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Discussion Starter #1
Have looked at a Sotar 11 or 12 ft... not sure that's the way I'm going to go ...anyone have any experience rolling up a super puma or maravia spider? The floorslook like they might be a bit of an issue ?? Sold my 15 Avon with my trailer, and wanting something I can use wo a trailer this year ...r2 or r3, then next yr get a small frame and trailer... mostly western Colo and Utah... any info would be appreciated.... not doing a lot of creeks, just want to go smaller and simpler. Thanks!
 

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I have a Puma, and it rolls up with no problems for transport. I also boat with a friend who rolls his Super Duper Puma to fit in the back of a VW Golf with no problems or issues. Best of luck with your decision.
 

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opinions are a dime a dozen, however my experiences with Super Pumas make me believe if there is one all around raft, the Super Puma comes close as can be.

You can paddle boat them just about anywhere and add a good frame based rowing setup it will take you and a friend on most over or multi nights. Granted you need to pack carefully but you can be plenty comfortable. I have a bud who rows his Super Puma right along with the big gear rafts. He just figures his lines a bit better than the average big raft driver.

I have been at the oars with a couple paddlers in front and we had many good times on the ARK from Numbers to Browns to Royal Gorge. Unloaded this setup can be maneuvered down some awfully tight rapids.

My buds roll these super pumas up tight and stash them in some smaller vehicles or in the back of a pick up truck, no problems.

I am not that familiar with the other short rafts but am sure others will give their opinions as well.
 

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I have a Puma, and it rolls up with no problems for transport. I also boat with a friend who rolls his Super Duper Puma to fit in the back of a VW Golf with no problems or issues. Best of luck with your decision.
 

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You don't roll a Maravia- you fold it. You'll be fine with either choice.

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I have a Spider and I think it is a great boat. It doesn't roll up easily or small. I also don't like the thwart attachment system. But I do like the boat very much.


Jim
 

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Super Puma is a great boat. Mine is from 2000 and it is still going strong. I r2 to r5 comfortably and r7 very occasionally. I also OAR it from time to time and sometimes with a family of 4 and the dog, so yes, it is a very well rounded boat. Excels at small to medium rivers, but will treat you right in just about any river. It rolls fine with a little effort and I used to stuff it into the back of 95 Jetta. Maravias do not roll easily. The NewWave 3 that I use does not like being put away and puts up a grand fight. This is even worse in low temperatures.
 

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I've got two patches on the floor (one at each end) of my Maravia from where it creased and sprung leaks when I rolled it for transport & storage inside a boat bag. Hypalon rolls up smaller and without as bad a problem with folds. That said, that boat is 13 years old now and I only got a trailer that can haul it inflated a year ago.
 

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As far as PVC boats go, AIRE boats roll up the best/ smallest. I have buddies who have rolled theirs for over 10 years with no problems. I dread "rolling" the Maravias everytime they come in the shop. Sotars arent as bad as Maravias, but a far cry from the ease and size of an AIRE boat.
 

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I wonder if the folks who struggle with FOLDING a Maravia boat are vacuuming the air out first. Makes a hell of a difference. My first Maravia had some issues- and I was able to fold it solo and fit it back in the original box. My current one (Zephyr) is folded and sitting on a shelf in my garage. Suck the air out and follow the directions- not that big a deal, really.

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I have a 1998 Super Puma and have been able to fit it in the back of a Jeep Cherokee. It tracks nice on the water and through rapids, but I do recommend carrying spare bladders in case one blows out (this has happened a couple times). Have even run it with a homemade rowing frame, but like it better as a paddleboat. Its best run with 3-people plus gear or 4-people w/o much gear on day runs. I've run it with as many as 6, but don't recommend it unless a lot of them are little kids. Can't speak for Sotars or Maravia boats, but I do recommend the Super Puma.
 

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I have a 1998 Super Puma and have been able to fit it in the back of a Jeep Cherokee. It tracks nice on the water and through rapids, but I do recommend carrying spare bladders in case one blows out (this has happened a couple times). Have even run it with a homemade rowing frame, but like it better as a paddleboat. Its best run with 3-people plus gear or 4-people w/o much gear on day runs. I've run it with as many as 6, but don't recommend it unless a lot of them are little kids. Can't speak for Sotars or Maravia boats, but I do recommend the Super Puma.
If you've "blown" a couple bladders you might be running too much pressure... That's not really a common issue from my perspective. I don't own an aire, but most of my boating friends do, only one has "blown" a bladder and that was because he forgot to deflate on a hot day. I'm talking the collective experience of thousands of river days and by blown I mean a catastrophic non repairable blow out, not a small hole that can be fixed with polyurethane tape...
 

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Plus one for elkhaven's feedback on Aire bladder issues.

I have owned three Aire rafts over the years. My extended rafting group of friends have many Aire rafts. None of us have ever blown a bladder. I did see one puma blow a seam on the outer cover but the bladder held up (this was a well used puma but still doing a good job on the river).

Way back when I first started rowing my own raft, the first thing I was taught was to decrease the bladder pressure when my raft was in the hot sun and beached. The old method of pressing down on the tube with your thumb during the day to monitor tube pressure is a good thing to do. I rarely transport a fully inflated raft these days, but my buds taught me to deflate the tubes a reasonable amount if I did.
 

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I agree with the last two posts. my Aire Cat is a '94, still using the original bladders and valves. No repairs or anything to the bladders. I do have spare bladder but only because I picked it up at a local shop's spring clean out for $8 the valve in it was worth more than $8 so it was a no brainer to grab that thing, and tote it along on long multi day trips. But I didn't grab it out of fear of my bladders giving out.
 

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Plus one for elkhaven's feedback on Aire bladder issues.

I have owned three Aire rafts over the years. My extended rafting group of friends have many Aire rafts. None of us have ever blown a bladder. I did see one puma blow a seam on the outer cover but the bladder held up (this was a well used puma but still doing a good job on the river).

Way back when I first started rowing my own raft, the first thing I was taught was to decrease the bladder pressure when my raft was in the hot sun and beached. The old method of pressing down on the tube with your thumb during the day to monitor tube pressure is a good thing to do. I rarely transport a fully inflated raft these days, but my buds taught me to deflate the tubes a reasonable amount if I did.
Okieboater
I bet that was my Puma you referred to. Don't know if the skin had a weak place or what. Aire repaired it and I've used it many, many time since. Don't know that I would take it on a multi-day trip though.

It will roll up very compactly if I take the time. Great raft for the creeks and river here in Arkansas to R2. I row it when no body wants to paddle raft .
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone for all the comments... After all the thinking back and forth decided to stay with the Sotar... really liked the dimensions and weight, plus Joe was excellent to work with from a customer service standpoint, not that I haven't heard a lot of good things about the service at Aire and Maravia, but he went above and beyond to make sure I was happy with the purchase! Now the hard part...waiting 4 weeks for it to be done!! Guess I'll spend the time figuring out a small frame ... It's a 12' ST thats 70' wide with 19' tubes... I saw one Riverwrks did for a Mini Max on hear... looked pretty nice... any other ideas? Want to keep it light and simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Glenwood Springs

By the way if any of you get out this way (Glenwood Springs) and want to paddle Shoshone , or upper Roaring fork, let me know... happy to hit the water with such fine folks!
 

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...After all the thinking back and forth decided to stay with the Sotar... really liked the dimensions and weight, plus Joe was excellent to work with from a customer service standpoint, not that I haven't heard a lot of good things about the service at Aire and Maravia, but he went above and beyond to make sure I was happy with the purchase! Now the hard part...waiting 4 weeks for it to be done!!
That's too funny. After watching this thread for a couple of days I finally decided to PM you that I have a ST12 with 1 season of light use on it that I have not been organized enough to get up on the classifieds! Then I return to the thread to see you have already pulled the trigger! A brand new boat is great -- enjoy! (In fact, I have one inflated in my living room right now -- ST14.)
 

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Dscott! I paddle a ton out of Carbondale... I have a mini max. and kayaks... would love to paddle with you!!! I have been hoping to find someone with a larger boat for when shoshone is above 5 grand !!! hopefully we get a bunch of snow the next months and we should do some high water Shoshone!! r2ing that 12 footer on big water would be a hoot! shoot me a message at 309 two six seven 2911... I have a drysuit and boat most of the year besides dead winter...
 
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