Mini-Cataraft Rigging Ideas? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-28-2015   #1
 
Tucson, Arizona
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Mini-Cataraft Rigging Ideas?

I just got ahold of a AIRE/Outcast PAC-1000 (10ft, 18in tubes) and and wondering if anyone has experience with rigging these for single or overnight trips in mild whitewater? I'm mainly concerned with how to rig gear behind the seat, how to attach a different seat (the frame specs don't match any NRS or tractor seats I've found), or general set-up advice and things that have worked for other paddlers. If anyone has advice or photos to help me with getting a good setup for this I'd be stoked for the help!
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Old 01-28-2015   #2
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
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Low or high back tractor seat and a plate of aluminum and you could sandwich that frame rail for attachment. Much better platform to row from. I made some carbon oars from two kayak paddles for my little Watermaster. Gave me a lot more power than the aluminum ones that came with it. Couple of decent dry bags slung low between your rear frame rail sections and you're on your way.

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Old 01-29-2015   #3
 
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Sandy, Utah
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I have that exact same mini cat. I've had it for about 15 years. It's the boat that got me started in whitewater, so beware. It's a gateway drug for bigger cats & rafts! Once I moved on to bigger boats, I only used this for fishing, but lately I've been toying with the idea of taking it on backpacker style weekends. Way back when, I did some weekends with it. If you plan and pack smart, it's no problem. I'll have to see if I can dig up any pictures of it loaded with gear.

First off....get yourself some regular open oarlocks, and better oars. I got a set of Cataract Mini-Magnum oars, and have one Carlisle as a spare. Did your frame come with the diamond plate rear deck? I used that plus an add-on wood deck to carry gear. You can load long items or smaller gear bags along the sides, by your oar stands. I still use the same seat that it came with. It works fine for class I-II, even class III really. I figured out my leg length distance, and then bolted the seat so it wouldn't move. I will probably see if I can make a larger one piece diamond plate rear deck. Having the anchor post in the back gives you a handy place to strap to for rigging gear.

If I were to get a new frame for this little cat, I'd contact Guy Henderson at White Water Machine Works to see about a super light frame that's a bit more functional for overnighters. I think he'd have some ideas for me. Otherwise, the current frame will work just fine for 2-3 nights going backpacker style. The big plus, and why I'd take this boat on a class I-II weekend, is that it's so dang light and easy to mess with by myself. Plus it's just a super fun little cat.
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Old 01-29-2015   #4
 
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Little cats are so much fun! I agree with cataraftgirl's post about getting a better oar setup. The frame and seat you have is just fine. I have the same seat on my little cat and have put hundreds and hundreds of river miles on it and have no real complaints. As to the frame, make a back deck out of plastic or metal mesh or wood or whatever lightweight material you have. On mine this is where I strap on a dry bag with camp gear, clothing, etc. and a home depot 5 gal plastic bucket with gamma lid with all food and cooking equipment. I also strap a medium dry bag to each tube up front. These smaller dry bags have tent, sleeping bag, sleep pad, stuff like that that will help balance the load. The thing you need to do is keep the boat balanced trim wise. This is very important as you will find out through trial and error. Experience is the best teacher as they say. I have done multiple 3-4 night solo trips like this using my little cat. You have the basis for a great setup and with a little tweaking should have lots and lots of fun! I'll see if I have some pics of mine rigged to better explain the bags up front.
Later, Mark
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Old 01-29-2015   #5
 
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AirEms - I'd love to see pics of your rig if you have them. I got a touring kayak last summer that I'll use for flat water and lake trips, but there are a few class I-II river weekend trips that the little cat would be a better boat to take. If I'm going solo, I'd rather not take my 14 ft. raft on these easy trips. The mini-cat is way more manageable for me by myself. I'd love to see how you rigged your bags up front for balance. I remember seeing Ihomemt's pictures of rigging her 12 ft. Sotar Legend for the Grand Canyon.
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Old 01-29-2015   #6
 
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Why would you only consider class I and II?


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Old 01-29-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildh2onriver View Post
Why would you only consider class I and II?
I was wondering the same, we see a lot of those on the Payette here in Idaho.
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Old 01-29-2015   #8
 
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I'd make a trailer frame for the front so you can rock a cooler. I've seen little cats loaded down with gear and they don't seem to handle like a mini cat usually does. I watched my friend do a back flip in surprise on Westwater when his 12' cat was loaded for an over nighter. After that he decided he needed a bigger boat but he still takes in on all the day trips.
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Old 01-29-2015   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildh2onriver View Post
Why would you only consider class I and II?


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I've run class III in the mini-cat lots of times, but only as a day trip. If I'm doing a class III weekend, then I'll bring my regular raft. As far as the trailer frame and cooler.....I'll be taking the mini-cat strictly for light weight and simplicity. Backpacker style only. If I want a cooler and a bunch of gear, I'll take my regular raft.
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Old 01-29-2015   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiff N' Wett View Post
I'd make a trailer frame for the front so you can rock a cooler. I've seen little cats loaded down with gear and they don't seem to handle like a mini cat usually does. I watched my friend do a back flip in surprise on Westwater when his 12' cat was loaded for an over nighter. After that he decided he needed a bigger boat but he still takes in on all the day trips.
This is exactly why I started buying bigger boats 15 years ago. The mini-cats are super fun, but not really meant to be loaded down with gear. I saw a herd of them on the Middle Fork a few years ago. They had two rafts running support. They were each carrying a small gear load, and they all flipped at least once. My only reason to use my mini for an overnighter is to go super light and as minimal as I can. I have a 14 foot raft and a touring kayak in my flotilla, so I'll use the best suited to my needs.
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