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Discussion Starter #1
Although I am "thinking about" a few specific rafts, this is a more general question of raft design and stability. Considering increased stability alone, which would add more stability in big water -- an open floor pocket (Aire) or 4 additional inches of total width? (Maybe each provides a different type of stability?)

(What sparked the question: comparing 143R (80" wide; 20" tubes) and Hyside 14XT (84" wide; 21" tubes); of course there are other differences to consider most notably Hypalon vs. the air cell system, but I'm not too concerned about that right now.)
 

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I may be wrong but I thought the reason Aire did the water ballast was for better tracking which I consider to be the ease of which your boat will keep a line. If by stability you mean less likely to flip I would think the wider boat with bigger tubes would be helpful there but that same boat might not track as good, especially in windy conditions. Not sure if I addressed your question or not.


Jim
 

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My understanding was that the floors were open because waterproof zippers are so expensive! They are expensive, and they break and leak. Nowadays AIRE will upgrade to a Sealed Floor Pocket so they must have figured out a way to do it well, but it is still more money. I believe the whole "water ballast" theory was a result of marketing. I mean who really likes the thought of water in their raft?

That said, I think there is truth to the water ballast concept. In fact, I've decided that a Super Puma at 5'9'' wide might be just as stable as a SOTAR ST at 6' or 6'2" and will fit down tighter channels. So while I love SOTAR, I am currently in the market for a used Super Puma. I hope I'm right;)

I've been in a lot of boats over the years and they are all stable to some degree until you're upside down. Avons always seem to feel the most stable. But, there are many reasons for owning a raft, and I bought my 14' Hyside because it was 30lbs lighter than an Avon, was faster, could be rode hard and put away wet, could be cleaned up and rolled up for years and years with no real damage, etc.
 

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I have a first or second year Aire. Yeah an oldie. Mine was at one time a commercial boat on the Ark. unless you puncture the cell, you are still floating.


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Still looking for more opinions.
What would be more stable: the Hyside 14XT (14'x84" w/21" tubes) or Aire 143R (14'3" x 80" w/20" tubes) -- recalling open floor pocket of the Aire?

First to reply thinks probably Hyside, second to reply thinks probably close to same (the open floor pocket making up for the narrower width and slightly smaller tubes.

Others?
 

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Probably the open floor pocket will be more resistant to flipping.


That open floor pocket sure isn't nimble (I own two: a 156R and a Trib 13.0SB). I miss the agility of my old Maravia, and my buddy's 143D with the sealed pocket floor is also pretty quick.


The best way to avoid a flip? Pick good lines.
The second best way to avoid a flip? Aggressively high-siding passengers.
 

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Neither is really inherantly more stabile than the other. Sure the added weight in Aire's floor my help a tiny bit but I doubt enough to offset extra width. How much water is in there any ways? 5 gallons?- 40 lbs, maybe 80 lbs if it'll hold 10 gallons. You should probably focus on other aspects like condition, price, hell; color would be more important to me...

...First to reply thinks probably Hyside, second to reply thinks probably close to same (the open floor pocket making up for the narrower width and slightly smaller tubes.

Others?

I'd say your second response should answer your question: some say Aire, some say Hyside, I say Ford, whatever... It's all brand loyalty and what your used to...
 

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The biggest difference between those boats is construction style. I already mentioned that I am fan of the Aire's on a different thread, and that is largely due to construction style, with the internal bladder. Not everyone would agree that an Aire is better than a Hyside, but everyone would agree that are constructed differently. Both are great boats. Aire has a better warranty. Other than that I would consider price and local service options before a four inch difference in width.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interesting to see there is mix of opinions (vs. consensus) on the open floor cell vs. additional width stability question -- good to know -- thanks, all.
(And yes, stability is only one factor in choosing, and there is usually a trade off with maneuverability which helps you avoid a flip by increasing the chance of you getting the boat where it needs to be -- if you know where that is!)
Thanks.
 

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I would agree that stability would be roughly the same between the boats with the edge going to the Hyside. I see the Aire as a better paddle boat due to narrower width and smaller tube size. The Hyside will be a better frame/multiday boat due to increased width and larger tube. Either boat is a fine purchase.
 
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