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Been lurking here for a bit and figured I'd make a thread to document the build project on my first real raft. I've gotten tons of great info and tips from you all through this process, so time to pass it on!

It's a 14' Achilles self-bailer (circa '99) bought earlier this Spring from a Deschutes outfitter. First pic is the day I brought it home:



Not too pretty, has a few patches on the bottom, but I found it holds air perfectly for days. The frame was basically a throw-in - doesn't really fit, has a broken weld and rotten boards. We'll get to that later.

First order of business is some cleanup. I was skeptical about how much improvement I could make, figuring all the white-ish color was just faded material. But I bought some NRS boat cleaner and went to work:



Not bad! Clean part is on the left. After a lot more elbow grease...



That stuff seriously works. My method was basically: wet a section, spray on the cleaner, wait a minute, scrub with a brush, then rinse off. You do have to be careful with it - the rinse water was carrying a fair amount of red & black color as it flowed off. I wouldn't want to get too much more aggressive than I did.

You can also see the start of some frame modification work - more to come...
 

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congratulations on your achilles! i have the same exact boat that i picked up a few years back and couldn't be happier with it. thanks for the pics and welcome to the buzz!
 

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Nice score, great raft! That frame looks a little narrow for the boat, however. i'm sure it'll still get you down the river though.

Have fun!
 
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