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I'm new to rafting but not to rivers. I just took delivery a new 15' SOTAR SL Elite, manufactured last week. The flat area on the top of the tubes where the frame rests has a pronounced bulge on the top center of both sides. The causes the Recretec frame which was built for this model not to fit flat on the tubes but to teeter totter back and forth ( I haven't strapped the frame down yet). My concern is all the weight of of the frame and cargo will be confined to this small fulcrum point and not distributed along the length of the frame. Is this normal or do I have a defective raft? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I've never heard of anything like what you describe unless there's some kind of failure. Do you have any photos you could post to make sure we all understand what you're dealing with? I just can't believe that this would be something intentional and it sounds like you may need to take it up with SOTAR. From my experience, raft tubes should be level for their entire length between the points at which the ends begin to rise at the bow and stern.

Please post photos and a report of any dealings you have with the manufacturer.

-AH
 

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Is it where the tubes come together to form a bulk-head or two tubes glued together just to lengthen the boat. Is the bottom of the boat tubes straight or dimpled upwards right below the bulg on the top of the tubes that you mentioned.
 

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Is it where the tubes come together to form a bulk-head or two tubes glued together just to lengthen the boat. Is the bottom of the boat tubes straight or dimpled upwards right below the bulg on the top of the tubes that you mentioned.
PS. What I meant to say is I think your boat is messed-up, in some way.
 

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Just a guess, but perhaps you are seeing the baffle. Having the front tubes inflated more than the back tubes or vice versa, you could create the "Bulge" you are speaking of. Check and see if either the front or the back seems harder than the other, and let air out of the harder tube. If the "bulge" disappears, you have isolated the issue. Inflate the tubes equally and it should go away.
 

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The baffles shouldn't be it. Assuming the construction is the same (ours is 2 years old) the baffles are in the corners of the boat (2 sides/bow/stern so they shouldn't be causing this. Also, even if I inflate one chamber and the other none, I do not see this.

Talk to Sotar. If it is not right, they will make it right for you, whatever you consider right. Tell them what you want.
 
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