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Old 06-16-2014   #1
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
Wave destroyer design. 22” tubes.

I am looking seriously at the 15’ Wave Destroyer. The only thing that bums me out a little is the 22” tube diameter. I can see it on the smaller boats but on the 14 and 15 foot boats it seems small to me. If they were larger, say 23 or even 24 inches on the 15, I would be able to get away with one boat. It seems to me that it would still be just as white-water capable, but it would be able to handle multi days better. And it would create just a little more clearance under the frame.

Here’s the problem….I don’t know diddly. It seems like a good idea to me, but what do I know? Would a 23 or 24” tube indeed be just as white-water capable? Would the increase in height make it too top heavy? I like Aires stuff, and they have engineers that are smart and went to college and stuff, so I don’t presume to know better, but I am a thinker. I know that I won't ever sway Aire, but I just thought I would put this discussion out there to a lot of people who know the sport and have much more experience with such things. Just a discussion. Thanks for your input.

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Old 06-16-2014   #2
ciggyboy's Avatar
Ridgway, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 56
22" tubes vs...

Ahh just buy a Saturn... No just kidding please don't start buzzards... If you want a boat that will do week long multi day trips then a 15' with 22" tubes probably isn't the best choice. I've got a 16' Aire Jaguarundi with 24" tubes and it does ok on multi day trips but any less payload and I'd be bummed. It also rocks class 4 & 5 when run empty as a day boat. So if you want a multi purpose boat go Jag and if you just want a whitewater machine then go Wave Destroyer. I'm selling my Jag ($1,600) because I don't use it for multi day trips anymore and just want an after work gnar boat.

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Old 06-16-2014   #3
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
well, you could get a Jaguarundi which is 16' and 24" diameter. what are the primary rivers you run?
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Old 06-16-2014   #4
Great Falls, Montana
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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I want to be careful not to turn this into a "what boat should I buy" thread. I like the jag as well but lets pretend the Destroyer is the only option.

What I wanted to accomplish in this thread is for me to gain a better understanding of design features. If I worked for the Aire development team and I made a 15' WD with 24" tubes, would it perform better or worse in serious white water? OR would I already understand that the 22" tubes are adventageous over larger tubes? Just brain storming.
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Old 06-16-2014   #5
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
Why wont a wd15 work as a multiday rig?? How much crap do you want to bring on the river? The damn thing has a 900 lbs payload. I could self support the big ditch for 20 days with 500 lbs of gear - just a thought. And 2 more inches of tube is going to buy you 2 inches of clearance at best. Its not like you are going to be shooting for 12" rocks poking out of the river. I'd rather have the 2" lower center of gravity when taking on the big water and less tube weight. But that's just me.
Bound is boatless man
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Old 06-16-2014   #6
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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Posts: 1,363
Go Sotar and get the diameter you want

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Old 06-16-2014   #7
El Chupanibre
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 128
I got my first upclose look at a wave destroyer. It is a pretty damn serious ww craft. The design looks rock solid. Unless you are hauling tons of gear, tube size would not be big deal. I'd love to get my hands on a Wave Destroyer.
Guy with 27" tubes.

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Old 06-16-2014   #8
codycleve's Avatar
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 639
I could be wrong on this but I believe a shorter boat with big tubes if not weighted down will have more of a tendency to get surfed.. you are just to buoyant.. have a big cat and would also like a smaller cat... the sotar cats you can get the larger diameter in a similar shaped cat as the wave destroyers... I think I would lean towards that just for a little extra carying capacity... I am seldom by myself but dont always need the 16' lion..
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Old 06-17-2014   #9
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
It's hard to find one boat that will do it all, mainly because it can't really be done. I mean it can be done, just not very well. My ocelot will sort of do it all, but it will not run big water quite as well as a WD, and it will not carry a load nearly as well as a jag or a lion. The guy who designed the ocelot and WDs will tell you that the 14x22 design will carry 1200 lbs. The 15x22 will do a tiny bit more. If you are putting anywhere near 1500 lbs on a set of tubes you'll need a bigger boat. I don't do a lot of multi days and I really like the 14x22 design. It can carry a passenger, handle big water, and it can get me down a week-long river. My friend does a lot of multi days but a jag is too big for his needs and he really likes his 14' lion. IMO the biggest play cat that can kind of do it all is the 14' lion. The best week-long cat IMO is the jag.

The AIRE design team settled on 22'' tubes for big water performance. The 15 footer might still be around for that little bit of extra capacity for gear or a passenger, but the main guy who designed the tubes needed a big boat for rivers up north. He had a 14x22 sotar for the alsec and susitna and needed a bigger boat for the stikine. It runs bigger water a little bit better, but when on the stikine he said that he ended up wanting the 14 footer because the 15' was too heavy and slow during reflip. He was caught in a terminal eddy and could not right the boat and had to abandon the trip. After that he said the 14x22 WD is his favorite boat period. I really like the ocelot because it is a very similar design. It is small enough to play and big enough to not get eaten by every hole or flip unpredictably or too fast. A lot of people like 21'' tubes and they are faster, slice better and are lighter, but 22s will handle demanding water and loads better. As you begin to increase the size past 22'' you will lose performance. I believe this is why the 22.5'' sotars are so popular. Past this diameter the boat will start to handle more like a raft. It will be slower, heavier, harder to break out of the current, etc.

So, it kind of goes back to what another poster asked you; what are you going to do with it? My recommendations are:

surfing and playing: Ocelot
class V: 14' WD
week long trips: Jag
somewhere in the middle...14' Lion
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Old 06-17-2014   #10
AIRE Inc.'s Avatar
Meridian, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 61
Wave Destroyer

Hi ob1coby,

I thought I would chime in on the Wave Destroy design question, hope you don’t mind.

When we built the Wave Destroyer series we were really aiming for optimal, class IV/V performance because we already had the Ocelot, Jag and Leopard to be the all-around cats and the Lion 14, 16 and 18 to be the work cats. We tested each size individually and really put all the designs through the ringer with old time cat boaters and well as newbies. (newbies not on class V, obviously). We did not pick a style we liked and then simply scaled up or down to finish out the rest of the series. Each size got their own round of pretty extensive prototyping and testing.

We had a few different sized prototypes for the largest Wave Destroyer. Simply put, we liked the 15’ X 22” better than the scaled up 15’ and the 16’ we prototyped. The 15’ x 22” felt “lighter” on the water and hit that performance niche we were after. All the other larger sizes felt too much like the Jaguarundi. We admit, 15’ x 22” is not a classic cataraft spec, but we love it! It has been a great size for bigger water multi-day trips, such as Spring time Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Hells Canyon section of the Snake.

Hope this helps!

Sheena Coles
AIRE Marketing

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