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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I am wanting to buy a 14er. I have narrowed it down to

Aire 143
NRS Otter 140 or 142
Hyside Outfitter 14 or 14xt

or save my money with a RMR 14 Dropstitch.

I have ridden most of them and had fun. Mostly row with the occasional r4. 90% day trips and maybe the occasional overnighter.

Running Upper Colorado River, Green River and into Tennessee.

What is your choice?
 

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Westernmost
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They're all solid boats from good companies, and all fairly similar in price (with exception to the RMR). Really what it comes to your price range, preference in material, and what you would like as a warranty.

To me Aire's 10 Year No Fault Warranty has always been super attractive and would ease my mind a bit more when it comes to wear and tear over time.

But on the Flip side, RMR has Frame packages (@ $4,129) with a lot of gear that will still leave you with spare cash when compared to the more expensive of the 4 (Aire @ $4,799); This is also an attractive option in this regard, particularly if you don't have the equipment. Not to mention the that a 5 year warranty is still nothing to balk at!.

You'll probably be pretty happy with any of those options. For me personally, if I could afford it, I would lean towards the Aire based largely on their reputation and warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. Outdoor play had the Aire on sale for $4000. I regret not jumping on it.

My wallet is obviously telling me to go RMR, but I keep coming back to the Aire and Hyside.
 

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I hear that RMR raft have improved. Some of us have had horrible luck with their products as a search would reveal. I would recommend other options. We will see what Denny and the gang have to say.
 

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RMR boats are fine, if a bit heavy and hard to roll. Plenty durable...but there is a reason they are cheaper.

I have an Aire 146DD and had the 136DD before that. I also have a Hyside Cataraft and had a Mini-Max for a while. I really like the DD series from Aire and they have done me well. A little bit heavier, but the warranty is amazing and they are a pleasure to row. It holds air for days and days (I think I topped it off twice on a 21 day Grand trip). Honestly though... I think if I was gonna buy a new boat which I'm not right now, I'd seriously consider a Hyside after my experience with my 14' Cataraft. I like the lower weight and they take less maintenance. They roll up a bunch easier and tighter too. The Aire boats, due to their two layer system (outter durable shell and inner urethane bladder that holds the air) will take more abuse without deflating...but the floor and tubes can get debris in them and hold moisture for longer so they take more care. That isn't really a problem with Hyside and other boats that don't use the bladder system.

IMHO, its worth it going with a more premium boat like an Aire or Hyside or the Hypalon NRS boats. There are more expensive boats like SOTAR, Wing and Maravia...but they are thousands more then even the Aire, Hyside and NRS boats. I'd still love to own a new Wing boat sometime. I've been looking for 11' Sotar Legend tubes as well...but trying to find a used set so I don't have to pay the SOTAR premium.
 

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That’s tough. I went the Aire 146DD route. Honestly they are all good. Get the one you can get a deal on! I got mine from Outdoor Play.

Before that boat I had a NRS Outlaw. It got me on the water cheap, but it aged poorly. Plus the floor sucked. I had a lot of fun in it, but would have to buy several to last how long my Aire’s will. (also have a 156R). I’m sure the hypalon boats are great, but I’m really sold on the Aire bladder design.

Can’t go wrong with any of those.
 

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I second the AIRE option. I own a 156r and a Ocelot from 1999 and it is still going. I wouldn’t hesitate to float the Grand tomorrow in it. They last forever and are reasonably priced. I picked up my 156r from The Boat People. They gave me a 10% discount for paying with cash and free shipping. Ends up being quite the discount. Also in terms of maintenance, if you float clean rivers, maintenance is easy. Siltier rivers require a little more but I have always enjoyed a nicer fall day with some beer. Then you’ll be good for another year or two.
 

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Having owned an RMR, I’d say save up and buy a Hyside or Aire. Yes you’ll pay more initially but they are higher quality boats IMHO and they come with a far more superior customer model than RMR has shown some of their consumers. I couldn’t be happier with the Hyside outfitter XT and Aire WD.
 

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I own and have owned several rafts. RMR makes a fantastic raft that absolutely cannot be beaten for the price. FYI the 14' is a big 14'. Pay attention to tube sizes and widths. I really like the NRS Expedition series. People love Aire boats but the goofy blatter/zipper construction seems stupid to me and the unsealed floors that hold water are awful imo. It comes down to materials you like. Lots of info on the buzz about pros/cons of materials. Just remember that the rubber is the tip of the iceberg. Id rather have nice oars, and a nice trailer than nice rubber thats for sure. If your budgetign a whole set up be prepared to spend way more on all the gear to outfit your boat than you could possibly imagine. There is alot to be said for getting a RMR and using the spare cash for frame/oars/cooler/drybox/bags/camp shit/nice pfds helmets/saftey gear/hundreds of straps/ext.
 

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Also, hopefully you plan on gettign a trailer, without a trailer rafting is a pain in the ass. Put a trailer on your list of day 1 purchases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also, hopefully you plan on gettign a trailer, without a trailer rafting is a pain in the ass. Put a trailer on your list of day 1 purchases.
Trailers are something we have a lot of around here. I do a lot of camping and hunting, so thats gear we have accumulated through the years.

As you said there are advantages to get a totally outfitted foreign boat for the same price of an Aire.

Frame, Oars, and Dry box are about the only things we will lack (besides boat of course). I can weld ok, Hoping to find a design I like and try to make my own frame.

My only hesitation for the Aire (besides price) is the floor. All rivers around me are very silty.
 

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I bought a 14 foot RMR dropstitch a couple years ago and have had no issues. I understand they had some quality issues in the past, but my boat has been rock solid and I recommend RMR without hesitation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought a 14 foot RMR dropstitch a couple years ago and have had no issues. I understand they had some quality issues in the past, but my boat has been rock solid and I recommend RMR without hesitation.
I have talked to a few guys out on the river with an RMR and they had the same recommendation.

Would you still go drop stitch over regular floor?
 

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I have talked to a few guys out on the river with an RMR and they had the same recommendation.

Would you still go drop stitch over regular floor?
Oh yeah, I love the dropstitch floor. It is rock solid and hassle free. I've never actually owned an I-beam floor, but I've rowed plenty of them and I think the RMR dropstitch is top notch.

There are definitely sexier boats out there. My boating cohorts have the Hyside 14XT, and it's damn nice. I personally covet a Maravia Zephyr, a 15 ft boat that's the same width as the RMR 14 (so I could drop my current frame onto one without changing a thing). But it's almost 3x the price I paid for the RMR, and being self-employed $$$ is always an issue.
 

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There are definitely sexier boats out there. My boating cohorts have the Hyside 14XT, and it's damn nice. I personally covet a Maravia Zephyr, a 15 ft boat that's the same width as the RMR 14 (so I could drop my current frame onto one without changing a thing). But it's almost 3x the price I paid for the RMR, and being self-employed $$$ is always an issue.
Between your Zephyr and your RMR, which do you find yourself preferring to take out more?
 

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I've looking at picking up a 14' at the end of this season as well. New or used, looking at all the suspects listed above. Stumbled across a Sawatch Boat Company 14' cutthroat and started digging. I have seen the same boat on the river twice this season now and got a good look at it while they were rigging her up. On paper and at the launch they look like awesome boats from a new company. Unfortunately they have only been around since 2017 so the longevity piece of the equation is blank. Has anyone rowed one for a couple seasons or know someone who has? Looking for any shred of insight from the boat gurus.

Here is their site:
 
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