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Which would you buy?

  • PaddleCat

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • Mini-Me

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • Conventional Cataraft

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of the Above

    Votes: 2 25.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I am looking for advice on a new setup for the 2021 rafting season.

Just to provide background, I typically run III+ to IV+ rivers. My current boat is a Hyside Max 12 with a simple rowing frame. For about 75% of my trips, I am the only person in the boat. So far, the Max 12 has been an amazing and I have only rolled it twice in 500 river miles (those damn holes). Most are day trips, with two 2-3-night camping trips per year.

Nonetheless, I am looking for something lighter, more playful, and better able to punch than my current raft. In a perfect world, I’d also be able to camp out of it for a single night.

I know the conventional advice would be to purchase a cataraft and welded frame, but I have limited storage space and want to first explore something different. To address that, I’m looking at purchasing a smaller boat and a Welfelt Frame.

What are people’s experience rowing Mini-Me’s and Paddlecats? Which would you buy?

One of my concerns is that I am about 225 lbs., and whether I’d be too top-heavy in either boat.

I know there are a lot of threads with similar subjects, but was hoping for your input!

Thanks in advance.
 

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I agree... paddle cat. I had a Mini-Max and while it will definitely be more playful then the Max 12...it won't meet your requirement of being more able to punch through stuff. They are super fun and versatile...but IMHO would be redundant to have if you already have a Max 12.

I upgraded to a full Creek cat style setup and haven't looked back. So much fun in big water and very confidence inspiring.

I think if I was gonna go with a paddle cat I'd probably get the Hyside one. They started making one that uses the 12' Nimbus tubes that have constant rocker and a bunch of kick. My creek cat is the bigger brother 14' Thundercat with the Nexus frame and its amazing. Lightweight, durable and a ton of fun to row. The Paddle Cat will do a great job as double duty for R2 and R3 duty plus will be fun for an oar rig too.

I think the Nimbus tube version is a special order thing but definitely contact Hyside and ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree... paddle cat. I had a Mini-Max and while it will definitely be more playful then the Max 12...it won't meet your requirement of being more able to punch through stuff. They are super fun and versatile...but IMHO would be redundant to have if you already have a Max 12.

I upgraded to a full Creek cat style setup and haven't looked back. So much fun in big water and very confidence inspiring.

I think if I was gonna go with a paddle cat I'd probably get the Hyside one. They started making one that uses the 12' Nimbus tubes that have constant rock and a bunch of kick. My creek cat is the bigger brother 14' Thundercat and its amazing. Lightweight, durable and a ton of fun to row. The Paddle Cat will do a great job as double duty for R2 and R3 duty plus will be fun for an oar rig too.

I think the Nimbus tube version is a special order thing but definitely contact Hyside and ask.
I actually reached out to Brandon, and I think we'll be going with a Nimbus-tubed Paddlecat.
 

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Damn...you are sort of making me want to get one of those now. I'd be especially interested if the Nexus frame fit on it. Do they have one now or do you have to wait till next year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Damn...you are sort of making me want to get one of those now. I'd be especially interested if the Nexus frame fit on it. Do they have one now or do you have to wait till next year?
I don't think Brandon would mind me posting this, but apparently they don't have any in-stock but could build one to order by October. My schedule is a bit more flexible, so I'm hoping for Feb/March 2021.
 

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Yeah...they always get a bit low on inventory this time of year and this is an especially difficult year to import stuff. I'm looking forward to checking that out...might have to get one myself. Might just get the Nimbus tubes or see if they can make a 11' version of those tubes...I want a tiny cat for tight runs. I've been keeping my eye out for a 11' Sotar Legend but haven't seen one yet... might have to pre-order for next year.
 

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IMO big rocker tubes dont punch holes, as you probably know they go over them. The thing I like the most about my little 11' cat is it's ability get absolutely stuffed into a hole and float out the other side. Paddlecats don't allow much water to pass between the tubes, decreasing their punching power and slowing the boat in holes. I'd recommend a cat...my frame lives outside, tubes can be carried under one arm...really doesn't take up much space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
IMO big rocker tubes dont punch holes, as you probably know they go over them. The thing I like the most about my little 11' cat is it's ability get absolutely stuffed into a hole and float out the other side. Paddlecats don't allow much water to pass between the tubes, decreasing their punching power and slowing the boat in holes. I'd recommend a cat...my frame lives outside, tubes can be carried under one arm...really doesn't take up much space.
I appreciate that input, that's exactly why I put the question out to the community. One of my big concerns is that I'd like to have a fully welded frame if I got a traditional cataraft, but don't want to spend another $1,500+. I'll probably put it out to the community whether someone has a used one-bay lying around that they want to sell just to fully explore that option.
 

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I would agree. My 11' Maravia went on the maiden trip thru Westy. If I had a floor I would have flipped 2-3 times. Instead I was rowing a submarine. Does that make it a squirt raft?
 
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