RMR 13 SB Raft review by TBP

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    Lee Arbach TBP

    RMR Whitewater Rafts have arrived. This tough outfitter grade RMR 13 SB Raft is the best value out there in a six person size that you will ever find. The new Rocky Mountain’s 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 13 SB Raft – RMR New Player – Old Style Quality!

    Rocky Mountain inflatable rafts and catarafts (a.k.a. RMR) are relatively new to the rafting industry, though at this point they do have about four years of experience behind them and they have grown & improved at a higher rate of speed than any boat company we’ve seen. 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.
    Construction Procedure for RMR 13 SB Raft

    Rocky Mountain whitewater boats now become the second Chinese import brand (after AIRE’s Tributary line) with welded seams, floor I-beams, and bulkheads. D-rings & all attachments are also welded. 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 this RMR 13 SB Raft – the extra step of adding seam tape to the interior overlaps prevents air wicking along the exterior edges, and the outside seam tape makes it even more reliable.
    RMR 13 SB Whitewater Raft’s Hardware and Fabric

    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 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 Tribs remain far easier to roll/fold up than the Rocky Mountain equivalents. On the other hand, the Tributary’s run 25 to 30% more money than the R.M.R’s. Making boating affordable gets more people on the river. Hopefully that’s a good thing, unless you happen to be on Brown’s Canyon on a July weekend….

    The RMR 13 SB Raft has ten stainless D-rings outside and two more on the inside of the bow and stern for things like throwbag attachment. If you need more we usually stock plenty. Two removable thwarts and six lift handles are standard. 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. The C-7 is a bit slower than the B-7 especially during deflation, but the problem with the B-7 is that it’s high profile cap seems to bash paddle crew knuckles no matter where they are located. Such is the case with the 13′ and 14′ Tributary rafts.
    Important Feature – Laced Floor in RMR 13 SB Rafts

    One of the most surprising features of this RMR 13 SB self bailing raft is that it has a lace-in floor, not a permanently mounted one. 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 13 SB Raft Warranty

    Warranties on all RMR boats are five years. The colors for 2013 are blue and red. The interiors (the thwarts and floor top) are gray, not the solid color shown. Frame chafers and wrap-up floor overlaps are glued even on the Rocky Mountain boats, so there will come a day if you keep the boat long enough where those will come loose. Even if this happens though, it will not incapacitate your raft.

    If you want to know the lead time or get a shipping quote on your RMR 13, email us your zip code and we’ll give you a close idea. The worst case should be five business days & about $135 to a business address.
    RMR 13 SB River Raft’s Tubes and Chambers

    The RMR 13′ self bailer is supposed to be 6’2″ wide, with 19″ tubes. A 13′ RMR we just measured actually had 20″ tubes and was therefore 2″ wider than spec’d – not a bad thing. All Rocky Mountain rafts have four main chambers, plus the two thwarts & floor. The 2011 version of this raft was 139 pounds; the 2012 was 137. We expect the 2013 thirteen footer to be about the same. This boat has to go motor freight due to both it’s large dimensions, and it’s packaged weight. These are double boxed and the 13′ has almost 18 pounds just in cardboard, which puts it above UPS’s 150 pound limit.

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