Help me decide between Sotar and Maravia - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-01-2010   #1
Evergreen, Co.
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 153
Help me decide between Sotar and Maravia

So, I am driving myself and my wife nuts trying to decide on whether to buy a new 15ft Maravia or 15'6" Sotar for us and our two kids and dog.
After hours of research and reading through old MB threads I am still up in the air.
Any opinions could be helpful, I understand that both boats are great and both have 10 yr warranties and need to be sent back to the factory for warranty to be honored.
1.) Thick and durable 3000 denier weight urethane fabric yet lighter than urethane coated PVC.
2.) Custom sizing and color options. Not super crazy about any of the colors though. We can't agree on any of them. They don't have any more of the tan Fabric which we both actually liked.
3.) Boat known for tracking well,Floor is curved up front and rear adding to the kick and less drag. Also has custom option for SB floor draining.
4.) Boat is stiff when inflated which I like.
5.) 15 ft model can be stretched 6" at no additional cost.
6.) Custom tube diameter options of either 21" or 22" at no extra charge.
Boat has to be sent back to Factory in oregon for Warranty repairs. I am in Colorado.

1.)Urethane coated PVC known for its durability, but heavy.
2.)Smooth floor which makes it nimble in the water. I hear it tracks well also?
3.)I see many more Maravias on the water here in Colorado and few Sotars making me think that at least most people feel it's a better or best raft out there.
3.)Stiff when fully inflated.
4.)Nice color choices, wif and I both like the dark green.

1.) heavier by approx. 20-25lbs.
2.) Urethane coating makes patching slightly more difficult.
3.) Floor is PVC and not coated with Urethane.
4.) have read that Urethane can crack over time.
5.) needs to be shipped back to Maravia in Idaho for warranty work.

Anybody got anything else to add to that can perhaps push us in a single direction.

I have ruled out,
Aire due to zipper issues and weight. I spend a lot of time in silty water and don't want floor or zipper issues to deal with.
NRS due to lack of research that they will stand the test of time and be a 20yr or more boat. I like the looks of the boats though.
Hyside ?? Expensive, no fall sale that i have found and don't know much about the boat. Glued Hypalon??


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Old 10-01-2010   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 146
ligher is nice if you have a carry it with your wife. Also dark green is going to get damn hot on a desert float trip. You may want to think about that...
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Old 10-01-2010   #3
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at my house, Montana
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Sotar is known for superior performance. It is pretty much the best handling raft out there. It only has a 5 year warranty, not 10. Have you found a local rep to get a discount through?
Living in Montana, boating in Idaho
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Old 10-01-2010   #4
Evergreen, Co.
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They now offer 10yr warranty for non commercial. I was going straight from factory for 20% off unless you know of a better deal.
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Old 10-01-2010   #5
Evergreen, Co.
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Dark green cold be a little warm for kiddie in the desert.
Sotar is coming out with a Kelley green in a couple months but I can't get my head around what that will look like on a raft. The love the pastels at sotar. Wonder who decides on the colors?
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Old 10-01-2010   #6
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billings, Montana
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Both are top-notch units, and you will be happy with either. A note about the maravia floors, all of the diminishing tube series have rockered floors. They used a single pleat in years past on the top of the floor, this year they used two and have made it contour perfectly with the rise if the diminishing tube. I wish I had waited one more year to buy. I had the floor on my Zephyr coated with urethane, and it is the best upgrade that you can do to a maravia. I also had the bottom of the tubes second coated with the same floor gray, looks sharp, but not really needed. The patching process is the same as with any urethane boat. The drop stich floor is by far the standout feature maravia has going for them. Sotars do roll up easier, no argument there. My first set of cat tubes were the dark green and they weren't any hotter than a blue set. Good luck, and buy local!
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Old 10-01-2010   #7
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SLC, Utah
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Join Date: May 2009
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My boat is green, went through Deso and Yampa in the summer, no problems on the heat. Sometimes I'd spray it with river water to be a bit cooler. But I love to be different than the boring blue!

Maravia floor is bomber! No need to top it off during the day. And the diminishing tubes rock, more space for my family and cargo and punching waves is simple.

Bryan, I sent you a PM with a much longer version of my reply.

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Old 10-01-2010   #8
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 332
Maravia WILL over time develop tiny pin holes due to the stiff nature of the material. If you can keep the boat inflated all the times, it won't be an issue.
Both nice boats. Color is important. It just is.
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Old 10-01-2010   #9
Evergreen, Co.
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I should add Sotar offers drop stitch floor same as Maravia from same factory in PVC. It is cheaper than I-beam floor in Urethane standard. They have increase the denier strength and thickness in their drop stitch floor from maravias version. Just found this out today from Sotar.
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Old 10-01-2010   #10
mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
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Interesting that you couldn't find anything on NRS being a 20 yr. boat. As far as glued hypalon goes, it is tried and true when it comes to durability. Both Sotar and Maravia have had longevity issues in the past, but I hear those have been recitfied in the recent years. (You will undoubtedly hear of 20 year boats from these companies, but they are the exception.) That said, If I were buying strictly on warranty, I'd get an Aire. If I had the million dollar magic wand, I'd buy either an Avon, a Hyside or a NRS.
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