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October 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm #758Lee Arbach TBPKeymaster
The Trinity II-USA, our newest touring kayak, is made at AIRE’s factory in Idaho, with almost exclusively domestic materials. We & AIRE sourced an American made 1000 denier pvc from Seaman Corporation in a nice light blue color with UV, abrasion, & chemical resistance that is superior to hypalon and a proven track record of weldability. This amazingly strong 18 ounce per yard fabric yields a product that is substantially lighter than the imported Sawtooth II, and a lot stiffer too. Although thinner in gauge than what is used for the Sawtooth series, the Seaman fabric actually has far higher tear strength (fully double), and it’s harder to abrade the surface too. Seaman Corp weaves their own base polyester for much of their coated material, and this makes a big difference in the quality of their pvc’s.
USA 10 yearr warranty – 41 pounds
Other differences between the Chinese made Sawtooth II and new USA Trinity include the use of the urethane tube bladder material found on other American AIRE boats (as opposed to the vinyl tube bladders found in the Tomcat and Sawtooth series), stiffer floor bladder fabric, a full patch kit rather than the very abbreviated one found with the Chinese AIRE’s, and a Ten Year no-fault warranty. The imported Tomcats and Sawtooth’s are covered for only one year by compare.
This longer warranty was a prime objective, but a second priority for the TrinityII-USA was increased ease of air transport. We know not everyone travels with their boat, but if you do this model is not only ten pounds lighter than the Sawtooth II, it also folds smaller. The seats of course are still bulky since all AIRE kayaks, import and American, use the same closed cell foam chair, but you can always pack one or both of them in another piece of luggage (or replace them with one of our three inflatable backrest options for air travel). But the key point is that the new Trinity II-USA with at least one seat will easily stay under the 50 pound airline limit even with a fairly heavy duffel bag.
We wanted to use a light color and went with sky blue because it does not absorb heat the way darker colors do, very important for any inflatable that might be sitting around on a beach for long periods. Various shades of blue also show dirt less than the bright yellow Sawtooth color, and won’t attract bugs as yellow tends to. Or sharks .
We also kept the thoroughly proven Chinese Summit valves instead of going with the Leafield units. We know that being made in England, many of you are highly impressed with the Leafield name. Here’s what many boat buyers don’t know: although a valve wrench is included in every AIRE & Tributary patch kit, if you have Leafield B-7’s on your raft or kayak this wrench does not remove the valve. It only removes the exterior collar. The valve will then drop aimlessly into the bladder. To remove the actual valve you have to make a 3″ incision in the bladder. True, it’s rare the B-7 needs replacing, but if so be prepared to do a bladder patch. Not good out in the field! With the Summit product, the valves easily unscrew for cleaning or replacement, and a wrench is provided for this purpose. The one weak link with the Summits has always been the wimpy string holding the cap to the main body, but if it breaks we always have more caps should you lose one. The valve still holds air fine without it.
Like the Sawtooth II model, the T II-USA comes with two seats and a beefy removable aluminum tracking skeg. The measurements are almost the same as the Sawtooth II: 15’3″ long, 9″ tubes, 32.5″ exterior width , with a 450 pound capacity. It will hold a bit more than 450 pounds, but it’s faster and drier if you stay with this figure. The boat alone without seats or fin is just 33 pounds.
The Trinity II-USA : made in America, with American materials throughout the main hull. Seats & valves are made in China.
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