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So,, I need new tubes. I have the option of getting urethane material or getting PVC material and having it Urethane coated. I'm going to do one or the other for sure, but is there any advantage one way or the other? I'm curions about adhesion properties, weight and durabilty.
 

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I think the sprayed on urethane is more abrasion resistant. I saw a very tall guy this year at Lochsa who blew a sotar tube setting them on sharp rocks.He was driving an old fire truck I think. Sparayed on offers that extra protection where the standard urethane is taking the punishment directly on the fabric. I just ordered up a new set of tubes out of a new material that is not urethane or pvc and has better abrasion resistance and uv resistance. I will send you the info,they can send you a picture of the new prototype pontoons,they also spray urethane if you want. This new fabric they developed and the pontoon is also coming with a 10 year warranty.
 

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I think the sprayed on urethane is more abrasion resistant. I saw a very tall guy this year at Lochsa who blew a sotar tube setting them on sharp rocks.He was driving an old fire truck I think. Sparayed on offers that extra protection where the standard urethane is taking the punishment directly on the fabric. I just ordered up a new set of tubes out of a new material that is not urethane or pvc and has better abrasion resistance and uv resistance. I will send you the info,they can send you a picture of the new prototype pontoons,they also spray urethane if you want. This new fabric they developed and the pontoon is also coming with a 10 year warranty.
I see Orto is spreading Canyon Gospel again!! He lives in Boise but doesn't respond to PM when I tell him I wanna buy his Maravia silverback pad. Just say it. Www.canyoninflatables.com. New materials are coming soon. Their boxes are solid, FYI!
 

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I see Orto is spreading Canyon Gospel again!! He lives in Boise but doesn't respond to PM when I tell him I wanna buy his Maravia silverback pad. Just say it. Www.canyoninflatables.com. New materials are coming soon. Their boxes are solid, FYI!
I never saw your post on my silverback pad, sorry about that. I am waiting to get my set tubes before I spread the gospel;) you must have got a spy photo or a peek at the video also huh ?

I know if I was running a boat hard and dragging over rocks etc and fishing it would be a maravia style boat with sprayed urethane.
 

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All I know is I have had an Aire 156r for 4 seasons now and just got a12.5 Sotar legend this year. I have abused the shit out of the aire and it takes everything I throw at it and looks new. Ive been pretty gentle on the Legend and have already had to patch a hole. The legend seems to scuff and wear faaaaaar more easily than the aire. Ive noticed unusually rough wear around a couple of the D rings that I'm thinking about preemptively patching before they lose structural integrity. Didn't mean to hijack this thread but thought the observation might be relevant. I just assumed when I bought the legend it would be as durable as the aire but in my experience its not even close.
 

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All I know is I have had an Aire 156r for 4 seasons now and just got a12.5 Sotar legend this year. I have abused the shit out of the aire and it takes everything I throw at it and looks new. Ive been pretty gentle on the Legend and have already had to patch a hole. The legend seems to scuff and wear faaaaaar more easily than the aire. Ive noticed unusually rough wear around a couple of the D rings that I'm thinking about preemptively patching before they lose structural integrity. Didn't mean to hijack this thread but thought the observation might be relevant. I just assumed when I bought the legend it would be as durable as the aire but in my experience its not even close.
My same experience between my Aire and others Sotar. Their frames have even worn through their tubes. They do have an advantage in weight and ability to put away wet without mildew smell in the tubes
 

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My same experience between my Aire and others Sotar. Their frames have even worn through their tubes. They do have an advantage in weight and ability to put away wet without mildew smell in the tubes
I've actually started to notice aggressive frame wear marks as well. Guess I'll just have to be super careful and not throw it around like the aire.
 

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All I know is I have had an Aire 156r for 4 seasons now and just got a12.5 Sotar legend this year. I have abused the shit out of the aire and it takes everything I throw at it and looks new. Ive been pretty gentle on the Legend and have already had to patch a hole. The legend seems to scuff and wear faaaaaar more easily than the aire. Ive noticed unusually rough wear around a couple of the D rings that I'm thinking about preemptively patching before they lose structural integrity. Didn't mean to hijack this thread but thought the observation might be relevant. I just assumed when I bought the legend it would be as durable as the aire but in my experience its not even close.
Was the Legend purchased brand new? Have you talked with Sotar about your issues? I'm considering a Sotar purchase, and since they are a rare bird in Utah, I'd like to find out the experiences of others. I have owned Maravia cats for many years and they are bomber. The weight savings & customization aspects are drawing me to Sotar.
 

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I drive Sotars commercially, on half and full day trips in the Royal Gorge. I have observed wear on the bottom of the boats in spots where there is an overlap, or bulge. I attribute this to the aggressive loading and unloading we do constantly, twice a day, along with sometimes dragging the boats at the beach. We have had a few patches- perhaps 5 out of 40 boats over the last 4 years. We have lots of sharp rock in the Gorge, and with low water the last two years, we hit plenty of rocks. I have been satisfied with their durability. We have factory installed urethane wear strips on the tops of the tubes that have adhered well.

I have driven NRS, Maravias, AIREs, Vanguards, Achilles and Wings over the years, and with the exception of Wing, these Sotars are far and away the nicest boats I've driven. They're light, they track like crazy but still turn easily, they bail quickly. Before driving these boats at work, I probably would have gone for an NRS or Avon for my personal boat. Now I own an 18' Sotar.
 

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Was the Legend purchased brand new? Have you talked with Sotar about your issues? I'm considering a Sotar purchase, and since they are a rare bird in Utah, I'd like to find out the experiences of others. I have owned Maravia cats for many years and they are bomber. The weight savings & customization aspects are drawing me to Sotar.
We bought it used but it only had about 100 river miles so basically new. The wear I've seen has mostly been from regular scenarios like trailering,loading and unloading and some excessive frame wear that makes me nervous. The boat is nice and light and handles amazing when on the river. Im in slc if you ever want to take a look in person it would be no problem, might help you to check out the fabric in person. I love the boat but the more I see the random wear in the fabric the more I wonder if I shouldve gone wave destroyer instead.
 

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My suggestion would be to use BOTH polyurethane fabric AND coating. I have a Wing cat with applied wear-strips, top and bottom, as well as a SOTAR ducky with no extra material. Unlike @climbdenali's experience, my wing has been tougher and survived more punishment than any other boat I've seen. But I don't think it's an option to get one any more anyway, so that's sort of moot. My SOTAR is great but, without the extra wear material, the fabric gets gouged and scratched pretty easily.

I think the main benefits of urethane fabric (at least for me) are weight and UV stability. But, knowing what I know, I wouldn't use tubes without the additional applied material. The liquid applied stuff (either rolled, sprayed or brushed) is actually harder (ie.: more scratch resistant) and slicker than the base material, which is what makes it so great.

I can't remember if SOTAR offers it as a factory option on their tubes, but it's not that hard to apply by yourself. Just need to be safe about fumes and skin contact, because it's MEK based. If you do it while the tubes are new, the adhesion will absolutely not be an issue. I have both factory-applied (bottom) and self-applied (top) examples on mine and can try to post some snapshots if you're interested.
 

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I'm starting to doubt the material on my Sotar also. I've had to patch it already, and it's a 2008. Something garfed the front interior area to the point that it leaked. Now I am wanting to learn more about liquid Lex and Flex Tuff. What does liquid Lex look like? I've seen the Flex Tuff, I think I wanna use it for a frame chafe...
 

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I'm starting to doubt the material on my Sotar also. I've had to patch it already, and it's a 2008. Something garfed the front interior area to the point that it leaked. Now I am wanting to learn more about liquid Lex and Flex Tuff. What does liquid Lex look like? I've seen the Flex Tuff, I think I wanna use it for a frame chafe...
I asked Sotar about the various top & bottom coatings they offer. This is the info I got.....
The material top and bottom chafes are the most durable. That is what we do for the frames normally.
If you are doing paddle boating the flex tuff is almost as thick and is grippy so you do not slide around on the boat. Our fabric is very slick.
I would recommend the flex tuff top chafe if you want to paddle boat.
On the bottom I would do the material bottom chafe. I do not think a full bottom wrap is needed. It is very heavy and very expensive.
Most of our outfitters do not get anything, but the ones that do normally get a bottom chafe and not a full bottom wrap.

The liquid lex is more of a cosmetic chafe and wrap. It is a very thin flat paint. We do 6-8 layers. Same stuff we do our logos with.
It is more for looks or just for a little abrasion resistance. We do not do this very often unless someone is very concerned about weight.

I hope this helps. I would probably go with a top material chafe and maybe a bottom chafe as well as I often do low water Middle Fork trips.
 

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Thank you, That does help. I am thinking Liquid Lexatron would work best for us then, I use the boat for both. It's been a day trip paddle boat for the last month, but I'll toss the rowing frame back in for the Mckenzie on Labor day, then I'll be doing more trips with just me in the raft. I like the black lumpy stuff.
 

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I asked Sotar about the various top & bottom coatings they offer. This is the info I got.....
The material top and bottom chafes are the most durable. That is what we do for the frames normally.
If you are doing paddle boating the flex tuff is almost as thick and is grippy so you do not slide around on the boat. Our fabric is very slick.
I would recommend the flex tuff top chafe if you want to paddle boat.
On the bottom I would do the material bottom chafe. I do not think a full bottom wrap is needed. It is very heavy and very expensive.
Most of our outfitters do not get anything, but the ones that do normally get a bottom chafe and not a full bottom wrap.

The liquid lex is more of a cosmetic chafe and wrap. It is a very thin flat paint. We do 6-8 layers. Same stuff we do our logos with.
It is more for looks or just for a little abrasion resistance. We do not do this very often unless someone is very concerned about weight.

I hope this helps. I would probably go with a top material chafe and maybe a bottom chafe as well as I often do low water Middle Fork trips.

So that's my issue, people look at the cost of say sotars cat tubes, if you actually add protection to the boat so it will last, add another 800.00 for chafes to the price of your cat tubes, now they are way out there in price.

I can buy a set of 14' cat tubes with sprayed Urethane top and bottom for 2200.00
Now they are PVC fabric with the urethane coating but so are Maravia's and that stuff holds up to abrasion.

The uncoated fabric style boats would be fine for weight savings if you are careful with your gear, which I am. I will be doing some testing on Canyon's new fabric in about 2 weeks, I ordered a set of the new pro 13 tubes. Their new tubes are lighter than sotars due to the baffle construction and supposed to be more abrasion resistant fully welded an a 10 year warranty. I know my Aire raft has the PVC shell and it is holding up really well so far but I have never had any doubt with the 10 year no fault.

Cataraftgirl , when I get back home I will get you some photos of my 130D raft and frame setup on the MF.
 

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So that's my issue, people look at the cost of say sotars cat tubes, if you actually add protection to the boat so it will last, add another 800.00 for chafes to the price of your cat tubes, now they are way out there in price.

I can buy a set of 14' cat tubes with sprayed Urethane top and bottom for 2200.00
Now they are PVC fabric with the urethane coating but so are Maravia's and that stuff holds up to abrasion.

The uncoated fabric style boats would be fine for weight savings if you are careful with your gear, which I am. I will be doing some testing on Canyon's new fabric in about 2 weeks, I ordered a set of the new pro 13 tubes. Their new tubes are lighter than sotars due to the baffle construction and supposed to be more abrasion resistant fully welded an a 10 year warranty. I know my Aire raft has the PVC shell and it is holding up really well so far but I have never had any doubt with the 10 year no fault.

Cataraftgirl , when I get back home I will get you some photos of my 130D raft and frame setup on the MF.
Cool. Thanks. Seeing pictures of actual boats in action is way more useful than just reading specs.

I agree that the Maravia boats are bomber. My rafting buddy has two Maravia rafts and two Maravia cats of varying ages. The oldest is 12-15 years old. Nary a patch in the bunch except for one on a fold line of the floor in his oldest raft. The two Maravia cats that I've owned have been run on lots of low water MF trips with no issues. I just wish that Maravia has a raft model that fit what I want, without weighing almost 140 pounds. That's what draws me to the Sotar.
 

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Good thread, makes me want to stay away from sotar. Curious about those Canyon tubes orto as I will be getting a cat this winter and am weighing my options. Keep us posted, that canyon stuff looks pretty nice.
 

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I think it's great Orto hates sotar. Heck the last thing we need is LONGER build time for tubes because even more people are buying them. Same goes for madcatr frames. Spider, yeah, don't even consider a sotar, they suck, they leak, they fail, and they certainly are the worst performing boats out there. That's why I have 4.
 

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I think it's great Orto hates sotar. Heck the last thing we need is LONGER build time for tubes because even more people are buying them. Same goes for madcatr frames. Spider, yeah, don't even consider a sotar, they suck, they leak, they fail, and they certainly are the worst performing boats out there. That's why I have 4.
Orto bashed madcatr as soon as Canyon started making frames. Now he bashes Sotar once Canyon starts talking up their new tubes. Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

Any of you guys ever actually meet Orto?
 

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If Canyon Inflatables has a new fabric, new raft designs, and a new modular frame that has LoPro-like fittings that are stronger and lighter than NRS I'd love to see pictures and info about them on their website. Every time I check their website, it looks exactly the same as it did a year ago. No new pictures or information. Lots of TBA on their product pages. Made in USA coolers with a few pictures & prices, but no specs. I wish they would update their website for those of us who are curious about their stuff, but live outside of Oregon. Are these products for real or just rumors??? I know Canyon Inflatables exists because I bought a cooler from them two summers ago. Maybe we need some Oregon boaters to do a recon mission and report back.
 
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