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I've been thinking about a new boat and looking through past threads about the 12' catarafts. There are some amazing setups and lots of great ideas about frames, setups, etc. What I haven't found yet was a setup for a 12' cataraft that holds multiple people. I would love to play on the Poudre with my kids. They would be passengers on a frame that is rowed with oars, not paddlers. Can such a boat be setup to do this? If so, how? Thanks!
 

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I believe you can, I've seen set ups with a seat in front and behind the rower on Catarafts. I don't know how it's set up though - i.e. custom frame or what.
 

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Interesting question

I considered putting a pasenger on a 15' cat I have but decided she can just row her own raft ;)

If you were to make a frame like this, which I definatly think is possible you want to make sure that the passengers have a solid footbar as there is no floor for them to put their feet on. I think if you had a footbar extend down under the rowers' seat you could set up another seat mount behind the rower and get one person on that way.

Not sure how you would do more than one though? I hear the key is weight distribution...you dont want it to be too much to one side or the other

People here though know a lot about cat boating...I am sure you will get some pretty good responses (and probably picts if you are lucky)

Good luck
 

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Shapp
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I have a 12 foot cat that I fish 2 normal sized adults out of. It would be good for 1 adult rower and 2 kids (siting side by side). How many kids, what size? I will post pics some time soon. Basically, I copied the NRS yolks but made them a little narrower for a 12' cat and made them fit a smaller tube with less drop on the lower frame rail. I was able to make the yolks cheaper than NRS sells for even by farming out the welding and bending. I have the cat rigged so one person sits on a cooler up front, with the rower behind on a seat. I have casting decks, front lean bar and custom anchor system I made too. I posted pics of the frame carcass earlier this year in the games with frames. Now it is fully done and I have been fishing it this fall for salmon with good success. Hatcher coho and hatchery searun cuts on the Cowlitz.
 

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I picked up a backseat bracket for my Madcatr frame over Labor Day, but haven't used it yet, so it's definitely an option for my boat. Someone else from Missoula supposedly runs a passenger (unknown size) on their 12.5 legend, but I don't know what or where. I'd hate to have a full size person back there on big water, but on mellower stuff I think it will be fine, which is what I got it for. Kids would be a definite yes. So my standard setup is the "classic" idaho catboat setup where you're up front rowing, but up front actually still puts your seat pretty close to center on the boat.

It really depends on how big your boat is. 12' tubes are smaller, and then what's their diameter? My legends are 22.5", so they are pretty big and can carry a good load for that size boat. A traditional style cat with smaller tubes might have problems with much load, but younger kids might still be OK. Can you carry any weight with your boat, say for a multiday? If you can't then a rear passenger might be tough. If you can, then maybe it will work.
 

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no tengo
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Rafts are for carrying people. Cats are best run solo, especially a 12 footer.

Would you want passengers on your motorcycle, kayak, mountain bike, skis? didn't think so.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
kids or gear...

Can you carry any weight with your boat, say for a multiday? If you can't then a rear passenger might be tough. If you can, then maybe it will work.[/QUOTE]
I haven't bought anything yet, still enjoying the planning portion. My initial thought was to copy Chip's approach on his smaller cat and setup the rear bay to hold either gear or my two kids side by side. In total they are probably 150 lbs. So that would give me a boat that could play with just me rowing, go multiday, if I travel light and haul my gear behind me, or hold me and the kids if we want to make local short runs. I know one boat can't do it all, but I would love it if a 12' cat can be setup to do that.
 

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small cats are best appreciated with as little wight as possible. Sure you see passenger seats on Sotar legends, but Mania is correct, get a small cat for tight technical fast rivers, and a raft or big cat for passengers.

The rivers I enjoy my small cat on are the rivers that a passenger would not enjoy riding with me on.......
 

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Here's an ultralight version of a small-cat frame.



I built one before this that has a full-length floor (same Poly Max grid) and can mount a deckboard aft that's stiffened at the front edge with a piece of aluminum channel. It can sit two kids. Here's a photo of Ruby and the Wolf Goddess ready for a ride.



There's a panel of PolyMax grid strapped on over the deckboard, for more room and a non-slip surface for paws, with a piece of foam pad on that for butt-comfort.

Main problem is that you end up with too much weight aft. On a short cat with a rear passenger seat it's nearly impossible to get the trim even.

If you put the rowing seat aft and the passengers front, with enough frame in front of the passenger seat to brace their feet, you have a pretty long frame for a 12 ft. cat. With a plain deckboard up front and no place for feet, the passengers sometimes fall off when you hit a rock or a hole.

I only take 2-3 bodies on a small cat for day trips and easy water (III-) with little objective hazard.
 

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Here's a better pic of the frame with the rear deckboard.

porco.jpg

This cat is about 13 ft. long. The floor is 2 ft. wide.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's a better pic of the frame with the rear deckboard.

View attachment 2080

This cat is about 13 ft. long. The floor is 2 ft. wide.
Chip, you mentioned it is hard to get the boat trim when passenger(s) are on board. Is it better to design the frame so that everything is balanced when passengers or gear are on board? That would leave you heavy on the front when rowing alone with no gear, or would it be better to be heavy on the back when passengers/gear are there but balanced alone? or is it possible to have enough adjustment to allow the frame to move to get both? (Sorry for the long-winded and confusing question)
 

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Shapp
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Here are some pics of my 12' cat frame, which is 84" in length and 34 inches between the tubes (wider than Chip's frame for fishing and to fit a wider cooler for hauling salmon). It is set up for fishing 2 people right now. But since the bars are fully adustable and the oar towers moveable I can rig it for 1 person overnighters hauling gear too. I have aluminum framed wood casting decks that are rhino lined that drop into the front, middle and rower bay. The cooler sits on the deck right infront of the foot bar for the passenger to sit on. It has 2 inch ethofoam glued on top for seating and sticking hooks into while salmon and steelhead fishing. With two people this way and an anchor in back, it is trimmed nicely provided the people are of similar weight. Building this frame cost me about $800 (including the welded aluminum framed casting decks not shown).

sorry no pics of the entire rig. Last two times out too rainy didn't bring a camera. Will be out at the end of the month for steelhead and will try to get a couple fully rigged pics.

P.S. To NRS, when are you going to start making some small cat yolks to supply frames for all the 10 to 12 pontoon boat fisher people? They need to be narrower and with less drop than the current models.
 

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Shapp
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A couple more salient details, this frame is sized for 21.5" diameter tubes. The 1.25 aluminum pipe that I used for the bends is not 6061, but is 6063 (bends easier). I actually have a fully measured and to scale drawing of the Yolks if anyone wants to copy for personal use. The spacing of the cross bars on the Yolks works good for a foot rest if you are siting up front, or if you place the towers up front for Idaho style rowing.
 

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A floor is a necessity with kids. 1/8" diamond plate from front to rear. A few cross supports may be necessary depending on your span. I ran 1/4" and it was bomber and heavy down low (which is good...tougher to flip) but, it's a bit too heavy. There is a used aluminum place in DenCo. I think it's name is Alcan. They can get you a piece and cut it to size for you. (All I had to do was grind/sand down their cuts.)

I personally think a cat is better for kids. Set-up the way I said above, it will have more room than a 12' raft and is much surer footing. The floor also allows for easy multi-day rigging, dogs, heck you could even mount a .50 cal machine gun on it if you wanted.
 

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no tengo
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what is the point of a small cat if you are going to mount it up with diamond plate decking and a .50 cal machine gun? if you can't pick it up by yourself it's too heavy and you might as well get a 14 or 16 ft cat or a jabba sail barge.
 

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Can you carry any weight with your boat, say for a multiday? If you can't then a rear passenger might be tough. If you can, then maybe it will work
I haven't bought anything yet, still enjoying the planning portion. My initial thought was to copy Chip's approach on his smaller cat and setup the rear bay to hold either gear or my two kids side by side. In total they are probably 150 lbs. So that would give me a boat that could play with just me rowing, go multiday, if I travel light and haul my gear behind me, or hold me and the kids if we want to make local short runs. I know one boat can't do it all, but I would love it if a 12' cat can be setup to do that.
PM BShock. He has a cat setup with two front seats for passengers- althugh I think it's a 16'. A passenger can either just sit and hold on or actually participate in paddling. I rode with him a couple years ago when he wanted some big water paddle support and even though we got sideways in a big hole I was able to stay on (with paddle leverage off the water).

One consideration- do you really want your kids behind you where you can't see them? That would make me nervous.
 

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what is the point of a small cat if you are going to mount it up with diamond plate decking and a .50 cal machine gun? if you can't pick it up by yourself it's too heavy and you might as well get a 14 or 16 ft cat or a jabba sail barge.
Apparently reading isn't one of your strenghts.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
PM BShock. He has a cat setup with two front seats for passengers- althugh I think it's a 16'. A passenger can either just sit and hold on or actually participate in paddling. I rode with him a couple years ago when he wanted some big water paddle support and even though we got sideways in a big hole I was able to stay on (with paddle leverage off the water).

One consideration- do you really want your kids behind you where you can't see them? That would make me nervous.
Well, I've seen options now that can put the passengers behind the oarsman on a bay that can either do gear or passengers or in front of the oarsman setting on a cooler. If it can be done in front, with the kids safe and the boat still reasonably balanced, that seems ideal. I just didn't think that much could fit on a boat that small. It would also set the oarsman way back without a load. Maybe there is a way to move the seat and spin the oarsman's position to center when no passengers or gear is on the boat?
 

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Shapp
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All of the issues are solved with my design. 3 separate removable floor decks that can be configured in multiple ways. And the seat bar/oar towers can be easily changed to row in the front, middle or back depending on person/load/use requirements.

I can pick up this frame by myself and put it on top of my truck rack, and my name ain’t Hoss.

This is not a multiperson/multiday boat, it is a multiday 1-person, or daytrip 2 adult rig

It can be rigged with no floor strictly whitewater fun, hard decks for fishing/kids, and I also have a mesh floor from stitches n stuff for just keeping in gear etc. for multiday gear carry (i.e. eliminate weight of hard decks and replace with weight of booze)
 
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