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What do owners think of Rocky Mountain Rafts?

56911 Views 59 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  garystrome
If you own a Rocky mountain raft or have put good river miles on one, what do you think of them? Also if you have time in both Rocky Mountain and Tributary rafts how would you compare the two?

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I demod both a 13' Trib and a 14' RMR back to back on the same stretch. I got a better deal on a 13' Trib and I live right down the road from the Aire factory so I went that way. Had I not got such a good deal on the Tributary I would be rowing a RMR. The Trib tracked and turned a little better but is a smaller boat with diminishing tubes and a lot more rise in the bow and stern so not a direct comparison. The difference in weight is considerable. Rolled up I was able to carry the trib on my own, the RMR was much heavier and bulkier. I could not just pick it up and carry it like I could the Trib. In the area of new boats the value of RMR is very difficult to beat. I think as they catch on the price will rise.
Lol , poverty rafts. They both suck.
Do they really "suck"? or are they just not as good as the higher dollar rafts? I don't expect them to have everything for that price, but if they can hold up without falling apart or getting a bunch of pinholes, thats good to me. I am young and don't have the cash flow to spend the big bucks on a raft. My truck only cost $3,000.
Check out this thread.

I know 3 or 4 people who own these boats, and I've run one commercially. The thwart design sucks. They're nothing special, but they hold up and are reasonably well constructed. The people I know that own them put a decent number of miles on them and haven't had any problems (one guy did have I-beams blow out in the floor but RMR warrantied it and sent him a new floor).

Overall I think they're fine - nothing special but you can't ignore the price point. My uncle owns two of them and he gets at-cost boats from Aire, NRS, Sotar and RMR... he keeps them around to let friends and family run and beat up. So far I don't think either of those boats has a patch... and they've been hammered on.
I have a set of RMR cat tubes. So far no issues. I disagree that RMRs are "poverty rafts" with the welded seams and leafield valves.

I own a couple of Trib IKs that have seen alot of use and abuse and they both are holding up very well.

You won't get the life out of them like an Avon, but they are decent for the money
I did a serious comparison to another PVC boat, a Vanguard, and the RMR keeps the price down by giving up lots of things. My Vg has fullwrap floor, bigger tubes, heavier floor, total upper and lower tube heavy wear strip, heavy steel handles, additional thwart, etc. So while the basic material is the same, you get a lot for the additional $1,000 on the Vg. Also, the rmr pvc is welded, not glued, and over time the welds can develop micro-fractures. It's a lower tier boat, but will probably hold air and last 5-10 years, depending on how it's treated. Storage out of the sun will help a lot, PVC boats don't do well stored on a trailer and left exposed all the time, including my Vg. Paradoxically, rolling it is going to increase the micro-fracture problem.
As a previous owner, I can say they are good boats and a great value. They are very tough, but the toughness comes at the price of weight. Features are good, and the only times most people would be able to know the difference between a RMR and a high dollar boat is when carrying it on land or when carrying a lot of gear. For most typical use on the water they are bomber. That extra weight can be nice when punching waves.
Mine was stored out of the sun as it seemed to me the PVC would not handle the sun well. Other boats would fade where it seemed the PVC might break down - just a guess as I don't know.
I bought a blemish 14ft RMR this season, and while I've only had it on the water a total of five days so far, I am super impressed. The build quality seems fine, and the boat tracks and moves around as good as anything I remember rowing. The RMR customer service is really great so far as well.

I think most of the detractors who would say this is a "poverty boat" are just bourgeoisie yuppie assholes who live in CO and have more money than they know what to do with to spend on their toys. Same overweight dipshits who ride $5k carbon fiber road bikes and scoff at my $100 1972 steel track frame (while I pass them on the trail). I, for one, am glad RMR has reached a price point REGULAR people might be able to afford, and with pretty quality boats that should last a very long time. I don't think rivers should exclusively be the playground of the rich and privileged, but that's just my opinion.
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I have a 14' RMR, and I like it.

I've taken it down the Grand and Deso/Grey as well as a couple of shorter trips without any trouble. Like someone else said, it's heavy and doesn't pack up small. I haven't had any problems with durability though.
Lol , poverty rafts. They both suck.
Haha, all rafts are poverty boats. A BWC Whitewater Customs Gatling Series, not Maravia or Sotar will more adequately demonstrate your superiority than a little urethane will.;)
Thanks guys. I would have to keep it loosely rolled, because I have no space to keep it partially inflated. But I can take care of it. If I can manage to get a raft it will most likely stay in my closet next to my IK. My dad has kept his IK rolled in the garage since he got it in the 90's and it is still in great shape.
Haha, all rafts are poverty boats. A BWC Whitewater Customs Gatling Series, not Maravia or Sotar will more adequately demonstrate your superiority than a little urethane will.;)

For sure BWM = Bring Wads of Cash! But sweet jet boats.
I have had a 13 ft RMR for 4 years. It is trailered as I have a fishing frame on it. It is heavy which is good and bad. Good when I am going over rocks in low water or just due to my bad lines. Bad when it is just me and my kids trying to get it back on the trailer. Fixed that with submersible lights on the trailer. I row with my friends who have Hyside's, NRS's and given its weight I don't think that it is as nimble but they are also much better on the oars than I. If you are going to roll it and plan on moving it on your owen often, hope you have a good strong back. I remember moving on my own rolled when I first got it and it was a I echo what others have said in price point, it got me into a new raft with a 5 yrs warrenty for a price that I could afford. The front handle webbing broke when one of my friends yanked very hard when trying to get it trailered. RMR sent me 2 replacments no problem. All they asked for was a digital picture of the broken handle. I have only used it once as a paddle raft and that was with 5 kids and 2 Dads so cannot comment much on that aspect or the use of the thwarts. I was new to rafting and still very much a novice but I can say it has provided me and my family many fun days of being together so worth every $.
If you have specific questions about the raft feel free to PM me.
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RMR does have a great warranty department. They stand behind their product. They are heavier compared to a hypalon boat. You can't beat the PRICE for a super bomber tough all welded seam boat. Probably one of the best outfitted boats with 14 D rings, 6 handles and two thwarts. I would not get a glued seam PVC boat!
I have taken my 16' RMR on two Hells Canyon trips, two Deschutes trips, a couple days on the Thompson River in BC, and down the Grand Canyon. It is not the lightest or fastest boat out there, but it is a solid boat with a ton of room.

The weight of a boat is not big concern for me as I keep it trailered. The material still looks new after two years, so I maybe stuck with it for a while.

My only regret is that I may not be able to keep it on the trailer much longer. If I had seen that coming I would have gone with a rubber boat.

I have had the 14' for 2 seasons now and am very very happy with it. I keep it trailered with a frame/decking/ext. Since I keep it trailered and loaded down (also garaged) weight isn't an issue. I find the company to be great to work with and it's important to know that every year they make some changes to improve their boats. Several of my friends that own very high end boats have said that they will buy a RMR next time they're in the market.

I can't think of a single issue I've had with the boat and the next boat I buy will certainly be another RMR. I can't justify spending twice as much on a raft to get me down the same rivers.
Bought my raft a little more than a year ago. May 20th 2013. It is a 14' SB 2013 model. The original tubes that were purchased were the floor model. The first time that I inflated the different chambers I heard air leaking from one chamber to the next. This ended up being a baffle that was never welded at the factory. I ran those tubes the first summer which included the Green River Gates of Lodore/Split Mountain, 6 Day runs on the Animas, and a two week trip to Glacier National Park that included a 6 day North Fork of the Flathead, Two days on the Middle Fork of the Flathead and one day on Main section of the Flathead below Flathead lake. Never had an issue with how the boat performed.
When I got back home after that trip I contacted RM and after minimal back and forth I got my boat inspected in Denver. RM warranted those tubes and gave me new ones. Zach at laced the original floor with new tubes. It worked out really well and since I was able to have friends move the boat from DGO to Denver and then back effortlessly I didn't have any issues. The warranty process was enjoyable and painless. (Which is nice to know when making a purchase of this size and importance). I dealt with a fellow by the name of Denny at RM... He and Zach were both highly professional. Class acts.
This year my boat has 10 Day runs on the Animas, a 6 day San Juan trip, 2 day trips on the Upper Dolores. I can say that the boat handles well on the water as both a paddle boat as well as being oared. These things are very tough. They also get rock hard. I really like to keep my tubes stiff. #Bonus
I have been very pleased with the value that the boat provides. The cons to the boat are that it is heavy (PVC) and that it doesn't roll well (PVC). I keep my inflated on a trailer. But have rolled it for the long trips... It takes at least two people to move it when inflated or rolled. But four is better. This is kinda a drag unless you the Hulk or all Spartan-ed out...
When I bought my boat it was peak season, one of my friends had a MFS permit, the water was up and I needed to get a boat. I couldn't find a good used boat package, which is what I as looking for. If I didn't have a trailer, and couldn't keep my boat inflated and stored in a garage, aka needed to keep it rolled up between trips. I would try to find an older used hypalon/rubber raft for less $ that a new RM. A few of my friends can fit their rafts in the back hatch of a Subaru with there frame on the roof rack. That is nice if you don't have a truck.
I really don't have any feedback on the tributaries.
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My truck only cost $3,000.
shit man my car cost me $350 but i still shelled out $1600 for a new hyside doubleduck.
get your priorities straight!!! ;)
shit man my car cost me $350 but i still shelled out $1600 for a new hyside doubleduck.
get your priorities straight!!! ;)
lol, I know man. I am saving up some money, but I have a feeling that I will have to get a new engine for that truck of mine. No use in having a raft if you cant get to the river. And how did you pull off getting anything new from Hyside for $1600?
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