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Discussion Starter #1
Any input on them would be great! likes/dislikes etc...
Are they welded or glued?
I'm referring to the Adventure series (PVC)
 

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They are junk overpriced for what you get. I would go with another brand, Aire NRS Rocky Mountain Tributary all make better boats. My buddy had a Down River Equipment Pro series it is four years old well cared for and looks like a ten year old commercial used NRS or Avon. DRE is proud of their shit as they cost about the same as Maravia NRS Aire Avon but are half the boat.
 

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I have had a pro series 15" for 8-9 years. I have been happy with it. I used it 21 days this season. I will say that it may not look as new as some other boats. My buddy with a Hyside from the same year has numerous patches where it has worn through. I on the other hand have none. I can't speak for their PVC line but the pro line has worked well for me. I also have to say that their customer service is very good. Many companies make fine boats. I think that there is probably not a huge difference at any price point. No one is giving it away. Good luck.
 

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My only experience with DRE rafts have been electrofishing setups. These setups are ridiculously heavy, with diamondplate floors and elevated decks, generators, filled stock tanks that weigh a ton, enevenly distributed weight with netters standing over the bow, etc. Not an elegant setup by any means. These boats are abused, worked out of, continuously grinding on the bottom and always overloaded. On one trip, in a very inopportune place, a pin/clip setup failed sending us straight into an overhanging bank riddled with pungee sticks and root balls. I was absolutely certian that we were about to get shredded. We pinballed and ground all the way down this bank without a tear or puncture. I was truly amazed. They seem pretty bomber to me.
 

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I have a 14' DRE adventure series and a DRE 4 bay frame that I picked up 3 years ago. It gets paddled/rowed over 60 days each summer, maybe 200 days on the boat. It's been down the Grand Canyon twice now and is about to go on its 3rd trip this september. Along with trips on the main salmon, Desolation, west water etc.... I also use the boat as a paddle raft running the ark,eagle, clear creek, blue, upper c, gore, etc..... I absolutely love the boat!!!
I feel its very easy to maneuver, it tracks to where i want it to go. Its very predictable in maneuvering tight moves and running large volumes of water. I've never felt that the boat put me off line or made me miss a move. With the larger tubes 21" i can pack quite a bit of gear on the boat for trips(grand canyon for example) I've T 'd up to holes on the grand where just in front of me the 2 16' boats flipped and my boat punched through the hole( granted I had about 250 beers in the front bay along with my passenger on the bow, fully loaded boat)
As far as wear and tear, I'm pretty abusive on the boat (low water numbers/browns 400cfs-3500cfs, clear creek, gore) Most times when I pull up to a put in I get asked if the boats brand new, I smile and say no, I just take really good care of the boat(garage kept, inflated, 303'd) Up until this point zero issues, with anything, In fact after the next trip I'm going to bring the boat down to DRE and have them inspect it and fix anything they might feel needs attention( that pretty sweet to be able to do)
I do like were the valves are located as well, easy to get to, some rafts have there valves on the inside tubes, which i've found does not work when you pile a bunch of gear in the boat and need to inflate or deflate the boat. When traveling with the boat inflated and the frame on it, its really easy to get to the valves to inflate or deflate the boat to adjust for the altitude/temps. I think they really put a lot of thought into how the boat is designed and set up.

There frames are super sweet. I've rowed several other types of frames, DRE makes the most sense to me. It truly is a custom frame and super bomber. Being able to adjust the tower height/angle to my height, arm span/reach feels so much better then using a generic frame. Diamond plated rails and a captains floor is the way to go. And the DRE captains chair is the bomb, super sweet to be able to row forward and use the chair as leverage. And when your just chilling and drinking a beer it's really comfortable to have a chair to sit in vs sitting on top of a foam padded dry box.

Hope this helps!
LOVE MY BOAT :)
 

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I have been rowing a DRE 14'x25" cataraft with a DRE three bay frame plus custom built cooler trailer since 2004. I absolutely love this boat. It has been super bomber for me running big water Main Salmon trips and scraping along the Middle Fork and Northfork of the Flathead. I routinely am asked if my boat is new and receive compliments on it everytime it is on the water. I love the design and the 25" tubes really allow me to pile on the gear plus passenger.

For the money I think it might be one of the best deals out there.
 

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Their rafts are junk and the warranty is a joke especially for the price. Love their frames though super bomber!
 

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Their rafts are junk and the warranty is a joke especially for the price. Love their frames though super bomber!
LOL! I love it... 3 or 4 fully explained and glowing reviews and then this un-substantiated negativity. :rolleyes:

I don't know anything about DRE boats so have no vested interest, by the way... I own an RMR.
 

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There must be some reason people like them? Value? Are they hypalon or pvc?

I personally would go with a local manufacturer (aire, maravia, sotar) but a good deal on a used boat that gets you down the river is hard to pass up
 

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DRE boats are local - Denver. DRE offers a hypalon line and a PVC line of boats. They also carry Aire and Maravia boats. We purchased two Aire boats from them - one is a 13' Trib raft and the other a 16' Lion cat. Pretty sure we went with Aire as opposed to DRE because of the warranty being better. Having seen their boats in person at their shop and on the river (some friends of ours row them), they appear to be pretty bomber. Some of the DRE employees are on the 'buzz, so I'm surprised they haven't commented yet. Great company to deal with and yes, their frames are bomber. Their fall boat swap starts today, so you may find something if you visit their shop in Denver. Their customer service has been excellent over the years for us personally.
 

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summitraftgirl said:
DRE boats are local - Denver. DRE offers a hypalon line and a PVC line of boats. They also carry Aire and Maravia boats. We purchased two Aire boats from them - one is a 13' Trib raft and the other a 16' Lion cat. Pretty sure we went with Aire as opposed to DRE because of the warranty being better. Having seen their boats in person at their shop and on the river (some friends of ours row them), they appear to be pretty bomber. Some of the DRE employees are on the 'buzz, so I'm surprised they haven't commented yet. Great company to deal with and yes, their frames are bomber. Their fall boat swap starts today, so you may find something if you visit their shop in Denver. Their customer service has been excellent over the years for us personally.
I meant manufactured locally. Not sold locally. There is a difference in my mind between someone who designs/specifies a boat in Denver and then has it shipped from Asia, and someone who has a manufacturing plant somewhere in the US in addition.

DRE in my opinion is the same as NRS. Yes, they do employ some US employees in the warehouse, store, marketing, etc. Maybe even assembly of their frames. But their supply chain is wherever they can get the boats from cheaply and make the most profit for the owners

My 99 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm starting to like all the positives, of course there will be negatives lets hear some more. I have owned several boats over the years, Just sold my hyside and was hard to part with it. But it just wasn't the size I wanted, It looked brand new and was almost 12 years old. The boat I have now is not quite what I want either, RMR, its been great but just not feeling it. So trying to stay within a budget and find what you you're looking for is tough. But I am patient.
 

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Sorry I can't comment on the PVC, but I have a pro series that I bought used. Sure, it has obviously been used "visually" but there is no problem holding air and I hlike the performance.
 
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