Need advice on purchasing raft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-15-2013   #1
 
Gardiner, Montana
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Need advice on purchasing raft

We are looking to buy a raft. We are on a budget and I am not sure what is a "good" deal vs. a cheap boat. I have found a couple on Craigslist that are probably at the lower end of quality but seem like decent boats. CAn anyone give any advice on whether these are good deals, asking too much, etc?

1)14-foot Achilles raft, Hypalon rubber, not PVC! Package includes rowing rack, new 9-foot Carlisle oars, cooler, pump, rear platform rack with seat and anchor system -- anchor included. This boat has been kept inflated and indoors since day one. $2,250 OBO.

2) Odyssey, 12' 6" long. Full fishing frame with with three seats, casting platforms with stays. No leaks and one patch on the floor that has been put to the test; stays firm.

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Old 04-15-2013   #2
 
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Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
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Before shopping around, first figure out what you want to do with the raft then find a boat that matches your needs and fits what you can afford. For example if you are looking for a fishing rig on flatwater, you can save money buy picking up a standard floor rather than a self-bailing floor, if you are looking for day trips then you can look for rafts with day frames rather than gear frames. Also how will you haul the boat? Do you need a boat that fits in your car or are you trailering it... Based on your needs you can figure out the size boat you need. For Comps check the "worst deals" thread. it will give you an idea on what is not a deal. There are also multiple threads on buying used boats and what to look for. Search the posts and you should find them.
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Old 04-15-2013   #3
 
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srw0203 View Post
We are looking to buy a raft. We are on a budget and I am not sure what is a "good" deal vs. a cheap boat. I have found a couple on Craigslist that are probably at the lower end of quality but seem like decent boats. CAn anyone give any advice on whether these are good deals, asking too much, etc?

1)14-foot Achilles raft, Hypalon rubber, not PVC! Package includes rowing rack, new 9-foot Carlisle oars, cooler, pump, rear platform rack with seat and anchor system -- anchor included. This boat has been kept inflated and indoors since day one. $2,250 OBO.

2) Odyssey, 12' 6" long. Full fishing frame with with three seats, casting platforms with stays. No leaks and one patch on the floor that has been put to the test; stays firm.
No odyssey - Disposable boat. AIRE is your most affordable decent boat. Maravia or SOTAR is what you strive for.
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Old 04-15-2013   #4
 
Portland, Oregon
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Originally Posted by montana_field View Post
No odyssey - Disposable boat. AIRE is your most affordable decent boat. Maravia or SOTAR is what you strive for.
I would definitely go for an AIRE. I would have to argue that you want to strive for a Maravia or Sotar. We have taken our AIRE down many rough runs and definitely put it through a lot of abuse and it held up superbly. Plus every other raft company only warranties the boat if a seam breaks while AIREs 10 year warranty includes fixing the boat no matter happened. Hope this helps
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Old 04-15-2013   #5
 
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Poundtown, Wokastan
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Its hard to beat the KVI, rocky mountain rafts, maxxon, or vanguard for low priced options. If you never plan on leaving the road side boating for too long. Then you might even get away with (dare I say it) a Saturn! Ok its out there. NRS just sold a 13' revolution for $1400 this weekend. I missed it by 1 hour. I think you can do better - just saying.
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Old 04-15-2013   #6
 
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 91
I own a saturn. Been down everything, from the Tat to the Numbers to the Grand. Boat is about 6 years old now, nothing wrong with it so far. Used heavily every year.

Take from that what you will.
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Old 04-15-2013   #7
 
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Based on the two boats you listed it looks like you are interested in a fishing setup. Is that correct? I really can't say whether those are good deals with out knowing everything about the boats and at least seeing a picture.

I have noticed that fishermen seem to like to put really expensive frames onto really cheap rubber. It also seems like whitewater boaters (myself included) are usually floored by the amount of money that people want for their fishing rigs. One thing is for sure, one of those fishing frames with all the platforms, seats, baskets, anchors ect. is going to cost some money.

Keeping this in mind, if the Achilles is in good shape, you like the frame, and it is a self baler then it is probably a good deal. Hard to say without looking at it; if the frame is welded aluminum with diamond plate decking and the pump and cooler are nice then it is a great deal.

You did not put a price with the Odyssey. I have heard that these were welded pvc boats, but I am not sure. Certainly they are not in the same class as Achilles, but if the price is right and it is in good shape with a really nice frame then it may be a good deal too.

Whatever you do I would advise against the idea of putting a really expensive frame on a really cheap chinese pvc boat. To me that is like building a house on a bad foundation. A good frame will Likely outlast the boat even if it is a good commercial grade raft.
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Old 04-15-2013   #8
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 338
On the flip side, since that frame will outlast the rubber- maybe a nice frame on older or cheaper rubber gets you started, then you just have to upgrade the rubber. We're shopping on a tight budget and may end up going that route- If we cant find a used package to fit our needs, and I have to piece it together, I don't want to be in a position to need to replace everything when its time to upgrade.

YMMV
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Old 04-15-2013   #9
 
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Quote:
On the flip side, since that frame will outlast the rubber- maybe a nice frame on older or cheaper rubber gets you started, then you just have to upgrade the rubber. We're shopping on a tight budget and may end up going that route- If we cant find a used package to fit our needs, and I have to piece it together, I don't want to be in a position to need to replace everything when its time to upgrade
To be honest, I did that too with my multi-day family rig, but I definitley made sure that my frame would fit several brands of similar rafts. I feel like with a fishing frame you would need to be be really careful if you want to keep the option of upgrading your rubber later on. With those frames that have tubing that goes all the way up the tubes and decks that fit inside the bow and stern, there is a lot more to think about than length, width, and tube diameter.
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