Hey all. Sadly it's been quite a while since I've been on the water and have the opportunity to own my own boat due to my job but finances are in order and I have the wife's blessing to finally make the purchase in the near futer. I'm locked on to the idea of buying an Aire and figured out what I want. Im just running the idea of upgrading to the aire urethane but wondering if anyone has a for sure answer as to if it's worth it. I haven't seen to much talk about "its totally worth" or not. I'm guessing since I haven't it's safe to presume it's not needed. Just wondering really how long it would expand the life of the boat??? Thanks in advance.
If you are going to rake the bottom of the boat over sharp rocks on the regular or have to drag the boat much, get it. If not you will likely not "need"it. Urethane is hands down more abrasion resistant than PVC wishes it was. Only you can decide your level of abuse.
If you're out hitting the water 50+ days a year and wanting a boat that will last 20 years then my all means. I know of a hand full of PVC aire boats that are 25+ years old that get 20 to 30 days a year. But thats mostly natural round river rocks. If you're doing a lot of road side dynamited rock then maybe set up as zbaird suggests.
Water ballast in the floor is one of AIRE's biggest selling points for me. If you aren't running hard whitewater then maybe get the sealed floor but I like that low weight... I hated the zipper idea at first but am now an AIRE convert.
I think the main advantage of this fancy new fabric is actually that it is lighter than PVC. If you carry your boat in or out for trips or do runs with lots of portages then that weight savings could help. If you trailer your boat everywhere it is irrelevant.