Need advice on Vanguard raft and trailer - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-11-2010   #1
 
Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
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Need advice on Vanguard raft and trailer

Does anyone have experience with the 14' Vanguard raft? I would use it for fishing. I reviewed some previous posts on Vanguard but they are over a year old and I'm wondering if there is any new information.
Also, can anyone direct me to trailer manufacturers that I might consider?
Thanks for your help.

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Old 07-11-2010   #2
 
Lakewood, Colorado
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Vanguards are good boats for the money, but 14 is kind of big for a fishing boat. Check out All American Trailers in Denver, they have 2 trailers built specifically for rafts.
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Old 07-11-2010   #3
 
Englewood, Colorado
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Thanks Woodboat. Does a 13' make more sense?
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Old 07-11-2010   #4
 
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Carbondale, Colorado
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I have a 14' Vanguard Venture that I bought new last summer. It has been a great boat so far. Made from PVC so not quite as flexible and light as hypalon, but every bit as tough, and much cheaper and easier to patch if the need arises. I float the Roaring Fork here locally and it does a great job in shallow water. I am able to float rocks 6 inches below the surface without rubbing. I like to fish on it a lot but am not an extreme angler and don't have my boat set up that way, but it works fine for me... I think an 11' or 12' with a fishing frame would be ideal for you as they are very light and maneuverable. However, I would not buy a used Vanguard over a year old as the floor components were not quite up to par then. The older boats tend to leak around the pressure release valves causing the floor not to hold pressure for very long. They fixed this problem from last year on, although the prv on mine does need to be cleaned at least once or twice a summer no matter what.

Anyway, great boat for a great price! As far as a trailer goes, I have a 2-place snowmobile trailer I use for my boat and that works fine. I think it's ridiculous to spend thousands of dollars on a custom raft trailer that is not useful for any other purpose, but that is just my opinion. For a small fishing raft, you could easily convert a small utility trailer to carry your raft. Guaranteed you will not be disappointed with a Vanguard though, especially if you can get it new. Good luck!
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Old 07-15-2010   #5
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Gonzorango, Colorado
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"The older boats tend to leak around the pressure release valves causing the floor not to hold pressure for very long. They fixed this problem from last year on, although the prv on mine does need to be cleaned at least once or twice a summer no matter what."

Have any more info on the leak around the valve? Any fixes? I have prv issues which carried over to a replacement valve, but had not heard about - or seen - any leaks related to raft itself.

Other than the floor issues, happy with the way the boat tracks and punches. Thickness of floor is a bit of a trade-off on gear hauling since it rides so high in relation to tops of tubes, but seems like it would be great for fishing.
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Old 07-15-2010   #6
 
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Carbondale, Colorado
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Not really sure about the PRVs on the older boats. I just know they are a lot less reliable, and occasionally don't do what they are designed to do, which is to release pressure when the floor over-expands due to direct sunlight, possibly causing the floor to explode. But your problem is the opposite, which must be frustrating.

If you're having problems with the PRV on your older Vanguard I would at least try seeking out advice from Vanguard directly. I'm sure they will help you out.
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Old 07-16-2010   #7
 
Eagle, Colorado
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If you are thinking about getting a boat for fishing, do yourself a favor and check out a Saturn before you buy anything. I was skeptical about getting one at first after guiding Hysides for years, but I spoke to many owners who have 50+ runs on their Saturns and they are still going strong. You can look at reviews and the only people who bash Saturns are people who don't actually own them. They have new placement for the valves this year, tougher flooring, and better handles. For the price of a Vanguard, you could get a Saturn w/ a nice frame and trailer. Also, having the 14 footer is nice if you ever decide to do an overnight trip and for most of the rivers around here, you don't need a 13 ft boat to get where you want to go. Plus the larger tubes on the 14's gives you better draft in the shallows.
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Old 07-16-2010   #8
 
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I have had a 14' Vanguard for 6 years. Been a great boat. Call Greg at Timberline Tours in Eagle 970-390-3020. He'll get you all set up. Used American in Denver and had them build a trailer which they now stock. Stick with the 14' though!!
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Old 07-16-2010   #9
 
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I agree, 14' for sure. You are always glad you have more room, not less. And 14' puts the anglers close enough together as it is and you still have just enough room for overnighters or family trips without the fishing seats in.

I also haven't ascertained an issue with any leaking around the prv but prv valves are notorious for going bad. I just went to the plug setup and pull it for on the trailer and its fine. I did have a v-tape issue on my floor but Holly had me a new boat under warranty in a couple days and mine's been good for the last 5 years.

For a trailer I would just watch craigslist and depending on your budget what features you want. Flatbed or cargo hauling? Winch and roller for sure.
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Old 10-21-2014   #10
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Minturn, Colorado
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Its 2014- and I still cant find much info

Trying to bump this post-

Wondering how Vanguard boats are now that it is 1558 days past this post.

Everyone seems to bash glued seams, but I have also noticed that a few people are IN LOVE with the Vguards. Can someone explain this contradiction???
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