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Old 08-12-2009   #21
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
Originally Posted by ENDOMADNESS View Post
The Sotar Legend looks nothing like the Aire...not even comparable amount of kick (my friend has a sotar).

Does not have the Viking look to it.

Sorry i brought this back to looks, just cannot personally stomach that Aire destroyer, i've been bashing it for years...can't stop now...more cowbell !!

Sotars seem great...just pricey.

Well they look more alike than they look like a big flat-top'd NRS tubes, or something like that.

Nothing is wrong with changing your mind....

Buy through a rep, not directly from Sotar, and discounts abound!

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 08-12-2009   #22
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
We have two cats, a 12 y.o. Aire Wild Cat and a 3 y.o. NRS 14' cat. Niether boats have any patches or leaks. Maybe I just don't use them enough.
I say if you want just one cat a 14-15 foot cat will carry several people, or enough gear for long trip for two to three. I have NO expereince with the more extremely curved boats, but my Aire has a fair amount of curve for its vintage and is fun to surf.
If you are willing to go *light* you can take a small boat with 2 people on a multiday river trip. My husband and I spent 5 days on the Anniachak River in Alaska on my little AIRE. It was shallow and braided, with lots of wood. I was really glad for the construction style (outter pvc sheath with an inner bladder, several brands have this contruction style I think). I am pretty sure that the NRS cat would have sprung a leak. The best thing about our set up is that we both have NRS frames and can switch them all around, and between boats, for the frame set ups we want for each trip and load.
My favorite thing about my little cat is that I catch water from every wave, in my lap - sometimes crashing over my head. It is like the joy of being a telmarker and getting more face shots and "knee deep" days than alpiners. I suppose I should take up kayakng - but I freak out with my legs are trapped in tupperware.

I think I might be ready for winter. Had ski dreams the other day.

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Old 08-12-2009   #23
Riverboat Works's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 222
Riverboat Works for custom cat. frames

Originally Posted by teleboater5.13 View Post
I am starting to look for a cataraft to purchase. I have started looking at them and have found a huge variety so I thought I would ask what the buzzards thought.

I want a boat that I could rig for 2 people for a wilderness run (5-7 nights ideally), as well as take on the Grand in October (however there will be a lot of rafts on the grand trip so I think having to carry an excess of gear will not be an issue).

I also want to be able to run technical class IV-V water eventually on it as well though (Payette, Lochsa, Animas, etc)

I saw the Aire Wave Destroyer and thought that looked like a good boat. Aire claims that it is one of the best catarafts to run technical water in. Looking at its design I do not disagree I was just wondering if anyone has experience in loading these boats and how they do with gear on them (how much they can hold, how they respond, etc)

Also if anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear any and all comments. I have been rafting now for several years and own a paddlecat (shredder) but have not done much rowing and am looking to get into it. Thanks in advance.
Check us out at Riverboat Works in Salida. We'll build your custom cat frame exactly as you want it, and give you a great package deal on your tubes, frame and accessories!
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Old 08-14-2009   #24
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
Thank you all for your input. I realize that there is not one boat that will be perfect for everything...unfortunatly I dont even have the money for 1 right now. Oh well that is what winter is for

I think right now it seems like it is between the Aire WD or the Sotar legend. I looked at both and they both seem like sweet boats.

I also think that I need to spend a lot of time thinking about frame designs. I have seen several rigs on this site that have awsome ideas and gear storage techniques. Thanks again for your input and I am sure I will be talking to you again soon.
There is always a reason not to...
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Old 08-22-2009   #25
Engineer Civil Structural Hydraulic, Evans CO
Paddling Since: 68
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 158
Sounds like a cataraft manufacturer sales convention.
Gary Strome
Friends Don't Let Friends Drive PVC Boats
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Old 08-22-2009   #26
Northern Colorado, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 115
Cat boat?

For an all around size cat consider something 14-16'. If your future in boating will be mostly in the realm of class 4 and 5 smaller volume/technical/shorter trips, get a 14'. I have a 16' Aire (16' X 24" tubes). I originally got the set up from 4-Corners. At the time I wanted a cat for running class 4/5 water. The 16' is a versatile size for everything from the Upper Animas or Piedra to the Grand.- Would I like a 14' for smaller rivers?-Sure, but for running a variety of different rivers, a 16' works pretty well for me. Remember that cats begin to loose much of their advantages when overloaded-they become slower to pivot and redirect in big water. Smaller boats hold less weight. I'd get some kind of plastic boat-either Sotar, or Aire-both for their air holding ability and durability. Personally, I feel Maravias are overpriced for what you get. Cats are great high performance boats that also do well on multi-day trips. They're fast on the water, punch whopper holes, and are very forgiving. Base your choice on what kinds of rivers you'll mostly be running-not just a few "dream" rivers.
-Good Luck

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