Forward Rowing Expedition Cat - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-24-2013   #1
 
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
Forward Rowing Expedition Cat

All,
Hubby and I are considering purchasing and stylishly outfitting a 16 foot large diameter tube expedition cataraft. The frame would be a 5 bay frame with a trailer frame for those extra long trips. The captain's foot bay would have two captains boxes. In the first stab at design in the local river shop the foot bay was the middle of the five bays, and passengers would sit on the front bay with a foot bar. However, I genuinely dislike having passengers in front of me. I can't see, and when I need to make a big hard forward push through the wave, they are inevitably leaning back from the splash and getting in my way. This is particularly true for cats, where the folks can't squish down in the front of the boat. So we are considering moving the rowing bay forward one and having passengers in the back, without a foot bay when the loads are big. The trailer frame could go on the front or the back. If the trailer frame was on the front, the rowers bay would be more centered. I have liked a more forward rowing position in smaller cats, but have never rowed a cat this big. The length of the tubes should make centering the load a non-issue. Does anyone row an expedition Cat that way? Pros? Cons? Suggestions? Inane comments?

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Old 10-24-2013   #2
 
English Bob's Avatar
 
Pine, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 17
I have a 16' cat with a 10' frame and have a similar setup. First bay dry box; second bay cooler; third bay me; forth passenger or gear and fifth drop bag. Seems to work well for me and towers are just forward of center so boat is balanced when empty as well as fully loaded.
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Old 10-24-2013   #3
 
Join Date: May 2006
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I have a NRS Top cat frame that allows for change. I also have a Receretect frame that is not adjustable, the receretect has the rower in the front. I have had great rusults with my 14' tubes on the receretect frame. I tried to set up my 16' tubes and NRS frame in a simular fasion with horrible results, the back end seemed to keep wanting to come around. I tried this on the Alpine section of the Snake near Jackson Wy. I was very glad to have tried the setup on a short run as I was working the oars constantly to keep T'ed up with waves and holes. I did use the NRS and 16' tubes with passengers in front of me on the same section of the Snake this past summer. I had two chairs set side by side in front, rower in the middle and this allowed me to see between the passengers and time my strokes pretty good. Just my experiance.
Be safe out there...
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Old 10-24-2013   #4
 
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
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dport,
Thanks for your response. A few questions:
-do you tend to pull, or push when you row?
-how was your draft and trim when the back end was coming around?
-were you in the very front bay?
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Old 10-24-2013   #5
 
Join Date: May 2006
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[QUOTE=catwoman;338940]dport,
Thanks for your response. A few questions:
-do you tend to pull, or push when you row?
-how was your draft and trim when the back end was coming around?
-were you in the very front bay?[/QUOTE
I tend to pull away from objects, and push through waves and holes hoping forward momentum will help me through.
With my draft and trim when I tried the set up it was just myself and a passenger, we were set pretty good balance wise. We did not have much weight though.
The position that I had myself in was nothing in front of me except the yoke of the frame and my oar locks were set 2 feet from the yokes with myself back another 18 inches.
I love using my 14' boat with the rec. frame, being up front is great for me, it just did not seem to work on my 16' boat. My 16' definately controls better from the center area for me.
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Old 10-24-2013   #6
 
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
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My experience has been with a 14 X 24 cat, loaded for multi-day trips. I prefer the center rowing position. Easy to pivot for a back pull or forward push. I tried the forward position once and it felt like the tail wagging the dog.
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Old 10-24-2013   #7
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Definitely put me in the Inane column: On a 16' cat you're going to be far enough away from forward passengers that you shouldn't have to worry about it- they're 2 bays in front of you. Vision ahead can be an issue- but just have them duck down prior to a rapid if you're having trouble. I don't think moving your pivot away from close to the middle is going to do good things for handling characteristics-- but I do know that a forward position is popular in certain circles. Hopefully the fans will chime in an enlighten us all.....
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Old 10-24-2013   #8
 
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Waha, Ida'maho
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 93
I have a 15ft sotar elite sl cat with a sotar frame. originally the fame came with welded on oar mounts in the center putting the row seat on the rear box. hated it. I hacked those puppies off and put the rowing position up front on the tongue. love it. I essentially lost a dedicated box or cooler position but the handling and fun factor went way up. to counteract the lost spot I rigged the tower of power in the back, which is essentially coolers on top of the rear drybox with a chair strapped on top. it hilarious and the view for the passenger is like stadium seating. when the nasty comes the passenger just hops down behind me. I'll post pics if I ever figure out who has the camera with them.
Note that I try very hard to never back row. the load is fairly even. the fun is never ending.
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Old 10-24-2013   #9
 
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Click image for larger version

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ooh, ooh! Found em. heres some random views. one with the chair too. The was on Hells Canyon trip a month ago. Good times!
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Old 10-24-2013   #10
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New Castle, Colorado
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I run a 16' NRS Kodiak with a five bay frame. I position the oar towers at the center pivot point of the tubes for a fully rigged multiday trip with a couple passengers. They sit on the cooler in the second bay with a deck over gear in the first bay. I sit on the drybox in the fourth bay with my feet in the third (Captain's Bay). I warn my passengers that if they feel a bump in their backs that they need to lean forward or be swept off by the oar. If I need to carry everything for a week, the front bay is stacked to the height of the cooler and the seat becomes a double-wide Paco pad covering two bays.

I don't mind having passengers in front of me and I tell them I can see around them by keeping the blades in the water and pivoting slightly.

If I am running bigger water solo, I move the frame forward and load the front end to punch holes.
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