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Discussion Starter #1
I've previously established my newbie status.

I have the chance for 2 rafts, both 13', both self bailing

1) Hyside with about 10 years of use - including some by an outfitter. Being sold by an owner who has had it for 2 years.

2) Rocky Mountain Raft with one season of use by an outfitter. Sold by the outfitter after single season of use.

Price is equivalent.

I'm inclined to go with the newer option. 10 years is a lot of wear and tear.

Thoughts?
 

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Close call. I'm curious to see what the group consensus is.
My thinking is; if it's going to be trailered and stored inflated: RMR. If you're going to be deflating and rolling it up a bunch: Hyside.
 

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I think it depends on the condition of each raft. Hysides are pretty durable, but a decade of use in a commercial outfitting environment is like four or more decades of private use.

I personally would go with the Hyside unless it was totally beat to crap. Despite having just bought an Aire boat, I like Hypalon better then PVC. The RMR rafts hold up pretty well, but even a year of outfitter use can really put some wear and tear on a boat. There is a reason why Aire will do a 10 year no questions asked warranty of their boats for privates but only 3 years for commercial outfitters.
 

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Hyside!! Without a doubt, I hear they're going to be selling those RMR rafts at a Wal-Mart near you!


WYO
 

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Agree with others. Hyside looks to be a good deal. See it in person and find out if you fall in love with it. If all it has is some typical wear and tear it should be good for a long time. If it has patches or any obvious major issues, then maybe keep looking.

Hyside will weigh just over 100 lbs, while the RMR is around 140.

If I did not already have a 12' and 14' Hyside I would look at that 13' boat. Good deal if it is all it looks to be.
 

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...a decade of use in a commercial outfitting environment is like four or more decades of private use.
While I agree with you that commercial rafts see more use, I don't really agree with the above statement. There are absolutely old, tired, used-and-abused falling apart commercial boats out there, but more often than not, I think, commercial boats get taken out every day, put away in a nice dry, shady home, stored inflated, etc, etc. Many private boats are driven by novice boaters (read: running into crap all day), without adequate facilities (read: stored rolled, outside, in sun, in water, etc).

Anyway, I guess I agree that commercial boats usually get way more use, but not necessarily worse use. I liken it to trucks: If I go buy a 5 year old F-250 from some dope who modded it out, drove the hell out of it for 120,000 miles, and got the oil changed twice I'll be WAY worse off than if I buy a 300,000 mile, 10 y.o. truck that was driven by a business that did oil changes every 5000 miles without fail, did the full maintenance, etc.

Just depends on the boat and the user.
 

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While I agree with you that commercial rafts see more use, I don't really agree with the above statement. There are absolutely old, tired, used-and-abused falling apart commercial boats out there, but more often than not, I think, commercial boats get taken out every day, put away in a nice dry, shady home, stored inflated, etc, etc. Many private boats are driven by novice boaters (read: running into crap all day), without adequate facilities (read: stored rolled, outside, in sun, in water, etc).

Anyway, I guess I agree that commercial boats usually get way more use, but not necessarily worse use. I liken it to trucks: If I go buy a 5 year old F-250 from some dope who modded it out, drove the hell out of it for 120,000 miles, and got the oil changed twice I'll be WAY worse off than if I buy a 300,000 mile, 10 y.o. truck that was driven by a business that did oil changes every 5000 miles without fail, did the full maintenance, etc.

Just depends on the boat and the user.
You must not see the same commercial operations I have then. Those boats get tossed around the storage yards, thrown on trailers, thrown off trailers, dragged into and out of the river and generally used very hard twice a day from May through September.

I think the average private user, having spent a sizable amount of money on the raft, takes very good care of their stuff. Of course there are those who are the exception, but in general they get a ton less wear and tear on them from a private user. I've seen 90's era Hysides and Avons that were in private hands most of their life and they are pristine compared to ones that got used commercially for decades.

I agree that if a commercial user goes out of their way to take care of a raft that it could still be in awesome shape. Practically none of the commercial outfitters I have seen fit that bill though. They use them hard and then sell them on when its starting to get worn out.
 

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Normally I would say Hyside hands down but the gray thwarts concern me. Hyside have a run of boats in I believe '08 that were lemons of the first magnitude, it was their Rio Bravo line, these things fall apart and fail prematurely. Those boats were blue with gray thwarts, so am not 100% sure because this one is yellow.. Also those could be thwarts from another boat that the outfitter had laying around but I would be careful and do you home work. I would get the serial number from the outfitter and call Hyside.
 

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Seems like I've seen a lot of used Hysides between the buzz and colorado area craigslist. I'd keep looking and see what other options you find. Picking up a turn-key used package will definitely save you money.
 
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