Recomendations for Cataraft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-11-2009   #1
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
Recomendations for Cataraft

I am starting to look for a cataraft to purchase. I have started looking at them and have found a huge variety so I thought I would ask what the buzzards thought.

I want a boat that I could rig for 2 people for a wilderness run (5-7 nights ideally), as well as take on the Grand in October (however there will be a lot of rafts on the grand trip so I think having to carry an excess of gear will not be an issue).

I also want to be able to run technical class IV-V water eventually on it as well though (Payette, Lochsa, Animas, etc)

I saw the Aire Wave Destroyer and thought that looked like a good boat. Aire claims that it is one of the best catarafts to run technical water in. Looking at its design I do not disagree I was just wondering if anyone has experience in loading these boats and how they do with gear on them (how much they can hold, how they respond, etc)

Also if anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear any and all comments. I have been rafting now for several years and own a paddlecat (shredder) but have not done much rowing and am looking to get into it. Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-11-2009   #2
 
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 503
my momma told me looks aren't everything...but could you honestly feel comfortable captaining that.

I saw one once up in idaho and couldn't stop giggling.

My opinion, NRS rivercat or Hyside. A 14ft cat is what you want for iV-V...but that would be small for the Grand, especially without any weight (you'd be bucked/flipped a few times going light)

I have a NRS 14' and have taken it with 2 folks (or 1 and 2 additional kayakers gear) on 7 days trips. Hells, Main, Middle...without it being overloaded.
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Old 08-11-2009   #3
 
West of Boulder, CO
Paddling Since: 1996
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Aire Jaguarundi. 16' x 24". Highly versatile. If you really want to get into the gnar, you'll just need a second, smaller boat.
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Old 08-11-2009   #4
 
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at my house, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENDOMADNESS View Post
my momma told me looks aren't everything...but could you honestly feel comfortable captaining that.

I saw one once up in idaho and couldn't stop giggling.
You may have been giggling watching, but I'd bet the boater was giggling more. The new "kick" boats (WD and Sotar Legend) are just amazing. I know Class V boaters that use a 15' WD for anything and everything (especially dropping waterfalls and V+). They have a more gradual, graduated water line, so they maneuver well for a bigger boat. You won't go wrong with that for a big boat that can do both the Grand, and Class V. The Sotar Legend is designed more as a smaller boat, flatter water line so the small boats row big.

I can't tell you how comfortable I feel rowing my Legend, it's a magic boat, and will probably get a WD for a larger boat when I can afford it.

The days of the flat top tube cats are ending, kind of like shaped skis, bit tubes and kick is where it's at for anything Class IV and up. If you care more about how you look, then you won't like them. Except you'll look way more RAD ripping lines down things you can't do in the old school boats.
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Old 08-11-2009   #5
 
Boulder, Colorado
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You are looking for two boats. Two people = big cat = sucks.

12'6" x 23" SOTAR LEGEND is the best cat ever made and nothing comes even close. On the Lochsa this spring at 10' we had a big crew of cats. 27 sotars, 1 maravia, and 2 aires. There is a reason for this.
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Old 08-11-2009   #6
 
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 99
So Laura are you giving up on rafts then????? Going to become 100% cat woman?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
You may have been giggling watching, but I'd bet the boater was giggling more. The new "kick" boats (WD and Sotar Legend) are just amazing. I know Class V boaters that use a 15' WD for anything and everything (especially dropping waterfalls and V+). They have a more gradual, graduated water line, so they maneuver well for a bigger boat. You won't go wrong with that for a big boat that can do both the Grand, and Class V. The Sotar Legend is designed more as a smaller boat, flatter water line so the small boats row big.

I can't tell you how comfortable I feel rowing my Legend, it's a magic boat, and will probably get a WD for a larger boat when I can afford it.

The days of the flat top tube cats are ending, kind of like shaped skis, bit tubes and kick is where it's at for anything Class IV and up. If you care more about how you look, then you won't like them. Except you'll look way more RAD ripping lines down things you can't do in the old school boats.
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Old 08-11-2009   #7
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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The Wave Destroyer is sweet. We had one on Lodore and it's a really cool boat. The high kick is just what you want dude. Call me and I'll help you find the discount...

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Old 08-11-2009   #8
 
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Evergreen, Colorado
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Take lhowemt's advise to heart. She has been ripping it up since entering the realm of cat boating. With cats it is all about tube and frame design to match your needs and there are many designs to choose from. For big water and technical class 4-5 you definitely want to go with tubes that have at least some "kick". The WD and Legend are currently the two boats at the forefront of the kick design and both of these boats were designed by extreme catarafters so don't be put off by their different appearances. Unfortunately I have not rowed either of these boats but I have owned and rowed multiple brands and styles of cats. Other well-designed cats with continuous-curve but less kick are also available and are well worth considering (Sotar, Aire, Maravia) especially if you find a good deal on a used rig. The flat top/bottom tubes can haul more for a given tube length but they won't perform as well when it counts.

As with most things one size (design) doesn't necessarily fit all so make sure you give a lot of thought to the options before you make a purchase. The key is not to overload a cat. I suggest getting bigger tubes in a sportier model over shorter tubes in a gear-hauling model in order to accomodate your desired load. Take your time and talk to a lot of people to help you make your decision about what cat is right for you. Enjoy.
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Old 08-11-2009   #9
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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Problem with the WD is the shortest one is 14', which is HUGE for a cat. Plus AIRE just copied the LEGEND. Give the love to the company that put in the R&D money and came up with the kickass design first. SOTAR.
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Old 08-11-2009   #10
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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Oh, and while I am making passionate gear recommendations. Buy a madcatr frame. The best cat frames in the world.
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