66" from on a Leopard? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-02-2015   #1
 
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Portland, Oregon
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66" from on a Leopard?

I have a leopard that I've only run a couple of times. I bought it because it was a ridiculous deal and I couldn't turn it down - but I hate the welded steel frame that it came with. It has suspect welds, weird bay setup, and shitty oar tower designs. Not to mention it is unbelievably heavy.

I have a line on a nice NRS frame, but the Yokes (& crossbars) are 66" and I'm wondering if that is just too narrow for this 18' cat. The current frame is ~74" and feels really wide at times.

This boat is my gear hauler because my raft is small and narrow. I like to take two dry boxes and a cooler.

Anyone have experience with this setup or similar?

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Old 06-02-2015   #2
 
Great Falls, Montana
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It will be weird with the 66". Go with the 72"
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Old 06-02-2015   #3
 
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Originally Posted by ob1coby View Post
It will be weird with the 66". Go with the 72"
The issue being I don't have a line on a cheap 72" frame. I have a line on a 66" frame that - all told - will cost me ~$600. basically Half price.
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Old 06-02-2015   #4
 
pocatello, Idaho
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I have a 66 NRS. My friends Have 72s. I honestly don't see a big difference. We still run the same dryboxes and coolers. They have slightly more room for sideboards but none of them run them anyhow. We have the same drop bags etc. 6" on a 6' frame is not a huge deal to me. I can't think of anything we don't swap back and forth except custom tables as hatch covers. For $600 deal with it.

If you hate it go buy some pipe and replace crossbars and buy 2 new yokes. You are probably still well under retail and have a lot of options.
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Old 06-02-2015   #5
 
Great Falls, Montana
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Originally Posted by laterwagged View Post
The issue being I don't have a line on a cheap 72" frame. I have a line on a 66" frame that - all told - will cost me ~$600. basically Half price.
Yep, I got that from you original post. But you also asked if it will be too narrow for an 18' cat. The answer is yes.

So here is the deal I have a 66" on my 15wd and 16' JPW that I just sold. It looks weird on my 15wd but it is a play boat and that is about the right size. the 16' Jacks just looks stupid but before I sold it I used it on smaller rivers so I dealt with it.

Your cat is a BIG cat and besides looking weird, you will be surprised at how much more stable it is and how much more gear can go in a 72" frame. That said, if your getting a good enough deal on the 66" just get it and use it. If you decide its too narrow you will easily be able to sell it and go the the 72" later. IMO for what its worth.
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Old 06-02-2015   #6
 
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Originally Posted by fiya79 View Post
If you hate it go buy some pipe and replace crossbars and buy 2 new yokes. You are probably still well under retail and have a lot of options.
Those are the most expensive parts of the frame! Two new yokes and a crossbar puts you over $600 already as I'm sure the OP knows.

I know I said it already buddy, but, as has been said above, you boat would be weird and wonky with a 66" frame. Eighteen feet is a big boat. Making it a bit narrower won't let you get down any smaller rivers and will restrict your ability to take bigger boxes and coolers.
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Old 06-02-2015   #7
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I'll buy your tubes for a good deal and you can then get a set of 16 ft tubes and the 66in frame.
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Old 06-02-2015   #8
 
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Screw it. If you like the frame it's 600 and it's depreciated so not like you will lose money in a year if you were wrong. Plenty of rivers I've been down that I was wishing my boat was 6" narrower.
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Old 06-03-2015   #9
 
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The biggest problem I had with a 66 inch cat frame was fitting a larger cooler. The dimensions of that frame will limit the size cooler & dry boxes you carry. If you want this to be your big gear hauler boat then that might be a problem.
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Old 06-03-2015   #10
 
Great Falls, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
The biggest problem I had with a 66 inch cat frame was fitting a larger cooler. The dimensions of that frame will limit the size cooler & dry boxes you carry. If you want this to be your big gear hauler boat then that might be a problem.
She knows what she's talking about. I spent A LOT of time researching all of the HD coolers. For some reason there is a gap of available sizes to fit the 66" frame. Most are just barely too small or large. If you go that way the best cooler I found is the Yukon150. It will touch the tubes on both sides but it will maximaize cooler storage for available space.
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