhere nearly as good as the Ocelot? And what about storage? loosely rolled? partially inflated? Tightly rolled in a hot garage?


And you AIRE owners can feel free to chime in and tell me how FOS I am about care and maintainance, cuz I'm not completely and totally opposed to an Ocelot.

Thanks to all in advance,
kip

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Old 05-05-2012   #2
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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I have had an Ocelot for 16 years, last year was the first time I have ever had to deal with the zippers. I decided to clean the inside of the bladders...there was some sand and dirt in there, it was a pain in the ass getting the zippers zipped back up...but I figure if I only have to do it once every 15 years then I will live with it because the Ocelot is a great boat.
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Old 05-05-2012   #3
 
Westminster, Colorado
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I've got a Maravia 14x22 rolled in the garage for the last few years without problems so far. I'm using the narrower of the two standard NRS cat frames, and it handles well with just two people or one person and a small amount of gear. Me (200lbs), a full 80qt cooler, 20 gallons of water, and the various ammo cans and bags and what not of a multi-day trip bogs it down enough that the handling was no fun. Once I got the cooler and 2 water jugs empty it was lively again.
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Old 05-05-2012   #4
 
Northern Colorado, Colorado
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I owned Aire 16' jags- first and second generations for about 17 years between the two sets of tubes I had. Ran them on all sorts of rivers-from super silty to clear as gin and never had any issues with the zippers. I never had to do a repair on the tubes and I used the boats a lot.

I know there are the occasional stories out there of the nightmare of unzipping a bladder to do a repair on a silty river but, they're few and far between.

The next set of tubes I'll be getting will be a set of Ocelots. They handle great, are tough as nails, easy to roll up and fairly light.
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Old 05-06-2012   #5
 
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Sandy, Utah
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I have never rowed an Ocelot, but have dealt with the zippers on an Aire raft. I have owned a 14X22 Maravia cat, and currently own a 14X24. I primarily do extended multi-day trips, and I'm happier with the 14X24 tubes for carrying capacity. I use a 66 inch NRS frame, and rarely carry a passenger, just my gear and moderate group gear. Maravia changed their tube design a few years ago, so my newer tubes are the newer design with more rocker. More agile. I store my tubes rolled with no problems at all. I love My Maravia cat.

As for the Aire zippers. I have helped with cleaning and repair on an Aire raft, and it was a total PITA. Here in Utah, unzipping and cleaning the silt out is important to prevent micro holes from the sand abrasion. The folks I knew with this raft did it at the end of every season. After two seasons they sold that raft. If you aren't running silty water a lot, then the Aire would be fine. The Aire cats aren't quite as bad because the zippers are up higher and not as exposed to the water as the zippers in the rafts.

Both Maravia & Aire make great products. I have had no problems with my Maravia cats, and wouldn't own anything else. My two cents.
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Old 05-06-2012   #6
 
Helena, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asleep.at.the.oars
I've got a Maravia 14x22 rolled in the garage for the last few years without problems so far. I'm using the narrower of the two standard NRS cat frames, and it handles well with just two people or one person and a small amount of gear. Me (200lbs), a full 80qt cooler, 20 gallons of water, and the various ammo cans and bags and what not of a multi-day trip bogs it down enough that the handling was no fun. Once I got the cooler and 2 water jugs empty it was lively again.
This

Except i own an ocelot


If i did most of my boating in silty desert water id maybe be more concerned about the zippers & sand inbetween the cover & bladder.
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Old 05-06-2012   #7
 
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Fresno, California
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I didn't mention before, but this is to replace the 13' Sotar Legend I just sold because it didn't really have room for 2 people. The Legend really was an awesome boat, but nearly all of my rowing these days is class III and fishing alone or with 1 passenger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by asleep.at.the.oars View Post
I've got a Maravia 14x22 rolled in the garage...
...and it handles well with just two people or one person and a small amount of gear. Me (200lbs), a full 80qt cooler, 20 gallons of water, and the various ammo cans and bags and what not of a multi-day trip bogs it down enough that the handling was no fun. Once I got the cooler and 2 water jugs empty it was lively again.
I'm going to translate this to "Me (200lbs) plus 350-400 lbs bogs it down, but it's nimble and responsive at 400 lbs total".
That's slightly less than I expected for the max load

Quote:
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
I have owned a 14X22 Maravia cat, and currently own a 14X24. I primarily do extended multi-day trips, and I'm happier with the 14X24 tubes for carrying capacity.
You're my new hero! You answered the question I didn't ask. I had also considered the 24 inch tubes, but worry that they would be too big for just me, a cooler and fishing gear. Ever row it empty?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
I store my tubes rolled with no problems at all. I love My Maravia cat.

As for the Aire zippers. I have helped with cleaning and repair on an Aire raft, and it was a total PITA. Here in Utah, unzipping and cleaning the silt out is important to prevent micro holes from the sand abrasion. The folks I knew with this raft did it at the end of every season. After two seasons they sold that raft. If you aren't running silty water a lot, then the Aire would be fine. The Aire cats aren't quite as bad because the zippers are up higher and not as exposed to the water as the zippers in the rafts.

Both Maravia & Aire make great products. I have had no problems with my Maravia cats, and wouldn't own anything else. My two cents.
This is about what I expected concerning AIRE and zippers = rarely a problem(especially in the clear water I row), but when it is, it's a big one. Looks like they both roll well enough, but AIRE recomments loose rolling for short term and partially inflated for long term. I've only owned rubber (excluding the Legend) and storing tightly rolled has never been a problem
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Old 05-06-2012   #8
 
Lemooreq, California
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You may want to consider Rocky Mountain Raft tubes. I just picked up a set of 14' x 22" for under $1200, new. Welded. I'm about 35 miles south of you, you can see them here if you like.
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Old 05-06-2012   #9
 
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Sandy, Utah
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I don't row it empty, but do weekend trips with less gear. My frame fits the bigger tubes much better, and I have a lot more clearance. I don't carry that much more gear than I did with the smaller tubes, but I feel that the boat handles better, and I have the ability to carry more if I need to. It all depends on what you will be doing with the boat. If you sold your Sotar to gain more carrying capacity, then you might want to consider the 14X24 tubes. I know about upsizing from experience....I'm on my third Cat, and finally feel like I have the perfect boat for me.
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Old 05-06-2012   #10
 
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Fresno, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
It all depends on what you will be doing with the boat. If you sold your Sotar to gain more carrying capacity, then you might want to consider the 14X24 tubes. I know about upsizing from experience....I'm on my third Cat, and finally feel like I have the perfect boat for me.
Yeah, definitely want more passenger space and load capacity, so the incentive for upsizing is there. But where do you draw the line? I'm thinkin 16' NRS Kodiac tubes are overkill for low gradient, class III rivers.

Lookin for something that handles well and carries two comforatbly without needing a trailer and motor.
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