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Old 05-21-2013   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Cat outfitting for the Grand Canyon

Hi All,

Thanks to this group, I bought a 16 foot cataraft last year (NRS). I use it mostly for float fishing and some mellower whitewater, but my wife and I were invited to join a self-guided group down the Grand Canyon next October, and we want to take our cataraft.

Question is how should I think about outfitting for the Grand?

I have plywood decking and platforms front and back for fisherman. (See attached photo). The rower section has a mesh floor. I figure the high fishing seat and leg locks would certainly go. The anchor would go. Is the decking useful or unuseful for something like the Grand? It certainly makes the boat more fun to hang out on and to move around on. What about the floor/platforms front and back (each is ~ 24 inches long)?

If there are usually two of us on the raft, would the passenger be better in front or behind the rower (with fishing, front is clearly better).

Thanks for your help and advice.

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Old 05-21-2013   #2
Cottonwood, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 111
Passenger up front. Don't overload your cat! Get the heavy items below decks in boxes or drop bags to keep the center of gravity low. Put light items like personal ammo cans or Pelican cases on top. Sit on a big cooler and put personal bags behind you as a backrest and something to brace against.

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Old 05-21-2013   #3
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 493
If you want to see what a real GC cat looks like, go to the raft porn thread, page 50, post #496. That's what your cat will look like when it leaves the ramp. .... best laid plans and all that crap.
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Old 05-22-2013   #4
rwhyman's Avatar
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 961
Here is a shot of some boats on the Grand. Mine is the yellow cat. 16ft Jag.
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Karma is like this: If we set causes in motion the effects come back to us.
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Old 05-22-2013   #5
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 106
On my Grand trip, I rigged my cat with two coolers running lengthwise between the tubes, one fore and one aft. This is my standard operating procedure on any trip, Grand or not; the coolers were purchased to be the largest ones I could fit in my frame here. I have varnished plywood decking on the back holding dry boxes, rocket boxes, a large mesh bag of river/boat gear, my chair, a canvas bag of canned goods (steel cans of food for late in the trip), and misc. smaller items. Even with my seat, low and on the outside so as not to interfere with the oars, (and also very convenient), also sitting on decking, were small items such as throw bag, personal ammo cans, first aid, and tool/repair kit. Up front, instead of decking, is loop strap land, where I put water jugs, propane tank, metal boxes (though not dry boxes) with beverages in aluminum cans, and dry bags. It is just lucky that a propane tank fits there for me; otherwise it would have been on the back decking. I had a passenger about half the time, who sat on the coolers, or the dry bags, or the dry boxes, either fore or aft (wherever she preferred), but aft for all the big rapids.

16" Aire Cougar
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Old 05-22-2013   #6
jpwinc's Avatar
durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1964
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 160
I have posted this picture before, but I believe that catarafts can crearly serve as produce boats. Think about the things you do not have to put in a cooler that can go on your mesh floors.


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