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Discussion Starter #1
New to the site and only a couple years experience paddling duckies. After a great summer of paddling the Lower Salmon and San Miguel, I find myself wanting a raft. I'm thinking a small raft that I can backpack down Chukar trail (90ish lbs max) and R4.

I've narrowed it down to two boats, Aire Puma and Hyside MiniMax.

The question is, why does Aire list the Puma as a max paddle crew of 3 and the MiniMax 5?

Anyone?

Thanks,

T
 

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The Mini Max is lighter, so it does have that going for it. People may tell you other wise but I like the way these small boats R4, they become more stable, they're considerably faster, and with the longer waterline track like a larger boat. Lets also not forget how much fun they are!
Both are great boats from reputable companies. That being said my vote would be for the Max, especially for a Gunni Gorge craft. Its lighter and rolls/packs way tighter than any Aire boat.
 

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I'd say mini max for light weight and packing. Puma in my opinion would be more durable.

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Hard to go wrong with either one....both are awesome little boats!

Actual weights: Puma 87.5lbs., Mini-Max 72lbs.

Believe it or not, they roll up to just about the same size.

The Puma should float higher with four paddlers. It has a longer waterline than the Max and the floor fills up the entire area from tube to tube where the Max has ~4" border around the floor perimeter for the attachment/bail holes.

More room lengthwise in the Puma. Width is almost identical, 26.5" Max, 27" Puma (without thwarts.) Thwarts can be re-positioned on the Puma.

I've got one of each inflated on the shop floor right now if you would like any dimensions confirmed etc.

Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the prompt replies!

Guy, with both boats there in front of you, do you see any logic in the Puma's max rating of 3 paddlers vs Mini-Max's rating of 5?

Any noticeable difference in shoulder room with a crew of 4?
 

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Width thwarts in/out:

Mini-Max: 26.5/28
Puma: 27/29.5

So a slight bit more width/shoulder room in the Puma.

Hard to give input on ratings without the criteria used to establish them. Can you squeeze 5 people in either and have one hell of a good time doing it? Well, yes! Either boat will fit 4, it will be easier to fit 5 in the Puma.

Off to play on the river........be back tonight if you need any more info.

Guy
 

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I have an old school Puma. It runs beautifully R2 or R4. I would see no problem with the new wider design with 4 people. I have also R2 ed a MiniMax quite a bit and enjoyed the heck out of it. My Puma is a 94 and still holds air beautifully. Longevity to Aire. Weight advantage to Hyside. Good luck with which ever you decide.
 

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I've R2'd the MiniMax a lot and it is really fun for easy runs. It is hole bait and a sporty ride as you start getting into hard class IV in my opinion. My Super Puma is great R2 and I can just imagine running it R4. I can't imagine running either boat you are looking at R4 down anything with challenge or consequences. The suggestion to look at real 12' boat designs is a good one and I like that Hyside model. You might save a couple pounds with a SOTAR but it will be a much wider roll.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies everyone.....you guys are a wealth of info.

I'd guess that the boat will be R3 and R4 frequently and occasionally R2 or set as an oar setup.

I've put some thought into stepping up to a 12 or 13. There is a fair priced nice older NRS 12' complete with frame, oars, paddles, lot's of gear in Sacramento....wish he was closer. Someone should buy it.

My brother in law says to get a 13' minimum...otherwise I'll end up buying more boats.......I could always just hire the packer to get the boat down Chukar i suppose.

That Puma is a sexy little boat. People tend to hang on to them.

Thinking...thinking.
 

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Buy small now and a 2nd bigger boat later. Buy what you will use the most. Due to family size I bought large. I would be so happy to have a small boat to go along with my big boat. I think that would be way better than one mid sized.

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