Thoughts On An Inflatable

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Alex MacDonald, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Alex, are you still driving that Tacoma and are you looking for something that will ride level in the bed or are you planning on having it ride at an angle?
     
  2. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

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    "You need to stop drinking the Dave Scadden Piss flavored coolaid ."

    Uh, actually, Shawn, that was me speaking, not Dave, and based on my own personal experience and that of my friends. First, I have seen too many guys spend valuable fishing time trying to realign their bladder and its cover. And then you have the stitches on a cover. And, for me, the fewer parts anything has, the better I like it--less possible failure points. It's just personal opinion, but I believe there's a reason(s) a lot of the better manufacturers have gone bladderless. Nothing against Outcast--the boat you recommend looks nice, and I had a Super Fat Cat and loved it. And their new big float tube looks sweet.
     
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  3. mojo

    mojo Member

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    So what are the advantages of a bladdered boat?
     
  4. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I couldn't agree more. As someone who's owned both bladder- and bladderless pontoons, bladderless tubes are far less maintenance and far less likely to wear or leak. That's not to say they don't wear or don't leak - used hard enough, even the toughest gear will eventually fail.

    Bladdered tubes have an advantage in that they are cheaper to manufacture and usually lighter. That's great if you're a newbie fisherman on a budget and will likely not be using your pontoon in conditions that might compromise it. But once you take the bladder out of the outer tube for a repair, you'll find out immediately how difficult it is to get them realigned without causing folds or pinches that can easily turn into future leaks.

    K
     
  5. shawn k

    shawn k Member

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    This came from the boat people.
    What about quality? In the simplest terms, quality really boils down to how long the boat will last, or how long you can maintain it in functional condition. With AIRE's internal bladder design there is nothing that can permanently disable one of their rafts. If a couple main tube bladders start developing pinholes after say, 15 or 20 years, you can replace them for fraction of the boat's value. The outer hull of an AIRE could in fact be nearly worn down to the base fabric all over and the raft will still hold air just fine. On the other hand, if a non-bladderized pvc boat becomes leaky at every crease, or a hypalon raft accumulates so many patches it won't hold air for two hours, what do you do? Boat sealants may help with some of these problems but it's not a long term solution, and if your raft needs multiple, expensive repairs and is only worth $700, do you pay a repairman another $700? In most cases the boat either ends up fetching next to nothing at a garage sale or taking up space in a landfill. There is no reason an AIRE boat can't go 30, even 40 years with upkeep, a lifespan matched by few other boats. For the same reason an AIRE can be made to last forever, it is also the most easily serviced in the field if something should go wrong. With all these considerations we don't feel there is a better whitewater raft than an AIRE or Tributary at any price.


    Also on the water repairs are a breeeze with boat with bladders.
     
  6. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    No question about Aire's well-deserved reputation. Like NRS, their build quality is the gold standard in whitewater craft. But not all bladdered boats are the same. There's a huge difference between an Aire boat (priced at several thousand bucks) and low-priced (read, cheap) pontoons like those made in China and sold under off brand names at places like Costco. I'd be careful about jumping to overly-broad conclusions just because both use bladder technology. Heck, the cost of one replacement bladder from Aire is probably more than some complete pontoon boats cost brand new.

    K
     
  7. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    No different from bladderless tubes. You just bring along a different repair kit.

    K
     
  8. shawn k

    shawn k Member

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    I wasnt talking about those crappy boats and If you read my initial post you would have seen that. Alot of the outcast boats are made on the same equipment and materials as Aire rafts and Cats.