Stability: Aire 143R and Sotar ST14 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-10-2014   #1
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Stability: Aire 143R and Sotar ST14

I'm narrowing it down. Becasue the Sotar ST14 is about 25 lbs. lighter, I am leaning THAT way -- mostly for my wife and I (not spring chickens) moving the raft around -- on and off the trailer in the garage for example. My other primary concern is stability in big water, so I guess the question boils down to this: do you think the 143R (R being the Round series that Aire markets as their most stable rafts) is MORE STABLE than the ST14? Enough to offset the weight inconvenience?
I'm not trying to start a thread about the pros and cons of Aire vs. Sotar in general -- just wondering about the stability question. (However, I guess there is the very related question of maneuverability helping to avoid potential flip situations in the first place.)
Thanks for the thoughts.

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Old 09-10-2014   #2
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Without the sealed floor pocket the Aire is likely a little more stable because it'll hold a few gallons of ballast in the floor. Your part of the country isn't that silty, so this might be worth it. That said, I think it makes the boats more sluggish on the water - and REALLY heavy when you first pull them out. In 100 close calls the Aire MIGHT flip one less time.

After guiding some Sotar boats this summer and learning more about them I would chose one over the Aire - and I'm a big Aire fan. The Sotar is lighter, simpler, and I think a better choice for your "have it forever" boat.
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Old 09-10-2014   #3
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BTW, I've never rowed either, but have guided a lot of Class 3-4 whitewater in both, for what it's worth.
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Old 09-10-2014   #4
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I have and aire 156, it pulls in alot of water addind alot of weight. Its about 15 min before we can move it on the trailer to get it foward for better road handling. As far as Sotars I have not had the chance to oar one yet
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Old 09-10-2014   #5
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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Consider a drop stitch floor- you and wife will have an easier time moving around the boat with that dance floor beneath you- Sotar offers one as an option.

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Old 09-10-2014   #6
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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I have the Sotar and love it for its light, maneuverable aspects. Wouldn't change to an Aire again.


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Old 09-10-2014   #7
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Tacoma,Wa, Idaho
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Keep in mind the Sotar drop stitch floor is imported so you are buying half of a Korean boat. The bottoms get rashed up fairly fast on sharp rock also and their bottom coating is not thick enough to help much, you may have round rock and have no issues at all. I have an Aire 130D
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Old 09-11-2014   #8
 
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Portland, Oregon
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The water filled AIRE floor will almost certainly be a little more stable, it's been discussed many times, but for a 14' boat there is a lot else that comes into play. I think the weight difference and ease of maneuvering is more important than a tiny fraction's worth of stability. If you and your wife are planning to start dropping steep creeks or class V, maybe go with the AIRE. Otherwise you can't go wrong with SOTAR. Their fall sale is coming up....

The SOTAR drop stitch floor isn't worth it. An I-beam floor is good, tracks better, and will be more durable.
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Old 09-11-2014   #9
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Thanks folks. That's what I figured regarding comparable stability: words like "a little" and "MIGHT" -- not enough to tip the scale toward the heavier boat. (And although it's not too silty up here, I do expect to use the raft in other places.)
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Old 09-11-2014   #10
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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Maravia on your list?

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