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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a cat newbie considering getting a Super Cutthroat 2 from Jeff's Plastic Welding (19" tubes, 14' long). I'll be on smaller, mellow rivers- Class I and II. Wind can be a big issue so I'm trying to balance load capacity with aerodynamic drag (for lack of a better term). By the same token, there will be shallow water to contend with too. Most of the time I will be solo, with a total weight of about 400 pounds. I might have another person occasionally, so perhaps up to 700 pounds. I'm in AK so the trips are fly in. That translates to more spartan travel than a typical big river trip with big boats- ie much less than a 6 pack of beer per person per day. :oops:

I've looked at the Draft vs Load table on the JPW website (Jack's Plastic Welding, Inc.) so that provides a pretty good idea on how much water I'll be drawing.

My questions for CT users, and of course others that may want to chime in:

How much weight (bodies and gear) are you traveling with? How much water are you drawing?

Any other insights would be appreciated.
 

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My first cat was a shorter JPW Super Cutthroat 1 and still use the tubes for a Super Fat Cat but the row frame has since been put out to pasture. Lightly loaded, I think these remain a decent and sporty setup...but the svelt frame doesn't breakdown esp well, put on the #'s and boy howdy those 19's draft, plus is pretty narrow and got flippy on big West waters. On the otherhand and for what you describe, it might be perfect for AK (but definitely go with the wide version). Although a bit spendier, might also suggest a more versatile Whitewater Machine Works breakdown cat frame (+ extend-a-bay) and some RMR 14' rubber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input Upacreek. Yes, I will certainly get a break down frame similar in width to the Wide Cutthroat. The JPW frame doesn't appear too functional for my needs. Plus there is virtually no info on their frames on their website.

Yes, the RMR tubes are another good option. They don't have much kick so they have a longer waterline, which is more beneficial to my needs. They are heavier since they have 3 chambers per tube and heavier material (44 oz vs 35 oz for JPW.)

I had not run across the Whitewater Machine Works website yet when looking for a frame- thanks for the link.
 

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Thanks for the input Upacreek. Yes, I will certainly get a break down frame similar in width to the Wide Cutthroat. The JPW frame doesn't appear too functional for my needs. Plus there is virtually no info on their frames on their website.

Yes, the RMR tubes are another good option. They don't much kick so they have a longer waterline, which is more beneficial to my needs. They are heavier since they have 3 chambers per tube and heavier material (44 oz vs 35 oz for JPW.)

I had not run across the Whitewater Machine Works website yet when looking for a frame- thanks for the link.
I have 14' RMR tubes and they only weight 40 pounds each. Very easy to move on their own.
 

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Thanks for your input cupido76. What size is your frame and who made it?
My frame is homemade with lorpos. The frame is not light but I can still move it around by myself... but I wouldn't love to Portage with it or something.

I had it from my 13 foot raft and just added some drop rails. I think I'm just over 60" wide (37" between the tubes), and I used the shortest standard NRS drop rails... so 68" long. I also added an extension on the back that's another 10" bay that is removable.

I'm sure there are lighter options but I'm cheap and used what I had.
Plant Boat Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Tree Vehicle
 

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I got a JPW super cutthroat setup in 2013. JPW tubes and frame. Still working for me. Good price at the time and no serious complaints on performance from me.

This has been a nice setup for me. It breaks down into parts that I can load / unload on and into my Tacoma with camper shell. Since it is just me most of the time, plenty of load capacity. Rows well, I have never used it as a paddle raft. But have had a couple paddlers up front and me rowing on various sections of The ARK in Salida CO area. Lots of fun.

At first I was a bit scared that the narrow width would lead to unplanned flips. The answer for me was be extra attentive to position the raft to head into danger spots either head on or a slight angle depending on the situation.

Bottom line, I wish JPW frame was maybe a foot wider but it is not. JPW does or at least did mention ways to use sections of cheap pipe to widen the frame but I have not even consider doing that.

Like I bet many others, I have looked at and wanted one of the White Water Machine Works frames. No doubt in my mind that their frames are top notch. I do not have the disposable income to go that route. I consider JPW Cutthroat tubes and White Water Machine frame to be the ultimate dream combo rafting setup for me.

A good rafting bud of mine has a set of older Aire tubes and a White Water Machine works frame. Awesome setup in my opinion.

Best of luck in your search for your rig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okieboater- Thanks for the review of the CT 2. :)

What length oars are you using?

I looked at White Water Machine Works website and they certainly have nice looking frames. They have their own connectors, which do look lighter and perhaps stronger than the connectors used by NRS and other companies. What else makes their frames better than the competition?
 

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I am using 8 ft catarac shaft and big carlise outfitter blades. I had longer oars left over from a previous raft and just cut the cataracs oar shafts down. 8 ft work ok for me but if I had it to do over would probably go 8 1 / 2 ft oars.

My opinion on WMW frames even tho I do not own one but wish I did is below.
From what I have seen the WMW frames are light weight, just as strong, easy to break down / rig and the machine work is top notch. As mentioned, if I had the disposable income to go with that high quality raft frame, no question in my mind. Having said that the JPW frame (altho I wish it was a foot wider) has been bomb proof for my use. Jack worked with me to put my mini cat together. He told me the Cutthroat series was designed to work as a oar rig and paddle rig. My use has always been oar setup. In fact I put the frame together and it has never been broken down. Also the frame has lived outside setting on two saw horses. I painted the weld joints with silver paint and so far except for a little bit of patina on the pipes the frame is as good as ever. I can put the JPW tubes in their JPW bags and store them inside the truck. The frame rides just fine on my yakima roof rack on top. I have a battery powered air pump and it is pretty easy to rig and de rig since the frame just slides off or on the roof rack. I also have a nice trailer rig if I want to launch retrieve in a minute or so.

My JPW frame has never been taken apart. I think the JPW frame could be broken down for fly in rivers.

If you can swing the money a set of JPW tubes and the WMW frame would be a great setup for fly ins. Again my opinion as I have never done a fly in float trip.

I have had super good luck with custom design frames at very reasonable cost from rowframe.com If you want a standard size tube frame, I suggest you contact rowframe dot com and discuss your need with him. My experience with him is solid frames at reasonable cost. Now would be a good time to contact him as I think raft frames are not his primary job. His work for me has been custom and very high quality for the two frames he built me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again for the additional info -especially on the oars!

I have swapped some email with Gary at rowframe.com. Until you mentioned WMW, I was planning to buy from Gary. I sent him another question a couple of weeks back and haven't heard anything so I'm not quite sure what's up.

If you want a standard size tube frame
That implies that the WMW tubes are smaller diameter. Their website doesn't state the diameter of tubing that they are using just that it is 6061-T6511 aluminum (which is good.) Do you happen to know what diameter tubing WMW uses?
 

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I have known Gary for several years. My experience is he will answer emails but sometimes he gets busy on other things.

On the other hand, his frames have been excellent for me and best price I have found.

I do not know the exact diameters of the tubing used by the builders you mentioned.

good luck on your projects
 

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I have swapped some email with Gary at rowframe.com. Until you mentioned WMW, I was planning to buy from Gary. I sent him another question a couple of weeks back and haven't heard anything so I'm not quite sure what's up.
Yeah Gary can get distracted, but if you shoot him another email he will probably respond. There is a big price difference (labor, welding) between WMW and rowfame.com frames. The rowframe is 1.5" ID aluminum with T fittings. He'll include a welded seat and kick bar for pretty fair price, but most of the connections are T fittings, which are OK. I have one of his frames - a small rowing frame for my PhatCat - and it's worth the price. The WMW frames are totally different, and probably a higher end product, so the two different frames are in different categories, and it depends on if you want high end or budget.

For my phatcat, the budget frame was the right product. For my 14' cat (RMR 23" tubes) frame, I have an NRS frame with LoPros, but I'd like to get into a lighter frame for big water (lighter, less gear capacity). The NRS frame works great for multi day trips, but is heavier than I'd like for big water, especially with gear.

Regarding weight, I would not recommend more than say 400-500# on the 14' tubes. (two people plus overnight gear) But that's with big water in mind - class I/II more weight wouldn't be a major concern except low water draft over rocks. Cat boats get a little unwieldy when weighted down, but as long as the water is deep enough, on flat water you don't need as much control.
 
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