RMR 14 SB Raft review by TBP

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    Lee Arbach TBP

    This RMR 14 SB is the best value out there on fourteen foot raft that you will ever find. The new Rocky Mountain rafts have some small but important improvements, including a 1″ increase in the height of the floor mounting grommet strip. This should decrease some wear areas a bit on the floor bottom, and make an already super stable raft even more so. Additionally, there are more I-beams in the floors of the new RM rafts, for a smoother floor and a tighter fit against the side tubes. The welded area of each D-ring has increased for 2013 as well, making for even higher pull strength, and there is more stitching over a wider area of the webbing that holds the metal D and the lift handles. The combo handle/D-ring patches have been angled too, further increasing their strength and the comfort when being used. Lastly, the thwart attachments are made with thicker material on the 2013’s, not that we saw any problems with the 2012’s in this regard.

    Please phone in your order; this raft cannot go by UPS, but UPS rates are the only method our shopping cart calculates. Call us at 925-820-BOAT to place your order.
    RMR 14 SB Raft – RMR New Player – Old Style Quality!

    Rocky Mountain rafts and catarafts (a.k.a. RMR) are a relatively new product for us, as well as being fairly new to the rafting industry. Many folks who bought these over the winter haven’t used them much yet, so we don’t have a lot of feedback and have not piloted one ourselves so far. Although there are many imported pvc brands on the market, with the exception of AIRE’s Tributary line most have traditionally been glued rather than welded, and glue leads to eventual seam failures. Even if the better glued brands hold up for ten to fifteen years, there will still come a day when you have to put a large quantity of pvc in a landfill. Rocky Mountain whitewater boats now become the second brand with welded seams, floor I-beams, D-rings, and bulkheads. In addition to the main seam overlaps, RMR also welds seam tape over both the interior and exterior side of each tube joint. This is something that a few pvc boat manufacturers don’t seem to bother with, yet the lack of seam tape quite often means their inflatables have air retention that is less than stellar, especially as those boats age. Not so with RMR – the extra step of adding seam tape to the interior prevents air wicking along the exterior edges, and the outside seam tape makes it even more reliable.
    Constructions Method for RMR 14 SB Raft

    Individual pieces of the Rocky Mountain boats are not cut out one at a time with hand-traced cookie cutter patterns and scissors. Instead they are sliced out en masse with computer controlled band cutters like the AIRE’s and Tributary’s, and by foregoing much of the usual hand labor the cost to produce each raft or cat tube goes down. We are glad to see someone has taken the reigns to provide an extremely economical alternative to the many glued pvc inflatables out there. There are those folks who either cannot quite afford an AIRE Tributary boat, or who feel they would rather not have a bladderized inflatable for whatever reason. We would point out that AIRE’s technology (they use the same manufacturing process for both the Tributary imports and the U.S.-made AIRE line) is well proven, and that the Trib’s remain far easier to roll/fold up than the Rocky Mountain equivalents. On the other hand, the Tributary’s run 23 to 30% more than the cost of the R.M.R’s. Making boating affordable gets more people on the river.
    RMR 14 SB River Raft’s Hardware and Fabric

    Most sizes of the RM rafts have ten stainless D-rings outside (& two more facing inward at the bow and stern), and six of these D-ring patches also have lift handles. Two removable thwarts and are standard; a third one runs $125. The base fabric inside the 33 ounce pvc is a very strong 2000 denier polyester, and wrap-up layers on the underside of each raft toughen them up even more – though as mentioned at the end of the first paragraph those extra layers also make any raft that has them a bear to roll up. RMR uses the low profile Leafield C-7 valves throughout.
    Important Feature – Laced Floor in RMR 13 SB Rafts

    One of the most surprising features of the self bailing RMR boats is that they have lace-in floors, not permanently mounted ones. Should something happen to your floor, your can unlace it if you have the time, and UPS it to RMR instead of trying to ship the whole boat on a truck line. Laced floors cost far more to produce, but they have the benefit of draining a raft quicker than glued ones can. It is quite unusual to find a laced floor on a raft of this low price.
    RMR 14 SB Raft Warranty

    Warranties on all RMR boats are five years. The standard colors for 2013 are blue or red, with light gray interiors. We may not always have both colors. If you want to know the lead time on your RMR 14, email us your zip code and we’ll give you a close idea. The worst case should be five business days.
    RMR 14 SB River Raft’s Tubes, Chambers, Weight

    The 14′ self bailing RM raft is a generous 6’10” wide like AIRE’s Tributary fourteen footer, and it has 20″ side tubes. All Rocky Mountain rafts have four main chambers, plus the two thwarts & floor. The 2013 model 14′ RMR weighs 159 pounds with the two thwarts. They don’t weigh much but removing them shaves off about 8 pounds. We know this is a heavy fourteen footer, but all that extra reinforcing material comes at a price. There are six lift handles, which certainly helps hoist the beast.

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