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Old 06-30-2015   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 244
new cat frame, how wide?

i have 2 cats, an 11 foot jacks and a 14 foot maravia. before the next season i plan on acquiring a 12-6 sotar legend.
my 14' maravia is 90" wide. my 11' jacks is about 68" wide.

i am wondering how wide to set up a 12' 6" cat for technical class IV and V runs. it will be a dedicated technical water boat. no cooler space, no drybox space, no second seat. just a seat, enough frame to place the feet, hang a throwbag and secure a spare oar. ok, maybe a spot to hold a water bottle.

my initial plan is to build a frame that is 65" long, that will give me the ability to move the whole frame fore and aft up to 5 inches to achieve different balance. for width, i am looking at 80" out to out of the tubes. that would give me roughly the same proportion of width to length as my bigger cat. the frame would be 57" wide, with the oar towers splayed out.
anyone care to measure their frame on a similarly sized and used boat?

frame will be 1" .065" chromoly tube. bent and welded, no fittings. and powder coated.

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Old 06-30-2015   #2
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
FWIW, 60" wide frame for my 13 x 22.5 tubes; so about 36" inside (stretched Legends).

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Old 06-30-2015   #3
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
I'd go wider- when a frame is narrow the pitching of the boat is more snappy and you can get tossed easier. If the rivers you're planning to run will accomodate more width, take advantage of that. You'll have a more stable ride that is less likely to toss you into the drink.

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Old 07-01-2015   #4
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
I like 36" between tubes for many reasons. The river may turn your boat faster but so can you. I have heard people say 38 for these reasons: coolers boxes lighter weight oar geometry and maybe some extra stability. 36 is lighter, faster, and you can do some cool things with your seat bars and gear storage. Pm me for details...

I'm at 36" between tubes and I believe im about 64" on the frame width
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Old 07-01-2015   #5
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
I'm with rafterman. 64 up top 36 inside and 62 front to back for a 14' wave destroyer or similar boat. Gives you a foot bay drop bag under seat and rear cargo bay. You can add modules later. I am building a frame to those specs as we speak. It will be up for sale this weekend.
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Old 07-01-2015   #6
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
I was actually wondering the same thing, so this year at the Lochsaw festival and a few others I went around measuring dedicated white water frames. 7 out of every ten rigs were 66" center to center. The others were anywhere from 60" to 68". It was the deciding factor for me going to an NRS 66" yoke frame. Hope that helps
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Old 07-01-2015   #7
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
36" between tubes is great, and I have found I like 34" with a drop seat even more.

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I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 07-01-2015   #8
duct tape's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 637
36" between the tubes on my Madctr frame, on 12.5' tubes.

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