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Given all the Saturn bashing I see here, I'm curious whether there is a significant difference in construction between Saturns and the other glued PVC rafts like Star and Vanguard, which are far more expensive, but get less crap on the Buzz.

I know the guy in Idaho was caught spoofing, and thereby playing us all for idiots, but what about the boats? I've seen the stupid photoshopped pictures, but . ..

I understand that the glued-pvc manufacturers use a different glue than the old Maravias.
 

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I'll take a stab at this. But first let me clarify that I am NOT the Idaho spoofer! Don't know him. And I must let you know that I am a cheep dirtbag. Basicly most of these chinese made boats are done in a mass production plant. And the materials and glue used is dependant on the lastest best deal they got. So, the quallity of the boat is dependant on everything from the weather, shipping condition form china, the dirtbag who just got hired yesterday for $3 and hour. These are the same plants that make the NRS otter and the Aire Tributaries. I have seen good ones and bad ones. The bottem line for me is: If you take care of it and give it some ltc it should work out for ya. With all that said. I love my maravia and I would'nt have it any other way and I will spend extra $ for an american made product just because..
 

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I own a Aire, but I have taken a look in person at these boats.

The Star boats appear to be much nicer than a Saturn, but at that point you could spend a little more and get a Aire/NRS etc. Also the Star I saw had a very shallow floor. Plus even if it is 2-3 years old I would gladly pay the same money for a Aire vs a Star. I seem to see a used Super Puma or similiar on the classifieds almost each week for around $2500.

So on the cheap I would say go for a Saturn vs a Star. I don't know anything about Vanguard, maybe someone else has some input.

Maybe it comes down to this: Saturn vs Baltik?

If someone asks me what to buy I usually respond with: How much do you want to spend? And what do you plan on doing with it?
 

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I'll take a stab at this. But first let me clarify that I am NOT the Idaho spoofer! Don't know him. And I must let you know that I am a cheep dirtbag. Basicly most of these chinese made boats are done in a mass production plant. And the materials and glue used is dependant on the lastest best deal they got. So, the quallity of the boat is dependant on everything from the weather, shipping condition form china, the dirtbag who just got hired yesterday for $3 and hour. These are the same plants that make the NRS otter and the Aire Tributaries. I have seen good ones and bad ones. The bottem line for me is: If you take care of it and give it some ltc it should work out for ya. With all that said. I love my maravia and I would'nt have it any other way and I will spend extra $ for an american made product just because..
Maybe I misread your post, but no way a NRS Otter/Aire Tributary is in the same ballpark as a Saturn. I don't care what the weather was in China. Also NRS Otter/Aire Tributary Rafts are welded not glued.
 

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Maybe I misread your post, but no way a NRS Otter/Aire Tributary is in the same ballpark as a Saturn. I don't care what the weather was in China. Also NRS Otter/Aire Tributary Rafts are welded not glued.
Sorry but the otters and tributaries are made in the same factories. There are two and both factories are managed by the same people. However, NRS and Aire sets different standards for patterns, material, and glue. The saturn, baltic, ect have thier standars as well. Each meeting a different price/market. Now the NRS expidition and Aire branded boats are a different story. And the humidity totally effects the bonding of glue. Ever been to China? No air conditioning.. The shipping effects qually as well, just expose your boat to a months worth of salt water air! Now some companies like NRS and Aire try thier best to offset these problems. But they are built in the same factories.
 

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PS: The only reason I bring NRS and Aire to the table is to express that the factories can and do build higher end boat as well as cheep boat too.
 

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I am not sure if this is true but I was told that last year saturn rafts started welding their boats. I for the price it seems like a decient boat and if you take care of it it should last.
 

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Saturn Boats are glued not welded

Just so there is no confusion, Saturn brand boats are glued and not welded. If you heard that rumor I can assure you it is not true.

RM Rafts is the Colorado Distributor of Saturns and you can feel free to contact us at anytime. Thanks.
 

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Maybe I misread your post, but no way a NRS Otter/Aire Tributary is in the same ballpark as a Saturn. I don't care what the weather was in China. Also NRS Otter/Aire Tributary Rafts are welded not glued.
NRS otter's are not welded. Just emailed NRS and here is thier responce

"The seams on our Otter boats are all glued. Welding is not a process used on hypalon it is used on boats made from PVC or Urethane. If you have any futher questions please respond to this email or give us a call at 1-800-635-5202. Thanks!"

Copy and pasted from NRS reply..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just so there is no confusion, Saturn brand boats are glued and not welded. If you heard that rumor I can assure you it is not true.

RM Rafts is the Colorado Distributor of Saturns and you can feel free to contact us at anytime. Thanks.
The problem, or the theory of the problem, as I've heard it, is that PVC outgasses, and the gas will eventually dissolve the glue. If that's still a problem, it would seem to apply to all glued-PVC boats.
 

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I bought my first Star in 1996. It had 3 years on it from the previous owner. That thing finally died an undignified death on shore during a shuttle. It had a couple of thousand hard river miles on it. It passed away without owing me a penny. I have three hard years on the new one. Still in mint condition. Would not hesitate to buy or recommend another. Only problem is that they are heavy.
As for Saturn save your money if you want to do anything more than use if for a fishing raft and very flat smooth bottom rivers. My best friend has one. This is year two for him. It has already needed some patching, is showing wear not warranted in relation to its use, and the floor bleeds air during a run.
My 2cents from experience.
 

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I am in the market for a raft come spring... ill probably go with a used raft in a brand i am familiar with... however the forums on saturn rafts that i have read have been stupid... everyone knows someone who knows someone... the water is dropping fast... we are all climbing in our duckies and kayaks to have one more week on the river... where is a message from someone who actually has one... one bought in the spring should have a season on it now...i would really like to hear from them and there experiances pos or neg... RMrafts how did the raft lended to the commercials hold up...could we hear from a guide who ran it... the point is: if you never ran or owned one then your opinion is just that an opinion with little to back it up. who knows, in ten years we might all be kicking ourselves in the ass for not buying one when they were cheap...In the 70's we looked at subaru as a disposible car... i still got a 79 brat on the road and a forester... so anyone who actually has one, please speak up i know i am truly interested in what you have to say and i am not gonna butalize your decision to buy one... enjoy the end of the close to home water... road trips anyone?
 

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RMrafts, im not attacking you. your messages on this site have had integrity and no bullshit in them... id like to meet you sometime... maybe this winter when time is gonna allow me to make a trip to crested butte... ski season is not that far off.. huck and hope at cbmr
 

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NoCo,

I have a 15' Saturn, and it has been GREAT. I have about 25 river days on it this year so far and it has performed like a champ. I did a review after my San Jaun trip (http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f15/saturn-review-25729.html) so I won't go in to the details again. The last time I took it out was a few weeks ago, when the Poudre was still above 800. So far it has been a great purchase. Will it last 15 years, who knows, but for $1500 the cost of ownership is pretty low. It let me get on the river this year in a NEW raft, not one that 15 years old that still MIGHT have some life in it. For me my choices were narrowed down to vanguard, saturn and star. After looking at them and testing them I found all three to be good boats. Each has a good niche, but for me the price and features of the 15' Saturn was the deciding factor.

SYOTR
 

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Saturn owner

I just recently bought a Saturn from RM rafts, about two weeks ago, and it has been great. Granted I have only been out on the river three times, rancho to state bridge, but the raft has been great. Yesterday was my daughters first trip (21 months old) and she loved it. She actually slept the second half of the trip. The boat handles great and we could not be happier. I am set up with an NRS frame which fit perfectly. Our first overnighter is coming up in Aug. Loma to Westwater. I will let you know how it goes.
That being said, would I like a nicer raft someday, yes! But for know it has got me and my family on the river and we could not be happier. The guys at RMrafts were great and I would highly reccomend going thru them. If you are around Eagle and want to check it out let me know!
 

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NoCo - road trip? IM IN! anytime except M-Tr (have to pay the bills)

I own a 2007 Saturn that I bought from Denny (he was extremely nice to deal with..and can't thank him enough for getting me on the river with the minimal budget I had!) in Crested Butte...it was a demo boat...saw the water a half dozen times before me...since the beginning of the season it has done countless Pumphouse runs up to 4,700 cfs..the Fork from Carbondale to Glenwood (in which during a FREAK storm it was slammed against a boulder and took three of us to peel it off) and last weekend I did Upper Bighorn and beached it twice...bounced a few rocks (got lazy at the end) and was dragged over countless rocks due to low flows and not knowing the channels...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with my boat...no seems coming undone..no holes..its easy to steer...bails very well...

I will not tell you what I paid for it...but raft and frame (done by the incredible guys down at Riverboat Works in Salida HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM!) was around 2,100 dollars. And if I had to predict...I've got at LEAST two more seasons to save up for a boat with welded pvc.

any other Q's..
I'd be happy to answer
 

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LOVE MY SATURN

i bought one at the beginning of the season, probably have 10 days on it or so, all multi-night overnight trips. i love it.

the selfbailing floor functions great, more d rings than i could ever need, have had two dogs in and out of the boat repeatedly, and there are no issues with scratches or scrapes from their claws. the chafe pads on the top of the tubes are the same color as the boat, so it appears that there are not pads in the pictures but i was pleased to see that the boat does have this feature.

overall i couldnt be more satisfied. my friend owns a 2007 model, and he introduced me to this brand. he doesnt post here but he is still completely satisfied with his boat.

i have also bothered joe at rmrafts with many questions and he was always prompt with his response and made sure i was set.

ill also say that gary at rowframe.com builds a hell of a frame and is also super fair with his prices.


edit: i cant compare this with other glued pvc boats, because ive never owned one.
 

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ehanks for writing guys

its good to hear from people who actually are using these boats...im just starting my search for a raft for next spring...everytime i looked in this direction all ive seen is people knocking an unfamiliar product...i guess some people forget that the most important thing is getting on the water and not what your floating on...thanks
 

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matty its gonna have to be about 2 weeks for me...doctors orders...i kinda gave myself a cuncusion last weekend and spent 2 days in the hospital...oh well whats a few more braincells anyway...be cool to paddle with ya...gonna have to hard boat though...dont gotta raft yet:confused:
NoCo - road trip? IM IN! anytime except M-Tr (have to pay the bills)

I own a 2007 Saturn that I bought from Denny (he was extremely nice to deal with..and can't thank him enough for getting me on the river with the minimal budget I had!) in Crested Butte...it was a demo boat...saw the water a half dozen times before me...since the beginning of the season it has done countless Pumphouse runs up to 4,700 cfs..the Fork from Carbondale to Glenwood (in which during a FREAK storm it was slammed against a boulder and took three of us to peel it off) and last weekend I did Upper Bighorn and beached it twice...bounced a few rocks (got lazy at the end) and was dragged over countless rocks due to low flows and not knowing the channels...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with my boat...no seems coming undone..no holes..its easy to steer...bails very well...

I will not tell you what I paid for it...but raft and frame (done by the incredible guys down at Riverboat Works in Salida HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM!) was around 2,100 dollars. And if I had to predict...I've got at LEAST two more seasons to save up for a boat with welded pvc.

any other Q's..
I'd be happy to answer
 
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