Use and characteristics
The Alligator SB is ideally suited to white water and surf. ‘SB’ stands for 'SelfBailer' (more of it below*), which provides an exceptionally stable and forgiving ride, especially in big water. Due to the special flow flaps and hull shape, this boat is one of the fast and agile self-bailers. In-hull luggage storage space (ISS) add use for extended whitewater tours.
River guides will also like the Alligator SB because it is so safe, robust and versatile. Paddlers with responsibility can react and help much faster due to the free entry and exit. Even the temporary transport of a 2nd person (or a bike) has already been realized!
In a selfbailer drain holes allow water to pass through the floor, so eliminating the need for a spraydeck. This means you enjoy the full open-air freedom of packrafting while being able to take on whatever the river throws at you. The ease of hopping in and out makes portaging and scouting much easier too, while re-entry after a capsize is extremely easy. The self-bailer’s inherent water around the floor has a stabilizing effect (low center of gravity), while the paddler sits slightly above the waterline (so that the water drains through the floor) with the elevated position (high center of gravity) providing good visibility. However, this is packrafting so you will get wet. Water sports clothing, at least dry pants, ideally a dry suit, is advisable. A self-bailer is a little less responsive than a displacement hull packraft, but is balanced out by the convenience of the open deck.
Shape and construction
The geometry of the Alligator SB is based on the Alligator 2S Pro XXL. This adds up to a higher volume for the necessary buoyancy and stability and the relatively long waterline ensures good acceleration when you need it most. The Alligator SB is part of the MRS StreamlineSL series, featuring its distinctive red seam tapes on black segments of the Pro series.
The self-draining construction uses a three-quarter length floor mat with a separate footrest and an integrated seat for buoyancy and water displacement at 11 drain holes in the floor.
With its fully adjustable footrest, ergonomic backband and five-point thigh straps the Alligator SB is highly adaptable for different paddlers. An open deck, the combination of floor mat and seat and especially the adjustable footrest allow positioning independent of body size for persons from 150 cm up to 205 cm.
The backband provides lumbar support for the lower back. Due to the Alligator SB high seating position the use of thigh straps are recommended. You sit high and centered, but remain stable and in control, allowing deep and powerful strokes.
Special features and equipment
- The drain holes use one way flow flaps on the outside. This ensures that no additional water passing into the boat from below when eddying in/out, drop or accelerating is minimized. This makes the Alligator SB a little faster than other self-bailers. In addition, the flaps protect the drain holes from damage at rocks or branches - a common problem with self-bailers.
- The Alligator SB has a preinstalled mount for a white water fin/skeg for better tracking and increased speed. The fin is designed and positioned in such a way that riverbed contact is limited or tolerated, even in white water.
*Excursus fin/skeg in white water
A tracking fin provides increased directional stability which adds up to more speed or greatly efficience. Double bladed paddling creates a side-to-side yawing action at the bow, slowing forward propulsion. This effect can be minimised by paddling gently or using a steep paddle angle, but in whitewater bracing bow strokes and hard acceleration are often necessary, which can cause unwanted pivoting. A fin reduces this yawing motion, no matter at which stroke is used, delivering more drive or higher speeds in whitewater. It opens up completely new routes and manoeuvres for packrafts.
- The Alligator SB comes standard with Internal Storage System (cargo zipper), ergonomically cut 2x 5-point thigh straps and its distinctive, adjustable footrest. Please note the information and care instruction to the optional Internal Storage System (ISS).
Material and repairability
The excellent adhesive qualities of the TPU coating makes the boat extremely durable, enhanced by a special treatment for a smooth, scratch-resistant finish. Being light, UV-tolerant, non-ageing and flexible at low temperatures, this packraft is a lot tougher than its weight and packed size would suggest.
In the unlikely event of sustaining damage, repairs can be done in the field with LifePatch, which bonds to the urethane surface extremely well. Small pinholes can be quickly sealed with Aquasure, a liquid urethane sealant. Should any major damage occur, it can be repaired with spare fabric and contact glue either at home or in our workshop.
Manufacturing and warranty
The Alligator SB is a co-development between Anfibio and MRS. Combined with MRS’s manufacturing expertise and fabric know-how, our years of packrafting experience refined the design of the final product. Serial production takes place in the Far East with manufacturing carried out in small, hand-built batches. All products have an extended three-year warranty.