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Zboy403 12-14-2018 09:50 AM

New Cataraft questions.
Hey guys, new to the Buzz. Also a new boater. Did a group trip down the Grand in April-May 2017, and the Rogue this past May. Needless to say I'm hooked! I have been a member on the Buzz for a few months now, looking at pictures and have read a ton of information. Thanks everyone for your posts and previous questions. I live in Truckee, CA so I would be doing some day trips on smaller rivers IE NF American, Carson, Truckee. But plan on multi days on the Rogue, Salmon. Among others I don't know about yet-I'm new to this so I'm trying to start somewhere!

Ill get to the nitty gritty. I purchased a set of NRS Outlaw 14x25 cat tubes. I will be fabricating the frame myself. I have been doing some layout and math now as I'm getting ready for my cooler and drybox purchase. Knowing that these are going to set my width. I'm planning on going with a Canyon Prospector 103, and either an Eddy Out or Frontier Play 36" dry box.

Do you cat guys and gals slip your dryboxes and coolers between your lower frame rails to thus lower cooler and drybox height? The prospector (tallest component) sitting on my upper rails (awesome) would hang about 13.75 below. I plan on doing 9-10 inch drop? That would leave 2-3 inches of cooler hanging below the frame rails. Is that copacetic? Should I do more drop to frame it in?

As far as width. The bottom of the cooler is about 36.75" that will kiss my tubes about center. (widest) Depending on if i put it between the frame rails or on top. My total boat width would be about 90" (slipping cooler between lower rails) or 86.75" (sitting cooler on top of lower rails)

This seems wide for a 14 foot cat? I know this is due to huge tubes. Im making up in buoyancy what I lack in skill.

How wide are your cats? What size tubes and ID does that width include?

I have a ton more questions, but I"m at this crossroads at the moment. Thanks!

[email protected] 12-14-2018 02:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I run a 16 foot cat 24" tubes with a 10" drop on my frame. Frame is 44" inside 92" width total with tubes. I did have 12" drop, but when fully loaded my cooler, dry boxes caught on waves and even rocks when I was forced to straddle them. So I modified the frame to drop only 10 inches. Also, I have all my gear at 10 inches. That gives me if fully geared up 4" of clearance from the water when carrying about 2000 lbs. of people and gear. My frame from front to back is foot well, kitchen box, 160 qt cooler, oarsman footwell, dry box and then an open gear storage area.
I Hope this helps some

eyeboat 12-15-2018 10:20 AM

Glad you are rowing that and not me! Would not want to reflip that either!

Zboy403 12-15-2018 06:08 PM

Bighorn. What’s a typical run for you? I’m sure you aren’t always lugging 2000# around. 7.5 feet seems reasonable for a 16 foot boat. I’d like to be able to run some smaller rivers with my 14.

mattman 12-15-2018 06:15 PM

Hey Zboy,
Take a look at Cargo modules. I have friends that have a basic frame that the oar locks are on, and then a couple smaller "cargo frames" for there cat. On a longer trip, they take them all, on shorter trips, they just ditch a cargo frame, or two, might be a good strategy for what you are looking for in a frame set up.

Zboy403 12-15-2018 06:58 PM

Yes! I’m looking at a design close to what Dusty builds at DRL- welded outer ring with double rail but moveable bays. A removable passenger frame. Eventually another trailer with drop bag and table when I can buy 16 foot tubes for some bigger water/ longer trips. Thanks for the inspiration Dusty! Your work seems top notch. My big concern is having a 7.5’ wide boat. I’m new to this, but that matches width of 16 foot round boats. Maybe I’m over thinking this and I’ll be fine? My friend just ordered a prospector 103. So I’m going to pull some measurements against that with my tubes beside it.

lhowemt 12-15-2018 09:59 PM

I run 2 cats, but both are more play oriented than gear. However I can and do easily do 7 day trips. My frame is 34" wide and hubby runs a 36". I am not sure about the drop height of our bars but I can check. I am sure it is no more than 10". I set gear on my scout bars and rails, I believe it is more secure that way. But I also have a small cargo module that just has a drop bag.

mattman 12-16-2018 08:24 AM

I have a 14' Nrs ( E-140) that take on trips that on all but the smallest rivers, all the way up to the Grand Canyon. My over all width is 7', this boat is probably on wide end, of rafts in that length, I think. So 7.5' seems about right, maybe just a little wide?? I would definitely recommend getting your cooler and dry box first, before you do your build, since those will set the actual width, but I think you are mostly in range for that size boat.

See what folks with 14' Cats have to say, as well. One advantage to a wider frame, is that you could potentially use the same frame on a set of longer tubes. Of course it would be a little tighter on the smaller rivers. That width would be fine on the Rogue, Salmon, and even middle Fork Salmon above it.
Wish I had feed back to give on the California rivers, partly to be helpful, and partly to have ran them!!

mattman 12-16-2018 08:37 AM

My other boat is an 11' Cat from JPW (Culebra) a 48" frame fits this boat nicely, and if I don't have my Thwarts in ( it is a paddle cat) I run normal Nrs drop rails, which drop down 8 3/4" from the top of the tube. This is with 19" tubes.

Plenty of folks do like boats narrower than mine, though. Especially with the 14' range, on rivers like the Rogue, though you can still get the wider boats down it, you do end up with more room for overnight gear.

[email protected] 12-16-2018 01:09 PM


Originally Posted by eyeboat (Post 714845)
Glad you are rowing that and not me! Would not want to reflip that either!

I lost over 20#'s on the GC in 20 days :-)
You don't reflip, just row upside down rest of trip ;-)


Originally Posted by Zboy403 (Post 714851)
Bighorn. Whatís a typical run for you? Iím sure you arenít always lugging 2000# around. 7.5 feet seems reasonable for a 16 foot boat. Iíd like to be able to run some smaller rivers with my 14.

2000 #'s for GC, usually about 800#'s of gear for a 5-8 day trip with passengers. I've done single boat trips with up to 4 passengers for 5 days.

The only river I've been on that I would never take my cat down is the Salt. That being said, I have a 12 foot raft (66" wide or so) that I row if not hauling passengers and usually get by with 400#'s of gear for a week long trip including kitchen box for 10 people (much less work than running a cruise ship)

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