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Old 03-23-2011   #1
Gumbydamnit's Avatar
DURANGO, 81301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 144
New Cat decision time...

I'm getting ready to buy a new cataraft in the next week or so. I've been rowing a 15'6" raft for a few years and now I want a cat. I still want an all around boat for the runs around here.( Durango, CO) Aire's Jag looks pretty good but it doesn't have much weight capacity, around 1000 lbs. I guess I want the best of both worlds, a sporty cat that can carry enough weight for the Grand Canyon. Right now I'm kind of leaning towards a Jack's Plastic Royal Flush. It's like a 16' cat with 25" tubes but they snubbed the noses. What do you guys think. Thanks........

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Old 03-23-2011   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
JPW big red with the blunt snouts
go anywhere you want to go

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Old 03-23-2011   #3
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Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 77
I have an Aire lion 16' with a dre frame. Ark, eagle, blue, Colorado, green, Dolores, etc. It's a blast. I would recommend at least 44" internal width to allow for larger coolers.
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Old 03-23-2011   #4
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 227
I had an Aire Jag. It was nice and sporty, but got loaded down way too quick. Now I am in the process of building up an Aire Leopard. It is 18', but the tubes are 26.5" instead of 24", and the load capacity is almost 50% more. So hopefully it will still be somewhat sporty, since it still is decently rockered. Was also looking at the Aire Lions, but they and the JPWs just seem to flat.
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Old 03-23-2011   #5
Gumbydamnit's Avatar
DURANGO, 81301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 144
I'm not opposed to the lion but it seems like a bit over kill. Maybe it's the 27.5" tubes? I don't really like heights. HA!
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Old 03-23-2011   #6
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vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
I've got a lion. You have to duck when going under bridges ...

You can go with a 24" tube and it will sink another two inches draft than the lion if overloaded. Maybe that's why the lion seems so much higher ...
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Old 03-24-2011   #7
davecosnowboarder's Avatar
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 143
I have a fourteen foot lion and it handles great. I have run Gore and won't hesitate to take it on the grand. I think its a great all around boat. I am now looking into a smaller cat, but I'll always keep the lion.
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Old 03-24-2011   #8
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
I know more than a few people that have run Jag's on the Grand Canyon, and use them as day boats also. If you are solo on your boat, the Jag should have plenty of gear hauling for the Grand. I'd say the next step up, to maintain optimal performance, is the Leopard. The Lion is more of a barge, and while people enjoy them (all cats are great!) you're going to have more fun on a Leopard on a day to day basis. The Leopard is part of the performance line, which is geared towards fun.

I'm considering a new cat for the Grand also. I will only consider a Leopard if I carry a passenger, otherwise it may be a Jag.

Then again, I recently saw a 15.5' Legend (cut more like the 11' than 12.5', less snubby) with 27" tubes. It looked sweet. Really, the guy was running it on the Wind river in Washington, IV+/V- and he rocked! The bigger tubes made it much more symmetrical than their stock Legend in those lengths, and he got it for gear hauling. He even used his frame for his 11' legend, which kept it skinnier and maneuverable.
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Old 03-24-2011   #9
over the horizon
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Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 267
I popped for the royal flush last year. Love it. The tubes have some early rise at each end, but I would not say they are "rockered". It's fun to have the cargo capacity of a 16' yet, with a 34" frame (tube to tube), being able to squeeze her into places a small cat goes. It is a very versatile boat. The 10 year warranty doesn't hurt either. Made in the USA!
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Old 03-24-2011   #10
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
I had a Aire 18 ft Leopard cat boat. Sold it for reasons other than the boat as it never let me down on performance what ever the run.

Took it down the GC, Middle Fork, Yampa, San Juan, WW and a bunch of other rivers.

For me it was a very good cat either loaded or unloaded.

It does seem a bit big, but I took it down several smaller Arkansas creeks unloaded and it did just great. Cannot say anything but good about the boat's quality and performance. If there is a do it all cat, Leopard has to be in the top level.

I have several buds with the Aire Jags and they all speak well of the Jag, but for me on bigger water those big Leopard tubes are nice.

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