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Well done, it appeared you had some smooth lines. Just curious, I am a kayaker not at all familiar with catarafts, and was wondering what are the two straps hanging into the water for, one from the front of each tube?

Lenny.
 

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Well done, it appeared you had some smooth lines. Just curious, I am a kayaker not at all familiar with catarafts, and was wondering what are the two straps hanging into the water for, one from the front of each tube?

Lenny.
Easier to grab the boat if you swim.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@GearDog - yeah, we call those tag lines. They give you something to grab if you go in the water. It also makes it easier to grab a boat from shore and pull it in. We have a hard time catching those micro eddies sometimes. Most cat-boaters who run tag lines run one on each tip (4). Many of us also run one on each side. The side lines also serve as a pre-deployed flip line and make reflip much quicker than the bagged flip lines you tie to the frame.
--Josh
 

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Thank you for filming

JM thanks for sharing the cat video. Being out of area I was hoping you/someone could answer a couple questions.

1.What class is that river/section considered.
2.Is that the only run for a raft.
3.What size cat are you driving.
4. The water apeared clowdy, I assumed the Payette was crystal clear.

Anyway thank you for sharing hoping to get there this next season.

Dirk
 

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Discussion Starter #7
1. Class V. In 15 miles, there are 18 named class V rapids, many of them are over 1/2 mile long. In between, there are a lot of class III and IV unnamed features. The wide angle lens on the camera really flattens out the river and doesn't give a very accurate portrayal of how big it is in there. But then again, camera's never do. Unless you're a stellar photographer. check out these photos from 2 years ago: Catarafting North Fork of the Payette River in Idaho, photos by Mike Reid, Idaho Whitewater. - All Outdoor Photography by Mike Reid, Boise Wedding and Outdoor Portrait Photographer

2. Not sure what you mean. There are several different runs in the payette river system that range from class II through V. The north fork from smiths ferry to banks (where that footage is from) is not run very often by rafts. There were two very very talented boaters there last weekend that R2'd top to bottom. I didn't see them, but I did see them last year. Very impressive. Check out Steve Stuebner's guide: Bookstore You can buy each section for $.99 as a digital download.

3. 12.5' x 22.5" Sotar Legend. Legends (and their predecessor prototypes) and Wave Destroyers are the cat of choice up there. You don't often see other types of cats.

4. The north fork payette is dam fed from lake cascade. It travels through a valley will a lot of agricultural and cattle operations, picking up a fair amount of cow piss and who-knows-what-else. I constantly spit the water out if I get it in my mouth. It's still fairly clean. It may appear cloudy, but a lot of that is because it's very aerated. 100+ fpm churns the hell out of it. The good thing is that the water is very warm - probably the warmest water I've ever run. The south fork payette is different. It too has a dam fed tributary, but the water from that dam comes from way deep in the reservoir. Cascade lake by comparison is shallow and large and the water warms up considerably there. The south fork is much more clear. Above lowman, the south fork has a glacial teal color to it most of the year. Once the deadwood river enters, it becomes cold and clear until the confluence.
 

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J Mc, thanks for the return post. A group of us retired guys are headed that way next season. Trying to figure out where to go in ID first. Although capable of V, Not sure Im wanting a long swim in V. recieved a new hip last year and trying to learn my new limitations.

The other guys are pretty banged up Tier I army guy's now retired, with trashed backs, or legs or? from flaming in from 30.000.
Truthfully we're Lookin for good fun water maybe IV with one or 2 V's, but not 18 V's or 1/2 mile possible swims

Thank you for sharing.
Dirk Williams
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dirk - check out the staircase and canyon runs on the SF Payette. They are high quality class IV runs.
 

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J - the law of the North Fork for kayakers is "thou shalt not swim." Granted, it happens and from time to time people even survive it, but most people realize if you boat the North Fork, you don't want to be swimming.

How does that factor in with catarafting. Obviously there is a bit more stability and hole punching ability with a cat, but it seems to me easier to fall in and swim than in a kayak. What's the mindset for a cat boater going into a run like the NF?
 

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Josh,

Thanks for the reply. Makes sense. Do you ever worry they will get snagged on something? I was always under the impression that any loose ropes/straps are a hazard but I guess if they are short enough then the benefit to having them if/when a swim occurs outweighs the potential hazard?

Thanks again, Lenny.
 

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A swim from any craft is going to suck on that river.

I wouldn't say it is easier to swim from a cat, although a lot of kayakers seem to think so. We are quite well braced into our frames, not precariously perched up there like people have asked me. While you only have your paddle to brace with (I'm sure this is simplistic) we have a lot of options. That includes highsiding all over the place, lots of frame to grab to keep you from going off/over, lots of tag lines and oars to catch if you do swim, and then with an open cockpit it's pretty darn easy to get back onto your boat.

If you do swim the #1 rule is to never leave your boat, it is the biggest PFD you have. It seems to me if a kayaker swims on that river you are SOL and better get to shore, while we tend to get back to our boat ASAP. The goal being to get back in the seat, which may or may not require a reflip. It is ideal to have your boat right side up so you are again rowing (duh), but an upside down cat is pretty stable although gear is going to get trashed.

Tag lines are life lines, although I have heard of one instance where someone had to cut one. They are flat webbing which do not tend to snag (do not use rope or tubular webbing). I do not use my side ones as flip lines as Josh does, I don't like them that long near my oars. There are always risks with every rigging decision, but the benefits of tag lines far outweigh the risks.

It's funny, I can't imagine running that river in a kayak. How do you guys see?!?! And you're down in that shit, instead of (mostly) on top of it. Yikes, that's too much for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Our law is no different - "DO NOT SWIM"

But, we have a different definition, or classification, of swimming.

A swim is being in the water, separated from your boat.

If you flip, you must hang onto the boat, climb on top, then asses your situation and decide when you can attempt a reflip.

If you fall in or over, but the boat is upright, you must hang on to the boat and climb back in ASAP.

It is very important to stay with the boat - they float really really well.

If you flip or fall in and get separated from the boat, it is life threatening - just like a kayaker swim.
 

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Those are great explanations.

I don't kayak that river, nor do I really expect to get to that point. The risk is far too great for the reward, for me.

I actually feel much more comfortable on a cat than any other craft, but for money reasons got into kayaking and love it a ton. Oaring is more natural to me, and I'm pretty good at it. Paddling was not natural and I find myself correcting a lot of things that are appropriate while oaring but not good paddling. So I can certainly understand a lot of the things you're saying about kayaking in water like that...
 
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