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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to put together a rowing package for my annual trip down the San Juan. This will be my first raft. I can no longer overload my duckie with two coolers and camping gear for a 5 day trip.

Basically my question is: should I just opt for a "Booze Cruise" package by RM Rafts (with the possibility of a frame upgrade) or just a buy a raft+frame+oars+etc+etc separately?

I'm a grad student and thus I am not rich. Saving money is a big priority for me. And like I said, this would only be used at most two weeks a year... so the highest quality gear is not a necessity.

Basically I want the blessing of some veteran rafters before I buy an entire set.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I just bought a saturn raft from RMrafts. there are a ton of Saturn haters on here so be ready to talked out of it. When the raft came I inspected it very closely. I like it a lot. The floor of the self bailer isn't laced in like others. It has a thick rubber floor and then a drop stitch floor that is glued on in three places. I got it because it is a deal. I will have to buy 4 extra d rings to attach to the boat, for my liking and preference. The boat is heavy, but it is what I need. I live in Northern AZ, and mostly kayak. When I do raft, I guide for several companies. I want to stop borrowing gear and have my own for privates. I already have 3 private trips set up for this year alone.
The booze cruise package has 5 NRS lifjackets and a 25 liter bag. If you need to supply life jackets for people, then that is great. I feel that everyone should buy their own lifejacket. The 25 liter drybag, can be found anywhere.
I have a buddy looking into this package right now and thought he should call Joe, and try to trade the 5 lifejackets ($50 each) for an extra bar, or a cooler. If you need the 5 lifejackets for the fam, be sure to get the proper sizes. I think the Saturn boat is fine and will last me for years, the price will also allow me to support all my other habits and allow me to get to the rivers. RMRafts has great customer service and are great to work with.
This is my opinion, before I start getting trashed on here for saying I like the saturn raft. I am doing a 3 person paddle trip on the Juan for 3 days this weekend, I'll let you know how it is on the river, I don't have a frame yet
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh awesome, thanks for the opinion, topbud. I messaged RM rafts on Thursday but haven't gotten a response yet. I love the idea of trading the life jackets for an extra bar or cooler. I certainly don't need 5 jackets. Thanks again.
 

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I just looked at your pictures, and the raft would be better quality than those duckies for sure. Try calling Joe, he'll return your call in minutes.
 

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Yea, we definitely have received a lot of strange looks from other rafters in previous years when they see our convoy of Sea Eagles. One lady even called us "cute" last year. I think that put me over the edge and made me decide to finally buy a raft. I'll try calling Joe sometime this week.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I study rivers (fluvial geomorphology). Only getting a masters so I am not a "professional student type". Should be done this December. Getting more money with the degree is indeed my goal.

Why does this matter, exactly?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ah, great advice, lhowemt. Will take all of that into consideration.

It's really tough to say how much I'll be using it in the future. Currently I live in New Orleans and have to take a long vacation, drive my gear up to Utah, and spend a week on the river. One week a year.

Hopefully next year I'll be moving to Colorado or Utah and could get away from work more easily and more often to float different (and possibly rockier) rivers. But that all depends on the job market. If I do move to CO/UT... I think you are right in saying that I would want a better raft. hhhhhmmmmm decisions decision...
 

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There are tons of decisions to be made about boats and set ups. Let us know what you decide. All I'm saying is using the boat for 2 weeks a year, it may be worth it, if you take care of it.
 

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I just bought a saturn raft from RMrafts. there are a ton of Saturn haters on here so be ready to talked out of it. When the raft came I inspected it very closely. I like it a lot. The floor of the self bailer isn't laced in like others. It has a thick rubber floor and then a drop stitch floor that is glued on in three places. I got it because it is a deal. I will have to buy 4 extra d rings to attach to the boat, for my liking and preference. The boat is heavy, but it is what I need.
So let me get this straight, you just bought it. Inspected it very closely and have already determined that you "like it a lot"???.

Yes I do have a grudge against the dick in Boise who did the spoof scam email bullshit a few years ago.

Glad you got yerself a raft and hope it holds up for you. Truly I do. Maybe your opinion won't change and I hope you have a good trip.

To the OP - just ignore Marco "buzzkill" esqwhatever. He is a professional troll and most of us do in fact ignore him. Never on topic always a downer.

I am trying to stay open about these rafts but the Buzz has 20 people a year coming on here to ask about them. People post about how great they are and all the gnar they run and that outfitters do five trips a day with them but I have yet to see the photos. No one seems to be able to find their files or.......

I have seen a couple on our local day stretch and I didn't like the way they sat it the water but that is subjective. They looked.....piggish.

I guarantee if you do have a problem with these ( and I hope you don't) it will happen in one of the worst places ever to have a problem. If you are doing a multi day that is.

Best of luck.
 

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This is my opinion, before I start getting trashed on here for saying I like the saturn raft. I am doing a 3 person paddle trip on the Juan for 3 days this weekend, I'll let you know how it is on the river, I don't have a frame yet

Here comes the trashing....
 

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No opinion one way or the other on the Saturns, but before you pull the trigger on anything do some poking around on here and NRS gearswap. Some pretty sweet used setups for comparable coin or less. Just a thought. By the way, is that a dog, or one of them bayou polar bears?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everybody for the ideas and opinions.

lncoop, it is indeed a dog. Last year on our San Juan trip we drove up from New Orleans and stayed at by buddies place in Mora, New Mexico. There is a llama farm about a mile or so away from his place and they have a bunch of these giant white dogs (mastiffs, maybe) to... herd them? Not sure why actually, but anyway, apparently they breed with strays all the time and this dog in my avatar was one of the stray offspring. He found his way up the hill to my friend's place and started hanging out, asking us for food, etc. He was the biggest, most unkempt dog I had ever seen and we named him "Dirty Ol' Canyon Dog". Apparently he just roams around Mora rolling in puddles and eating whatever the hell he can find. He was also followed by a small, black dog that was always trying to knock him over and climb on his back. Strange duo, those two.

Good advice on the NRS gearswap... didn't know about that place.
 

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Trashing is on, I guess. I will try it out and give it the best chance. I run the San Juan probably about 10 trips a year in either old Sotar or NRS 16' rafts. They are great. I kayak on most of the other rivers. I only run rafts when I am working or I want to take others downstream.
Yes, i did "So let me get this straight, you just bought it. Inspected it very closely and have already determined that you "like it a lot"???."
I am not the dick in Boise and it is my opinion. I will run the Salt, Verde, San Juan and whatever else I want to. It's my opinion. Opinions are like assholes and everyone has 1. I am not telling you to go out and buy 1, I said I blew it up and inspected it. The material is decent, the valves are not the best, I have extras, but it is mine. No rental fees, I can go where I want when I want. I did not have it in water because I live in Flagstaff and nothing is near that is raftable now. After this weekend, I will tell you how it floated, wether or not it's a pig, and if it held air. Even the best boats loose air and get holes, I have worked commercial for several GC river companies repairing boats and running boats and feel comfortable I can fix it if it gets ruined on the water. If it gets ruined in the 2 years that the warranty is for, we will see what happens. Will I one day buy the boat of my choice when I live in a place more accessible to rivers, yes. But now, I live in Flagstaff and bought it to check it out and see how they are.
I have seen people float the MF of the Flathead in Sevlor rafts and they survived. whatever. If I have beers and see you on the river, I'll buy you one, my feelings aren't hurt. I originally said it was my opinion, you can't change it. I will let you guys know how it handles and how it is. Until then it is sitting in my shed waiting for this weekend. I have it and will use it. If it sucks, Ill deal with it and let you all know.

Here are some pictures from the website:
Saturn Raft Pictures
they are not of me, so they don't mean anything to me.
If I boat the gnar, I will most likely be in a kayak, but If I am bringing beers and people for the experience of the river, to show my love for it, I'll be in the raft.
I also did not log on to the forums to ask questions about saturns. I answered an post with my opinion.

no hurt feelings, happy boating. I respect everyone's opinion.
 

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Coupla things for you Bayou.

A Saturn should be fine for your needs. Using it only 14 days a year with proper care should last you a lifetime.

Have you thought about deducting the cost of the boat as an educational expense? You are studying Fluvial Geomorphology. So… worth looking into.

Also, DO NOT mess around with the dogs around Mex Hat. They are bad juju.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
teletoes, thanks for the input.

Deducting the cost as an educational expense is a good idea... might be able to swing that.

I talked my adviser into purchasing a $250 Sea Eagle duckie for my field work. I mount a GPS to the front of the boat, put it in the river, and float on down collecting elevation data. Fun stuff.


 

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He's a Great Pyrenees, bred to protect sheep from critter. He doesn't look to be a mixed one. That sounds like a pretty rough place for a dog meant to be in cold weather, way too hot!

Along the lines of what Carve Dog says, all these posts about buying Saturns and loving saturns, they just seem way too much like the sandbag "reviews" that are so common on places like Amazon. They always use language and cadence that regular people don't. Who says "I inspected it", that's sales talk not joe-blow talk. And, if these posts were real, I'd expect to hear such posts from people interested in multiple brands, even if it's multiple cheap brands. Where are all of the people looking to buy Odyssey boats?????

I hope they're at least buying you a box of beer for your hassle.
 

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Yes, i did "So let me get this straight, you just bought it. Inspected it very closely and have already determined that you "like it a lot"???."
I am not the dick in Boise and it is my opinion. I will run the Salt, Verde, San Juan and whatever else I want to. It's my opinion. Opinions are like assholes and everyone has 1. I am not telling you to go out and buy 1, I said I blew it up and inspected it. The material is decent, the valves are not the best, I have extras, but it is mine.

If you took that as trashing - well I guess the piggy comment was a bit over the top - sorry about that. Nice to see that you seem to be a real person.

Sincerely hope you have a great trip and I look forward to TR after as well.

I won't go on the website. Thanks anyway. Too contrived for me. If RM had some good shots on their site I would check it out.

I would buy you a beer, a shot of Crown and who knows what else if we crossed oars on the river.
 
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