SOAR canoe vs. raft?? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-15-2011   #1
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Join Date: May 2011
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SOAR canoe vs. raft??

My wife and I are looking at purchasing some sort of watercraft for evening floats on the Poudre, after work. Neither of us has whitewater experience. Over time, I see us maybe doing class II or III rapids, but nothing more serious than that. We're not after the really aggressive stuff.

It'd be nice if the boat could handle a 2-3 day float on a river as well, but again, serious whitewater will be avoided. One other stipulation, we'd like to bring the dog.

We've been looking at all sorts of boats and pretty much have it narrowed down to a 12 foot raft (either a new pvc like a Saturn or a Rocky Mountain, or a used hypalon), or a tandem inflatable kayak. A buddy from Alaska told me to look at a Soar canoe. They look pretty awesome, but I've never actually seen one in person. They're expensive as well. If we go the SOAR route, we won't be floating this year due to cost.

Does anyone have experience with a SOAR as well as rafting experience? Basically, I'm looking for advice as to the strengths/weaknesses of each.
Thanks for any thoughts.

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Old 05-15-2011   #2
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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I do not own a SOAR. I have been on several river trips with folks that have the SOAR water craft. They all handled anything the river threw at them. Including some serious rapids. One of the guys I know paddled a SOAR 16 down the Grand Canyon. None of the owners I know have anything bad to say about SOAR. My take is they are serious river craft. I suggest you Google SOAR and take a look at their web site.
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Old 05-15-2011   #3
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
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Thanks for the info. I've spent a good chunk of time reading up on and looking at the SOAR website. They look like good boats. Now I'm mostly looking for folks like you who've experienced them first hand.
My Alaska buddy can't say enough good things about his. But the guys I work and play with down here keep pointing me towards rafts (but they all have fishing on their minds, which ranks pretty low on my list of priorities).
Thanks again.
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Old 05-15-2011   #4
The Russian
 
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SLC, Utah
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Here you go, my SOAR 14 in Westwater



Great boat, I've enjoyed it quite a bit

And in Murtaugh (Class 4+)

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Old 05-15-2011   #5
The Russian
 
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SLC, Utah
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Get the boat for the right activity. SOAR is a great boat for Class 2-3 rapids. Easy to pack, easy to store and can get cool accessories. Also you can haul more gear than a regular ducky. A lot of hunters in Alaska use SOARs to get moose out of the forests.

You can see from my videos, the boat penetrates the wave straight on and rises to the top. Most of the flips I've done in SOAR is my own mistake and not the boat, it kept us up right many many times.

I have 3 boats now, though I do love my 16' Maravia for long trips, I still like to take my SOAR out to play in a lake, run smaller rivers or let my son to mess with it. It also makes a great water slide for little kidos when you turn it over.

Alex
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Old 05-15-2011   #6
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
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Those videos are awesome. It looks like you handled the boat pretty well after the oar broke. That water is much bigger than anything we'll tackle.

With your 16 foot boat, do you think you'd have enough space to pack gear, plus a dog, for a couple of nights?
Also, are the bottoms of the SOAR canoes fairly robust? I imagine pulling off the river on to rocks fairly frequently, to throw the ball for the dog and just goof around. The local guys tell me the Poudre is hard on boats and it may be especially hard on a pvc raft.

I need to find a local SOAR to hithc a ride in.
Thanks for the post.
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Old 05-15-2011   #7
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
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make sure you get something that can handle all of your wants not just some of them.... two people+dog on a multi-day seems abit much for a soar. a 13fter raft will do it all in style. and yup i've never owned a soar but have owned various tandem/solo IK's and 7 rafts from 11ft-16ft. bottom line...if you want only one then get something that can do it all without issue.

and you'll probably get a taste for bigger whitewater after you get your skills/confidence up. it's a progressive addiction. good luck fighting it.

just my .02
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Old 05-15-2011   #8
 
Golden, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vo2junkie View Post

With your 16 foot boat, do you think you'd have enough space to pack gear, plus a dog, for a couple of nights?
.
he's talking about a 16ft maravia raft not the soar 16. you don't want a 16ft raft for evening strolls down the 'puder. big water,multi-days though...hell yeah baby
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Old 05-16-2011   #9
The Russian
 
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SLC, Utah
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Ya the 16 footer I meant as a full raft. 2 people and a dog would fit in a 14 footer, but not much gear. I've taken my wife, me and my kid quite comfy.

If you want to bring gear probably two people could fit, not the dog
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Old 05-16-2011   #10
 
Kanab, Utah
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I have two SOARs, a 12 foot and a 16 footer. They are great boats. Very bomber construction, you won't have a problem with gravel wearing out the bottom. I've seen SOARs go down the Escalante River in southern Utah, dealing with rocks and Russian Olive thorns, and never a problem.
If you are "backpack-style" camping on the river, two of you will have no problem fitting your stuff for several nights. You will never overload it weight-wise, its only a matter of physical space. There is much more room in a SOAR than in a tandem ducky because you sit in it canoe-style and your legs don't take up so much space like in an inflatable kayak.
They are definitely built to last and take abuse and are extremely stable, it takes some serious doing to flip them.
Check 'em out, you won't be disappointed.
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