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During low water years, people get creative so they can still enjoy their favorite rivers. We have noticed people doing big things with little boats. Our friends have been sharing some cool photos of our Phat Cat on the RMR Facebook page. When we designed the Phat Cat, we knew that it would be a fun, comfortable, sporty boat to paddle but never really envisioned it being used as a oar boat.

We have noticed a growing number of people who use their Phat Cats as gear boats, and we wanted to get some feedback on how you are doing so. What frames are you using? What is your favorite set-up? How do you like this set up more than a conventional cat or raft? How much weight do you usually carry?
 

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Bummer to see no one replying to this thread.

I don't have any pics of it with me currently but I have a phat cat and use it for gear hauling!

I built a table that fits across the back tubes that has lash points around the perimeter. It attaches to the rear D-Rings and then you can pile it up.

I use a very simple NRS frame with a rowers seat and then a couple of different set ups for the front.

If it is a relatively calm river like the Smith in MT I have another deck for the front that has two seats bolted to it with a nice area between them for day bags etc.

While I haven't had the opportunity to run it on something like the Middle Fork I have no doubt that it could easily work. I have always run it in conjunction with other boats so I have never had to haul a cooler or propane etc but I most certainly can be a great gear boat with those massive tubes!

Edit to add a pic of the rear gear deck that is also a table:

 

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The phat cat NEEDS to, wants to , is meant to carry some gear. My Grand nephew ran the Snake (Hells canyon) this June. He carried 2-2 1/2 gallon jugs, his personal gear and something else (I can't remember what on that trip) and could have/should have carried more. He is already planning a Bimini for next year. I have been thinking of getting one to see what I could pull off. Sure don't need one but would be fun.


PS:
He followed me through Granite down the right side big hole.
 

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I love my Phat Cat!
I've got a big ass frame to haul gear.
I hike it (inflated) into the Gunni gorge for R2.
It's a glorified pool toy for 5-6 kiddos on the flat water.
It's run Westwater one weekend as a self supported oar rig and the next R2.
Snaggletooth? Yep at highwater last year both in full gear hauler mode and stripped down R2.
 

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I love my Phat Cat!
I've got a big ass frame to haul gear.
I hike it (inflated) into the Gunni gorge for R2.
It's a glorified pool toy for 5-6 kiddos on the flat water.
It's run Westwater one weekend as a self supported oar rig and the next R2.
Snaggletooth? Yep at highwater last year both in full gear hauler mode and stripped down R2.

Nice pictures, that is what I had in mind somewhat. What is the length on your frame. Looks like you could have gone even longer.
 

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Yeah I never saw this thread originally, my boat is actually the orange one you posted in the desert. I love it! I'm running a custom 3 bay frame, 82"×48", might even be able to go a little longer, but it works for me. I had a table that fits the front bay and I usually have my paco pad over that and take a passenger. The back I have a metal shelf like you would find in a restaurant, just slats so it's easy to strap to and doesn't hold water.

Depending on the trip I've had the big cooler or my giant old school dry box with tents, chairs, cooking stuff etc. Then usually a few other dry bags, water jug, personal beer cooler. Easily could self support myself for a few days but have been with a group mostly so we split stuff up. Probably running a little over 600 lbs with 2 people and gear. Most of the rivers we've done overnights on have been small (Moab daily, green daily, upper C) but I feel like it would still do fine on bigger water, if we had any in Colorado this year.

The boat is awesome though I can't say enough about it, took it on the upper blue at like 300 cfs for an R2 test to see how shallow it could go. Barely scrapped a couple times, probably has the same clearance if not better than my girlfriends paddle board with the fins off. But its so maneuverable low water rock dodging in tight spaces is easy. It's a dream in clear creek high and low water.

This was the only picture I could find semi loaded, we had stopped for lunch and it was missing the 5 gallon water jug and personal cooler.
 

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My frame is 82"x50".
In retrospect, I could have gone a 6"-10" longer. Easier to cut it down than grow it!

In the back, under the poly-max, I rig the spray skirt. This "basement" storage is awesome for things like my camp chair, fire pan, ect.

I've also started running a small captains cooler inboard of the RTIC 45. This allows me stack gear on top of the RTIC while still being able to access my libations.

5gal. H2O now goes under my seat/feet. Low and centered.

I'm actually toying with the idea of cutting the floor out. It's always a swampy mess and seems and inch or two too low, creating drag. If I get rid of it, I have options:
No floor, Flintstones style.
Suspend a Poly-max floor, adjustable hight, much more stable platform.
Add some cam straps to the now defunct factory floor to attach to the Poly-max floor to retain splash resistance and foot cups for the gnar.

Did a day trip today with two 9yr olds sitting on the front cooler and a kayak resting across the tubes behind me.
 

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Phat Cat sleeping

For very hot nights. Sunbrella worked really well mounted in an NRS oar mount reamed out to fit it. I put a vinyl tube over the U bolt so it could angle but not slip. The cot is a chaise lounge with the legs cut off. The back was still adjustable, so it was a good place to sit too.

Love the Phat Cat- except for the floor. Totally agree, too low. I will probably cut that out too.
 

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I'm running 8' but seriously considering going to 8'6". Due to the big tubes, you sit really high in this boat. With my configuration, on a really windy day on WW, I found myself whiffing a lot of strokes when pulling hard, grips at tit level.
Of course this is all dependent on all kind of other factors; height and separation of the oar towers, ect.
 

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hahaha...typical Kayaker move right there.:grin:

Its no gear hog...but I've seen plenty of guys carry enough gear with these Paddle cats. I saw a trip leader with a shredder oar rig on a 28 Day Grand Canyon trip once. Mama D kicked him out of the rowing seat and took his ass through the big hole in Mile 209 rapid...was fun to watch.
 
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