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Discussion Starter #1
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!
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

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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.
 

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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!!
 

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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.
 

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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 ;-)






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.

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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I run a 14' cat of similar width, gear above lower rails, and have hit the lower rails hard on rocks in low water conditions more than once, it is an uncomfortable experience, I would not want gear hanging below the rails for sure, the dynamic impact would not be kind to your brand new and expensive navigator 150 :)
and [email protected] why would you not bring your cat on the salt (I have never been but was considering it this spring if it is running)?
 

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I feel the same way about hanging stuff bellow my side rails, as Yesiamapirate, and trueBlue said. Risky to have things hang bellow them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for your words guys. It’s definetly a concern to me to have things “vulnerable” I’m naturally hard on my things. It’s there to be used. Then fixed when I break it. Dryboxes I can repair, coolers not so much. This would shrink my wodth by a few inches having the cooler kiss the tubes. The 150 would be sweet! It would also get my OA width to almost 92” with it kissing the tubes. This is my first boat, and I’m on budget the 103qt will do just fine. Once I get 16 ft tubes I’ll entertain that.

Do any of you have photos of your cats? I’d like to see what you’re cooler/ drybox setups look like.

Assuming I set the cooler on top of the rails. With a 10” drop that gives 8” of stick up above the upper tubes. My knee to foot is somewhere in the 18”range. I don’t have a tape handy. This takes away the nice feature of the lip in the canyon cooler to rest on the frame. But seems like a reasonable height to sit on. What coolers are you guys running? Any other manufacturers put a drain in the long side of a cooler?
 

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Cat frame

From all the frames I've built, and all the inherent disappointments I've hadmy suggestions
Build with 1 5/8" anodized thick walled aluminum pipe, and build your cat to standard NRS sizes, then when you want to modify or change the frame up you can buy new parts, or modify existing that drop right in. The dimensions would be valid whether you weld, or use speedrail fittings, or NRS fittings.
 

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OP, what material do you plan to use to build your frame?Some laugh, but I use 1.25" thinwall EMT conduit, which is 1.6" OD and a very close fit with NRS lopro fittings. It's surprisingly robust. I have a stern frame, a 2-bay day frame, and a big 4-bay frame that I can also attach drop tubes to run as a cat frame.



Look to commercial frames for details:


Madcatr seems to have cat frames dialed for clearance as well as footrest/scout bar design..oh, and folding oar towers (NRS towers would offer the same flexibility)

From all the frames I've built, and all the inherent disappointments I've hadmy suggestions
Build with 1 5/8" anodized thick walled aluminum pipe, and build your cat to standard NRS sizes, then when you want to modify or change the frame up you can buy new parts, or modify existing that drop right in. The dimensions would be valid whether you weld, or use speedrail fittings, or NRS fittings.
This is VERY good advice. Even if you weld some parts, being able to move your oar towers or your cooler or seat crosstubes is invaluable.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I will be using 1 1/4 pipe. I work at a ski resort. We (not me personally) did a big snowmaking project this past summer, and had a ton of snow guns replaced. It was going to scrap for beer money so I opted to buy some beer! I got about 125? Ish feet. All usable material, one mans trash.. I will have a welded outer loop. Double rail with diamond plate. Then my bay cross bars will all be adjustable. 3 bay main frame. Then 2 bay passenger module with later drop bag/ table module. I’m trying to figure out if I can make my drop bars with t fittings and have adjustable spreaders. Haven’t laid that out yet. Anyone have thoughts? Maybe more of a NRS universals drop bar then have different length spreaders? Still not sure just yet..
 

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Zboy, good luck with the frame. I don’t know if you thought about your oars, but you have to match the top frame width with the length of oars you are going to use. Normally 6 feet between the oarlocks uses 10 foot oars. I agree with the others, try to make your frame close to standard sizes. Another thing you might want to consider is a floor. For a gear cat, I have been using a floor all the time. It is made of trampoline fabric, and you might want to consider the sizes of standard floors, although you can get one custom made. It is smart to make it as adjustable as you can. The set up you start with may not be the one you like long term.

Bighorn, help me understand what you are doing. I run a 16 ft Aire Jag, and I don’t like to load it up with more than 1200 lbs. I thought maybe there is something different about Sotar, so I went to their website, and they don’t even make a 16 foot cat. It shows as 15’ 6”. Did they previously make one? Also it shows that at 1/3 submergence, weight carried is 1100 lbs. Your picture and the space you say the bottom rails are above the water would be pretty close to 1/3 submergence, so I am not sure if you are really carrying a full ton.

Your picture shows your boat nose high and stern low. Do you like to run that way? I like to run balanced. The boat turns better, and it punches features better. It looks like you have plenty of wear strip up front and you could slide the frame forward and get balanced. I know everyone has their own preference on these things, but I am curious.
 

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Couple thoughts.
I really like having my passengers behind me and the gear pile in front. Makes reading water way easier.
I'm pretty anal about the trim; the heavier end wants to lead. If i've got some fat asses sitting on the cooler in back, I'll figure out a way to get more weight up front.
Erectorset frames (NRS, RowFrame) are an awesome way to figure out what works for you. We're all pretty opinionated around here. What works for me may suck for the next guy. Keep it cheap and versitle until find yer groove, all those fittings will come back into play when you get your sport cat :cool:
 

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Zboy

Bighorn, help me understand what you are doing. I run a 16 ft Aire Jag, and I don’t like to load it up with more than 1200 lbs. I thought maybe there is something different about Sotar, so I went to their website, and they don’t even make a 16 foot cat. It shows as 15’ 6”. Did they previously make one? Also it shows that at 1/3 submergence, weight carried is 1100 lbs. Your picture and the space you say the bottom rails are above the water would be pretty close to 1/3 submergence, so I am not sure if you are really carrying a full ton.

Your picture shows your boat nose high and stern low. Do you like to run that way? I like to run balanced. The boat turns better, and it punches features better. It looks like you have plenty of wear strip up front and you could slide the frame forward and get balanced. I know everyone has their own preference on these things, but I am curious.

The picture I posted is with about 12-1300#'s. On a short easy row (deso and gray I believe). I do not get real concerned about being level and adjust the load as I go if. I prefer level on most rivers and a little nose heavy in rapids with big holes.


Sotar makes custom sizes (or at least they did when I ordered mine) and I ordered mine at 16' and closer to 25" diam. The only time I run really heavy is on the grand or if I have 4 passengers and all the gear.


I also have a full length web floor 11' 4" long


Below is a copy on my e-mail to Sotar and their response about weight.
I e-mailed them after having a argument with a ranger on the green about how many passengers I could carry.





-----Original Message-----
From: scott brunk [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 3:14 PM
To: Cheryl
Subject: capacity of boat






I have permits for Green river Desolation canyon, Gates of Lodore and Hells canyon on the snake for 2008 .
I bought a 16 foot Cat from you all and would be very grateful if you could e-mail me the number of people and weight it is rated to carry, so I can have info to show the ranger and hopefully avoid problems.

Scott Brunk
1478 High Plains Court
Lafayette, CO 80026


Cheryl Sanders <[email protected]>


Fri 2/15/2008, 5:41 PM


You


Hi Scott,


Lucky Lucky You!


You have a 16’ x 25" diameter ST cat. Our recommended carrying capacity for the best performance is with 1/3 of the tube in the water @ 1700 lbs.


If you were to go with 10" of tube in the water which is still OK, you can carry as much as 2300 lbs. As far as people go it depends on how you set your frame up. Normally on a cat this size it would be 4 or 5 people depending on gear and seating.


Let me know if you need anything else.


If you get any pictures, forward a couple to us so we can daydream while we’re sitting here in the office.


Have a great summer.


Cheryl








 
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