packraft lifespan questions

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johnz1967
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:10 am

packraft lifespan questions

Post by johnz1967 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:32 am

Have two older Alpackas still in use. One is from back when they came out of Sheri's shed off 36th and when the big one was called the "Row'r" (2005 or 06), retrofitted with a spray-deck, primarily used for mini-expeditions carrying gear or a bike. The other is from just after the move (2007 or 08?), Yak (I think), used for day-ww-trips and meeting rocks, wood, and whatever else is in the water that I can hit with paddling skills reminiscent of a cat that has fallen into a bathtub. Both have "expert" repairs for slashes already that have held up surprisingly well.

Is there a lifespan for particularly the main material that I need to be concerned about? Is there anything to watch out for that would show signs of trouble (eg discoloration) or things I should be very mindful to check (eg stitching somewhere)? Is there anything I should be doing to prolong their lives? I'm not doing much other that vacuuming out debris and mostly storing them semi-loose. I would really really really like to not find myself in deep Alaskan sh-- that could be avoided and to someday break the record for most rocks one packraft can bounce off of, if I do not already hold that.

Thank you for any replies, or for gifting me a new model :)

theresa
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:58 pm

Re: packraft lifespan questions

Post by theresa » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:16 am

I've got three boats that are from the same era. The floors have taken the most abuse and are really in need of a replacement. The tubes no longer hold air as tight as a drum but they are in incredibly good shape considering their age. I have upgraded and now use these boats as loaners. One was paddled in the Brooks Range recently (2week trip), and it was up to the task. I store them carefully and have wondered if I should 303 them but haven't yet. The new boats are a completely different paddling experience, save your pennies and try the next generation. You won't regret it!

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