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mtngant
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I am thinking of buying a raft for my family (wife and 3 elementary age boys) and for more adventurous rafting with friends. Of course as my boys get older we will be seeking out bigger adventures as well. :)

Locally, there is a NRS Otter 120 for sale on craigslist:

"Used only a handful of times. Does have minor tear that has been patched. Sale includes pump ($200) and repair kit ($50)."

For $2100

OR ....

Tonight I saw some threads about Saturn out of Boise. I looked over their site and read what others are saying ... hmmm, their prices seem right and with the new upgraded features for 2010 they seem hard to beat.

Thoughts??

I'm in Western Oregon ... mostly class II rapids around here, but I am sure I will be able to find class III within driving distances eventually.

Thanks.
 

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A Maxon is the same quality as an Otter?
12' is a little small but Otters are decent boats, save your money and get a quality 13'er, at the end of the season there's deals everywhere. I'd avoid the Saturns too.
 

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Both are good boats. For an extra $100 you can get a 5 year warranty with the Saturn and it comes standard with a 2 year warranty. You won't get that with a used boat except for an Aire. In your research, be wary of the respondents who haven't actually owned a Saturn or NRS and be wary of dealers such as Gary who happens to sell Maxxon. For class II and III, a Saturn will be plenty of boat and it will save you a lot of money. I have been very happy with mine and have run it down class IV with no issues whatsoever. The new floor, placement of the valves, and handles definitely make for a nicer ride too on the new models.
 

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For used outdoor gear in good condition I think about 50-60% of new value is fair. Almost everyone asks for more for their rafts but they are trying to get a free ride for the use they got out of it.

Don't let the guy act like throwing in a used pump and an old repair kit increases the value of the deal significantly. That is like selling a used car and saying, "Includes spare tire ($200) and jack ($50)."

I'd stay away from the guy for saying a used pump and an old repair kit add $250 value to the deal.
 

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Are you going to be doing multi-days or just day trips? The 12 footer would seem to be a bit small for multi-day trips, but would be a blast for day tips. I have the 14 foot Otter and love it for my family (wife and two kids). It's a nice intermediate size - small enough to be fun on day trips, but big enough to do multi-days.

If it's between two 12 footers, I'd get the Otter personally. you rarely hear a bad thing about them. Not so much with the Saturns.
 

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The 12' Otter is a good boat. For day trips on the McKenzie, it'll be a blast. It's small enough to get dumped in Marten's - and for entertainment value, that's a bonus. Of course, there is a great line just to the left of that hole that avoids the swim. :) You'll also enjoy the potential use of your garage for something other than holding a raft.

The limitation on that boat is this: it is going to suck for multi-day trips unless someone else carries the gear. Your cargo capacity is going to feel stretched with just a cooler, never mind the stove, dishes and sleeping bags.

Think of it in these terms: Sports car (12' and under) to pick-up (13-16') to freight truck (18+'). All of them have their virtues and their prime times, and they come with limitations, too.
 

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For 5 people I would recommend a 15'. I have the 15' Saturn, and it is great for both multiday trips (it has been down Deso, San Juan, the Grand) as well as fun for day trips. It has spent many days going down the Poudre, various stretched of the Colorado (Pumphouse, Shoshone, Moab Daily). We just got back from a weekend in Glenwood Springs lapping Shoshinm with the family and in-laws.
 

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mtngant
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Discussion Starter #10
Both are good boats. For an extra $100 you can get a 5 year warranty with the Saturn and it comes standard with a 2 year warranty. You won't get that with a used boat except for an Aire. In your research, be wary of the respondents who haven't actually owned a Saturn or NRS and be wary of dealers such as Gary who happens to sell Maxxon. For class II and III, a Saturn will be plenty of boat and it will save you a lot of money. I have been very happy with mine and have run it down class IV with no issues whatsoever. The new floor, placement of the valves, and handles definitely make for a nicer ride too on the new models.
Some of the same conclusions I have come to... thanks.
 

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mtngant
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Discussion Starter #11
The 12' Otter is a good boat. For day trips on the McKenzie, it'll be a blast. It's small enough to get dumped in Marten's - and for entertainment value, that's a bonus. Of course, there is a great line just to the left of that hole that avoids the swim. :) You'll also enjoy the potential use of your garage for something other than holding a raft.

The limitation on that boat is this: it is going to suck for multi-day trips unless someone else carries the gear. Your cargo capacity is going to feel stretched with just a cooler, never mind the stove, dishes and sleeping bags.

Think of it in these terms: Sports car (12' and under) to pick-up (13-16') to freight truck (18+'). All of them have their virtues and their prime times, and they come with limitations, too.
Good points ... right now I am thinking of only day trips. The point of a small boat being more fun on our tame rivers, is a point well taken.

And the advice about line to the left @ Marten's Rapid is good news for my family. I look forward to getting know those rapids - I went through them last Monday in a small raft (10') with two other guys, didn't get dumped :) Good thing, that water's cold!

Thanks.
 

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mtngant
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Discussion Starter #12
For used outdoor gear in good condition I think about 50-60% of new value is fair. Almost everyone asks for more for their rafts but they are trying to get a free ride for the use they got out of it.

Don't let the guy act like throwing in a used pump and an old repair kit increases the value of the deal significantly. That is like selling a used car and saying, "Includes spare tire ($200) and jack ($50)."

I'd stay away from the guy for saying a used pump and an old repair kit add $250 value to the deal.
Good practical advice ... thank you!
 

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I would go with the otter for the simple fact it is made of Hypalon material. I have a few friends that own them and I've rowed one before. Good handling boat that should last in the 20-30 year range. The resale value alone is worth the extra price.
 

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Keep in mind that the hypalon NRS Otter is going to be much easier to roll up. I believe the Saturn is PVC which is a bulkier, less rollable material. If you are keeping this thing inflated all that time that might not be an issue.
 

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mtngant
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Discussion Starter #16
Caverdan and FrankC-

Now you guys have me swaying back to the Otter, I was thinking the Saturn would fit my purposes fine.

Hypalon = Lighter weight & easier to roll up ... hmmm.

Which material is more durable? I don't want to have to be worrying about rocks all the time.

Now do I want to find a 13 instead of a 12? Thinking, thinking ... I am not planning any multi-day trips ... is there that much difference in the handling of 12 vs 13 ft?

-Cory in Eugene
 

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14er?

Mtngant,

I will start by saying I am not familiar with the rivers you mentioned in Oregon and what not, but I am still going to suggest you look into a larger boat. I recently just purchased a 14 foot Otter new, and a friend of mine got a 13 foot Otter used. There is a significant size/carrying capacity difference between the two, and I am sure a 12 footer would be considerably smaller still. You may be thinking only of day trips now, but down the road over-nighters and true expedition style trips will be much better suited with a 14 or even a 13 footer.

We ran an overnighter last weekend for 5 people with our 14 and two duckies and the raft carried all the gear and 3 of the people with ease; I don't think a 12, or possibly even a 13 would do that.

The hypalon is superior if you are planning to store/transport your boat rolled up. We were thinking about an AIRE (PVC) but went with an NRS because of the lighter weight and more ease of use to roll it up. (125 lbs vs. over 150 with a PVC)...doesn't seem like much, but throwing it in and out of the back of a truck...lighter is better!

As for the toughness of the rubber, well ours is only 4 months old, but with over 200 river miles already on it I feel safe saying it will hold up well and last as long as I plan on using it. We ran from Buena Vista down to Ruby Mt. and Brown's Canyon and also the Durango in town stretch at low water this summer and though we did bounce off and run into our fair share of rocks, there is no visable scuffs or scrapes on the rubber. They make a bomber product.

I am not that familiar with Sotar, can only speak from experience with my NRS, but I will say it is made to last!

In conclusion, go a little bigger than you think to allow yourself room to grow into your rig. I am not advocating a 16 or 18 footer, but there is a BIG difference as far as room with a 14 over a 12...I bet you would be happy waiting and getting a slightly larger raft.

Whatever you get, enjoy it and it's cool you are taking the whole family with you.

MN
 

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Speaking of 13s and 14s, there is a pair of them advertised on the NRS gear swap down in the Roseburg area for $1500 and $1600. I have no skin in this one and no connection to this guy. While I'm not a huge fan of the Tribs due to their status as a second rate boat to the AIREs, they are just fine and I'd rather see you in one of those than the Saturn.


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NRS Gear Swap


14ft &13ft Tributary self bailing rafts (For Sale) Post #: 15168 Category: Rafts

14ft self-bailing Tributary used 3 season on North Umpqua on guided river trips, no leaks,one repair $1500.00 13ft Tributary self-bailing used 3 seasons no leaks or reapairs. $1600
Contact: Bill Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-541-496-3333 Location: North Umpqua
Posted: 8/16/2010 Price: $$1500.00 14ft --- $1600 13ft
 

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Like I said, I would be wary of people bashing Saturns who have actually never owned or rowed one. There was a guy on another thread that just popped up and said he had taken his down the Grand. Hypalon boats are definitely easier to roll, but you really want to get a trailer if possible. It is much better for your boat to be stored inflated (regardless of whether it is pvc or hypalon) and it makes life so much much easier at the put in and take out. Also, you are going to get a warranty with a new Saturn, which gives me a lot of peace of mind, and you won't get that with a used boat. I would recommend not going with the 12 footer. At least get a 13ft, but at some point in time on the majority of western rivers, you are probably going to want a 14ft boat.
 

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mtngant
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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the info and advice, everyone.

Keep it coming, if you have more thots.

12 ft vs 13 ft or 14 ft
Brand vs. brand
PVC vs. Hypalon
New vs. used

I floated this evening on the Willamette in a Sevylor Rogue with my 6 yr old son.:D
 
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