First time Cataraft buyer with questions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-31-2016   #1
 
Sandpoint, Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 23
First time Cataraft buyer with questions

Hi All!

This is my first post here on this forum, So, Thank you all for what looks like a great forum!

Actually, this is not my first cataraft, but in a way it is. The first one was an accident, but it was a fun raft for what I purchased it for. It was a Kingfisher 11'. I built a custom frame for it, for fly fishing. It did fine on the little bit of bumpy water we floated on, with 2 people and a days gear. I believe it had 20" tubes, or maybe 18". I do not recall. That raft worked great, with 11' tubes, and a flimsy frame.

SO, I just picked up another Kingfisher raft ( sold the other years ago) for $190 with some 8' Carlysle Oars, in very functional shape. This one has 8' tubes, and is way too small for my Girlfriend and I to fish comfortable off of.

I have located a set of 12' Kootenai Valley Inflatable tubes ( import) for a great price. They are new.

I plan on using parts from the Kingfisher frame, and making a more suitable frame for these tubes. They are 12' 24.5" diameter. They have little rocker. The frame will be about 66" wide at the Oar locks, and will have a sunken floor for storage, lower center of gravity, and more rigidity.

The main intention for this craft, is for fishing access, on rivers such as the Clearwater, parts of the Snake, Cowichan, Missouri, Elk, Grande Ronde, parts of the Salmon, etc.. I am not looking for a whitewater raft, necessarily....

However, I love floating whitewater, and have been on a few rivers.

With a well made frame, and these KVI 12' 24.5" diameter tubes, what kind of water capability might I be able to expect for 2 people totaling under 300 lbs, a moderate amount of fishing gear, and extremely lightweight camping gear (by river rat standards)


Also, I know that these tubes are not high end, but I cannot find any really bad reports of them on the internet?

Again, this is for a fishing platform, but if it could handle a few decent rapids here and there, that would be great!

I plan on joining a local whitewater association in order to gain some knowledge in safe boating, river rescue, etc.

One of the benefits I see in this boat I am envisioning, is the ability to transport it, and gear for lightweight getaways for 2 without a trailer.


Cheers!

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Old 07-31-2016   #2
 
cataraftgirl's Avatar
 
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,140
As you know, getting the frame right is most of the battle with cataraft. If you can get your frame dialed in, then I think you can have a lot of fun on a 12 foot cat with big tubes. You just need to be realistic about the limits of a small cat. Day or multi-day trips with two people for fishing and class II rapids should work if you are conservative with your camping gear. I have an 11foot mini-cat that I can self support on.
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Old 08-01-2016   #3
 
Sandpoint, Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 23
In the past day, I found a set of Aire Ocelot tubes, and think that these are a better way to go.

They may not be quite as stable on purely flat water, and the potential size of the fishing platform may be reduced, but capabilities in bouncy water should be much better! I like that..


Looking at frames now, thinking of having a custom frame made.
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Old 08-01-2016   #4
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
Now you're talking. Building up a frame built for 8' tubes is not generally a good idea. The frame requirements for the larger tubes grow exponentially.

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Old 08-01-2016   #5
 
azpowell's Avatar
 
page, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 135
My ocelot is a ton of fun and is definitely a capable boat I suggest you get yourself a real frame though
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Old 08-01-2016   #6
 
cataraftgirl's Avatar
 
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,140
My 11 footer is an Outcast Pac 1100. I've had it about 20 years and it's going strong. Tubes made by Aire. Basically the same as the old Aire Bobcat tubes. I use the power coated aluminum frame that came with the tubes and it has also held up very well. I added an extra section of diamond plate decking in the back and I can carry enough gear to self support back packer style for a long weekend. I think the tubes are 18 inch diameter??? Super fun little boat. I had my first flip in a rapid rowing that little cat years ago. Moonshine Rapid on Split Mountain at high water.
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Old 08-01-2016   #7
 
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
 
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
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Posts: 1,369
If your putting 2 ppl on the boat then I would not go smaller the 14' x 22".

2 ppl fishing on a 13' WD sucks.....
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Old 08-06-2016   #8
 
Sandpoint, Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 23
So the Aire Ocelot 14' tubes arrived... I can tell that this was a good choice. These are awesome tubes. And, I purchased them used. They are from 2008, not a scratch on them, nick, or any imperfections. Never repaired, never damaged. Supposedly they were stored inflated, in a garage, for their entire life, (when not on the river) owned by an ex-river guide. The price was super, also, IMO.

So... frame time... I want a frame that lends itself well to fishing, (plenty of room for decking when the water is flat) Also, I may add accommodation for an anchor setup, similar to a drift boat anchor system.

I am not sure how much compromise may be beneficial, in terms of making a nice fishing frame, that will also allow me to explore whitewater. (which has always excited me, but never seemed within grasp for some reason. It is now!)

In reading a bit on this forum, I see that Madcatr is a well respected frame maker, and I have contacted them to have a frame built. As I have a temporary frame available, the wait for a custom frame is not an issue. I still do not have an understanding of most of the subtleties that make a great frame that is safe and comfortable to use, ergonomic, etc.

I want this boat to be rigged for 2 people.

Madcatr suggested that removable floors are a good option for a fishing/ whitewater cat.

Is a built in cooler spot, something that might be a good idea on a boat this size?



Supposedly, these tubes went down the MFS this year, with 2 people plus gear.

I like the idea of a welded frame, and lightweight is a bonus too. 'Modular' additions for fishing seem like a good idea.

Any thoughts on frames for this boat I am talking about would be greatly appreciated... Is Madcatr a good choice for a fishing/ frame? ( I don't need the stand up thigh supports, and whitewater capability is a necessity. Who should be building my frame?

How wide can/ should this frame be?


Also, what would be a good setup for inflating? A pressure gauge, yes.. Are the K Pumps good? What size? What is a good brand/ model of 12v air pump?


And, what is a good size of trailer for this boat? 6' x 10'?

Any resources, photos, anything to learn more about frames, would be appreciated.

If I am missing something, please, do tell.
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Old 08-06-2016   #9
 
curtis catman's Avatar
 
Rivertown, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 9:45
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 471
Chris H, congratulations on buying a quality boat. Madcater builds excellent frames. You will want a 66 to 72 inch wide frame. I would measure the fatality on top of your tubes and get it as long as you can. You could have it built in two pieces, one frame for whitewater and a trailer frame for fishing. The problems you will run into though for fishing you will want to be behind center with a fisherman in front of you and for whitewater you Will want to be centered or forward of center. I know l am creating more questions than answers. If you want pm me.
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Old 08-06-2016   #10
 
curtis catman's Avatar
 
Rivertown, West Virginia
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 471
Flat spot not fatality
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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.
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