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Discussion Starter #1
Oam looking to buy a 2nd hand cat specifically for whitewater play/learning to row better. Id like to be able to take one passenger for day trips and maybe an overnighter solo. Ive found so far-11 foot sotar legend. 13 foot aire wildcat. 14 foot ocelet. 14 foot Moravia and s 25 foot aire W.D. iam s little guy 140lbs and my wife/daughter are smsll fries too. I WILL NOT be running class 5 but would like to ventire into class 4 in the future . I will only take daughter in easy stuff and if my wifes get bucked oh well. Can i get away with a 11 or 12 footer? Is 24 to big for smaller rivers like the Gallatin? Trying to keep it around 3k done. Is a 15 foot W.D way to big? Any advice would be great! Thanks i can post c.l. adds too if you dont poach them!
 

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We run a....

Aire Sabertooth paddlecat down the Gallatin. The Gallatin is really too tight for most oar boats. I'm not saying you can't get an Oar boat down, but you won't have fun doing it. Especially at low water, you will need a paddle boat. Also I really like my Sabertooth in rocky conditions like the Mad Mile because you can slide through rocks easier. See you out there!
 

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I own a 15' Aire Cougar cataraft. While far from an expert I can share what I learned with my boat. I love my boat and prefer the agility of a cat over a raft.

Catarafts are not the best gear boats. Lacking a floor it can be hard to load them up, and they are less forgiving than rafts when you overload them. You will need a shocking number of straps to load a cat as a gear boat.

When fully loaded I can get 2 persons (wife + me) and gear for a 6 day self supported trip. A shorter trip just means less food in the cooler, short or long you still need the same gear for camping, cooking, toilets etc.

To fit all this I needed to stretch the frame from a 3 bay to a 4 bay, add some platforms, a partial floor and some saddle bags. When fully loaded my floor is just a few inched off the water, not ideal. (some of this is due to the low profile twin tube design)

My boat is very sensitive to trim, if the weight is not distributed for dead level the rowing performance suffers. As a result I need to shift gear (water jugs) to change from one person in front to two. Cats are not as adaptable as rafts for passengers. I need to have actual seats or benches, you can't just sit someone on the tubes.

I used to own a 13' Star self bailer, I could get just as much gear in that boat and not have to worry as much about how I loaded it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cool thanks guys. I all ready have a raft (14 ft oddessey) its a p.o.s. though and we use it to do mellow flat stuff. I have kayaked for awhile and have duckies too lol. Thing is i just did a 4 night on the san jaun w/daughter (15) and i just kinda suck at rowing. We did westwater too as a day trip and well that was more than i exspected! I actually swam from the oars on sock it to me and well my daughter wasnt to happy about me flinging off the boat and being alone lol.I wanna build up to do deso or dinosaur next year (if i can get a permit) so ive been watching guys charge shit on little cats and it looks fun!?? Wanna do yankee jim a bunch in the raft this year and bear trap and we'll paddle the kayaks and duckies every year for 2 weeks around glacier BUT...these rivers are puny compared to the big rivers down south lol. Dream is to do the grand canyon before iam to old and with out killing anyone. Used cats (oars) are pretty east to get cheap. Thought i might get more seat time in one than the raft.id love a paddle cat but i have no team to help. Thought about a mini me/ max with oars ? But they are spendyerer if you find one near by.so guys run cherry creek and gore and all manner of silly small nasty rivers in these little cats so i feel like even if its not ideal for everything its probably a good comorimise? Thanks again
 

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Running tech water in small cats with 8' and under oars is really fun. Growing up in the mid Atlantic, I did most of my rowing along with s-2 paddle cats. It's really interesting to figure out the different approaches and moves for a cat boat vs a paddle raft. Generally in really tight moves, you'll run the river sideways-bow and stern towards the shores- rowing to for and aft to navigate through slots and around boulders. Paddle cats are a nice option for a row frame while still being easy to carry a passenger. Opposite is generally true for times when paddle boats get perpendicular to the flow and go hard, you'll be able to hold an easy angle and pull against the flow to give yourself the time needed to make the move.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thats is...pretty damn funny...well as usual ...i guess its just like allways...fuck it...go do whatevers...whenevers...in whatever...never thought of a frame on a paddle cat? Maybe ill just buy a few of each and try them out iam rich. Anyone ever row a wing cat? They look cool and cool kids say their cool and i do so want to be a cool kid
 

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Cat boating

I started rowing cat boats in the early 90s and my first boats were 14' Ocelots, then for my first Grand Canyon trip in 2008 I bought a 16' Jag, and for my third Grand Canyon trip in 2014 I bought an 18' Leopard. Everything that the previous catboater mentioned is true, cats are very sensitive to trim and for that reason I prefer not to have a passenger. Just having them move from one side of the boat to the other can affect how the boat sits on the water. And giving them a proper mounted seat to sit on with the leg space to go with it takes up some valuable bay space you'd otherwise have for gear.

Also you should be aware that cats suck in the wind, you have no floor to give you much current assist and I've been blown to shore more times than I care to count while my buddies in round boats were able to manage. This year I'm looking into buying a round boat for that very reason, and I love cats and have been rowing them for 23 years.

To estimate what size boat you want consider that your 14' round boat will carry roughly what a 16' cat will comfortably carry (weight wise). I use my 16' cat for overnight trips so I can carry my share of the group gear, otherwise I'd be in my 14' cat because it's so ridiculously maneuverable. I would like to sell my 18' tubes because I just never find myself yearning to row an aircraft carrier sized boat. I'm small, 5'7" and not quite 130#.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks! Well...my plan was to up grade the 14 foot raft to a 16 of better quality and do the next few years of multiday trips with it. And if...i ever got to row the grand i think id hire out an 18 footer? The small cat was to be a after work and weekend day play boat with oars? Thats why i wantrd a used on for an afordabke price. I see guys rowing up front with a poor helpless person on a seat behind so i thought it might be just fine? My local class 3 is 1/2 hour away but is kinda a small boney thing exvept for run off. The sotar legend is overkill iam sure but theres a good deal on one closs by but at 11 ft its a solo rig. A bunch of old aire cats 14-16 ft but i think that would be big on at least the gallatin lol. So i guess i need 4 new boats! So...which four new boats should i buy??
 

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I am the owner of a 14 Aire Ocelot you my be looking at.
https://boise.craigslist.org/boa/d/boise-cataraft-raft-aire-ocelot/6857205151.html
From what you wrote your looking for, the Ocelot is a perfect cataraft. It will carry two (or more) people on day trips, great for extended weekend trip, super for day trips solo down class IV, there’s not much I haven’t taken this raft down. It has a breakdown frame easy for transport or for flying in. It is relatively light. If you’d like to talk in detail send me an email and I’ll connect with you by phone. It is in Boise and I’m happy to show it to you.
Mike
[email protected]
 

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14 ft Cat

I am the owner of a 14 Aire Ocelot you my be looking at.
https://boise.craigslist.org/boa/d/boise-cataraft-raft-aire-ocelot/6857205151.html
From what you wrote your looking for, the Ocelot is a perfect cataraft. It will carry two (or more) people on day trips, great for extended weekend trip, super for day trips solo down class IV, there’s not much I haven’t taken this raft down. It has a breakdown frame easy for transport or for flying in. It is relatively light. If you’d like to talk in detail send me an email and I’ll connect with you by phone. It is in Boise and I’m happy to show it to you.
Mike
[email protected]
 

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Get the ocelot

I have a 14’ sotar and a classic Ocelot. We have a separate cooler compartment that holds either a cooler or a seat with pins. My husband, my daughter, and I have each easily rowed the ocelot with a passenger and/or gear for multi day trips and we are under 5’5” tall. I tried to fit a passenger compartment on the Sotar, but the flat part of the tubes is much shorter than the ocelot’s. The Jag hauls more and is easy to row and I would consider one if it doesn’t have the rocker design, or you’ll find how hard it is to track.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Funny i have looked at a bunch of times lol! I like the welded frame. Guess i just need to try it out! Ill send you an email and we can talk about it.
Just out of curiosity, what year did the jag change over to nee shape? Buddy at work from boise said the newer styles the one? From mid 2000's? He loves all aire boats and is pushing me hard to get a bigger set up. I think ill just get a fee and re sale them till i fund a fit. The old star now nrs looks like a sotar rip off and its 1500 new? Thanks for replying it helps alot.
 

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Ocelot

Besides the Ocelot I also have a 16 ft Aire Jag, a 13 ft Wave Destroyer and a Maravia 15 ft self bailer. The 16 ft Jag is great for long hauls such as the Grande Canyon, but it’s heavy, especially for one person on day trips and not as nimble as rafts with shorter lengths. The Ocelot does not have the radical rocker (turned up rise on the tubes) as the Wave Destroyer or Sotars. It tracks great and still has excellent maneuverability. The frame has two compartments behind the Rower’s seat that will fit dry boxes or coolers. Or you can attach the second seat bracket for a passenger. Iyou can also have a passenger sit on a dry box or cooler as an option. It really is a good overall choice.
 

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More Ocelot

I did not answer you question. I’m not sure what year Aire went to the greater rise on the tubes. I believe mine is a 2007 model. Mine has rocker but not as much as the more recent versions, but more than the straight tubed original version. I’ll await your email.
 

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Aire Sabertooth paddlecat down the Gallatin. The Gallatin is really too tight for most oar boats. I'm not saying you can't get an Oar boat down, but you won't have fun doing it. Especially at low water, you will need a paddle boat. Also I really like my Sabertooth in rocky conditions like the Mad Mile because you can slide through rocks easier. See you out there!
I would have to disagree with this. We run oar rigs quite a bit, usually over 1000 cfs and its fun as hell. Typically May-end of June/mid July. Under 1000cfs and you'll be getting stuck and hitting rocks much more below Lava Lake through mad mile. The lower run where most people take out down to just above storm castle rd bridge would probably still be a good time.

2000cfs it starts getting pushy, 3000 is fun, 4000 is really fun, 5000 and up gets really big and you better know what your doing. I think commercials stop going below lava in the 3000's somewhere through the mad mile.

I run a 14ft vanguard oar rig, 13 ft legend. My friends run 14 ft ocelot, 12.5 legend. The legend's are fun to surf, lots of small waves at different levels. We've also ran Sabetooth's they're a great time as well.

Keep your round boat for lower water and passengers/paddle raft. Get the cat for a single person play boat. I got mine when my wife got pregnant. Perfect single person boat. If you really want to you could go with the Maverick/Goose setup on a cat.

I bought a frame through Dusty's River Logistics for my Sotar, he does combo packages, check him out. $3100-3700 for new Aire rubber/frame depending on size.
DRL River Gypsies - Home
 

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Pinchecharlie,

That 14' Ocelot posted by Sturmak would be a great versatile cat that would get you on the river tomorrow (no affiliation to Sturmak). Or anything similar to this. You could easily take a passenger on day trips or do a solo multi-day. 14' is a good all-around length as long as you don't load it up too much.

If a solo play cat is an option, take a hard look at that 11' Sotar Legend that you mention. You will be amazed at what you can run with this. I have a 10' x 18" Sotar Elite cat with a narrow frame (24" between tubes) and 7.5' oars that is a hell of a lot of fun on small technical creeks/rivers and it does great on bigger water as well. A little boat like this will certainly teach you how to row. An advantage to a small cat like this is that I can load it myself onto the rack of my truck (no trailer required!), which is perfect for quick runs on your local river.

Welcome to cat boating and good luck with whatever you decide to buy. There are countless options. It is really a matter of deciding what fits your current needs. And then you will probably buy another cat, or two, because it takes a quiver.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ugh....i just wanted to try one out and down the rabbit hole i went lol! Ok so...youve all seen the ocelet that was kindly offered for sale. Its honestly pretty nice and ill buy it when i can organize to get over there. Here's the sweet little sotar .its obviously a play boat and i think its probably only for cool kids. Not really a great deal IF you where to get a wave destroyer you could almost match the price new from the river gypsies. Or less maybe? Close anyway. I asked and seller came down 100 bucks but i didnt press the jssue cause i wasnt committed to buy it lol. Here's another sotar thats listed as a older elite. I couldnt find much detail about it online but it looks pretty fun too and iam sure he would deal. Heres a maravia too that looks like the oldtimers having fun on.So....these are ready to buy if you want them. I really want a small boat to run whitewater only but know my wife will be pissed to be left behind so ill resist the temptations to get a little one. I called sotar and aire and wings. They all say to go 14 for my wish list. Wings look really cool and said their 11 footer would carry two? It looks more suited to giant water hellman stuff and that aint me lol. Aire was funny they said i need 3 boats and a new raft lol. Anyway this has been fun to learn about and all the tips are greatly appreciated!

https://missoula.craigslist.org/boa/d/missoula-sotar-cataraft/6870082726.html

https://missoula.craigslist.org/boa/d/hayden-sotar-elite-cataraft/6874484968.html

https://boise.craigslist.org/boa/d/kimberly-maravia-cataraft/6871166183.html
 
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