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Old 11-17-2009   #1
cpollema's Avatar
loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 144
Passengers on a 12' cataraft?

I've been thinking about a new boat and looking through past threads about the 12' catarafts. There are some amazing setups and lots of great ideas about frames, setups, etc. What I haven't found yet was a setup for a 12' cataraft that holds multiple people. I would love to play on the Poudre with my kids. They would be passengers on a frame that is rowed with oars, not paddlers. Can such a boat be setup to do this? If so, how? Thanks!

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Old 11-17-2009   #2
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I believe you can, I've seen set ups with a seat in front and behind the rower on Catarafts. I don't know how it's set up though - i.e. custom frame or what.

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Old 11-17-2009   #3
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
Interesting question

I considered putting a pasenger on a 15' cat I have but decided she can just row her own raft

If you were to make a frame like this, which I definatly think is possible you want to make sure that the passengers have a solid footbar as there is no floor for them to put their feet on. I think if you had a footbar extend down under the rowers' seat you could set up another seat mount behind the rower and get one person on that way.

Not sure how you would do more than one though? I hear the key is weight dont want it to be too much to one side or the other

People here though know a lot about cat boating...I am sure you will get some pretty good responses (and probably picts if you are lucky)

Good luck
There is always a reason not to...
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Old 11-17-2009   #4
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
You also might want to post your question on Idaho mailing list. Those guys run a lot of rivers up there in small cats. I posted my questions about my future boat and got a zillion of helpful responses.

idahowhitewater : Idaho Whitewater
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Old 11-17-2009   #5
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Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,149
I have a 12 foot cat that I fish 2 normal sized adults out of. It would be good for 1 adult rower and 2 kids (siting side by side). How many kids, what size? I will post pics some time soon. Basically, I copied the NRS yolks but made them a little narrower for a 12' cat and made them fit a smaller tube with less drop on the lower frame rail. I was able to make the yolks cheaper than NRS sells for even by farming out the welding and bending. I have the cat rigged so one person sits on a cooler up front, with the rower behind on a seat. I have casting decks, front lean bar and custom anchor system I made too. I posted pics of the frame carcass earlier this year in the games with frames. Now it is fully done and I have been fishing it this fall for salmon with good success. Hatcher coho and hatchery searun cuts on the Cowlitz.
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Old 11-17-2009   #6
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at my house, Montana
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Posts: 4,347
I picked up a backseat bracket for my Madcatr frame over Labor Day, but haven't used it yet, so it's definitely an option for my boat. Someone else from Missoula supposedly runs a passenger (unknown size) on their 12.5 legend, but I don't know what or where. I'd hate to have a full size person back there on big water, but on mellower stuff I think it will be fine, which is what I got it for. Kids would be a definite yes. So my standard setup is the "classic" idaho catboat setup where you're up front rowing, but up front actually still puts your seat pretty close to center on the boat.

It really depends on how big your boat is. 12' tubes are smaller, and then what's their diameter? My legends are 22.5", so they are pretty big and can carry a good load for that size boat. A traditional style cat with smaller tubes might have problems with much load, but younger kids might still be OK. Can you carry any weight with your boat, say for a multiday? If you can't then a rear passenger might be tough. If you can, then maybe it will work.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 11-17-2009   #7
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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Rafts are for carrying people. Cats are best run solo, especially a 12 footer.

Would you want passengers on your motorcycle, kayak, mountain bike, skis? didn't think so.
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Old 11-17-2009   #8
cpollema's Avatar
loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 144
kids or gear...

Can you carry any weight with your boat, say for a multiday? If you can't then a rear passenger might be tough. If you can, then maybe it will work.[/QUOTE]
I haven't bought anything yet, still enjoying the planning portion. My initial thought was to copy Chip's approach on his smaller cat and setup the rear bay to hold either gear or my two kids side by side. In total they are probably 150 lbs. So that would give me a boat that could play with just me rowing, go multiday, if I travel light and haul my gear behind me, or hold me and the kids if we want to make local short runs. I know one boat can't do it all, but I would love it if a 12' cat can be setup to do that.
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Old 11-17-2009   #9
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
small cats are best appreciated with as little wight as possible. Sure you see passenger seats on Sotar legends, but Mania is correct, get a small cat for tight technical fast rivers, and a raft or big cat for passengers.

The rivers I enjoy my small cat on are the rivers that a passenger would not enjoy riding with me on.......
Sport Climbing is Neither
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Old 11-17-2009   #10
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Here's an ultralight version of a small-cat frame.

I built one before this that has a full-length floor (same Poly Max grid) and can mount a deckboard aft that's stiffened at the front edge with a piece of aluminum channel. It can sit two kids. Here's a photo of Ruby and the Wolf Goddess ready for a ride.

There's a panel of PolyMax grid strapped on over the deckboard, for more room and a non-slip surface for paws, with a piece of foam pad on that for butt-comfort.

Main problem is that you end up with too much weight aft. On a short cat with a rear passenger seat it's nearly impossible to get the trim even.

If you put the rowing seat aft and the passengers front, with enough frame in front of the passenger seat to brace their feet, you have a pretty long frame for a 12 ft. cat. With a plain deckboard up front and no place for feet, the passengers sometimes fall off when you hit a rock or a hole.

I only take 2-3 bodies on a small cat for day trips and easy water (III-) with little objective hazard.

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cataraft, cataraft passengers

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