Best Cat Size for MT - Missoula and Surrounding - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 02-07-2013   #1
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Best Cat Size for MT - Missoula and Surrounding

Hello better travelled Buzzards:

I have lived for 6 and boated for 5 years in Colorado, but have just taken a job outside Missoula. In an effort to scale down on moving space, and because I've always wanted a better boat, I am in the market. A buddy is going to buy my 13 ft. bucket boat, and I am looking for some Montana/Idaho advice on what to replace it with.

I will have to stick with a one boat quiver for the time being. I ran my little 13 ft Odessey (korean i think) on the Upper, Poudre, Westy, Green, etc...but really want a nice, American made boat. I was leaning towards a cat, because of cost, handling on big water, and the fact that I can leave it rigged on a trailer in a garage where I'm headed.

I know what I want brand wise: Aire, JPW, or the likes. My question is this:
What would be your size recommendations for a one cat quiver based out of Missoula? I'll be living on the Blackfoot off HWY 200, and looking to be able to boat there for convenience as well as everything else I am hearing I'll have access to up there (Clark Fork/Root/Madison/Missouri/Lochsa/Flat).

That turned into a long question, but wanted to be clear.

PS - Laura: I know you are proud of the success over big oil on the Lochsa route. Congrats.

Headed for Missoula this month,

Paul

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Old 02-08-2013   #2
 
Costa Mesa, California
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Get a raft.

Boat full of girls>Solo Cat.
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Old 02-08-2013   #3
 
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portland, Oregon
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Those who know. Sotar Legend!


I apparently dont know cause i run aires, but it was more on cost than anything else

Unfortunately there is no perfect sized cat, a smaller one will be more fun and easier to transport. A big one will be better for camping trips etc. that's why I have three of them

My guess as a compromise a 15' legend. A little big but you can still fit it down smallish rivers. And you can use it for multidays
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Old 02-08-2013   #4
 
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Sandy, Utah
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Sotar, Aire, Maravia. All great boats. Sotar Legend & Aire Wave Destroyer are more sporty, Maravia (what I have and love) is great for multi-days and sporty enough for me. Get a 14 ft. Cat for all around versatility. If you don't see yourself doing many multi-day trips, or you have a group that can spread out the gear, then go smaller.
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Old 02-08-2013   #5
 
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You're going to hate Missoula. It's FULL of vegans. But there is a thriving local food presence if you are interested. Numerous farmers markets, csa's, and the good food store sources as much local as possible. Even local dairy up the 'root

You need to refine what you want to do. Depending on what your focus is will dictate what you will be happiest with. If your focus is the blackfoot vs the lochsa. Play machine or party barge with friends. My personal favorite is the 12.5' sotar legend and take it on everything around here. Although now I am getting an 11' too. the 12.5' is plenty big for multiday trips.
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Old 02-08-2013   #6
 
West of Boulder, CO
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I started boating during a 9-year stint in Missoula. Ended up with a 16' cat (25" tubes) and a 14' cat (22" tubes). Either one worked fine for the whole boating season on the Blackfoot, Clark Fork, and Bitterroot.

If I did it over again, and didn't have so many kids, I probably would have gone for an Aire Jaguarundi (16', 24" tubes) as a one-quiver rig.
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Old 02-08-2013   #7
 
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Hamilton, MT, Montana
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I have a 14 foot legend. Big enough for 2 people and gear on a main or middle fork trip, kills it on the lochsa, small enough for tight rivers like the boulder... seems like a good all around size for a one boat quiver
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Old 02-08-2013   #8
 
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portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monto View Post
I have a 14 foot legend. Big enough for 2 people and gear on a main or middle fork trip, kills it on the lochsa, small enough for tight rivers like the boulder... seems like a good all around size for a one boat quiver
easily big enough for two if you are either into backpack style camping or are supported by a larger group. It will be awfully tight but i suppose it can be done.

I've tried to do it --- if you pack up a 8' frame with drybox, cooler, plus additional gear for a weeklong trip there is little room to have your passenger sit anywhere on the boat. (2.5'rower bay, 1.5' for drybox, 1.5' for cooler, 1.5' for passenger feet.

But it becomes real tricky trying to get the weight distribution down as you will likely be "rear heavy" and there is not enough room on the tubes to front load the frame

Then you really have to concern yourself with the weight handling capacity of the tubes.

It becomes much easier if the second person is either a SUP or IK user.
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Old 02-08-2013   #9
 
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Hamilton, MT, Montana
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Ya you're right avatard, most the time I am supported by other boats, which makes things easier, but we definitely do not screw around with backpacker style camping. I run a PRE frame (Ron is the shit) with a passenger seat and a trailer frame. Dry box in the trailer frame, cooler under my seat, and a drop bag between the rowing frame and trailer frame.

Balancing the weight is hugely important as you pointed out. My girly is small and I'm a big dude - which helps, and I also rig two 6 gallon water jugs up front - she balances nicely this way.

It can be a tad tight, but still super comfortable. The caveat is I'm really never carrying the heavy kitchen gear, groover, or whatnot. The best part is i can ditch the trailer frame, take the passenger seat off, and bam, sporty rig for hittin the shit.

There really isn't one boat for everything, but It's a good compromise for me.
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Old 02-08-2013   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monto View Post
Ya you're right avatard, most the time I am supported by other boats, which makes things easier, but we definitely do not screw around with backpacker style camping. I run a PRE frame (Ron is the shit) with a passenger seat and a trailer frame. Dry box in the trailer frame, cooler under my seat, and a drop bag between the rowing frame and trailer frame.

Balancing the weight is hugely important as you pointed out. My girly is small and I'm a big dude - which helps, and I also rig two 6 gallon water jugs up front - she balances nicely this way.

It can be a tad tight, but still super comfortable. The caveat is I'm really never carrying the heavy kitchen gear, groover, or whatnot. The best part is i can ditch the trailer frame, take the passenger seat off, and bam, sporty rig for hittin the shit.

There really isn't one boat for everything, but It's a good compromise for me.
Agreed. But you'd have to go awfully light with a groover, fire pan, and all the fixings for a four night stay. Hence my suggestion for a 15.5 legend. Curious are your legend tubes 23"?

I get the idea Laura packs her overnight bag and cosmetics purse on her boat and leaves the hauling for those suckers with the rafts
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