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Old 12-31-2013   #1
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Shrinking a Cat

I have a FishCraft cat w/ 16x24 tubes and a 72" x 120" NRS frame and 10' Sawyer oars. It is used primarily for fishing and normally has 3 people aboard for day trips with a light amount of gear. I hope to be doing some 3 to 7 day trips in the future solo or w/ one other rower but I'm usually on pretty docile water however I don't want to shoot myself in the foot for future more challenging rides by altering a perfectly good frame.
I am considering narrowing the frame to 66" because I would like a lighter, slightly more maneuverable, easier to man handle cat. I also have a perceived notion that the whole boat is too wide and would look better and fit my needs better, albeit slightly, if it were narrower.
I'm a consumate tinkerer and my questions are; I'm I nuts, does this size tube deserve a 72" wide frame, am I killing my resale value, are there any appreciable differences or challenges in handling and on the technical side, if I narrow the NRS yoke should the cut be made in the middle with a gusset attached or at the end were it adjoins the bent tube.
I'm new to the buzz but I would appreciate any constructive thoughts.

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Old 01-01-2014   #2's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 498
You will not be able to notice much difference other than the bullet hole and your profound limp, imho.
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Old 01-01-2014   #3
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 493
FWIW, we have 25''x16' Sotar tubes with the equivalent of a 72'' x 120'' (41.5'' between the tubes) frame and in all of the rivers we've run, I've never felt like it was too wide. Another thing to consider is that reducing the width affects drybox width and other gear carrying ability, but I have been known to overload our cat a few times.
This is where the no cooler, no beer, freeze dried foodies jump in and say you don't need all that crap. (said with tongue in cheek)

I'm thinking forget cutting the yokes and just buy narrower yokes if that's the way you decide to go. Oh, and you may need new shorter oars as well.

We've had our cat on the MF, Main, WW, Yampa, Owyhee, etc. at all of the various water levels.
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Old 01-02-2014   #4
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Thanks for the insight. I think my fever has lifted on making these changes. It always helps to hear from someone beyond the fog bank.
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