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why do cat-boaters have line hanging free

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So I just can’t come up with a reason for why many, if not most, catarafts have 5-6ft line or webbing hanging from the front (sometimes back) of each tube when floating.

Someone please shed light here because it so obviously seems like an opportunity for rope-entanglement and other hazards, but it’s extremely common.

I’ve never seen anyone tie off with the hanging line, or connect to other boats, or anything that justifies having loose line in the river.

Is it a trailer convenience? If so, is it worth it…? Seems to be quite the hazard for the 4 seconds it take to throw a strap on.

Thanks!
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A very skilled canoeing friend always used a short webbing painter on one end of his whitewater canoe. Same idea. I've seen several IK paddlers to the same thing. Webbing is supposed to be less likely to get jammed/stuck between rocks because of how it doesn't change diameter when stretched. For sure on cats.
All canoe painters I've seen are wrapped with a bungee and not floating loose in the river. They act as bow lines since you aren't reentering a canoe in the water unless it's calm. If someone is doing difficult whitewater in a canoe they should be able to roll.
 

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I have 7k feet of line hanging off my boat just to be cool and piss off other people. I don’t need it I just want it. I like to grab my frame so it smashes my fingers between it and boulders! Yahaha. I believe everything I see on the internet too! And so should you!
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All canoe painters I've seen are wrapped with a bungee and not floating loose in the river. They act as bow lines since you aren't reentering a canoe in the water unless it's calm. If someone is doing difficult whitewater in a canoe they should be able to roll.
This wasn't a traditional painter under a bungee. Ken had a short length of webbing on his stern to grab the boat if he swam. Ken had no problem rolling his canoe back up. One time while on the Jarbidge, he was playing around mimicking a silly thing I sometimes do with how I hold my paddle when surfing a kayak. He was laughing while he did it, and he just accidentally flipped over. Funny current must have caught his hull. He rolled up so fast it was nuts. His eyes were as big as dinner plates as he looked directly at me, reached down, and zipped up his relief zipper. Oops.

We all miss Ken. Rest in peace.
 

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Yeah, I wish my Hyside had rings at the ends of the tubes like some other cats.


My Hyside Thundercat has them. They aren't right on the tip, but a few inches down.

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I actually prefer these to the Air style that seem to bend the ends of the tube if they pull from the wrong direction and also seem kinda sharp and slicey.

Never did mount that umbrella... should maybe figure that out if I ever take it on a extended Desert trip in the summer.
 

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This wasn't a traditional painter under a bungee. Ken had a short length of webbing on his stern to grab the boat if he swam. Ken had no problem rolling his canoe back up. One time while on the Jarbidge, he was playing around mimicking a silly thing I sometimes do with how I hold my paddle when surfing a kayak. He was laughing while he did it, and he just accidentally flipped over. Funny current must have caught his hull. He rolled up so fast it was nuts. His eyes were as big as dinner plates as he looked directly at me, reached down, and zipped up his relief zipper. Oops.

We all miss Ken. Rest in peace.
Assume you are describing Ken Wiesmore.
If you need to make a tag line comparison SUP leashes serve the same purpose.
 

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I have 7k feet of line hanging off my boat just to be cool and piss off other people. I don’t need it I just want it. I like to grab my frame so it smashes my fingers between it and boulders! Yahaha. I believe everything I see on the internet too! And so should you!
View attachment 84597
Show us the front of your frame. The blood stains the scratched cross bars or it didn’t happen 🤪
My round boat friends yell at me if I have the end of a strap hanging in the water.
 

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Assume you are describing Ken Wiesmore.
If you need to make a tag line comparison SUP leashes serve the same purpose.
Ken told me a story one time. Well, he told me several over the years. I'll share this one.

He and Betsy came over to Oregon to buy a tandem canoe. They went to Alder Creek if I recall, picked up the boat, and asked about a good paddle. There apparently was a club trip, maybe on some solid class III or III+ or whatever. So they show up in a shiny, brand-new boat. People asked if they were there for the trip. "Oh yeah, we heard this would be a great trip to try out our new canoe."

Ken said everyone appeared nervous about this couple of ya-hoos with a shiny new tandem open boat on their trip. They sort of tried to talk 'em out of coming. But that wasn't going to happen, so Ken went to get dressed. When he showed back up with his well-worn drysuit covered in aqua seal patches and his fairly beaten up PFD, one of the folks said, "Oh. You're a sandbagger." Ken allegedly said something like, "Well I guess."

Ken would make his own dehydrated food like many of us. Make a meal but make twice as much. Eat half. Weigh the other half, then dehydrate it and weigh again so you know how much water to add back. But Ken sometimes got lazy and couldn't be bothered to rehydrate his meal. Ken would sit in his chair and crunch crunch crunch on dehydrated food and drink plenty of water.

Always a smile. Always. If we could all be more like Ken, the world would be a better place for us all,
 
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Ready?….close your eyes if you don’t like yuk!…
In all fairness we think the largest cut was from a hose clamp on my - PINS AND CLIPS FOREVER woot woot! This incident has long become uninteresting however. Can’t brag about allmost dying for more than ? A week? Month? Funny thing is when I was flipping I actually thought I should jump roll out and away from the boat and grab the tag line . I could see it plain as day. My oh shite instinct took over and I reached down and grabbed my frame and that put me upside down under the boat like a kayaker . Which for those who don’t know is very foreign and uncomfortable and that in turn ramps up the fear. Next thing ya know you are not doing as well as you had hoped.,there are some very gnarly cat boaters who run really hard class v . Most if not all run tag lines. Of course they are in very consequential water. I try to die in class2! Hooray for me!
 

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Man that frame looks sweet EM. Brutal thread hijack.
no kidding; I’d start crying if I saw that thing floating off downriver without me. Good thing I use tag lines.
It is the Welfelt Nexus frame.... I've been very happy with it so far. Medium weight, very strong, well designed, and high clearance. With those Hyside Thundercat tubes it is fairly unstoppable. I've involuntarily surfed it a few times but it always came out upright. I've swam off it a few times... but mostly my fault not the boat's (dump truck in Jonesey's on the Lochsa). Honestly, if one is going to be pushing ones limit in big water class IV stuff...I'll take any help I can get getting back to my boat. IMHO, it doesn't count as a real swim if you get back in your boat without help. You'll probably make fun of me for having a netties bag ladder and now a Rapid Rung... but getting quickly back in your boat is important sometimes.
 

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Ready?….close your eyes if you don’t like yuk!…
In all fairness we think the largest cut was from a hose clamp on my - PINS AND CLIPS FOREVER woot woot! This incident has long become uninteresting however. Can’t brag about allmost dying for more than ? A week? Month? Funny thing is when I was flipping I actually thought I should jump roll out and away from the boat and grab the tag line . I could see it plain as day. My oh shite instinct took over and I reached down and grabbed my frame and that put me upside down under the boat like a kayaker . Which for those who don’t know is very foreign and uncomfortable and that in turn ramps up the fear. Next thing ya know you are not doing as well as you had hoped.,there are some very gnarly cat boaters who run really hard class v . Most if not all run tag lines. Of course they are in very consequential water. I try to die in class2! Hooray for me!
Picking myself up off the floor again! Thank's Charlie.
 

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Running a spring Middle Fork or Hells Canyon I will always have 6 - 9' straps coming off all 4 tips. I do it for several reasons; mostly to look cool and cheese off those of you that know better.

On a 6' run in the Middle Fork I got dumped from my Wave Destroyer in a nasty little section. I was able to grab a strap, pull myself back to the boat, and get back in about as quickly as my buddy behind me was able to reach his whistle. On the Grand I ran sweep. We had a boat flip in front of me and end up in a nasty eddy. I was the last boat with everyone, including the guy that flipped, down river. I was able to get into the eddy, throw a loop through the flipped raft's D-ring, wrap it around the front of my frame (not tie, just two wraps), step on it and back stroke out with the flipped boat. (Actually took a few attempts but, when things went bad I would just take my foot off the strap and it would release).

I have never (knock on wood) had one of my lines get caught on anything while running the river; high water or low. That includes Selway, Middle Fork, Green, Yampa, Grand, Salmon, Hells, etc. And it definitely helps when needed.
 

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I did some super dangerous stuff yesterday and it was fun. We didn’t get lucky but I suppose you allways kinda get lucky making it home. As an intermediate whitewater guy my opinion is …it is not safe at all. So the whole short strap thing in the water on a cat tube is a good thing and not a hazard. A strap loose that can grab you in a boat is a bad thing. But…as a risk taker id just like everyone to know that navigating whitewater rivers IS NOT SAFE! Lol. Really it isnt. Neither is sending big shit on your skis or your snowmobile or climbing gnarly shit or hang gliding or BASE jumping or fist fighting or hang gliding or barebacking hookers . Just sayn.
 
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