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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking into purchasing a drop stitch floor raft, but don't know if it's better than an I beam floor. This is my first raft. This is a 12 footer, and I am planning on doing class 4 eventually.

Thanks
 

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All i know from experience is i've seen ibeam floors lose a beam on a lot of older hypalon boats. Seems like drop stitch is the technology now, probably because they found a cheap way to produce them in taiwan or korea or china

I think most inflatable sup boards are drop stitch and rated for 15psi
 

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Drop stitch - less likely to delaminate over time, will often hold more psi, probably cheaper/easier to produce, IMO better for a paddle boat as the flat floor will spin/slide across the water more easily, probably better for a fisherman to walk on

I beam - tracks better in current, a lot of people like them better for rowing because they may not have to work as hard, but it seems like drop stitch has I beams beat in every other category
 

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The Russian
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I switched from I-beam to Maravia drop stitched. At first it was weird to get used to how the boat tracked, after a while I love how I can make minor adjustments to my line in a quick second before dropping into the rapid.

The pressure relief valve on the I-beam drove me nuts. The floor was always soft and always needed to be topped off. You can't really stand on I-beam floor when you want to row standing up. I tend to do it a lot to stretch my back on long flat sections. Drop stitched gives you a nice firm platform to stand on.
 

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The Russian
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Tracking is how the boat glides over water. I-beam has the long V section which makes the water glide along the boat's floor. This helps with a straighter line and you don't have to adjust as much. Drop stitched floor is all flat on the bottom, which means it's much easier to turn because there is no drag on water from i-beams. If you row a drop stitched floor for a while, you adjust and learn how to steer it straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool, thanks. That's kind of funny. This weekend my son and I were floating down the river on swimming pool bed floaties. He stated how he hates how it doesn't float straight. I replied, I don't really mind. I like not having to care. Either way it's going down the river.
 

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kazak4x4 said:
I switched from I-beam to Maravia drop stitched. At first it was weird to get used to how the boat tracked, after a while I love how I can make minor adjustments to my line in a quick second before dropping into the rapid.

The pressure relief valve on the I-beam drove me nuts. The floor was always soft and always needed to be topped off. You can't really stand on I-beam floor when you want to row standing up. I tend to do it a lot to stretch my back on long flat sections. Drop stitched gives you a nice firm platform to stand on.
What brand of boat had the I-beam floor that was too soft? My Sotar is very rigid though Hysides were pretty soft. Different materials.
 

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You certainly see more blown I beam floors than drop stich, and I like the rigidity of drop stich floors as well.

That being said, I have seen blown drop stich floors too, and an I beam floor is much easier to repair. Drop stich floors are nearly impossible to put an inside patch into.
 

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They both have there good and bad points, one problem I have seen with drop stitch floors is if you get water in them (or when) they can be more difficult to dry out and can be prone to mildew. Bottom line is I wouldn't buy a boat just because it had a drop stitch or I beam floor. It's just one factor in many.
Fyi Sotar I beam floors seem much more stiff to stand on then hypalon floors, could be because of the material.
 
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