Not sure when Alpacka got started but curious to the oldest raft out there still being used.
Mmm, good question…
I know “sold raft #1” is back in the possession of Sheri, the inventor: she traded a newer boat to its original owner because she wanted to put it in the personal hall-of-fame.
I also know a bunch of 2002 rafts have come through the workshop in the last couple years for upgrades, like installing seats and putting the new dump valves in them. And I think Sheri’s son Thor still has his 2001 (?) boat she built for his Brooks Range expedition, but I think he has newer boat(s) he uses for fishing & hunting. So… I’m not sure what the oldest one in active service is, but I can give that context.
Thanks for the reply. I was reading Roman’s book which has a chapter on some of the earlier boats (Sherpa, Curtis) and it got me thinking about some of the older Alpacka’s that might still be around.
Most of the 2002 models are still in use to my knowledge. I have had many of them come in to get the newer valves and spraydecks put on. All are in good shape and should see many more seasons of service. There are probably 10 boats out there that I hand made in 2001 that are still in hard use. So I would say 2001 are the oldest boats of mine. The good thing to see is how long the boats seem to be lasting.
I have two old boats. An original yellow boat built at Jacks Plastic Welding (no seat) that still works great. I don’t personally use it much, but it is really light and it does get loaned out occassionally. I also have the very first working prototype boat (the mythical “white” boat) in storage in Alaska. It was built by hand and we used aquaseal to make it hold air. I took it through the technical sections of the Aniakchak while doing research in 2001.