Saturn Rafts?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by SHARP, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. SHARP

    SHARP Member

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    These seem to be the best deal around.....

    Sotar, Maravia, Hyside, Aire are all great rafts, but built and made with hard multi-day per week use. And pricing to boot! 3-6k! Minimum.

    Looking for a something that can be used 1-4 days a month max, at a great price. It seems Saturn rafts can provide what I am looking for.....

    Any reviews?

    SHARP
     
  2. fishfly

    fishfly Member

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    Almost went that route. Call Saturn and they will put you in touch with guides that row them. Bit the bullet and went with NRS. Main reason was Saturn hasn't been around long enough to know about longevity.
     
  3. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Depends on what your main criteria for the purchase is, and your budget. If your main criteria is cost, you'll get what you pay for. If your main criteria is performance, choose a boat that's purpose-built for what your intentions are in the type of water you intend to float.

    There's a reason why boats cost what they do - design, weight, materials, performance, longevity, and functionality.
     
  4. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    We have been using the Maxxon rafts for a couple of years now and have had good results. They are similar to quality and price than the Saturn rafts...much less than the other big names you mention but not the same quality either. Not sure what Saturn's warranty is but 5 year for the Maxxon is pretty good for the price. The one downside to Maxxon is they only come in red with a gray bottom (see pics on the website below).
     
  5. Brazda

    Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

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    Have never used a Maxxon raft BUT they have a hard inflated bottom, hard enough to stand on W/O a deck, this reduces the weight for the frame which in turn makes the whole thing lighter and row better. Ken the guy that builds the frames for these rafts mentioned is a fantastic welder and just an all around great guy, I hope to test one out this spring.
     
  6. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Braz,

    We should be putting together a demo raft this spring...we hoped to get it ready for the OP show in April but time is tight. You'd be more than welcome to try it out when it is ready. Ken acutally got out and caught some fish this week. Hope your OP season has been going well for you.
     
  7. Shapp

    Shapp Active Member

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    A little off the OP topic on Saturn, don't have one, but I think you could expect the same or less quality as with a maxxon, maxxon has been making inflatable boats for a long time, although rafts only for 10 or 12 years though. As a current owner of a maxxon raft and better american made boats, here is an honest opinion. Bottom line you can get a better boat for about the same price for the total rig, not jsut factoring in the boat, but frame, oars, straps, pumps, etc. etc.

    We have 1 - 14' maxxon raft and a set of 12' pontoons among our other higher qaulity boats. We got the 14' raft used nearly 5 years ago, it is about 10 years old now. We got it for $1000 including 3 good oars, some good pfds, some dry bags, straps, EZ-pump, a rear assisst rowing frame, a regular 4 bay salmon-river style rowing frame. Does it work yes, does it do class IV yes, taken it down the lower salmon river a few times, the main salmon river, down the Grande ronde at very low water of about 600 cfs, the North Umpqua several times, McKenzie River several times, does it have issues, yes:

    the floor is very sticky and sticks together pretty bad when blowing up after being rolled. Hopefully they use some differnet valves now, the one we have has some funky blue non-standard sized military style valves. The PRV valve is in the worst place possible and seams to get perpetually clogged, we had to install several more D-rings to rig for multiday, ours has some ridgid handles on the outside that get in the way paddling. The bail holes were rimmed with metal grommets which get bent over easy making sharp edges. We had to rip all those out. It has very low rocker which means the front cuts through big waves in heavey whitewater instead of going over top like some of our other boats make for a wetter ride and more water in the boat. In heavey whitewater I don't think it bails as fast a laced in floor. Starting to get the first signs of glue degredation, seam tape starting to peel up a bit. It is stable though, and the material is thick and the bottom is double wrapped and very thick, never put a hole in it. For what we paid I am satisfied $1000 for the boat and a ton of gear. Would I pay 4000+ for the boat and entire frame set up that the catchcraft guys is selling for, No way. I bought a brand new aire super duper puma a few years ago that was a factory second form aire for $2659. I built a great 4 bay frame for under $500. The whole thing with oars, drop bags, yeti cooler, etc. only cost me about $4000. There are also great used deals to be had if you look around. A guy in the seattle area not too long ago sold a super puma with fishing frame for around 3500

    Great 13' Aire raft used
    Winning:
    http://www.mountainbuzz.com/swap/sh...uot-3b-self-bailing-raft-and-oar-set-up&cat=3


    You can get great deals on Aire seconds right now, 13' for under $3200.
    http://www.aire.com/aire/products/specials.aspx
    Based on my experience with my factory second you can't even tell and they come with the new boat 10 year no fault warranty. For under $400 you can build a nice NRS type aluminum frame for a 13' boat with a combo of NRS lopros and/or speedrail/star inflatables frame knuckles/speedrails, with oars, some straps and a pump you will be below $4500, about the same as a 13' maxxon with frame from catchcraft for $4100 http://www.catchercraft.com/2011_Price_List.html, and the Aire is going to last twice a long bottom line with a 10 year no fault warranty. I don't sell boats whatsoever so this info is not from a salesman.
     
  8. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Shapp,

    I appreciate your comments and and even agree with some.

    The Maxxon raft you bought that is now 10 years old is vastly different than the ones we are selling now. They went through a total re-design just two years ago and they made some great improvements to the old design. They now have HR valves, a standard in the industry and have been for a long time. I'm not sure what type of valves your raft has. I do agree with you on the D-rings...that is something they need to work on.

    The thing I like about the Maxxon over the Aire Pumas, which I have rowed both extensively, is the width and stability when fishing that the Maxxon has. The Pumas were a bit too narrow for my liking. They may be a better option for extremely narrow rivers. But when fishing with guests, I like a little more stability than what the Aire rafts provide. If I got 10 years out of a $1,000 raft, I'd be pretty satisfied regardless of what brand it was.

    The price for a new Pac 1300 is $4850. I know people are willing to buy our rafts for $750 less for some of the different features I mentioned. And we we don't sell seconds...because well they are seconds. :rofl:

    Going back to the Saturn rafts, I have heard good things about them from the couple guys I've talked to that have had them.
     
  9. Shapp

    Shapp Active Member

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    Not trying to piss on your bizness, but if you're going to post up on your products, I am going to call a spade a spade.

    Seams like you'r trying to spin my recommendatins. The factory seconds for sale at Aire right now are not pumas, they are 13'D rafts which are big wide rafts like the maxxons. Not sure what you mean about stability of the super duper puma anyway, I have rowed it on real class IV+ with no problems. Might be the operator not the boat :)

    Some more salesman talk. Halkey Roberts valves are indead better than older military style valves, but defeniltely not the "standard" in the industry. HR valves are the cheaper of the better valves and used on lower quality boats. I have broken several HR valves, and never had one problem witha Leafiled valve. Top of the line boats all have Leafield valves: Sotar, Maravia, Jacks Plastic, Aire, Avon, NRS, even Vangaurd, etc.

    Maxxon and Saturn use HR valves though cause they are cheaper.

    Great hear that Maxxon fixed the valves, but besides a little cosmetics, the boat shape is exaclty the same, other than the glued on accutriments and change of valves the boat design (i.e. overall shape and construction) appears to be exactly the same. Blow up my pictures to full size, you can see good detail on our boat, it is basically the exact same shape. to be a great boat it needs more rocker, and the PRV valve relocated at the top of the rocker on the floor to keep it from being perpetually clogged. The maxxon floors in our model and the new model look to be very flat, which means a lot of sand and grit in the PRV valve.

    What is a PRV valve: It is a pressure relief valve in the floor to keep the floor from being too tight when the air temps or water temps heat up, a pinging hard floor has a great chance of puncture when hitting a hard object or too much aire will blow I-beams makeing the floor turn into a round tube. If the PRV valve gets clogged then it lets out too much aire, making it too soft for good performance and not too good for standing on when fishing. Placeing the PRV valve anyplace on a relatively flat floor means it is a big time sand and grit collector. We have to clean our PRV more than once on every single multiday trip. I have cleand my PRV valve only once in my Aire raft after several years of use.

    So would you rather buy a 13' maxxon with frame for $4100 or a brand new factory second aire 13'D with a 10 year no fault warranty made in America by your fellow boaters, and take a weekend with a 6 pack, very minimal tools that a monkey could operate, and build a nice frame for the same price?

    You have entered the no spin zone.

    I have said my peace and won't post again on this topic. FYI beware of salesman spin. Send a PM if you want detailed directions on how to build a great economical aluminum adjustable NRS type frame. or you could buy one from Gary at rowframe for a very good deal for a 3 bay frame for an Aire 13'D

    This is an aire 13'D
    http://www.aire.com/aire/products/default.aspx?id=175

    13'D (called the 130D)
    on sale now: http://www.aire.com/aire/products/specials.aspx

    Very good price frame if you cant use a handdrill and chop saw:
    http://www.rowframe.com/raftframe.html

    The Boat People are possibley on of the most straight up sales people I have ever run across, they tell it like it is, even for products they sell. Here is their take on the Maxxon 14' raft:
    http://www.theboatpeople.com/product_info.php?products_id=129
     
  10. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Shapp,

    Not trying to spin anything and I'll leave it at that.

    Sharp,

    If you want a guide opinion on Saturn rafts, I believe The Evening Hatch uses them.
     
  11. SHARP

    SHARP Member

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    Good Stuff all!

    Thanks
     
  12. fluvial

    fluvial New Member

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    Take a look at Kienes fly forum under "boats" - I am selling a 13' fishing Avon w/frame, fishing stands, etc. etc. fully Clavey rigged and in great shape for $2500. Good luck to you any direction you opt... Bruce
     
  13. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    You would be crazy not to check out Maravia's streamtech boats. They're sweet! I rowed one a couple days ago and found it practically as maneuverable as my damned watermaster. I've rowed a tributary and it was a night and day difference. Just because they all look like rafts, doesn't mean they row the same.

    As for the floors - I like the fact that Streamtech offers the hard floor inserts - they'd be nice if I was taking someone I had stability concerns with. Otherwise, the stock floors I've stood on for a couple days now are super comfortable.

    -Jesse
     
  14. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

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    After reading this thread a couple times to get a good idea of who is talking about what I have to say that i would never have this person represent my company! Keeps referring to american made and then degrades the craftsman who people put their faith into: QUOTE: take a weekend with a 6 pack, very minimal tools that a monkey could operate, and build a nice frame for the same price? END QUOTE There you go, catch a buzz while your building your frame to save a few bucks! FYI beware of this guys spin zone: Trashes a respectable buisnessman and site sponsor for the price he is selling a raft for, sayin he can do way better and then says to be wary of salesman spin...Guess what, I say beware of Douche bags like you! What a puke!
     
  15. Shapp

    Shapp Active Member

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    comment noted. review of recommended product by actual owners is unwelcome if the bizness is a web sponsor.
     
  16. SHARP

    SHARP Member

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    Thanks fluvial. Great looking raft, but I am only looking to spend 2k max right now. Not to mention the drive. Pretty far.

    Were you selling it with a trailer?
     
  17. fluvial

    fluvial New Member

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    RAFT has been SOLD. Good luck in your endeavors - rafts can do a lot... gonna pick up the new one in a couple weeks.
    Fluvial
     
  18. SHARP

    SHARP Member

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    glad you sold it! Thanks for letting me know about what you had for sale...

    OUT
     

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