Cat vs Raft Trends - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-03-2011   #1
 
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Tigard, Oregon
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Cat vs Raft Trends

So this is just an observation I want to through out there, I started rafting in 2001. When I would go out I would R2 with a friend and we would see a ton of cats out there, but not many rafts. On trips this year and last year is seems like there are more new rafts out there. Did the pendulum back to rafts over cats? How has bought a boat in the past few years, what did you buy?

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Old 12-03-2011   #2
 
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vancouver, Washington
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I converted from rafting to cats. The days of being with a large group (safety in numbers) has dropped off due to families, etc. i like the fact that i can safely navigate some technical whitewater without relying on others for safety. Thats just me
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Old 12-03-2011   #3
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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Rafts to Cat. Bought my first one this year. Pretty much same reason as slamkal. And its just more fun to me,and simple...since I'm not taking passengers all the time. But still keepin my rafts for multi days and taking friends/sexy ladies.

I think I'm seein more round boats too,in general.
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Old 12-03-2011   #4
 
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Sandy, Utah
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I've always been a Cat woman. I never carry passengers, and I just love my 14ft. kitty cat. It's the perfect boat for me.
My rafting buddy has a 16 ft. raft, 16 ft. Cat, and 14 ft. Cat in his stable. The raft & 14 ft. Cat get the most use. On most multi-day trips his son-in-law rows the 16 ft. and he wants to switch him to a raft to spread the gear/passenger load out better. His daughter has been rowing the 14 ft. Cat the last few years, and he likes to avoid overloading her & I on the smaller Cats.
I guess it all depends on what kind of trips you like to do (multi-day or day trips), and what boat works best for you. Overall, I don't think I've noticed a big swing one way of the other between Cats & rafts.
KJ
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Old 12-04-2011   #5
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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My first boat was a cat many years ago and I've only owned cats ever since--until 2 years ago. What sold me on buying a raft was oaring a friends 16' Maravia on a Tat trip a few years ago. It handled almost effortlessly compared to my big cat with a comparable load, floated higher, and was just as much fun in waves.

Now, I have a 14' raft rigged perfectly for 3 peeps and week long trips. Works great for our needs. There's a couple of pics of this set up--click on images--next to my user name.
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Old 12-04-2011   #6
 
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My first boat was a NRS E140 and I bought it last year. Just started getting on the rivers privately and rafts are all I knew. Over the last two summers I've seen both on the river and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. I love my raft, but it definatley can float like a cadi. Kinda wish the opportunity to row a cat would have came along, but it never did. I love how a motor can easily be set up on a cat, especially for a trip like Cataract. Having both would be awsome, but at this point is not really an option. Someday.
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Old 12-04-2011   #7
 
North Bend, Washington
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I just got a raft last summer. For me, I expect to be taking passengers nearly every time I'm on the water. If not, I have friends w/ smaller boats I can hop on w/ or borrow. I've never tried a cat on anything other than class 1 (switching boats mid trip for chuckles and grins) so I don't have the perspective of "needing" one just yet like I did with the raft. (You know- that deep seeded "need" when you try something new out and decide you must have it....)
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Old 12-04-2011   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendi View Post
(You know- that deep seeded "need" when you try something new out and decide you must have it....)
I'm afraid I'm terribly afflicted with that disease. That's why I tinker with my gear/frame/boat every winter. I must admit that I have given some thought to a raft over the last year. However, my rafting buddy has always talked me out of it. He thinks my 14 X 24 Cat is the perfect boat for me. I have never rowed a raft, only Cats of various sizes, so I have no experience to go by. Every time I look at the Maravia website and gaze longingly at a Williwaw 1 or a Diablo, a little voice in my head tells me NO NO NO.

KJ
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Old 12-04-2011   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
I'm afraid I'm terribly afflicted with that disease. That's why I tinker with my gear/frame/boat every winter.
That's not a disease, it's a gift...

I started with rafts because I like the flexibility of using it as a gear pig or a paddle boat. Plus my son was only 4 at the time and I like the idea of rubber all the way around him. I figured when he was older I would move up to a cat for me and keep the raft on the side for paddle trips.

I started with an NRS E-125. It was perfectly compact for a week trip with my son and I. My family has now grown to my son (now 9), my significant other and a dog. My little boat is a little too tight for all of us to fit comfortably.

I lamented on getting a larger raft or a cat, paddled a few cats around and decided to go with another raft. I still find more comfort in driving a semi down the river I guess, but i swear my next boat will be a cat
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Old 12-04-2011   #10
 
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Sandy, Utah
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It's a gift that keeps costing me a lot of money.

I think the bottom line for me is that my Cat just seems to fit my needs the best. Two 35 lb. tubes are easier for me to manage on & off my trailer, the Cat can handle just the right amount of my gear & group gear without the itch to overload it, I rarely ever have a need to carry a passenger, and I like the way the Cat handles on the water. I agree that for kids & dogs a raft makes more sense. A lot depends on who else you run rivers with. Is there a good mix of boats (rafts, cats, kayaks, duckies) to safely & comfortably carry your peeps & gear down the river? I run with a core group of folks, with a good mix of boats, so I can row what makes me happy without worrying about overloading someone else.
KJ
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