I have an original AIRE Cougar cataraft that I am rigging for a Grand Canyon float. I was hoping there were some people still rowing Cougars that might share some advice or pictures of their rigs. I have searched through all the old threads and have come across a few decent set ups. I would really like to find a way to rig it so that I could get a passenger up front. Here is what I am working with.
I can only find one picture of my camping set up right now. I have a cargo section that adds about 4 feet to the main frame. The side are decked over, and my wide table goes across the back. So, basically I have the entire flat area of the tubes decked over. My girlfriend doesn't like to get splashed, but she does like to see, so all the hard gear goes up front, an she sits up high on the folded futon mattress with dog and the other soft gear.
When I'm just running day trips, she has to sit up front to balance the boat. You can see why she prefers sitting in the back.
Hey David. I ran a Cougar for 15 years including 1X on the Grand. I don't see any options except new cross bars on your frame. As I said before I think mine was 88"wide so you need 16" or so more on the cross bars. Are you going to join the two frame sections front to back? I would. I also used a beaver tail section on the back that I used for soft gear with a net or everything bag. In general I agree with some of the previous comments and disagree with others. When ran 88" wide I found the boat very stable and very hard to flip (1X in 15 years). It can be a bit slower than rafts, especially if overloaded. I never had drop bars on my frame and never had a problem with tube shifting but the tubes are not very deep so there is not a lot of depth in the bays - makes your cooler / dry box sit high. I never liked my captains chair that high so just ran a drop bag under the captains chair with a shallow dry box and a cooler in the front. I always ran two folding fishing chairs in front over each tube. It's an e-ticket ride for the passengers. I never ran a passenger in the middle but a fishing platform to stop the splash and give some foot support might make that work well/ I also like 2 20MM ammo cans in drop bags in the captains footwell. In general anything to eliminate the Beverly Hillbilly strap on look is a good idea. The boat is a great ride in the canyon and you will have lots of fun - just don't overload it.
Use the Lopros you have. Buy longer pipe for cross bars. Use the pipe you take out to build beaver tail.
I am an American Whitewater member. One of 6300. There are an estimated 100000 paddlers in the U S. If you are not a member you should join. AW is fighting for our rivers everyday and could use some help.