Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, need help with best practices. I'm a solid class 3 rower, successful on some 4s in 14' NTS otter, but not totally confident on 4s.
Just got a cat, 14' Wave Destroyer, fat cat frame .. headed to Main Salmon.
Setting it with 4 bays: cooler and paco pad in front. Then my bay with toe bar and 2 small engles as captain boxes. Then empty bay (could drop bag it but not sure I need it). Then dry box.
I don't need to bring much: food, my camping supplies,.roll table.
Tell me more about weight distribution.
Should I move my dry box up? If I need camp gear in bills bag or watershed, its going in top drybox.
Might make back end heavier. How bad is this?

2nd question.... not too sure my oars are right length as I row around here, might be too long. Suggestions on oar tower angle and moving oar locks in/out (please no grief on the oar locks, wrist action and oar placement haven't quite got in synch).

Thanks for your thoughts!

Gail
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
I just did a MFS/Main in my 14' cat and had a blast. I set mine up with me in front, a duffle pile behind me, and a 16x37" drybox in the back behind me with latches towards the back so I can back it up and have access to the drybox from shore. Your cat must be much wider then mine since I can't fit anything next to my legs...but mine is more of a creek cat designed to fit down skinny water that I add a trailer frame on for multi-day stuff. I do have room for a small soft cooler next to the seat...but definitely nothing around my feet. No floor in the front either. I definitely don't have room for a cooler and a drybox either....but like I said the frame isn't really designed for holding a ton of gear.


I actually found that having my drybox that far behind me made it really hard to spin the boat and keep it on line when I was rowing backwards. Part of it was definitely that having the oars that far off center makes it harder...but I think having weight that far back was detrimental. I definitely still made it work ...but there were a few times where I was struggling during a ferry. It was a worthy trade off for being up front... but I really like to take the waves full on. I spent a lot of the days pretty wet because of that.

I thought about re-rigging it so that the drybox was in front of me...but I was honestly having a lot of fun being the first thing a wave hits and it was working. I'm sure it would have made a difference with manueverability and stuff though.

I think I would keep the weight towards the center as much as possible. On my raft, I set it so that the oars on center...I sit on my cooler and have two dry boxes in front and a half bay for a few rocket boxes or water jugs and then my duffel pile behind that. So...for me...that would mean trying to have the drybox in the part that you said you were gonna keep empty or maybe put a drop bag in. The rest sounds right...unless you are like me and a lot of cat boaters that sit in the most forward bay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
So I have a 14x25 outlaw that I run a 4 bay main frame on day trips and by myself. Then a two bay passenger module for hauling more people or gear.

Main frame runs as: 1. rower footwell, also holds my canyon 22 as a captains cooler. 2. drybox. 3. Second footwell or rocketboxes/ military water jugs (up to 5 wide) or canyon Sailor 105. Then hatch for misc items. (Firepan, propane, dry bags, etc.) If running solo and loaded gear, it can definetly be a challenge to pivot rowing from up front. You definetly have to use the river or start setting up early. Getting the weight forward is key. It’s still more mass behind me, so the math doesn’t work out for the oars being up front.

If it’s just a day trip it’s great to have my lady and dog sitting behind me to keep them more dry. Weight ends up pretty even, and it’s light enough that I can spin and track well.

If weighted I definitely prefer to have my passenger module on. This puts the passenger sitting on the cooler, with water in the sides of their footwell. My bays are 36”wide. So it’s still roomy even with two 5 gallon jugs. This puts my oars dead center. It’s a noticeable difference in handling, and tracking.

I can send photos if you’d like of my various setups for some inspiration if you’d like. Hope this helps.

As far as oars- I’ve been rowing with 10ft. My lock to lock mathematically should be 9.5. They are a little heavy but it’s nice having the leverage with a small boat. I just bought 9 footers and like the narrowness, but need to fiddle with my towers a little. They will work- the tubes are just huge and I found the blades about 2/3-3/4 in the water. Like I said as is my frame would be perfect with 9.5’s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I frequently row a 14 Ocelot which is father to the wave destroyers series. I prefer to rig it much like a raft with the captain and the oars in the center and or as close to as possible. This usually means a bay in front and 1 or 2 bays in back. I recommend the cooler up front, but that is personal preference. However you rig it take care not to over load it cats get over loaded very easy especially at that size. You dont want any part of your frame/floor touching or even with in about 4inches of the water at float. If not rowing characteristics diminish very quickly and you may as well be rowing a fully loaded 18ft buck boat because that is what it will feel like. Try and keep all heavy stuff as close to the center as possible, such as water. Good luck and try and lean your load out as much as possible. Cats are for fun not for comfort!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
If some store sold you this gear, take it back and start over. A Fatcat frame is not designed to fit Aire wave destroyer tubes and is not recommended for use with those tubes. Vice versa Wave Destroyer tubes re not designed to use a Fat Cat frame. There are reasons for these recommendations from the manufactuters. If you bought the gear used the only reason I can see them together is that someone learned they don't work together, so dump it on the next guy (or girl)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I recently ran a solid class 4 multi day in my 14’ sotar classic. I had a 180# passenger (I weigh about that myself) and went on the light side, but not backpacking light, for gear. I went cooler in front (with passenger on it). I have an NRS mesh floor in center and a small deck on rear. This allowed me to strap 2 large Bills bags between cooler bay and foot bar. Then ammo cans and dry/ mesh bags strapped down on rear deck. It worked great. Whatever you come up with, make sure to stick to a few basic principles, but don’t drive yourself nuts overthinking it. Yes, I think the more of the weight that is centered in a cat, the better it performs. Also make sure it’s balanced and sits in the water the way you prefer, either neutral or a little nose heavy (don’t know anyone that prefers a tail heavy boat). And last make sure everything is strapped down tight tight and clean. I know this is all common sense shit, but I started out overthinking it then fell back to these basics and it worked well. You will probably tweek things daily and may go an entirely different setup on your next trip. But that’s the fruit of first hand experience:) Have a great float, you’ll love that craft on that river:):)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I have a 14' ocelot and just finished running 8 days on the main salmon last week.

Prior to the trip, I had a 5-bay fixed frame with front mount rowing position and mid-rear passenger seat. It was designed for a person that is 6'2" and I'm 5'1" and I couldn't move the seat forward enough for foot leverage. I also decided that it was too difficult to spin the boat when fully loaded.

I moved to a NRS universal frame thinking it would help. There were pros and cons to this. I set it up like this: 105L cooler, drop bag, open bay with foot bar two rocket boxes and oar towers, rower seat (more on this) with two ammo boxes and a dry box in the last bay.

A few lessons learned from this setup:

1. Despite having a fully loaded cooler, the boat rode stern heavy. This is okay in some situations, but it left me nervous that I'd flip if I hit something bigger. Four days in after I had served group meals, I was able to offload a lot of beer in the stern to the cooler. This helped tremendously until I drank all of the beer.

2. The two rocket boxes strapped next to me felt like a death trap of sharp edges should I get tossed.

3. I loved the drop bag. I ended up trying to add more weight upfront and strapped a large bills bag on top of loose gear. I was originally supposed to have a passenger which would have helped, but ended running solo on my boat.

4. I have a 6' floor that runs from part of the way under bay 2 to the back of bay 4 before the dry box. If I had time before my trip, I would have done a custom frame setup. I like running a floor because I'm clumsy and would probably drop everything and myself into the river. It also gave me a place to stand, look and row when I needed to.

5. The center mount rowing is the shit compared to my former very-forward rowing position. The boat spins so much faster and the inputs are more responsive. I would, however, still like to move it just slightly forward of center for my next trip. I would avoid moving to a more rear-mounted rowing position. I think your tubes are a bit more aggressive in rise than mine, so I could see being further back being even more of an issue.

6. The NRS universal seat mount sucks compared to a fixed mount. No matter how hard I tried the tighten the lock nuts, the seat kept spinning on the bar when I really had to pull.

My setup is nowhere near I want it yet. In fact, I will probably sell the universal and get something custom made. I really liked the double rails on my old frame for stability and more options for gear loading. I will probably also change my seat to a dry box configuration and load light in the rear with a drop bag.

Walking away from that trip I realized I will never get my boat dialed just the way I want it. Good luck and have a fun trip!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
I recently finished a 6-day San Juan trip with a friend, with each of us rowing our own boats. I rowed my 14' x 23" Sotar Elite (now the Classic) cat. I read this thread before unloading and decided to unload from the truck back to the cat to take some pics of how I rig (easy because I 100% use loop straps that remain in place while traveling to and from the river).

I like to row from the front (I was born in Idaho after all) and as mentioned by others this setup isn't for everyone. My frame is 7' long (and 38" between the tubes) so I can remain relatively centered even when rowing from the front.

Here are some pics.

I normally don't run a floor in the rower's cockpit but I needed a place for the water jugs so I put it in for this trip. For day trips I can put a passenger seat in the rear bay and run with or without the HDPE floor.

For those that are interested, this is the gear I was carrying.
Water jugs - 2 x 6 gallons
Ammo cans next to seat - 1 personal junk box, 1 rescue/flip kit
Day cooler
Cooler - NRS (Engel) 123 (108 quarts)
Orange dry bags - clothes, camping, etc.
Red dry bag - handwash system
Rocket box - Ecosafe groover tank
Green dry bag - Ecosafe groover seat and supplies
White dry bag - 11# propane tank & hose
Dry box - everything else
Orange mesh bag across stern - sand stake, hammer, extra straps, etc.

I top this off with a Paco pad and a bag containing my chair and cot strapped across the cooler. I park stern in for easy loading/unloading and access to the cooler and dry box. I can swap the large cooler with a smaller cooler and another rocket box if that is better for a given trip.

The water line evident in the broadside pic shows that I had a nice level trim. The empty boat pic is how I roll to and from the river with all straps in place.

There are endless ways to rig a boat and it certainly takes tinkering to get it dialed in for your preferences. There is no right or wrong way - just your way. Happy rigging!
 

Attachments

1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top