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Discussion Starter #1
First off, I'm new here and to using oars. I work as a guide in western Md and love to get out on the local rivers. So I came across a Outcast PAC 1100 FS, it needs some work but seems it be completely intact. I spoke with someone at Aire, who looked up the serial #, which is how I know what I've got. He said that it was a pretty stout little cat and whitewater worthy. I don't see many people oaring here in the mid-atlantic but it sure looks fun.

Basically, I'd like some input on surfing an 11 footer or any cat really. The frame looks good, 4 piece breakdown, but is it strong? The seat is broke looking for any good advice there, the frame is a little different from the current model in the seat area. Tubes are 18'' and seem as tough as any Aire boat I've seen...but what size straps do I need and how many? Most whitewater cats I've researched have four or more straps per tube; my tubes have two d-rings per side, is this enough?

Thanks- Jesse
 

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First.....just a quick lesson on terminology. It's rowing, not oaring. Lots of folks get this wrong. Think of the kids song.....Row, Row, Row your boat. You use a paddle to paddle a canoe or kayak, and oars to row your cataraft. Sorry to preach, but it's kind of a nails on chalkboard thing with me. Plus you are soon to join the rowing brother/sisterhood, so we want you to be official.

Congrats on finding the Outcast PAC1100. I started out on a PAC 1000 and still have it. I progressed from class II to class III in that little Cat, until I got my ass handed to me and decided to get a "real" whitewater Cat. That was about 15 years (and three more Cats) ago. The big thing about mini-cats is that they are designed to spin on a dime for fishing, so they will tend to spin in a big rapid if you don't watch what you're doing. I never surfed mine, but I'd imagine they will surf great. My Outcast tubes & frame are super sturdy. I think the seat bolting pattern is different from a standard whitewater raft seat, but you can check the dimensions of the bolt pattern on the NRS website. They have a parts spec section that has the specs on a seat mount. If the pattern is the same, you could switch to a better whitewater seat. Carlisle & Cataract make mini-cat oars. I got a pair of cataract Mini-Magnum oars and love them. I would say that your cat is ok in class II - III, and maybe IV if you are skilled and don't mind flipping in big rapids. We saw a whole fleet of mini-Cats on the Middle Fork a few years ago in September, and they were having a blast......fishing their butts off & flipping regularly in the bigger rapids.

You can rig your Cat with four long straps. I have rigging instructions around here somewhere. I'll see if I can find them and PM you.

Have fun with your new ride, Outcast's are great boats.
KJ
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. Kj, I feel ya on the rowing and thanks for the heads up, id hate to seem like to much of a jong. What do you mean by big rapids? The western US obviously has some huge water; so do you mean big cfs? I've r2'd to upper yough (V) in a shredder a few times. Is my mini-cat anything like a shredder? I checked out the nrs site last night, lots of cool stuff on there. I will try to upload some pics, I broke my leg in January...but I'm pretty amble now and its time to get it out of storage with the mild winter here in the Appalachians.
 

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My "Oh shit" moment in my little cat came on a large class III rapid at high water. I was still a newbie, so my inexperience (and over confidence) was my down fall. The 'turn on a dime" thing did me in. Western rivers are wider/deeper/bigger than back east, so that's why we row more than paddle. I would think that a small cat would suit your smaller more technical rivers really well. If you have class V r2 experience, then you are going to have a blast with a mini-cat. Just watch your oars.....be careful with your downstream oar, and be ready to ship or tuck your oars fast in tight spots.
Those folding plastic fishing seats are what comes on the Outcast usually. They will work, but aren't really meant for real whitewater abuse. If you can find a better seat that fits, I would switch.
Good luck with your leg. I know first hand what it's like to have a bum leg with river season just around the corner.
KJ
 

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Outcast catarafts are made for fishing utility more than whitewater. They're plenty durable, and they can handle some rapids, but they don't incorporate newer design features that the best whitewater cats do. The frame isn't quite as strong as the nicer welded frames, but it's not going to fall apart unless you really abuse it. The oars are probably the weakest part of that design.

I'm not saying that you made a bad choice, because you'll have lots of fun, and will learn the skills you need. You'll be able to surf in it fine. It should be a great fit for a ton of eastern rivers.

If, once you get more experienced, you start wanting to run bigger water, you'll want to add a slightly larger cat to your quiver, one that is designed specifically for class V. The two main contenders for the title of best class V cat are the AIRE Wave Destroyer and the Sotar Legend. There are plenty of threads on this forum discussing the pros and cons of each of those. I personally prefer the AIRE WD.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again, I'm super stoked to get out on her. All of what you said makes sense, I'm getting vision of getting horazontialy impaled through the abdomen. Pics maybe tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your input Alpha. I agree, although I don't know shit so wtf cares, but the wave destroyer looks crazy. The Outcast was free so I'm nothing but pumped. It seems the tubes are nice, all other components can be replaced after I break 'em. The stock oars (my cat only came with one) do look pretty weak.
 

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Free......that's awesome !!!!!!
Get some decent open oarlocks, and better oars. Carlisle makes smaller mini-cat oars that work great, but aren't too expensive. If you want to go 1st class get some Cataract Mini-Magnums. I think you are going to have a blast with that little cat. At 11 feet long, that's a nice size boat. And just think.....all the fun of the Shredder without needing an r2 partner.
We want to see some pictures once you get your new toy on the river !!!!
KJ
 

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I cannot believe there aren't tons of small cats all over those Appalachian rivers. You will have your rafting friends jealous in very short order.

Mini-magnums have always looked to me like the ultimate small-cat oar. I outfitted my small cat with Sawyer smokers four years back. They are solid ash and durable as hell. Like the magnums they are cheaper in lengths under 8 ft.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One million apologies... LOL. If I could change the name of of the thread I would. However, isn't obvious that I have been enlightened by Cataraftgirl. A day late and a dollar short, jp.
 

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Well we will have to see if the folks around here are envious or just laughing really hard...;)
My guess is that they'll laugh.....then ask if they can take it for a spin.
Sorry that my pet peeve is causing you grief. :(
 

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Purely cause by my own ignorance. It's no big deal anyway, I'm sure I can redem myself LOL
Yep no big deal! I had a outcast 9 footer that i picked up from my neighbor,it had some frame damage that I was able to staighen out and some minor issues with the cheap oars.It sold on CL for $350.00 so you did very well for the one you have. The one I had went thru a strainer,bent the frame 3 inches out of square. With some staps & a 2000 lb engine hoist I was able to fix it,so i'd say there pretty tough.enjoy
 

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Hmmmmm. I guess I'm one of the ignoramus types. I've heard/used the words oarsman/oaring many times...maybe it's a dialect thing? Maybe that's where I've went wrong--should've been a rower instead of an oarsman.
 

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Oar is also a verb. If one can oar, one can be new to oaring, correct? Of course if you look up the definition it says "to row".
 
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