Cataraft decision time - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
 
Taylorsville, Utah
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 3
Cataraft decision time

I am looking at the

NRS River Cat 14'
Aire Lion 14'
Aire Jaguarundi 16'

I run 3-5 day trips with two dry boxes, cooler and a couple bags strapped to the tubes and 1 passenger and myself. Usually in the western states occasionally something in southern Utah.

Does anyone have any information?

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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
 
GeoRon's Avatar
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 324
What you describe for rigging(2 dry boxes, cooler and passenger) I think will require a cat with a larger capacity than the Jag. The Jag is a struggle when you put weight on it but I'm sure to get some disagreement about that. I personally would choose the Lion 14'.

Search the Buzz because this exact topic keeps coming up every few weeks to months and a lot has been written.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
 
Eugene, 97405
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2016
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I have to disagree with GeoRon, have taken my Jag down the Grand for 20 day loaded as well as numerous 3-5 day trips. Plus Aire is made in Idaho with a rock solid 10 warranty, NRS can't touch either of those facts
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
 
Ever_Cat's Avatar
 
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
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I suggest dialing in your frame design and weight requirements as best you can first, then figure out what tubes best fit your needs. 2 boxes, cooler, passenger space and bags is a lot to ask of a 14' cat (too much in my opinion). I suspect you will find that you need a 16'. There are many high-quality tubes to choose from these days.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
 
Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Mar 2018
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I think you may run into space issues with either 14 foot choices.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
 
codycleve's Avatar
 
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Here is a pic of a 14' lion set up like you want. It fits a 10' frame and distributes the wight well.. If you tend to pack a lot of stuff maybe go to the 16' lion but the 14' will work fine.

Full disclosure this is my brother in laws boat for sale in the classifieds. I had a 16' lion that I got after owning a jag. Liked the lion a lot better.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
 
Nosebleed, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 163
My Jag gets sluggish quickly when I load it for extended trips. Itís set up for big water day trips now, two seats no floor, and is a blast. My e14 sb is my goto for the type of trip you described.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
 
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 324
Codycleve,

Like you, I've kept my 16' Lion. I actually let my 14' Lion go. When you need a cargo cat you can't beat the 16' Lion. Might be said, what about shallow low water situations. My 16' cat with equal load floats much higher. Consider those giant sweep boats on the MF Salmon at low water, they skim the surface.

Your brother in law has a really nice Lion 14'. That red is flashy. Nicely rigged and even a quick draw holster for the blaster!

One thing I see that always gives me pause is a cataraft without grab loops at the tip of the tubes. Many times I've seen people in total chaos trying to hold a cat during swift water landings, especially on steep banks. Realistically, without grab loops at the tits you just can't grab and hold a cat if the closest thing to grab is the front crossbar(never count on a throw bag being thrown).

My biggest bitch about the RMR is no D-ring to attach a grab loop. I've told the owner of RMR several times that that is lame and dangerous. Notice that the NRS and AIRE catarafts discussed here have nose D-rings. Otherwise, the RMR would be considered a contender in this category.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
 
Taylorsville, Utah
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2017
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I haven't been around a lot of cats myself.

When you talk about grab loops is that the webbing I have seen on the ends of a lot of cats?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
 
codycleve's Avatar
 
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLCWeaver View Post
I haven't been around a lot of cats myself.

When you talk about grab loops is that the webbing I have seen on the ends of a lot of cats?
Yes, they are also often referred to as tag lines. in swift water where swims are likely, and landing a boat can be tricky they are a life saver. In big water you want longer straps that hang into the water.

I always ran some sort of cam strap on my cat. Even on low water trips where self rescue isn't as urgent even a 2 foot strap comes in really handy. I always put a 2 foot strap up front on those trips for people to ride on the tips of the tubes and have something to hold onto.
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