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Old 02-12-2014   #31
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
If money is no issue and starting from scratch, there would only be two boats in my quiver. I'd get a 14' self bailer for multidays and 5 person paddling and get something like a 1222 cat for solo technical and day tripping. The 14' raft is just big enough to handle gear and passenger for a week of self support, yet you can still run on the narrow rivers in the PNW

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 02-12-2014   #32
DRL River Gypsies's Avatar
Albany, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by Avatard View Post
If money is no issue and starting from scratch, there would only be two boats in my quiver. I'd get a 14' self bailer for multidays and 5 person paddling and get something like a 1222 cat for solo technical and day tripping. The 14' raft is just big enough to handle gear and passenger for a week of self support, yet you can still run on the narrow rivers in the PNW
Took the words out of my mouth. If you can swing two boats, a 12'-13' play cat for the solo runs and a 14'+ raft for paddling and expedition runs. Plus that 14' raft will have about the same capacity or more than an 18' cat with a lot smaller foot print in the water.

In a perfect world, a 11'-12' play cat for small technical runs, a 13'-14' cat for BIG water solo and short overnighters, a 12'-13' raft for R2 or paddle assist on small technical runs or short overnighters, and a 14'-15' raft for splash and giggle paddle runs and longer gear trips. Oh and a couple IK's as extra boats on expedition trips or solo low water runs. And a bigger garage to fit all this stuff in!

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Old 02-12-2014   #33
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 728
I have a 14' self bailing raft and a 12' cat. If I had no budget constraint I'd pick up an 18' raft for GC trips as I prefer not to overload, and along with an IK and/or SUP, that quiver covers absolutely everything I do. But to get a boat for GC trips that only arise every few years or even a decade may not make economic sense when they are available for rent.

I think a rule of thumb for carrying capacity is a 14' raft equals a 16' cat. I didn't see anything the OP wrote about why a cat, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I find if you only get one boat, I would go with a 14' raft.

As for frames, one 4-bay frame would work for most situations, but you could consider a three bay plus a trailer frame to add on for the longer trips and make everything more versatile. The trailer frame also works as a cooler frame should you wish to paddle raft.
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Old 02-12-2014   #34
seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 90
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 355
Fact. 1422 is the only acceptable answer for a single boat owner in the nw. Youll need a day frame and multi day frame.
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Old 02-12-2014   #35
mrett's Avatar
Lincoln City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 96
Thousands of $$$ worth of good advice in the preceding !!! Hopefully you will enjoy the ride. What a great sport !!! If you start with a 14'-14.6" self- bailer, then add a 12'- 13' high-performance cat you will have most of the bases covered.

Bet you can't do it !

I know, I'm on number 7 headed to 8 !!

Best of luck SYOTR !!!
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Old 02-12-2014   #36
Brotorboat's Avatar
Right near the beach...BOYEEEEE, Brahbrobrahdo
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 442
I went down a similar road as you and went with the AIRE Wave Destroyer 15'.
15' x 22"

I've owned 14 and 15 foot rafts and realized that even though I have it all, I hardly ever carry everything in a "self support" type of situation. Group gear always gets split up...So, I can easily carry my share and a passenger, if and whenever I want. I'd even take it down the Grand, without a passenger.

And in relation to you other question, I'll be throwing down on a Mini-Max or a Puma, in the near future.
Wear shoes in the Safety first, then teamwork.
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Old 02-13-2014   #37
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Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
Originally Posted by Avatard View Post
You can fit a 20' long boat sideways through mule creek canyon on the rogue. I'd much rather take a properly loaded 16' boat that you can maneuver over an overloaded 14. The difference is that much.

Day trips and simple overnights you will be happy with the 14. Week long or low flow you will wish your buddy with a raft would offer to take your passenger along with your gear
I agree.

However, I do not think that a boat should be picked by how many and what size of cargo boxes you want to carry but by the type of rivers you want to run. The OP stated he will be mostly using the boat for solo day trips, and that is why I recommend 14 feet. I take out my 11' Culebra before my 16' SOTAR pretty much everytime I want to row solo. (If I lived on the Lochsa, it might be different) If the OP's priority was to float and bloat, I would say he should skip the cat and just get a raft. An overloaded cat is a PIG! I don't think people should be carrying even remotely as much gear as he is talking about in either a 14 or 16 foot cat unless he wants to be sitting high on 26" tubes or bigger. For gear, a raft is king.
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Old 02-13-2014   #38
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 68
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 143
Sotar St

Originally Posted by OregonPaddler View Post
I'm wondering what would be an ideal cat for 1-2 people doing week long trips along with day trips for class II-IV whitewater & fishing in the NW. I've been doing some research and have been eye balling Aire's Ocelot-14x22, Jag 16x24 & Maravia's 14x22 or 14x24. Hoping someone can throw in their .02 and steer me in the right direction as I've always been a IKer.
Also interested in any advice on a good frame setup!
14 ft x 23 sotar st unless your a little weighty. Then choose a 16 ft st. However, any usa boat will suffice. You can get new boat and a new 5 bay frame for 3k
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Old 02-13-2014   #39
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
So, you want the boat list if money was no option?

I would buy SOTAR and use whatever boats were there whenever I wanted or have the builders custom make a boat for each trip I did...

Realistically, the biggest fleet that I could even remotely justify owning even having a ton of money to spend follows. I'll start with the last boat I would purchase:
18' Hyside: Big water, week + long expeditions, made of rubber so I can roll it up for years if I have to.
13.5' x 23" SOTAR Legend cat with a welded single seat frame.
15' SOTAR Custom: I used to row the Cherry Creek boats on the main Tuolumne when I worked down there. I think SOTAR still has the specs somewhere, but they were basically big tubed 15ers. They haul a ton more gear than a 14 and you can still get it down pretty much anything a 14er will handle. They handle a full R6 better than a 14er too.
AIRE Super Puma: for low water, steep creek, or R2 to R4

Funny thing is I don't own any of these boats now. I've got a 14' Hyside Outfitter Pro that I absolutely love. (In fact it currently graces the Hyside catalog cover, toot toot.) I'm convinced it is the perfect 14' raft. I've got an old Avon Pro bucket boat that I got for a song, holds air for a week, and am sentimentally attached to. Plus the two kitties mentioned in earlier posts, of which the Culebra sees the most action R2ing all over the frickin place.

The thing about imagining and constructing your fleet is that you have to start somewhere. I bought my Hyside in 2006 and don't regret it a second, even though it doesn't fit into the perfect fleet anywhere. I would sell the 16' Cat before anything else I own. Just my .02. Have fun dreaming; I do. As a Shredder fiend on the Clack once told me: "You can never have too much ready transportation."
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Old 02-13-2014   #40
shattusi's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23
there are lots of different options. i seem to have a problem w/ buying boats. but they all have their places in which they shine. i have had quite a few in my time.
if 1 boat was all i could have either a 14' self bailer raft or a 14' x 24" cat. depending on what my primary use was.
but that is not me...
i recently just sold my 18' canyon rig. and replaced it with a 16' aire jag. still good on big water and not so big and heavy to move around(on and especially off the river). big boats r easy to rent for canyon trips. dodn't need to always be the gear pig. if u bring a big boat it will get filled up...
it also works well for me putting the smaller frame on the larger tubes for big play water.
14" maravia self bailer raft
13" aire wildcat (cat)
aire puma(11.5" selfbailer raft) awesome. it was my first boat.i have since replaced it, but i bought the same boat again!
solo duckie and one for a friend. (i get to use mine a lot more because of it.)

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