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André Edinger Deutschland - Generalimporteur Europa

Artikel aus Paddler Magazin, USA, Beitrag aus Marketplace Review

SOAR's 14-foot Inflatable Canoe
SOAR 14 Specs:
Length: 14'
Width: 40"
Capacity: 1 to 3 persons/850 lbs.
Weight: 58-60 lbs.
Material: 840-denier Hypalon/neoprene
Tube diameter: 12"
No. of chambers: 3
MSRP: $1,425
Accessories: Standard equipment includes two marine-plywood seats, a pump, repair kit and compression straps. It also comes with a five-year limited warranty.
Info: SOAR Inflatables, 3152 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO 63118; (314) 776-6994; www.soar1.com
Soar-Boote, Germany, Kanulager André Edinger, D-90489 Nürnberg, Tel.: 0049 911 / 53 43 39

 St. Louis, Mo.'s SOAR Inflatables has been producing some of the best inflatable canoes in the world since 1993. Unfortunately, like the distance between two paddlers in a War canoe, a gap has existed in its product line. That gap is now filled with a new 14-foot model bridging the void between the company's 12- and 16-foot creations.
We tested it on both the flatwater lakes of the Rockies and the Class II-III waters of the upper Colorado and Yampa rivers. What we found wasn't surprising. As usual when a compromise takes place, that is what you get: compromise. Fourteen feet is perfect for a lot of situations, but the boat isn't as maneuverable as the 12-footer and has less hull speed than the 16. On the Yampa, we rigged it as a one-day gear boat complete with a large cooler, and found it perfect for supporting a group of thirsty kayakers. It proved a little too much boat for smaller rivers like Colorado's Cache la Poudre, but was stable and comfortable for larger rivers like the Pumphouse run of the Colorado.

The Soar 14 carries over the unique attributes of all other Soar craft. As with the 12- and 16-foot versions, the floors are convertible from self- bailing to non-bailing with the addition or removal of patches that cover drain holes. When we wanted to use it in a lake, we covered them up and stayed dry. In the river, when we could expect water to come overboard, we took off the patches and watched the water drain back out. Material-wise, the craft seemed to pack the perfect combination of weight vs. strength. The tubes are constructed from an 840-denier Nylon base fabric with a 36-oz., 80 percent Hypalon coating, and the floor is 840-denier Nylon with a 36-oz. neoprene coating. All seams are glued, and as with the other models, the boat features three chambers-floor, and two tubes-as well as inflatable spray guards on each end. The craft's 12-inch tube size and 40-inch width--the same as the 12- and 16-foot models--makes it stable, versatile and maneuverable.

We found the 14-footer to be the perfect tandem length, and only a little on the long side for solo paddling from amidships or stern. Both paddling styles work, however, and the craft is easy to steer from the rear with a long canoe paddle. With two people paddling, plenty of room remains in the center for a passenger, a cooler or gear for several days. It handles like a tandem canoe--only it's more stable and forgiving, with less performance--and did everything well, from running rapids to catching eddies and ferrying.

Seating positions took a little brainpower. This is not your basic inflatable kayak with inflatable seats or thwarts for sitting down. Seating is distinctly canoe-like, unless you rig it otherwise, with wooden planks capable of being rigged in a variety of positions on grommet straps running the length of the boat. The wooden bench seats work well-either sit and paddle or kneel with your butt on the seat--but you'll want seat pads (padded seat rests are available) for extended journeys.

The only extended journey we took it on came on a weekend high-country camping trip, when we piled it high with three people, a dog, fishing poles, a cooler and some camping gear. It tracked well on the flats and paddled comfortably, but everyone admitted we wouldn't want to enter a flat-water marathon race in it. If we did, the gap between us and other competitors would most likely widen.


Soar 14

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