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Discussion Starter #1
I need some cat frame strap rigging advice.

I have a 12.5 Legend and Dave is building my frame right now. Woo hoo! (BTW, great guy!!)

I'll be dropping by Tuff River in a few weeks and want to place a strap order. Is there any reason to go with loop straps over the regular cam straps?

Also, using a loaner frame it seemed like mostly 1.5' footers would work best with not much extra tag end showing?

Thx for help.

- Jon
 

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That's a tough one to answer, as it's kind of a personal preference/strapping style thing. The design of the frame and location of the D-rings drives the strap length for the most part. However, I never used loop straps to connect my frame to my cat. I always ended up with a pile of straps.....none of which were the perfect size 100% of the time.
 

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And there's your answer! If you don't want a random pile of straps to sort thru, order 8 loop straps from Tuff River Stuff (1.5" polyester) and label them from front to back. Just 4 straps per side- each one with a predetermined location that is cut to fit. Makes cat rigging a lot less if a chore.

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I strongly prefer loop straps where I can use them. For one thing they stay attached to the boat and are much less likely to go for a swim. AND I can easily put the loops together and use it like a normal strap if that is what is needed. For semi-permanent tie downs, like tubes to frame, I use the standard cam strap. For things that get moved with daily rigging I prefer loops

I don't have much use for 1.5 ft straps on my rig, but each boat is different. When in doubt buy long and you can cut it to size or take a double wrap around the frame as needed.

Cats take an enormous number of straps. I use so many on my 15' AIRE Panther that I made an inventory... here is what I need for a 5-6 day trip.

length number description
1’-0” x6 tubes to lower rails
2’-0” x2 z-drag kit to front yoke
2’-0” x12 saddle bags, D rings to frame side rails
3’-0” x6 tubes to upper rails
3’-0” x2 front cooler to floor
3’-0” x2 front table sides to frame
3’-0” x2 big Action Packer to rear deck
4’-0” x6 rear table to frame
4’-0” x4 2 small Action Packers to frame
4’-0” x4 front deck hold downs
4’-0” x1 captn’s cooler hold down – over the top to cross rails
4’-0” x1 banyo hold down – side to side rear storage bay
4’-0” x1 dedicated to captn’s chair hold down
6’-0” x2 cooler lids, store with coolers
6’-0” x2 water jugs to front trex rails
7’-6” x2 water jugs to front rails
custom x2 @ 14" for ammo cans @ captain’s feet
custom x1 @ 11’ side to side over action packers
custom x1 @ 8-6’ front to back over big action packer – cross rails
custom x2 @ 4’ with extra D rings for front deck backrest

This is my third boat, so a lot of the straps were recycled from other frames. About half of these are loop straps and I am slowly converting the rest. The custom straps are ones that I cut to length or modified for a specific task.
 

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Cam straps can be a serious investment. At an average cost of $5/each I have over $300 invested in the 'strap inventory'.

Some of my rafting buddies like to do it 'old school' and they rig with 5/8" tubular webbing, using knots. You can purchase 150' of mil spec tubular webbing for under $50. You only need two knots, the bowline and the trucker's hitch.

You could buy some webbing to rig the first time, cutting the webbing to length as needed. Then at the end of the trip you can measure the pieces and know exactly what size cam straps to purchase.
 

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Another factor in deciding straps for the frame - do you always put your frame in the exact same spot? I have been known to shift my frame forward or back up to 6-8 inches pending on load, # of passengers, desired rowing position, and which water we're doing. If you go with a shorter strap, there may not be that wiggle room for adjusting frame position.
 

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Also, did anyone else find the diagram of how to ride an inverted boat on the RowFrame.com link hilarious? ...with the title Elliptical Man on Cat Bu_tt Na_ked

I'm guessing it was drawn in AutoCAD or something which would explain why it's not anatomically correct. But the attention to detail in the buttcrack region cracks me up!
 

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Not to take $ away from Tuff River Stuff but we borrowed an industrial sowing machine last year and built/rebuilt 300' worth of straps for about $100. It was kind of fun and you could make things exactly how you see fit. Just a thought, if you have peeps with a good machine...

Based on research last year, if we didn't have access to the machine, I would have gotten all my straps from TRS however.

Lastly you can always cut them down, but you can't feasibly add length (other than doubling up)...
 

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I have TRS polyester straps on both my boats. They are bomber and his turnaround time is impressive.

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Discussion Starter #12
Just to be clear, I'm talking about frame to tube D-ring straps.

Thx for all advice. I like the TRS straps both for the polyester feel and the way Ray finishes the ends.

Re: building my own. I have a garage full of hobbies and like working on things, but my wife will shoot me if I show up with one more. I'm still trying to figure out a way to sneak in a new 15' cat if I get one. One advantage to my dirt bikes, they've all been KTM's so she often can't tell when a new orange one shows up

:)
 

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Understandable. Your obviously smarter than me!
 

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Begin collecting orange cat tubes......I nearly did a KTM scheme on my 14' Sotar

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I size my frame straps to wrap all the way around the frame (360 degrees) and once through the D ring. This keeps the strap from rotating while I tighten it.
 

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Girth hitch on the D-ring or the frame with a regular old cam strap (not the cam loop system, which is two separate straps) has several advantages: strap stays with either the boat or frame, you can situate the buckle where it is easiest to pull against, etc.
I like cam loop straps over duffle, to hold my cooler lid down, etc. But I end up using regular old cam straps a bunch, and I have yet to have one fail.
Do keep an eye on UV/bleaching - they need replacing at some point if you want to maintain their strength (working load).
And as elkhaven pointed out, use a strap that's a little longer for the application if possible - especially since being thread through the buckle will eventually chew the ends a little. I use a homemade hot melt knife to cut 'em, and they last several seasons but then I end up trimming the ends.
Polyester and other webbing is available from Strapworks along with a bunch of buckles and hardware, and I've found them very quick and easy to work with. Lots of good places to buy straps out there, some folks use them to "accessorize" their rigs...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thx B4. I use girth hitches on my Hyside and they work well.

And Osseous, my Sotar 12 is orange and gray! Maybe if I get the larger one in the exact same color scheme she'll never notice there's more than one?!?

Note to mods - please bar my wife from registering at this site. She is a scammer and hangs out with some unspecified nefarious elements from Oregon....
 

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I would not use loop straps or any hitch around the frame on a sotar cat. One weakness of the fabric is hot friction. I can drag the shit out of my boat and not have a problem but I do have some strap wear. Just go for 16 3' straps if you want to buy them ahead of time, and do a simple loop around. Depending on the geometry you may get by with shorter ones esp the center 4 on each side.

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??? With loop straps they ONLY contact the tubes at the frame- and most Sotars (mine included) have double fabric there. How would 16 singles be an improvement?

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I just use regular cam straps on my cat, 4 on the inside, 4 on the outside of each pontoon. As for length, totally just depends on your frame, tubes, D-rings.
 
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