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I have an original AIRE Cougar cataraft that I am rigging for a Grand Canyon float. I was hoping there were some people still rowing Cougars that might share some advice or pictures of their rigs. I have searched through all the old threads and have come across a few decent set ups. I would really like to find a way to rig it so that I could get a passenger up front. Here is what I am working with.
 

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I just built one of these for my uncle to fish the New in WV. We used marine plywood up front and behind the rower. Strapped it to the frame. Drilled one inch holes in different location. Those boats are pretty stable so dry boxes and all the gear can sit above the tubes. I wish I had some pics of it. We put an 8" seat riser under the rower's seat.
 

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I have a cougar and have been thinking of building two boxes to span across the frame. With the seat in the middle, I would have one box across the front and one across the back. Both boxes would have lids. This way you can store everything inside the boxes and avoid the strap-o-rama required with rigging a cougar. Of course one of the boxes would have to be deep enough to afford the storage of coolers. You will see in the previous photos of how high the stuff is. Why not have it all in a box? This is just an idea that I though of when looking at my cougar a week ago.

tda
slc
 

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My buddies that had one on the grand had identical coolers rigged lengthwise between the tubes fore and aft. Rocket boxes on their sides were rigged next to them on the decks and that made rower and passenger bench seats. Bags and such were rigged around those and behind the rower in a drop bay making a pile for a backrest. seemed to work well.
 

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I have an original AIRE Cougar cataraft that I am rigging for a Grand Canyon float. I was hoping there were some people still rowing Cougars that might share some advice or pictures of their rigs. I have searched through all the old threads and have come across a few decent set ups. I would really like to find a way to rig it so that I could get a passenger up front. Here is what I am working with.


I can only find one picture of my camping set up right now. I have a cargo section that adds about 4 feet to the main frame. The side are decked over, and my wide table goes across the back. So, basically I have the entire flat area of the tubes decked over. My girlfriend doesn't like to get splashed, but she does like to see, so all the hard gear goes up front, an she sits up high on the folded futon mattress with dog and the other soft gear.








When I'm just running day trips, she has to sit up front to balance the boat. You can see why she prefers sitting in the back. ;)
















She does like the views from up front though.:)






:cool:
 

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+1 On wider frame. You need to be able to have a cooler between the tubes, I think mine is 88" wide on the outside of the frame and 44" between the tubes
 

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The third photo in BoscoBoaters post reminded me that the front seat passenger gets a face full of water as the boat punches waves. Those twin tubes have a way of focusing the splash dead center.

I added a casting platform that minimizes the effect. I intended to use it only for fishing trips but found it useful, so I leave it on all the time.
 

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Hey David. I ran a Cougar for 15 years including 1X on the Grand. I don't see any options except new cross bars on your frame. As I said before I think mine was 88"wide so you need 16" or so more on the cross bars. Are you going to join the two frame sections front to back? I would. I also used a beaver tail section on the back that I used for soft gear with a net or everything bag. In general I agree with some of the previous comments and disagree with others. When ran 88" wide I found the boat very stable and very hard to flip (1X in 15 years). It can be a bit slower than rafts, especially if overloaded. I never had drop bars on my frame and never had a problem with tube shifting but the tubes are not very deep so there is not a lot of depth in the bays - makes your cooler / dry box sit high. I never liked my captains chair that high so just ran a drop bag under the captains chair with a shallow dry box and a cooler in the front. I always ran two folding fishing chairs in front over each tube. It's an e-ticket ride for the passengers. I never ran a passenger in the middle but a fishing platform to stop the splash and give some foot support might make that work well/ I also like 2 20MM ammo cans in drop bags in the captains footwell. In general anything to eliminate the Beverly Hillbilly strap on look is a good idea. The boat is a great ride in the canyon and you will have lots of fun - just don't overload it.
 

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Use the Lopros you have. Buy longer pipe for cross bars. Use the pipe you take out to build beaver tail.
 
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