OSC 14 ft self-bailing whitewater raft opinions

Has anyone had any experience with these rafts? http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/boa/1126154360.html

Looking for something for my family that can handle class 3 and then class 4 with my schlubby friends. Also, would folks recommend a cataraft or raft for class 4 boating; thinking about saftey, room, manuaverablity (tracking), and fishing? I probably would concentrate on the John Day River, Deschutes, Sandy, Clackamas, and easier sections of the Wind river. Thanks in advance.

PS other advice on Rafts or Catarafts would be appreciated. Price <5k.


Active Member
These were imported by Outdoor Supply Company in Salem, Oregon. I am under the impression they are going out of buisness. I don't know where they import the OSC rafts from and I have never seen one of the OSC rafts in person even though I have been rafting a long time. However, they also use the Maxxon tubes for the Tuff Cat pontoons. So maybe they had Maxxon make the rafts. If they are maxxon rafts they are o.k. but not for the price, should be more in the $1200 to $1400 range. Probably going to have a hard time getting the warranty enforced if you have any problems with it because it is an import and the seller won't be around.

Some of the questions I might ask the dealer are:
where the boats are made? Are they welded PVC or clued? My guess would be that they are clued PVC for that price.

There have been an influx of Asians made boats in recent years like the Maxxon tubes. Currently most rafts and catboats are either PVC or the old school Hypalon. Hypalon boats are a clued construction and PVC boats are heat welded, or at least the good ones are. Hypalon has proven itself to be a very good candidate for clued construction, has a long proven track record and is tuff as hell. Maxxon and the cheaper PVC boats are clueing the PVC instead of welding it. It was traditionally thought that clued PVC just didn’t hold up to the rigors of white water use. The Maxxon tubes appear to be holding up fairly well from people I’ve spoken with. But it seems that the majority of people buying the Maxxon are buying them for easier class 1-2 fishing purposes and not really using them for a lot of class 3-4 water.

That boat looks good in the photo, but if it is a clued PVC, I would tend to shy away. For me personally, I would prefer to buy a good quality used boat for the same money then a brand new cheaper boat of unknown and unproven durability.

I see you’re in Vantucky. Have you been into Andy and Bax over in Portland. No used boats there, buts lots of new boats to droll over. They are good guys to talk with and have a big display room with lots a cat and conventional rafts all rigged up with package deals. There is a guy that rents rafts in Troutdale (River Trails) and I see him advertising some fully outfitted used 14’ Riken Hypalon boats on PDX Craigslist quite often. Check out this NRS used gear bulletin board as well.

As far as your question, "cat raft or conventional raft". Tough choice. I have a 16' cat raft, but if I was to do it again, I think I might go with a raft. The 15 and 16 foot Maravias are awesome and can haul way more gear then a similar size cat boat. The self bailing inflatable floor is like have the buoyancy of a third tube. As far as handling, any overloaded boat will be sluggish and handle like shit. You would be more likely to overload a cat boat then a similar size self bailer. Both boats have their advantages, but cat boats are sexy. I don't need sexy anymore. I want practical.

Good luck.


Active Member
The boat in question is glued. The guy states it is PVC and you can see seam tape in the photo. Welded PVC doesn't need seam tape. On another note. The issue with glued PVC isn't that it can't handle the biggest whitewater. Even the cheaper foreign made glue jobs will take the biggest rapids. The issue is the glue degrades overtime and results in seam failures several years down the road (hopefull later rather than sooner). Welded boats are essentially stuck for life.
Thanks for the reply's and yes I went to Andy and Bax for the first time last weekend. I have heard great things about them and probably will pull the trigger on something new. The more I look at a used rafts and catarafts I get nervous that I might get some piece of crap since I am not an expert on rafts or catarafts yet. :)


Active Member
I am going to guess that with the economy there will be slow sales this summer and really god deals this fall/early winter if you can rent a bit this summer and wait a bit.
I see lots of good deals on good quality used boats. I wouldn't be afraid to buy one. You can tell if a boat is beat up or in good condition. For the price of a brand new boat, you could get a good quality used boat with a trailer and many of the little nickel and dime extras. A trailer is a huge convenience. Rigging up your boat at every put-in gets old sometimes. It's twice as painful if it's a cat boat.

I've become a big fan of the Maravia boats. Unfortunately, A & B doesn't sell them. Maravia puts a urethane coating on their boats that really adds an impressive protective armor. There is a lady in Oregon City that is a Maravia dealer. Google the River Connection. She has a showroom.