Northwest vs traditional frame - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-17-2015   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174
Northwest vs traditional frame

I switched from rafts to cats about 6 years ago and have built 3 frames. I nailed the design on a 17 foot canyon rig and a 10 foot rig the first time, however I have struggled finding a balance with a 14 foot SOTAR. I used it for 2 years with the rower behind the passenger. I put the passenger seat and foot bar off the front rail. Worked well, but in heavy whitewater there were several close calls with smashing the feet between the foot bar and rocks when the passenger was not paying attention.

Last year switched to a forward rowing position. Definitely a more exciting viewpoint for the rower and a fairly safe haven for the passenger. It is an ideal setup when I am alone as I can move the seat and towers back enough to balance the boat. However, when I have a 200lb adult passenger behind me the boat feels like I am doing a wheelie down the river. I can go maybe 6 more inches forward with the seat and towers, but the further forward I move, the stranger the boat handles.

Looking for some feedback from our Idaho and Northwest brethren, who seem to have more experience with this setup. Is the forward rower position primarily a solo frame option, or is there a better way to do this.

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Old 05-18-2015   #2
Searching for water....., Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 187
Have the frame length shorter than the frame patches on the tubes so you can move the whole frame forward and back to balance. When rowing with a passenger on my 12.5 the frame is cheated as far forward as possible. Solo you can center the frame or move forward and back for the balance you desire.

Alternatively you can make them get their own boat........
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Old 05-19-2015   #3
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174

Thanks for the reply. Good feedback, but I really do not want to bend another set of drops. The thread circa 2009 convinced me to return to a more sane setup with the pivot point center. I also watched a number of videos of forward rowing cats and decided they were working harder than the standard centered rigs in the same type of water.
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