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Old 04-20-2012   #1
Santee, California
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
I've got this Franken-Raft....

So I've rafted once....1 person cataraft on the Rogue several summers ago. Shortly after we got home, my business partner at the time bought this thing on Ebay. Looks like fun to ride on the front (or rear maybe) Polzel seats. I don't think the rowing frame is for a cataraft. Is there any point in trying to make this frame work? If I decide to keep this and take it for a float, I won't be doing anything more than large III's or small IV's. Any suggestions? My first order of business would be to install cam straps in place of the chinsy white rope the previous owner tied to the d-rings and before I start getting blasted, I'm pretty sure I have the frame and saddle seats orientated wrong in the pics


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Old 04-20-2012   #2
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
I'll take a stab at it......
I'm not an Aire expert, so I don't know exactly what year those tubes are, but definitely first or second generation Aire? If they are in good shape & hold air well, then you have a great set of tubes to build off of. It appears from the pictures that they just need some TLC.
You look to have two very different frames going on there. The one with the oar towers & oars is a raft frame, not a cat frame as it doesn't appear to have any drop rails to support the cat tubes. The oars look serviceable??? You could easily add drop rails to make it a cat frame. The other frame is a paddle cat frame. It's designed for people to straddle the cat tubes for paddling. You sit on the seats, lock your knees into the loops, and have places for your feet on either side of the tubes. You could still use that if you wanted to, but you'd need a main cat frame for tube structure & support first.
Looks like that with some work you might have a nice set-up for doing what you want to do. Have fun!

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Old 04-20-2012   #3
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
In Bratislava frame rails you!
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Old 04-20-2012   #4
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Reminds me of the 'shit bike' from Bike magazine,for some reason. Way too much goin on there. That frame(s) gots to go...
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Old 04-20-2012   #5
shattusi's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23
i am with cat raftgirl. i think the frame is definatly a raft frame. could get some drop bars(nrs might fit right on those bars) and it would work fine. it could be laid out better for trips with more gear. i am not thinkin that i would use the 2 frames together. that paddle frame is interesting, i have only ever seen anything like it once. these russian guys i knew had a four person paddle frame . that could be fun as an r 2( i guess c 2) but i think u would need some more support( along more of the tube)to keep the tubes straight. maybe a cargo module...? the tubes look old but seem to be in good shape from pics. have fun.
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Old 04-20-2012   #6
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
You have two frames, my friend.

I saw a really cool pic of someone hitting Husum Falls with that and a newer ocelot

Find a person who is crazy and find first a lake, then a slow river, then work your way up to class IV. My guess is you will like R2 ing it more than oaring it

If not, sell the frame on the buzz next summer there are a ton of people who would die for it
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 04-20-2012   #7
Santee, California
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Yea, the tubes are in good shape and hold air. After looking at some other cataraft frames, yea, my frame needs some modification for the cat tubes. I think it would be cool to use both of these frames together but I think I'd need longer tubes as these are 12.5ft.
Not sure if this helps identify my tubes but here are the serial numbers..
I did find a pic of a 4 person Polzel saddle boat.

Thanks for the info

4 person paddle saddle rig

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Old 04-20-2012   #8
Santee, California
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Found another Polzel Paddle Saddle

Polzel Paddle Saddle Pic
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Old 04-20-2012   #9
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
You can call Aire, give them the serial number, and find out what year your tubes were made. I'm guessing that because the last two numbers are 94, that maybe that's the year. 1994? I could be way off on that. 12.5 ft. tubes, that's a fun size. The way the frames are set up now, you have a seat bar in the back that you can attach a regular raft seat to, with a foot bar in front of it for the rear rower, with two paddlers up front. With some drop rails for structural support, and some clean up on a few of the frame components, this could be a fun machine. You could drop a cooler/dry box/ or drop bag into that front bay on the larger frame for carrying gear for a day run. Or you could ditch the paddle frame, row from the cooler or box, and take that seat bar off and put a regular cross bar on the front (what was the rear) of the frame.
You can invest a little money, and spruce up what you have, or drop some $$$ and get a new frame set-up that could work for overnight trips. I think you have a diamond in the rough.
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Old 04-20-2012   #10
vancouver, Washington
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 24
that is the coolest thing i have ever seen. if you get this thing rigged up right, everyone on the river is going to be super jealous.

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