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Old 01-31-2016   #11
mattman's Avatar
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,046
The point about needing to load cats properly is so true, I thought I new how to load my boat until I got an 11' cat! Being off on weight in any direction is really noticeable with a cataraft.

Like the 25" tubes, that extra floatation will help keep maneuverability as you add weight.
There will be more wind drag, but the right choice, especially for a 14' boat, IMO.

Nice frame Rockgizmo!!

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Old 01-31-2016   #12
Port Angeles, Washington
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
Thanks guys. I think Im going to go with the two 45 degree corners just because my shop doesnt have a tube roller. We got everything but a tube roller lol, we even have a plate and angle roller just not a tube roller. We have a press break that Im going to use to make a dry box. Does anyone know what grade aluminum people usually use for dry boxes? I know you have to get a certain grade so that it doesnt crack when you press break it. I also read going perpendicular with the grain helps it to not crack on the corner. Can anyone post any pics of their dry boxes so I can get some ideas for mine please? Another main dimension I need is how low to put the floor? Id assume the higher the better. But it also has to be low enough to hold the tubes on there good right? Im gonna run 25" diameter tubes, how low should my floor be?

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Old 01-31-2016   #13
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
Length of your down rails is pretty important, in addition to the things you mentioned, you also need to make sure your d rings on the tubes you are buying will be correctly positioned. Otherwise you might throw your frame on your tubes and then have one hell of a hard time strapping it down because your rails will be to close/ on top of your d rings. Since you're going with 25" diameter you'll probably be fine because they are just so big, but on my 11.5'x19" it was an issue.
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Old 01-31-2016   #14
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,136
Lots of good advice so far. My 2 cents:

-I am a big believer in welded frames, HOWEVER, the advantage of the fence rail/fitting frames is you can experiment with the fit and geometry.
Make your seat and oar towers adjustable IF, you have more than one size person using the frame OR, unless you are 100% positive on the size/geometry. My frame is adjustable because I am 5-10 and my daughter is 5-3. Looks like Rockgizmo has adjustable seat and oar towers.

-A welded in diamond plate floor might be a good idea for a fishing boat but a bad idea for a Class IV+ whitewater boat. One idea is a removable plywood floor. Makes frame more versatile and much lighter for moving and storage.

-Just to avoid confusion: 1 1/4" Sch 40 is 1.66" O.D. and 1 1/2" Sch 40 is 1.9" O.D. Might be appropriate sizes for loaded fishing rig, but I am using 3/4" Sch 40 (O.D.= 1.05") for a whitewater boat and 3/4" 6063 is very bendable with a $80 tube bender (6" radius). The double 45s on the top frame create 2x4 more spots where a weld rubs a boat tube. You probably need to use bends for the bottom rails anyway so you will have to find somehow to bend tube. Several fabricators in Denver quoted $10/bend.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 01-31-2016   #15
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
Who's building your trailer?
You set out to build a cat you could handle by yourself- without a ramp. If that's what you really want, ditch the diamond plate and the dry box. Weave your floor out of seat belt webbing. It's stiff and stable, drains instantly in whitewater and won't ruin flylines when you or your angler steps on them. You can wear studded wading boots without falling on your ass or tearing up the floor. A dry box on a fishing cat is just a place to put too much shit and weigh you down. Use a small dry bag instead- or buy an 80-100 qt cooler and use it as a forward seat. There will be plenty of room inside for beer and a small dry bag of necessities. Keep it SIMPLE. Keep it LIGHT.

Forward station can have a cooler seat and a woven floor with a leaning post for your angler. If that's detachable, your boat can be rigged for solo use, or add the station when you have a partner along. I take the leaning post along and attach it to the front of my rowing station when I'm solo. Light is Right.

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Old 01-31-2016   #16
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 174
Send a message via AIM to J
Check out he's got diagrams, like e drawings, etc of cat frames with measurements.
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Old 01-31-2016   #17
Bayfield, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 80
Since your a fabricator without a bender check out whitewater machine works stuff. I think his rowing module with plug and pin extensions are pretty awesome. The ultimate in flexibility. Really lightweight too. Never touched one but the concept seems sound.
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Old 01-31-2016   #18
Port Angeles, Washington
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 15
Great information everyone! Thank you so much! K2andconnoli- Thanks for the input. Now that you mentioned that I think it would be a wise idea to order my tubes and get them here to make sure any part of my frame doesnt get in the way of those d rings. Rich- Very valuable information! So your cat has 3/4" sch 40? Does it seem sturdy? Do you know what most manufacturers use for their frames? I do know that I will be the only one rowing and but like you said Im not 100% on the size/geometry so it is a great idea to keep somethings movable. Do you know if they make anything to set in between cataraft frames and the tube so that welds wont rub on the tubes? Osseous- Great advise! I already own 2 trailers and I will be setting one of them up to haul/store the cat. But i have read that its easy to overload a cat and they suck to row overloaded so I do need to keep in mind to keep things light! J- Thanks for the link, Ill check it out. Hopefully i can find a dimension for floor depth. Keep the ideas coming guys, feel free to post what you have and things you like or dislike about certain set ups. Once I start building my cat Ill keep everyone updated on progress and will upload pictures so you guys can see how it turns out. Thanks for all the help so far!
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Old 01-31-2016   #19
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
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In all things human powered- light is right

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Old 01-31-2016   #20
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,136
3/4" Sch 40 works for my use which is very lightweight, Class IV+ with tough access and occasional portage. Generally solo day trips but also works for 3-5 nights (Middle Fork/Selway). There is a trade off of strength and weight. 3/4" is .39 lbs/lf and 1.5" is .92 lbs/lf.

Most pipe fitting frames are 1.25 to 1.5" Sch 40.
Most welded frames are 3/4" to 1" Sch 40
I am not an engineer, but I believe most 1.25/1.5 frames are over built.
And a welded frame will be stronger than a frame with fitting with the same diameter aluminum tube.

My most important point is to assess what uses you will be doing.
If always fishing with trailer and boat ramp, a heavy boat is ok.
But whitewater with tougher access requires a lighter boat.

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