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Old 03-15-2015   #1
Swank's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 251
So new RMR Cat tubes or used JPW Cat tubes?


Lately I've noticed a couple used sets of JPW tubes 16' selling for $1000-$1500 and I know I could get a brand new set of RMR tubes 16' for $1500.

I'm putting together my boat this spring and we are running the Grand in October. I'm interested in your thoughts on both options. Pros and cons.


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Old 03-15-2015   #2
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
How the owner(s) stored the JPW tubes is a make or break on the deal in my book. My first craft was a Cutthroat and I didn't educate myself on storage very well = pinholes. I would advise seeing the tubes in person before dropping any money on the deal.

Ultimately the RMR tubes will be care sensitive as well but starting NEW guarantees their condition.

I would recommend having a facility to store them inflated for either rig.

Best of luck,


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Old 03-15-2015   #3
dgoods's Avatar
Montrose, Colorado, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 88
Neither- get a set of Aire 16' jag tubes or Leopards. I did a couple Grand trips with my old Jag and it worked fine. Its a versatile boat that you can use on lots of different kinds of rivers too. If you're looking for more of a big water boat that can still do a myriad of other multi-day rivers, go for the Leopard. Like any cat on mutis- don't overload it.
Older, good condition jag or leopard tubes can often be found for pretty good deals.

Some people have concerns about the zippers of Aire boats on silty rivers, but for the 16 or so years I had my two sets of Jag tubes, I never had any issues- no repairs either-and I ran em on everything from the Upper Animas, Upper Kern, and Piedra to the Grand and the Salt, Deso, Cat...
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Old 03-17-2015   #4
Swank's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 251
Thanks for the info. When it comes time to purchase (here in the next month) I will obviously watch for Aire or NRS tubes but if that doesn't pan out and I go the other route I an leaning toward new RMR tubes. I have a large garage and will keep my tubes indoors. I might make a lift deck that I can keep the tubes semi-inflated on and high and dry.
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Old 03-17-2015   #5
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 8
We LOVE our JPW cat!

Hi there,

My husband and I have 5 year old El Tigre cat from JPW (17.5 feet) with a custom Riverboat Works frame and LOVE LOVE it. I would agree that with any boat you will want to ask about storage and care (ours is stored inflated inside all winter without the frame on ~ we spoil her). JPW makes quality boats that are welded NOT glued.

We just won an October 25th 2016 Grand Canyon launch and can not wait to take our cat down the big ditch. She was made for big water! Congrats on your launch this year, will be interested in a trip report as we will be going a similar time of year next year.

I am sure no matter what you get will be great but do not discount a used JPW if taken care of

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Old 03-17-2015   #6
Wavester's Avatar
NorCal, California
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 330
Given those choices I'd go with the brand new Rocky Mountain tubes, although made in China I think they are the best quality of all the discount brands. JPW are basically welded PVC boats the same as RM, not a lot of difference between the two except price.
Premium boat makers like Aire, Sotar, Maravia etc are probably slightly better with matching prices.
The Rocky Mountain will probably last you 10 plus years if you take halfway decent care of them and by then it will be time to upgrade if you want.
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Old 03-17-2015   #7
Swank's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 251
Thank you. I really don't think I will keep the boat more than 4 years. I want to run the family in the cat for a few years but as the boys move on and my big trips like the Grand are behind me I think I'll want to move to something like an Aire Sabertooth for weekend runs. I can throw a tiny oar setup on it for solo or paddle it with friends.

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