RMR Vs. Others Raft Purchase - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-19-2018   #1
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
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RMR Vs. Others Raft Purchase

I'm debating on a raft purchase for a 14' paddle raft & fame set up for an organization I work with. My personal raft is a 14' RMR for the past 4 years and I've loved it, but I really dont have much other experience to compare it against as it is the only rig I have ever rowed. I've used it on everything from Poudre day runs, to Ruby, to MFS type trips. It becomes heavy for day runs on the Poudre, but has not been a huge deal loading wise. What opinions do people have on the best pound for pound raft out there (considering a mid-level price point... say $3-$5k)? What am I getting for spending more on non-PVC? What about drop stitch versus chambers? Thoughts, comments, opinions, curse words...... all are welcome.

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Old 09-19-2018   #2
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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I've run Aires and Maravias.

I can definitely tell you I love drop stitch floors over ibeam or chambered floors.

Aire's ballast floor is nice on a multiday when you don't want to risk a flip. It's boring as hell on a day run when you want to jet all over the place (and can't).
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Old 09-19-2018   #3
 
Fruita, Colorado
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for the money, I would look at https://cascaderivergear.com/shop/14...th-dropstitch/
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Old 09-19-2018   #4
 
Crested Butte, Colorado
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I agree with TO Mac, that drop stitch RMR is a lot of raft for your buck.
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Old 09-19-2018   #5
 
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FOCO, Colorado
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Go with hypalon, and for the price I believe hyside is a better deal then nrs. They roll better, personal II think they drive better. But hey, thank god thereís buttons on a juke box, everyone gets to choose. I will say I tend to see lots of folks get on here and they are very knowledgeable about what they have, versus tons of experience across the board. For all around lifespan, performance, comfort, ease of maintenance, Iím a hypalon Guy.
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Old 09-20-2018   #6
 
Arnold, California
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Assuming you are looking for a 14' boat you shouldn't have trouble finding something in the offseason for 3-5k. The RMR or Hyside would be fine. I agree that the Hyside built better than recent NRS boats.
Depending on the type of org it is call the companies and see what kind of discount they'd be willing to give. Who knows you might get a great deal.
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Old 09-20-2018   #7
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Originally Posted by Critter70 View Post
I will say I tend to see lots of folks get on here and they are very knowledgeable about what they have, versus tons of experience across the board.
As long as they're honest and not just trying to get you to buy what they have so they can feel good about their own purchase!

No question hypalon is easier to roll, and there are still a lot of 30-40 year old hypalon boats on the river. Some of the oldest ones were bucket boats...so not as often used, but still serviceable. I'll wager the ones made today will be going strong in 40 years.

Frequent rolling is murder on PVC boats.
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Old 09-20-2018   #8
 
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I'll wager the ones made today will be going strong in 40 years.
If I was younger......I'd take that bet.
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Old 09-20-2018   #9
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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I currently own three Hypalon boats (though one I need to fix a few things on and sell) and one Aire. Two are Hysides, one being a nearly brand new Mini-Max and the other (which is the fix up one) is a minimum 20 year old version with the rub strake and military that was ridden hard and put away wet by Divorjak's. A bit leaky, but still does a great job. Both of these are more "flexy" going through the water then the Aire, but are lighter and easier to roll. The Mini-Max seems to hold air well (as it should for be being brand new) but the older 13' one needs daily (and occasionally hourly) topping off.

I also have an 90's era Avon Pro, and its battle worn but still does a great job. I pin balled down the Middle and Main Salmon with it this summer and had a great time. It has provided a couple of Drama free trips down the Grand as well. It was my only boat for a while, and did a great job at a lot of different things. It definitely needs daily topping off and has plenty of patches, but at its core its still a great boat.

Last summer, I bought an Aire 136DD and I think its my favorite boat I own. Very versatile, rock solid, never needs to be topped off, and rows great. It seems to be holding up well to the abuse I put it through and you really can't beat the Aire warranty. I have friends that have some of the original Aire boats, and they seem to hold up. I've seen some pretty beat up old Aire's as well, but they got put through the ringer by commercial companies and any boat would see that level of damage from that (reference my older Hyside).

As for import PVC boats... its hard to overlook the Tributary series by Aire for similar price, but I have a lot of friends that have the RMR's and love them. Hard to beat on price, and they seem to hold up. I see them in commercial fleets as well...not sure how long they last in that environment but I imagine its longer then you'd think. Heck, even stuff like Vanguard, Saturn and the like seem to be fairly well made and the value is high. I do think the extra money spent on the higher name brands like Aire, Hyside, Maravia, Sotar and the upper teer of NRS is worth the money in the long run... but rafts aren't cheap and the rubber is just the start so I totally understand the desire to get into something cheaper at the start.

At the end of the day, I've seen some pretty sketchy setups do a great job of getting someone down the river... so do as your budget allows. I will say that the cheapest and easiest way to get into this is to buy someone's used setup. You can get some really nice used high end stuff for a great value...especially this time of year. The best part is they often are very well set up and take a lot of the guess work out of it and you basically buy it and just get on the river instead of having to piece it all together (or drop a pretty penny with an outfitter to do it for you).
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Old 09-20-2018   #10
 
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If I was younger......I'd take that bet.
I'll fight you on the porch of the Old Boaters Home.


Right after naptime.
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