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Old 11-22-2015   #21
Coastal, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 258
How far I would load them depends on where I am going. I can run fairly technical class IV water with myself and 350 lbs of cargo and still hold the boat and maneuver easily in rough water and draft about 4" of water I just don't carry group crap or huge loads of gear anymore. I would say 750lbs total would start getting sluggish. This tube pattern does have a maneuvering pad built into the pattern so they do respond a bit better than a continuous curve style, these are 22" diameter, legends are 22.5 I believe. What ever flotation difference that buys you, I usually geek around and switch different tubes out with the same frame and payload to get an accurate test for development purposes but haven't with these yet.

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Old 11-23-2015   #22
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 68
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 143
[QUOTE=kengore;419204]So why do various brand of boats have such different capacities when the tubes seem similar? The frame drop makes a big difference. The distance from the lower rails to the bottom of the tubes will vary greatly between frame designs.

The smaller allowable floatation is roughly proportional to the speed of recovery. 33% +- is reasonable. You can affect the speed of recovery by having buoyant items at or near the waterline, i.e. polystyrene cat floors, good quality coolers not fully loaded to act as residual floatation.
If you 300# and going for a week, a 14 x 23 sotar is an ideal tube. The RMRs have more tube in the water and therefore more floatation but at the expense of rotational inertia. The RMR is a pig loaded; The Sotar agile.

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Old 11-23-2015   #23
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
22" is my favorite diameter, though I haven't tried anything else in a cat. Two of my cats and one of my rafts share this tube spec. I am convinced that 22" cat tubes are the best margain for play boating while still hauling gear at times. 22" handles big water well and 14x22 tubes will hold about 1,000 lbs. Decide first if you want durability(Aire) or weight savings and custom designs(sotar). Wave destroyers are neat if you're running class V, and the new custom sotar designs are looking pretty similar to the Aires. I've seen some of the single chamber sotar high rocker customs that weigh nothing and carry novices upright through lochsa falls at ten ft with no idea what they're doing whatsoever. That being said there was an epic toaster surf last season on the NF where the boat was balancing vertically sideways on one tube, kinda like a piece of toast repeatedly bouncing up and down in a broken toaster. My friend says he wants to get one for his grandma so she can run the NF...14' wave destroyer. This boater is in bad situations every season and the boat saves his bacon every time

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