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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For year five of our research on the Snake River in Grand Teton Natl. Park, the science guys asked for more room to haul more people and more infernal machines. So I got in touch with Jack (the catmeister) and ordered larger tubes, 22 in. for more draft, with blunt cones, so we wouldn't have to buy a longer trailer. The new tubes are only 6 in. longer, with grey fabric and black bottoms to lessen the reflected light (we're collecting spectral data).



There are two trolling motors, which I run locked straight downstream to hold us against the current (>2 m/s), while I steer with the oars. I tore down the frame and added 2 ft. with another panel of the grid floor, so there'd be more room for the computers (2 laptops and 3-4 handheld), cables, batteries, etc. The width is the same. I used to haul one science geek, but now have two grad students, Toby and Devin, to punch the keys and stare at the screens.



The idea is to have the floor close to the water, so we can lower sensors through it, while not splashing all the $$$ electronic gear, most of which is water-resistant (but not all). Here's the rear end, devoted to science. There are two spectrometer/data loggers, one backpack to measure the light spectra reflecting from the water with the wee black sensor on the rear spar (also mounting a GPS antenna) and one compact (grey & turquoise thing on the mast) to measure the light from the sky.



The black units are (L) an LISST which shoots a laser beam through the water to measure absorption and scattering, and an ACS (R) which pumps water into an internal chamber and subjects it to various indignities. :shock: On the yellow mast are (bottom) an echo sounder, a GoPro camera to record the water surface, and a GPS antenna. Obviously, this is not exactly rigging to flip. That would cost a bundle.

We also had a hardshell 'yak and an IK, rigged with Doppler current profilers, that measure depth, flow velocity, and flow direction with scary precision. Paddling a cross-section yields a pretty accurate measurement of discharge (total volume of the flow). The banks and bars also got surveyed using GPS/RTK rovers.



I like building cats and love rowing, so this is a fun gig. And the visuals are hard to beat:



We'll do a longer session in August, at lower water.

If anyone has questions about this stuff, send me a PM. The cat tubes are a custom job from Jack's Plastic Welding inflatable boats, self bailing rafts, catarafts, pontoons, inflatable kayaks, dry bags, paco pads, spill containments, culvert plugs by Jack's Plastic Welding Inc. Also, check out my StreamCraft page on FaceBook, where I'll post about this in greater detail: https://www.facebook.com/streamcraft?ref=hl
 

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YOU GET PAID TO DO THAT?

I have three friends who got to float the Snake and John Day, decades apart, gathering all the photo then digital with photo data documenting human presence.
They got paid too.

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Certainly a one of a kind Cat.
Stealth for sure.
 

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Chip,

That Sir, is the real deal cat boat!

And, what a job you have.....

I am a fan of JPW cats and your setup is about as cool as it gets.
 

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Hey chip- sweet that gig is still working out for you. I hope life is good.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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YOU GET PAID TO DO THAT?

I have three friends who got to float the Snake and John Day, decades apart, gathering all the photo then digital with photo data documenting human presence.
They got paid too.

========

Certainly a one of a kind Cat.
Stealth for sure.

Taxpayer funded. That's what I'm betting. The purpose of this one is to document flows?
 

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Schutzie is jealous.

Rocky Mountain took the government boys down the Dolores for the wild and scenic river study, and as I recall it was a volunteer gig.

Now I'm curious though; what is it exactly that you folks are studying up there on the Snake?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Taxpayer funded. That's what I'm betting. The purpose of this one is to document flows?
Not sure what your point is.

I build the boats and gear as a private contractor, then put on my cheapo hat and row the trips as a University employee, for chicken scratch. Worse than boatman wages, plus no tips. Guess I must love the work.

The money comes from the University of Wyoming, some small grants, and the Office of Naval Research. The purpose is to collect ground-level data on the characteristics of the river channel, water column, and the light spectra (absorption, scattering, reflectance, etc.) to enable the use of satellite images for mapping rivers, harbors, estuaries, and coastlines. Which, in the long run, will save a lot of taxpayer money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In response to the PM about the plastic floor grid stuff, it's called PolyMax, a commercial product for kennel and poultry flooring, available from Tek Supply among other places. It comes in 24" x 48" panels that interlock. The new research cat has four panels in the floor, which is 96" long. It's handy for rigging the batteries and science gear because you can rig a tie-down at any point by passing a strap through the grid.

Here's a post copied from an old thread titled More Games with Frames on fabricating a cat floor.

Cat floor tricks

Having decided the wood-framed floor I built several years ago for this boat was shaky, I made a new one of PolyMax grid. I added a center support and 2 SpeedRail tee-E joints (lighter than the wood frame with aluminum channel and bar reinforcement). Since PolyMax comes in 24" x 48" panels and the distance between the cat tubes is 30", it couldn't be symmetrical in both directions. So I trimmed the length of two pieces and cable-tied them together. (I could've rebuilt the frame to 48" inside width, but I like a narrow rig).



The wide center rib (on the right side) looks sketchy, but so what. The main fasteners holding it to the frame are stainless hoseclamps. The leading edge of the floor (at bottom) has a piece of aluminum channel cable-tied over the edge of the grid, then covered with foam pipe insulation and more cable ties.



Since hoseclamps have sharp edges, I used some 1/2" vinyl tubing that slides snugly over the clamp band. This is the top view.



This is the underside. Note that the sharp end of the clamp band slips inside the end of the vinyl tubing. I cut off some of the bands with tin snips, nipped the corners, and filed off the sharp edges.



This shows two 4 ft. straps woven through the grid and around the bars. Wet the straps and crank it. Otherwise they'll get sloppy. I put the straps where my feet go when I stand up to scout. (It flexes, but not anything like those mesh trampoline floors).
 

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Not sure what your point is.

I build the boats and gear as a private contractor, then put on my cheapo hat and row the trips as a University employee, for chicken scratch. Worse than boatman wages, plus no tips. Guess I must love the work.

The money comes from the University of Wyoming, some small grants, and the Office of Naval Research. The purpose is to collect ground-level data on the characteristics of the river channel, water column, and the light spectra (absorption, scattering, reflectance, etc.) to enable the use of satellite images for mapping rivers, harbors, estuaries, and coastlines. Which, in the long run, will save a lot of taxpayer money.
Sorry for the late response. My point is here: http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f21/saving-the-taxpayers-money-55144.html#post375486

Here in the gear section I'll just say that I'm sure your proud of your work. And you should be. It looks like you have a lot of thought into it and it looks great. I have heard of that material for floors before. Looks like it works especially well for those uses. Would it work just as well for general catting? ie WW extended etc? How much reinforcement does it require over large areas?
 
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