Ideas on rigging a 16' cat - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-15-2015   #1
Upland, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 13
Ideas on rigging a 16' cat

I'm a new to catarafts. I just bought a 16' Rocky mountain rafts tubes. I have 66" x 108" NRS universal frame. Any pictures or ideas on setup would be helpful. Even if you don't have the frame or different sized boats, I'd like to see your rigs. Thinks in advance JB

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Old 10-15-2015   #2
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
Here is a 15' cat with universal frame

From front to back:
Bay 1: dropbag with wood cover/seat/rigging board
Bay 2: empty this trip, sometimes a drybox or cooler
bay 3: captain bay w 2 captain boxes (love engel coolers for this) SNS slings for rigging
bay 4: drybox (sometimes a cooler)
bay 5: drybox

also: spreader bar and mesh floor

Keys to happy universal frame use: remember the drop bars limit how you can move 2 of the bars. assemble and place these first, move everything else around that.
Cats HAVE to have decent balance. remain flexible. it is tough to have passengers jump on and off throughout a trip.

I alter my frame for almost every trip on a cat. I like balance and find myself sliding bars 90% of the time to accommodate a passenger or different boxes or whatever junk i need to take.
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Old 10-15-2015   #3
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Up shites creek, Colorado
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You're new. We'll forgive you. Raft Porn thread is your answer. Pages upon pages.
[email protected]$% 2016!!!
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Old 10-15-2015   #4
Great Falls, Montana
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Originally Posted by yesimapirate View Post
You're new. We'll forgive you. Raft Porn thread is your answer. Pages upon pages.
+1 thats how I did it.
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Old 10-15-2015   #5
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 315
i have run the same 5 bay frame for 14 seasons. from multiday to class V day trips.

front bay empty, second bay is a drop bag, third bay is rower's foot area, fourth bay is drybox, fifth bay is cooler.

i run bow LIGHT in class IV and V. In BIG water i want a little more weight on the nose. my cat is 14' and i think it handles best with it a little stern heavy, when it is nose heavy it seams to be a real pig. the only problem with bow light is in BIG water where with some wind the cat wants to go over backwards. never done it, but have been close a time or two.
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Old 10-15-2015   #6
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Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 251
My 16' RMR cat with AAA 5 bay frame. I run drop bag up front under a board with foot bar, then cooler, then rowing, and I sit on top of my dry box with a dry bag in the back. Tuesday when we launch on the Grand I'll have 4 30mm rocketboxes across the back 5th bay instead of a bag.

I throw a PACO Pad across the front for passengers.
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Old 10-15-2015   #7
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 493
So many ways to rig a cat, many are 'works in progress' as gear or trip needs change. My only advice...

1. There is no such thing as too many straps, cats need an amazing number of them. Get good ones so they last, get many. I like the ones that are color coded by length.

2. The best boat upgrade I ever made, mesh 'saddle bags' or 'everything bags. Shaped to fit your boat and how you rig it, either drop style in a bay or saddle bag style to ride on the tubes. These are large mesh bags with draw string or cam strap tops. Chairs, stoves, propane, dry bags, DO's and all the loose stuff gets thrown inside and tied down quickly by just closing the top.
AND you can get at almost anything during the day, just by undoing the same 3 straps. Cut my rigging time down by 2/3 or more.

3. Some cats, like my Aire Panther, are very sensitive to trim. Much more so than rafts. Keep track of were you put heavy things. Water jugs start out full and end the trip empty, toilet vaults are the opposite.
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Old 10-16-2015   #8
Upland, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 13
Thank you all very much. All very good information!
Thanks again
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Old 10-16-2015   #9's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,071
Here is my set up. my frame has a full length web floor. Plenty of space for 3 people, single boat, 7 day trip with all the amenities. 16' tubes
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2015   #10
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 206
Like others have said, you have a adjustable frame so you'll probably end up adjusting it every trip at least a little. Every trip I do has different needs for me so flexibility is good--I just grab goods from my gear pile and put it where it seems appropriate most times.

At least one dropbag will be necessary. Having a table that can cover it should be top priority too. Everything needs a spot in a cat so a mesh "mini-skirt" or easily accessible mesh captain's bags will pay huge dividends. An extra drop bag behind the rower can take dunnage and provide a nice backrest. Also, tables can be lashed across the tubes without frame under them to stretch your capacity and accept said dunnage.

Just remember, cats will turn into pigs suddenly and with no warning when you add that extra pound. Also, there's a real risk of being ejected out the back if you hit a wall backwards without a backrest or dunnage pile behind you. Don't be that guy--it sucks!
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