Talk me out of a SOTAR Strike for MT

Chachi

New Member
White water enthusiast here. Look up WRRR, Washington recreational river runners, WRRR.org or on Facebook. Everyone in the club knows a guy with a set up they'll sell ya cheaper than you'll find most other places. All are good honest people.
 

Jamie Dow

Active Member
I started with a hypalon raft and then moved up to SOTAR after I tired of patching, costing much more in the end. Seems like every time you try to save money on outdoor gear that sees extreme use it bites you.

Owned a 14" SOTAR for 15 years; only patches were from vandalism in a hotel parking lot, and an unfortunate trailer hitch failure where the stern tubes were dragged along at 40mph on the street for 50 yards before we could stop (thank God it didn't fail at 70mph). That just removed the outer coating, with fabric intact but patched it anyway.

There's a nice article on rafts here:
https://triadrivertours.com/river-research/2018/1/13/13-foot-whitewater-raft-comparison-shootout
While this addresses whitewater, their remarks hold true;
SOTAR very light, urethane fabric much superior to others. Only downside is cost, which is why they finished in the middle of the pack. 10,000 Waves out of Missoula runs SOTARs on their Blackfoot and Alberton Gorge trips so obviously to some outfitters the cost is worth it.

They have sales, and as Chachi mentioned bet those folks at WRRR could hook you up.
 

SpokaneFisherman

Active Member
Nate,

As someone who's owned other boats (because I compromised instead of getting what I really wanted) I'd say just buy the strike. I'm getting ready to order one myself. I also think that because the resale is so strong that a used boat doesn't represent a substantial savings. I'd say go new and that way you can order custom colors and graphics etc.

I've been working with Matthew at Blackfoot River Outfitters and they've been awesome to deal with. Might as well support the local MT shop who designed the boat right?
 

SERE Nate

Active Member
I did find a Maravia Willy Willy on CL for a decent price that seems about perfect for what I am looking for. I really want a dropstitch floor if at all possible, so I can stand on the floor when I want and don't need casting platforms. I want to keep it as light as possible for portaging and put ins, as its going to be me and my wife most of the time. THe Maravia will be more durable that the SOTAR and I have heard complaints about the customer service on them. Had a buddy that ruined a floor on a SOTAR at the put in and was denied a warranty claim since it was dragged to the water vs carried.

Willy WIlly weighs 130 pounds and is 14 foot long.
13.6 Strike weighs 95 lbs
14.6 strike weighs 105.
 

SpokaneFisherman

Active Member
I completely understand about the weight factor. I have the same concerns trying to carry the boat to and from the water with the wife and kids on the Spokane. Which is why I ruled out the Maravaia (My original plan was a streamtech).

I'm surprised that your friend damaged his boat dragging it to a put in. Was there glass or metal or some sort of foreign object involved?

If you're looking for a compromise between weight and warranty coverage I would say go with an AIRE. They were awesome to work with on my 143D last fall. I had a manufacturer defect in the bow chamber that caused it to slowly lose air. They replaced the bladder and paid shipping in both directions. Total turn around time was about 8 days. I can't offer any input as to the drop stitch floor. I had the standard floor in my 143D and was able to stand just fine when I felt the need to. But typically I fish from a seated position.

@Capn Chicken Man has a sick 130D for sale in the classifieds right now.
 

802flyfish

Active Member
Maravia would say the same thing if your buddy told them he dragged it.. Aire has the best warrenty in the business by far. You’ll be on the oars more with a Maravia with the drop stitch floor compared to an I Beam floor.
 

SERE Nate

Active Member
Maravia would say the same thing if your buddy told them he dragged it.. Aire has the best warrenty in the business by far. You’ll be on the oars more with a Maravia with the drop stitch floor compared to an I Beam floor.

Because of tracking?
 

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