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How long do you think, in general, a raft should last? I'm trying decide if/when I should replace mine. Not going to say name, size, or brand of my boat because a lot of you are almost militant about the brand and type of boat(s) you have.

"Average" use. Almost all on the Colorado River system. A lot of day trips but usually 2 - 3 multi-days per year like Ruby/Horsethief, Ladore, and Westwater (at least 60 times). Been down the Grand twice.

I'm not quite 60 so see many more years on the water.
 

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Hypalon 40 to 50 years. PVC 10 or 15 to 30 maybe depending on glued or welded construction.

I'll admit I am very bias to the Avon brand. The one in my avatar is a 73 and headed for Deso soon... :)
 

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Sun is a killer. Store your boat inside or under a tarp.

Unless you boat so many days that sun is a killer. Then it still kills your boat, but I'm not jealous of you. You can justify its replacement. Haha.

Say 300 days on a $3,000 boat is a decent $10/day.



Anyone ever keep track of how many days they're putting on a given boat?
I boat a lot, but I also have a lot of boats. I'm sure most of mine don't have more than 100 days put on them by me.
 

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I think all of my aires have over 18 years on them, and two are 20+ My JPW culebra has about 12 years on it, it definitely shows a bit more wear, but we have also been beating on it the hardest. It gets out 20+ times a year, and often gets multiple runs (loop on the yough) all of them hold air and never lose pressure
 

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My 156R is a 2004? had 7 or 8 years of commercial use before I bought it. I give it 10 days a year.
Trib 13.0 gets 20+ days a year and is a 2009 or so boat. I have no doubt they'll be going strong at 20+ years.

When they're 30 years old, either my kids will be using them or I'll buy them new boats with my social security check.
 

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My JPW cat was 26 when I sold her, still floatin'
She was stored outside inflated on a trailer, bakin' in sun. I did 303 her once.
 

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Now I am wondering who has the oldest rubber based on serial numbers date of manufacture out there? I gotta check my numbers in the am... I find the biggest source of failure on my boats is valves crapping out.
 

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I faced the same question a couple of years ago.

I got 29 years out of my Avon Pro and it was starting to showing it's age. I probably had over 1500 days on the water with it. At 69 years old I could have nursed it along for a few more years but went with a new boat and am happy I did.

In my case the it boiled down to a point where quality vs cost ceases to be a factor and in my case I made the choice for a whole new rig. I didn't want to worry about a major problem ruining a trip and just the general hassle of maintaining an old boat.


I hope to get at least 10 more years out there and will still have something of value to pass on to someone else when I have to hang up the oars.
 

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I have an 86? 13' NRS Sprite that I got for free (34yrs old). It was barely used when I got it. maybe 1-2 seasons at best. It is now my fishing raft. Rolled in the winter and stored inside.
The pinholes on the floor are somewhat a PITA and the boat gets soft after 3-4 days, but Zach @ raftfix spruced it back up 2 winters ago for a reasonable price.
 

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Raft age

A welded rubber raft (Maravia's are one of the best, since they are urethane coated) will out-live any of us if its stored inside, lightly inflated and not exposed to extremes of hot or cold temperatures. Make it a point to clean and treat the rubber several times a season. NRS has the products for this. You may need to replace the valves if the seals start to age or if they get dirty.

Glued-rafts will age faster, since exposure to sunlight is the killer. I've seen several start to fail at the 5 year mark.

My kids get both of my Maravia's when its time to sprinkle my ashes in the river. :roll:
 
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