Star inflatables? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-03-2015   #1
grand junction, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2
Star inflatables?

Hey , anyone have experience with Star inflatable boats? Seems like the price is right? quality?? Thanks.

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Old 09-03-2015   #2
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 861
Mike from Star might chime in here, I've never owned one bit have paddled a few. Construction seems good given the value, they have some cool diminishing tube designs, and the slice is awesome. I can't think of a better made boat from overseas... I'd say even with RMR.
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Old 09-03-2015   #3
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 247
Had a Star Super-bug for several years so I have some experience. IMO they are good boats for the $$. They are glued PVC so don't expect to get 20 years out of one. Mine (the super bug) was crazy heavy for a 15' boat, especially since it didn't have an inflated floor (it has a suspended membrane floor with drain holes, 13" off the bottom of the tubes). This was mainly due to all the extra rubber they glue on. It didn't roll/fold worth a damn, also due to the heavy rubber strakes and bottom armor. It rowed fine when it wasn't overloaded and held up well for the time that I had it.
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Old 09-03-2015   #4
Reno, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 15
We bought a used Eastern Star from an outfitter in Truckee and so far it has been really great. We are mostly doing single day family trips, but it is holding up pretty well considering we got it used.
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Old 09-03-2015   #5
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Happy wit it...

Originally Posted by marchese68 View Post
Hey , anyone have experience with Star inflatable boats? Seems like the price is right? quality?? Thanks.
I have had my Star Wonderbug for 13 years now. The boat has work out great for me. It does around 25 to 35 runs per season now.

I paid $2250 for it new at the time, but the price has gone up to $2970 now.

I have had zero problems with the glued pvc issue.

It seems to roll up just fine for me. No where near as tight a roll as my hypalon, but tight enough to fit in the bag without a problem.

If your looking to do any fishing, the solid floor makes walking around and casting a breeze.

I also had a nice 12 foot self bailer from Star. It was my first raft and we got it off the local swapsheet for $500 about 20 years ago. That boat was rode hard and put up wet on a regular basis. That boat was made with the old glue formula and stored outside year round for the last 10 years. Still, I did not see any real glue issues until 2/3 years ago. I retaped some seams then. She finally gave up the ghost this year and headed to the landfill. Not bad for $500.

So, long story in short form, I think the quality is excellent for the price.

I hope this helps. Have fun on the river!

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Old 09-03-2015   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 205
They are kind of cool boats. My buddy has one and I like that it has HUGE tubes for a small boat and it has that suspended floor so it really rows like a narrow cat. Like I said its a fun boat but I have a RMR and my buddy and I agree that the RMR is a far better quality raft. That being said I really like his little star raft for low water and fishing type stuff.
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Old 09-03-2015   #7
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Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 350
I owned an Eastern Star for about 12-13 years before selling it to a buddy. It has been a good boat through the years. The floor bladder blew out last year but my buddy ordered a new one from Star for a great deal. All in all, a good experience.
"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 09-03-2015   #8
the grove, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,781
I am not entirely sure they are glued. They might be welded. Anyone with any info on the current construction that can chime in?

Bottom line, they have been making boats for a long time.
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Old 09-04-2015   #9
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little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 461
Unless their construction process has changed they're glued. My buddy bought a completely janked out Wonderbug from an outfitter down here. They lied to him about its condition so we only got it on the water two or three times before I cried uncle. I'm just not up to repairing failed seams and blown baffles. To be fair I firmly believe the boat's condition was the outfitter's fault and not the result of poor construction (not that I'm all that knowledgeable). They're extremely popular down here and on eastern rivers. Neat boats and seem to be a really good value.
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Old 09-04-2015   #10
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Stars are still glued up. That said they use different glue that has a better consistent quality these days and I haven't seen any of the problems that the boats from the 90's had. If you find a newer boat for a deal I wouldn't be afraid of it on account of it falling apart like the ones from the 90's.
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