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Discussion Starter #1
Folks, looking for input on the two boats.

Will be used for three reasons:

1) Stern frame with 2 to 4 paddlers up front; will have cooler mounted in extended stern frame

2) Paddle boat for 5 people

3) Auxiliary oar rig, already have a Willy I so this would be if I needed an extra boat or wanted to run smaller river / lower flow

What do folks think would be my best bet? Any folks out there have an Aire 13 footer -- what did you think?
 

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If this is primarily for paddling, the Diminished Tubes (D) should be fine - you give up quite a bit of storage space with the D series, but if you're not using it with an oar frame, it's not an issue. I am curious why you've selected this over the Super Puma, though?
 

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If your not using it primarily for week long trips I would say go with the D series. Watch some of the videos with Dan McCain and those guys (lots of them on Aire's Facebook page if you scroll through). They R2 a 130D through some of the most demanding whitewater.


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Discussion Starter #4
I used to have a SuperPuma and for whatever reason, it just wasn't that boat for me. Most likely skill level but after several years of ownership I switched to a Williwaw and am much, much happier (and drier).

So far almost all folks have said that the small loss of stability moving from R to D is well worth added performance and maneuverability.

Head says 13.0D, Heart says 13.0R
 

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What kind of runs are you doing?

What class water? Big rivers or technical creeks? Big waves and holes or mild stuff? Day trips or overnighters?
 

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How do you give up storage space with diminishing tubes? I thought it was the other way around. I would personally go for the D series. I wish I had. Better punch on big hits plus more interior space (I think). Not sure how a stern frame would be on such a boat but if you can paddle from back there then I'm sure you can row as well.


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mostly III's with some IV's --- typically raft the White Salmon, Lower Deschutes, Rogue, Clackamas and will be venturing into ID this year for first time.

Would selecting the "D" open me up to other rivers if my skill level / ability increase?

This will be used for mostly day trips or as a 2nd / 3rd raft and will have stern frame in most of those applications. I would not take this on overnighters unless the other two boats were going along as well (Williwaw 1 and 1.5).
 

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As your skill level and confidence increase so will your opportunities. The fact that you have a D or an R series boat won't or shouldn't effect that one way or the other. You will adjust comfortably to whichever boat you choose.


Jim
 

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Either boat will be great

The R does indeed have more space since it is a much rounder shape at the ends. The D has the diminishing tubes, a pointier shape and more rocker so it is a little more performance oriented.

The other day I had a brand new 143R stacked on a 23-year old 156E and was surprised how little difference there was, both sitting on the trailer and on the river.

Don't lose sleep over this decision. Either boat will be tons of fun.
 

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IMO the E series boats are best rafts Aire makes. I've done a lot of paddle guiding out of the back of a 13' E, those boats always inspired confidence in me. Really you can't go wrong with an aire.
 

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E Series all the way. I've rowed all 3 and own an E. If you're mostly rowing / paddle guiding from the back, the square stern is super nice. The extra rocker with the pointed bow pierces thru waves and holes much better than the D and especially the R. Almost every commercial raft you see on the Upper Animas is an E series and for good reason.

It works fine as an oar rig too, I've taken mine on tons of 7+ day trips. If you are really stuck on the D or the R, I wouldn't even consider the R.
 

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R for hauling lots of gear
D for paddle boat/more minimal gear.


I don't like the look of the E series, but that's only my personal opinion, they paddle great.


D is definitely the wettest ride.


The D boats paddle like smaller boats. The R boats paddle like larger boats.
Very little difference in size or volume between my buddy's 143D and my 13.0 Trib (similar to the 13R).
 
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