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Old 04-26-2011   #1
Pendleton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 18
If you had to chooose one cataraft.........

for big water and lightly loaded trips? Would it be a 13 footer or 14footer?

I already know that a smaller boat will maneuver quicker...but will it punch through the holes like a 14 footer? I guess each size has it's pros and cons

Keep in mind I already own a 16 foot cat for the BIG loads.

Having a hard time making up my mind for the next purchase! Thanks for the help

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Old 04-26-2011   #2
slamkal's Avatar
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
You want to run a passenger? 14

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Old 04-26-2011   #3
freexbiker's Avatar
B.F.E., Wyoming
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 907
Jefe Grande
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Old 04-27-2011   #4
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,471
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Old 04-27-2011   #5
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
My cataraft progression went like this....... started with a JPW 14 X 19 Flyer Cat, fast, agile, fun, but not much gear hauling ability for multi-day trips. Next came a 14 X 22 Maravia Cat, also fast & agile, but with a little more gear capacity. Now I have a 14 X 24 Maravia Cat and it's the perfect blend of size, agility & gear space for multi-day trips. I rarely carry passengers, I do mostly class III - IV multi-day trips, and I don't run class IV - V day trips.
I would say if you want to carry a light to moderate load and run big water, plus perhaps carry a passenger, then go for the 14 footer with either 22 or 24 in diameter tubes. If you just want a day play boat, go with either a 13 footer or a smaller diameter tube size 14 footer.
For me, my 14 X 24 Cat is perfect.
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Old 04-27-2011   #6
jmcdannel's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 159
if you already have a 16, then go for a 12.5. You'll have the best of both worlds.
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Old 04-27-2011   #7
I'm wrong 50% of the time
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RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
I've got the opposite problem. I have the sports car (superpuma) and am now looking for the family rig (maravia willi). I would consider what you want to do with it first. Is it going to be dedicated as a paddle raft? Do you want to do narrow mountain creeks or larger volume rivers? If it is for paddle raft only and you are on high volume rivers the it depends on agility and people load. If you want a paddle raft for mountain streams, I would lean toward the 13 footers with a narrow beam. Just my thoughts.
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Old 04-27-2011   #8
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
I think tube diameter and shape and (for me)cost were more of a factor for my choosing an Ocelot. I would say for big water you would want at least 20-22 inch tubes. Maravia and Sotar will give you slightly larger diamaters with Sotar and JPW being even more custom altogether. I really like my 14 footer but I also wanted a more versatile size and the 22 inch tubes and profile allow it to do a lot of different things fairly well. With all the boats out there the sky is the limit so I chose to spend the least amount of money for a boat that fit into my category, and the AIRE factory is only 10 minutes away from my house. To answer the question, IMO, the Ocelot can do it all...and AIRE may still have a green 07 for a pretty good deal if it hasn't sold.

When talking about length of boat in big technical water, I would echo what I have heard about tube diameter being equally important and maybe even more important, especially since many legends are 12.5 feet and 11 feet long and I have seen both of those boats on big technical class V runs in Idaho.
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Old 04-27-2011   #9
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
I like smaller tubes for playcats, to get a lower center of gravity. For light runs with a passenger, I've got a Jack's Stretch Flyer Cat (19" tubes, 15 ft. long, narrow frame).

For Mini-Cooper moves, I've got Jack's Cutthroat tubes (16", 12 ft. long) mounted 2 ft apart on a custom frame: the thing rips. Incredibly agile.
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Old 04-27-2011   #10
Pendleton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 18
Thanks for the help folks. Think I will go with the 13. It makes sense...if I want to haul people with easy flow..then take the 16...if by myself on technical stuff..take the 13.

Now....what to buy...hmmm..... LOL

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