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Old 11-11-2015   #1
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
Help from a seasoned catarafter

So.... We have only been down the north fork of the Boise river a few times with some friends.. And we picked this up at the youth ranch (thrift store) for $129.99... We can't find a brand & the pontoons seem to be split into two? Can anyone help us out on brand/year/size? We are wanting to try it out for this next summer but it seems a little older than others. There is no brand stamped anywhere. Other than an extra tube that has "cougar 90" written on it. Any help would be so appreciated!

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Old 11-11-2015   #2
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 427
Is it like this one:
help identify this old AIRE cataraft

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Old 11-12-2015   #3
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 390
I own an Aire Couger. This boat has a twin tube design made in the mid 80's - 90's that was later discontinued. You can call Aire with the serial number and they can provide a purchase date and additional info. I found the serial number on a small metal label on one of the tubes. If memory serves the last two digits of the serial number are the year of manufacturer.

I love my boat, but she is a little temperamental. It is extremely sensitive to trim, I need to load her so she rides dead level. If it is a little bow or stern heavy she rows like a pig. The twin tube design has a great wind profile, but the 14" dia. tubes don't offer as much clearance as the single tube designs that are 18"-20" in diameter. So my floor is VERY close the the water line and the boat is easily overloaded. The other disadvantage of the twin tube design is there is only 30" between tubes, compared to 40" or more on a typical single tube design. This will limit the size of a cooler or dry box that will fit the boat.

The twin tube design also means a standard cat frame does not fit. If seen a number of these tubes on sale in the used market with the wrong frame. Make sure your frame really fits the boat and the tubes sit level.
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Old 11-12-2015   #4
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by climbdenali View Post
Yes it looks identical. The pontoons are a different color scheme & the frame is a little different but pretty much just like it. Thank you for the reference pic!
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Old 11-12-2015   #5
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
Wow! I am surprised at the size of the pontoons, they seem large for the frame which makes me wonder if it's the right frame or not. The pontoons seem to be around 17' long, the frame seems small for the size of the pontoons. I will look for a serial number when I get home. Thank you so much for all the helpful information! I will be calling once I find the serial number. Thanks again!
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Old 11-12-2015   #6
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 390
Aire made two version of the boat, a 18 foot Cougar and a 15' Panther. I guess mine is really the Panther then. I stretched my 3 bay frame to a 4 bay for more cargo. If I ever see a good price on the 18' tubes I will upgrade


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