Advice on a new boat. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-22-2013   #1
 
Boone, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 13
Advice on a new boat.

Hey everyone. This is my first post here at the Buzz and I look forward to acquainting and learning from everyone.

I am a raft guide and have been for a few years now. I've been on the water my entire life though and love it. Whether it's fishing, swimming, kayaking, or rafting i just love the water. Since I'm a raft guide I have access to boats but i think that it's time for me to get my own. I will be using this boat for up to class IV and maybe an occasional V day trips. As well as light multi-day on my own and maybe an over-nighter here and there with my girlfriend. I will be doing lots of south east stuff and lots of rivers in Montana.

A really great deal popped up with a complete cat set up with frame, oars, trailer, everything. The cat is 13 feet long, I originally had my sites set on a 14 footer but this deal is good enough for me to reconsider.

I don't have a lot of experience with cats but they seem like they would be right up my alley as far as how I've heard they handle and how my paddling style is. I am just concerned about the size.

Do you out there with more experience think that this would be a suitable boat for me? Or at least a good compromise given the awesome deal?

Thanks everyone! I really look forward to becoming part of the community.

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Old 08-22-2013   #2
 
laterwagged's Avatar
 
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 248
After paddling rafts for the last few years I recently bought a cat. Here is my perspective..

Cats are a LOT more forgiving than rafts. Having less rubber in the water makes them nimble and easy to row. Pushy water is less pushy, you have a little more time to make moves because of this. I'm also constantly impressed with the stability of the cat.

13' sounds like a good size for the things that you list. You will not have a lot of room on a multiday with a 13, but certainly enough gear room for a 2 person self support. We saw a 13 foot NRS cat this weekend on the Deschutes that was the lone gear boat for a group of 6 (one on cat and 5 kayakers), but I don't recommend loading any boat like they had it loaded (wish I had gotten pictures).
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Old 08-22-2013   #3
 
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Fresno, California
Paddling Since: 1979
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Posts: 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by laterwagged View Post
After paddling rafts for the last few years I recently bought a cat. Here is my perspective..

Cats are a LOT more forgiving than rafts. Having less rubber in the water makes them nimble and easy to row. Pushy water is less pushy, you have a little more time to make moves because of this. I'm also constantly impressed with the stability of the cat.

13' sounds like a good size for the things that you list. You will not have a lot of room on a multiday with a 13, but certainly enough gear room for a 2 person self support. We saw a 13 foot NRS cat this weekend on the Deschutes that was the lone gear boat for a group of 6 (one on cat and 5 kayakers), but I don't recommend loading any boat like they had it loaded (wish I had gotten pictures).
There is no such thing as a 13 foot NRS cat. They start with 14 foot and very fat tubes.
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Old 08-22-2013   #4
 
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
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NRS Revolution Cat is 13 X 23. I don't think they make these anymore, but they do exist.

I've been running a 14 ft. cataraft (JPW & Maravia) for about 16 years now. Nice size, and ok for two people on day runs. Overnighters will probably be fine on a 13 or 14 ft. cat. Multi-day trips might get a bit tight, but are doable with planning. What size are the tubes on the 13 ft. raft? 24 inch diameter and bigger would be better for multi-day gear carrying. Cats are fun, but become not as fun if overloaded. Have you given any thought to a raft? A raft would allow for R2- R4 or more for day runs, and more gear carrying capacity for multi-days. Just a thought, since you are in southeast, the land of paddle rafting
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Old 08-22-2013   #5
 
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Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustKip View Post
There is no such thing as a 13 foot NRS cat. They start with 14 foot and very fat tubes.
Uh...NRS Revolution Cool Cats are 13 foot.

So, yea. There's that. Unless DRL is selling mythical boats. There is also one for sale in my neck of the woods HERE.
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Old 08-22-2013   #6
 
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Fresno, California
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Oh yeah...forgot all about the ill-concieved Revolution series they had for a year. DON'T get one of those.

A 13' cat with 22" tubes is just enough for 2 peeps with backpacking gear, for an overnighter, but it'll be fun and sporty for day trips. For anything more than an overnighter you'll want a 24' cat, or a raft.
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Old 08-22-2013   #7
 
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Arco, Idaho
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The rocker of the cat tubes also is a big factor of how much gear you can load on it. My brother has a 13' Momentum tubes that have a long flat footprint and holds quite a bit of gear because it can be spread out across the tubes. Tubes with more rocker limit what you can haul because the weight distribution is more temperamental.
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Old 08-22-2013   #8
 
Boone, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I had no preference as to cat vs. raft. I know my way around a raft and they are more plentiful but they are more expensive and i'd get to try something new with the cat. This cat in particular is an awesome deal.
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Old 08-22-2013   #9
 
Boone, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2013
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O yeah, the cat that i'm looking at is an AIRE Wildcat.
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Old 08-22-2013   #10
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Hopelessly Stuck in Yesterday, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2008
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I used to have a Cat, a 14' SB and a 16' SB. I sold the Cat and 14' to simplify my life, not because I didn't like them.

Cat- More forgiving, more stable than the rafts. Far quicker to ferry than a raft. Because of the size/shape of the frame I built some nice big decks that worked great for hauling big/bulky gear. That was great, but, when a Cat gets overloaded, they become slugs. Consequently, it was best for bulky but light gear. A friend claimed his cat was bothered more by wind than a raft would be. I couldn't say because ALL wind bothers me immensely. The Cat seemed to cut thru the top portion of a wave rather than riding over the wave like a raft. That was a wetter ride for sure, maybe more fun though? On the other hand, the Cat made a definitely smoother ride thru wave trains, so maybe not as fun from that standpoint? With it's stability, the Cat was the one I wanted to drive on unfamiliar rivers. I miss my Cat, but like my simplified life without it. For me, a 16' SB is my ideal rig, if I am limited to one boat.
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