Saturn Review - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-19-2009   #1
 
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 156
Saturn Review

I just got back from my first long trip on with my new 15' Saturn raft, and wanted to pass on my thoughts. I know there has been a lot of discussion here on the various Saturn dealers, but not much info on the rafts themselves. So here goes.

I got my raft in May, and so far we have taken it on the the Filter plant run on the Poudre a dozen times, Pumphouse to Statebridge on the CO, and Sand Island to Clay Hills on the San Juan. We have run as an oar rig, R2 and full paddle crew (pack of kids). In every case it has performed great. It handles really well, spins on a dime, and for the most part tracks well.

One of my favorite features is the the dropstich floor. I am a big guy, and in the past have not felt really stables standing on most I-beam floors. The high pressure floors are solid and provide a great platform for standing. The pressure release valve open up at 6 PSI, at which point it felt like standing on a plywood floor, so we usually run it between 3-4 psi. The floor is glued in so there are no laces to deal with. Instead of foot cups it uses webbing straps, for bracing. They are a little small for my large feet (13) but I am able to wedge the front part of foot under them. I did check the fit on my kids (6 and 8 ) and neither of them had any issues with entanglement, or the possibility of the feet sliding all the way in and getting caught, so in my opinion I think the size is about right.

The raft itself is made of PVC, and has both a chafe pad and a full double bottom layer. The construction looks good, with all the seams looking tight and clean. It has 6 carrying handles and 18 D rings (16 on the outside, and 1 inside on the bow and stern). I am considering adding a D ring to each thwart, but that will be a winter project. The thwarts attach using paddles and are easy to put in and out.

So far I have been impressed on how it handles. On the San Juan while fully loaded, my 6 year old was able to row the raft by himself. He could spin and stop it at will, ferry across the river to hit every little ripple that he saw, and basically had a blast moving down stream. Fully loaded we were running with about a 4" draft, so we only got hung up once on the sandbars above clay hills.

We got the raft from Denny and Joe at RMrafts, and I can honestly say that they have been great to work with. They exceeded our expectations in all of our dealings, and I have no reservations on recommending them to friends and family (and no, this is not a paid endorsement ). So far we have met some great people on the river, and hope to meet more each day out.

Mike
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Old 06-19-2009   #2
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,781
Sounds good, I don't think anyone previously argued that the boats out of the box would suck and not perform well. Please get back to us in 5 or 6 years to see how the glue job holds up. Good luck.

Shapp
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Old 06-19-2009   #3
 
timbuktu, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 679
Quote:
Originally Posted by shappattack View Post
Sounds good, I don't think anyone previously argued that the boats out of the box would suck and not perform well. Please get back to us in 5 or 6 years to see how the glue job holds up. Good luck.

Shapp
yep
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Old 06-20-2009   #4
 
Willi..., Willimina, OR
Paddling Since: 68
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 482
Saturn Review: My saturn deflated when my dogs nails perfed the top of the boat. However in defense of saturn, the boat did float prior to my dog getting in.

It appears that the designers were so concerned about the threat from below that they were blindsided by the threat from above.

On the other hand, the seams were ok. There is nothing wrong with quality glued seams. All the manufacturers have used them at one time or another.
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Old 06-20-2009   #5
 
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 25
my best freind has a saturn and the boats mean well, after it took saturnrafts.com 7 months to warrenty it because the seems in the floor blew out hint no PRV, i would of thought that that since there making all of these improvement he would of gotten a new saturn, that was not the case same boat same glue the boat take about 5 min to bail in class IV water this is no good this is with 6 people in the boat its not like its weight down. because of it not bailing in a timely matter the floor took some very hard hits and popped it was fixed but should of never happened that way
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Old 06-20-2009   #6
 
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 156
Jonathon,

I feel bad for your friend, it sounds like he has one of the older ones, and similar to cars, the dealer makes all the differnce in how you are treated. I know the one that I got from RMRafts has some new features built in to it that they asked for. I do not know if the other Saturn dealers have made the same modifications. Mine has extra drain holes in the floor, so I have never been had water stay in the boat. Mine also has PRVs in both the floor and in the main tubes, and I have checked them out to make sure that they worked.

I am assuming the glue will hold up as well (or better) than the 20 year old Glued boats that everyone says that I could have bought for the same price. IMHO, for the price I paid, I can replace the boat every 7 years and at the end of 20 years, I will still come out ahead, and cheaper than if I bought one of the high end boats. Any boat that allows you to get on the water, is better then not having one.
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Old 06-25-2009   #7
 
boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 99
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 51
Saturn Rafts Review Information

Hi Jonathan. Your friend Nick bought one of our Canyon Rafts which didn't have a pressure relief valve in the floor. The Saturn Rafts are a different manufacturer and are produced differently. I know this caused some confusion in the past which is why we removed the Canyon Rafts from our Saturn Rafts website. Our Canyon Rafts website will be up soon when our new inventory arrives with new revisions including PRV valves in the floor. As for Nick's specific instance, the manufacturer wouldn't warranty the damaged I-beam floor in his Canyon because they thought it was caused by over-inflation. We chose to provide Nick with a brand new Canyon Raft at our expense because we wanted to make him a happy customer. At the time the only Canyon Rafts we had in stock did not yet have the PRV revision made.

All of our rafts at www.saturnrafts.com come with PRV valves in the floor and side tubes and we've never had to replace one yet. We've never had any issues with the glue or seams on any of our Saturn Rafts. Our new Outfitter Series (see attached pictures) has also addressed several additional concerns posted on this site in the past including larger tube diameters, larger thwart diameters, valves on the exterior of the raft instead of the interior, improved bailing capacity with a slightly revised hole diameter, lowered plastic handles, more D-rings and a higher rocker for big water. We are constantly revising our designs and processes based on our customers input to put the highest quality raft on the water at a rock solid price.
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Old 06-25-2009   #8
 
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B.F.E., Wyoming
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 907
WoW you are one stubborn SOB. I thought you were off this site the second or third time you got called out but your back for some more huh??

Have any more testimonials?
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Old 06-26-2009   #9
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Check out this link, 13'0'' Saturn Raft. Look at the 2nd picture down, in the middle of the page. Doesn't it look photoshopped? Why is the boat in the air?!?
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Old 06-26-2009   #10
 
timbuktu, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-bleez View Post
Check out this link, 13'0'' Saturn Raft. Look at the 2nd picture down, in the middle of the page. Doesn't it look photoshopped? Why is the boat in the air?!?
Nice... good eye! It's a hovercraft/raft hybrid! Not only are they puncture proof they fly! I saw one on a trailer at City Market the other day, really cheap construction by comparison to any of the standard brands. But that hovercraft feature is bad ass! Great Value!

Really as cheap as they are, buy two and just keep the extra one rolled in the back of the boat. That way when the first one fails, you don't even have to mess with it. Just blow up the new one and your on your way! Don't forget to order a new "spare" when you get home!
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