Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,344 Posts
The theory is that the advantage of a cat in big rapids is that there's nothing to catch the water (like a floor) and cause it to flip. Self bailing to the max. Most play cats have no, or minimal floors, to take full advantage of this. Some have small scout bars that allow the rower to stand & scout. Another advantage in a play cat is that if & when you do flip, you can climb back in the open cockpit. Since I was never a play cat person, and prefer multi-day trips, I made a small skidguard floor for my rower bay. Made loading gear & scouting much easier. Water could still flow through pretty easily, and I never saw it as a big problem. A mesh floor would be ok for quick draining, but they aren't always super easy to stand on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
The theory is that the advantage of a cat in big rapids is that there's nothing to catch the water (like a floor) and cause it to flip. Self bailing to the max. Most play cats have no, or minimal floors, to take full advantage of this. Some have small scout bars that allow the rower to stand & scout. Another advantage in a play cat is that if & when you do flip, you can climb back in the open cockpit. Since I was never a play cat person, and prefer multi-day trips, I made a small skidguard floor for my rower bay. Made loading gear & scouting much easier. Water could still flow through pretty easily, and I never saw it as a big problem. A mesh floor would be ok for quick draining, but they aren't always super easy to stand on.
I would add that a mesh floor can still catch enough water in a big reversal to surf you back into a hole.

This frame I made for the Sotar Legend tubes I had is sporting scout bars for the rower. I didn't see fit to put any for the rear of the frame because the passenger, if any, don't need to scout. The front seat bar in the pic was too low to row from effectively, so I never used it in that position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
My Grand Canyon cat has a floor, my play boat does not.
All the reasons listed plus the ability to stand up in shallow water or if hung up on rocks. Think Fred Flintstone. If I am stuck, I can usually just stand up and lift my boat, because it weighs very little because I don't have a floor or other unneeded items. Many times you need to stop but there is no beach. I can run my boat up on a rock and quickly jump to shore or just stand up. One of the advantages of a small cat is putting each tube on a different side of a rock, much easier with no floor. Notice the picture you provided shows a footbar.
The rower is locked into position, pushing back into the seat and holding on with
both feet and both hands. It is a high clearance frame with room to go over rocks. The yellow frame (purple boat) is lower clearance and does not appear to have any foot bar. Rowing with your feet locked into position allows you to row with your whole body, not just your arms. Much more power and much more stable when being thrown around in big water.

The only reason my Grand Canyon boat has a floor is I'm old and getting on and off the boat dozens of times a day for three weeks gets difficult. But even with a floor I have a footbar to lockin position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
One of the advantages of a small cat is putting each tube on a different side of a rock, much easier with no floor. Notice the picture you provided shows a footbar.
The rower is locked into position, pushing back into the seat and holding on with
both feet and both hands. It is a high clearance frame with room to go over rocks. The yellow frame (purple boat) is lower clearance and does not appear to have any foot bar. Rowing with your feet locked into position allows you to row with your whole body, not just your arms. Much more power and much more stable when being thrown around in big water.
Good eye. The frame was built using parts of an NRS frame, and the foot bar wasn't on it in that pic. The drop rails were 9" below the top of the 22.5" tubes and I hung up the crossbar several times trying to straddle rocks. The cross brace in front was only 7" down from the top and I hit it on rocks occasionally too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
Scout bars also give you something low to grab to get back in your boat. They are nice for passengers too, it makes it easier to move around having a little somewhere else to put your feet.

A floor is a disadvantage on a cat just just for flipping, but overall maneuvering too. The river hits it and pushes the boat, much more than if the river can just rise and fall with only you and the open frame as the only obstruction between the tubes.

I'm curious why the drop seat dis not work. I have that on my 11' legend frame and love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I have been curious about this topic as well. Coming from years of round boating and getting into cat boating more. I am struggling with not feeling like I can get leverage to really lay into forward strokes with both feet forward as I prefer one foot forward and one back. Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
I have been curious about this topic as well. Coming from years of round boating and getting into cat boating more. I am struggling with not feeling like I can get leverage to really lay into forward strokes with both feet forward as I prefer one foot forward and one back. Thoughts?
Are you rowing without a seat or something? If so, try a lowback seat - just enough leverage without getting in the way. If you can't push, something weird is going on. You will get used to it, once you get over your raft technique. It won't be hard to swap back and forth, I do. However I do use a seat on both and I will say my rafting foot position has moved up to match my catboating position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Thanks Ihowemt. I can push but there is no way I can get even close to the amount of push I can get off a stern frame or center mount on a round boat, both of which I row without tracter seats. I am rowing off a dry box on the cat, but I am considering changing up my setup to either add a bar in front of the dry box for my back foot, add a seat on top of my box, or go with another frame and have a seat on a bar. Not sure I believe that it is physiologically possible to get the power out of the forward stroke while pushing back into your seat with both feet forward like you can one forward and one back foot. Maybe this is why I always make sure to be in front of all the pulling catboaters out there when I am in a round boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Erik, I cant remember what your frame set up was but I know what you are talking about on this topic. I started on a raft and even my large cat always had a bar to get leverage to push with. I have ran a high clearance frame a few times and I think it does take some getting used to. Just doesn't seem like the push is as strong as it was before with the one foot back. I do think the seat will help a bit and give a little something to push off of though. Plus your supposed to throw all the gear in the round boat and let them carry it so you have a nice light cat. ;-) Thomas
 

·
Old Guy in a PFD
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
Shooter is compelled to offer this public service announcement.

I learned early on, rowing pig boats heavier then my house, using home built oars, that rowing is a contact sport. Your back is going to take a beating and if you don't pay attention, you can literally cripple yourself. There are a lot of old quides with bad backs, shoulders, elbows, etc. who can confirm this.

You should be able to pull a full stroke, or push it, with your back and arms straight, just by pivoting at the hips. You should never be in a position to be pinned between your oar handle and any part of your boat or it's load, cause if you can be, you will be.

Your back does the work, your arms are like connecting rods, and your oars are the pistons; if you find yourself using your arms to actually pull, you're going to wear yourself out in short order and eventually your arms and shoulders will.......quit.

Keep your thumbs away from the ends of the oars or you will discover a whole new level of pain at some point. I'm talking kicked in the balls by a bull kind of pain.

Pulling a stroke is pretty much natural; your legs and back do the work, your shoulders, arms, and wrists guide the oar blade where you want it to be.

Pushing a stroke is a bit more demanding, cause you know, your back can't really......get into it..........but, if you use your stomach muscles as much as possible along with your back your push should be almost as strong as your pull.

Think grunting out a really big one is the best way I can explain it.

Above all; shoulders to fingers are NOT for power, they are for finesse.

If you are positioning a foot behind you when you push, you're doing it wrong. Promise.

If you want to hook your toes under a bar, or box, or another person when you push, you're doing it wrong. Promise.

Can't explain it better than that.

Shooter will now return you to your normally scheduled broadcast.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
I could never push without a seat, so my frame of reference may not be useful for you. But, jamming a butt in a seat can't be less powerful than pushing against essentially your hamstring holding you forward, right? Maybe you have a different geometry that is at play here. I feel I can push just as well in raft and cat, better in cat because it is lighter.

As far as cats pulling back, wait until you catch your first surf and you'll understand- surfers in the back!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
Shooter is compelled to offer this public service announcement.

I learned early on, rowing pig boats heavier then my house, using home built oars, that rowing is a contact sport. Your back is going to take a beating and if you don't pay attention, you can literally cripple yourself. There are a lot of old quides with bad backs, shoulders, elbows, etc. who can confirm this.

You should be able to pull a full stroke, or push it, with your back and arms straight, just by pivoting at the hips. You should never be in a position to be pinned between your oar handle and any part of your boat or it's load, cause if you can be, you will be.

Your back does the work, your arms are like connecting rods, and your oars are the pistons; if you find yourself using your arms to actually pull, you're going to wear yourself out in short order and eventually your arms and shoulders will.......quit.

Keep your thumbs away from the ends of the oars or you will discover a whole new level of pain at some point. I'm talking kicked in the balls by a bull kind of pain.

Pulling a stroke is pretty much natural; your legs and back do the work, your shoulders, arms, and wrists guide the oar blade where you want it to be.

Pushing a stroke is a bit more demanding, cause you know, your back can't really......get into it..........but, if you use your stomach muscles as much as possible along with your back your push should be almost as strong as your pull.

Think grunting out a really big one is the best way I can explain it.

Above all; shoulders to fingers are NOT for power, they are for finesse.

If you are positioning a foot behind you when you push, you're doing it wrong. Promise.

If you want to hook your toes under a bar, or box, or another person when you push, you're doing it wrong. Promise
.

Can't explain it better than that.

Shooter will now return you to your normally scheduled broadcast.........

Agree with no foot behind. Agree no foot under bar, box or person (because your foor is locked into a footbar!

But 13 paragraphs and I have no idea WHERE you put YOUR feet?

Neat story about your dad's 90th!
 

·
Tenacious B
Joined
·
83 Posts
Having cut my rowing teeth on cats 12 years ago I really believe less is more with a cat. I really only rowed a round boat for the first time this last year when I added a new Maravia Zephyr to the fleet for famboating.
I think the best reason to not have a floor has been mentioned already and that is not being able to get back into the rower's bay after a flip. I have flipped my cat plenty of times and usually it is on a river that I really do not care to swim.
A Legend or Wave Destroyer type boat is specifically created for steep technical rivers or big water. These often require some acrobatic moves on behalf of the rower. A floor would just be in the way.
I second the idea that it also significantly changes the hydraulics between your tubes.
Get a round boat if you want a floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I have a mesh floor on my cat when I fish out of it. Dropping your flyrod or fly box into the river - bloop it's gone - is a pretty stupid feeling. Almost as much of a laugh riot among your friends as when some dude in a drift boat drops the anchor only to see the end of the rope zip out through the pulleys because he forgot to tie the anchor rope to the boat.

I remove the floor when I run rough water. I lock my feet into an NRS "deluxe" foot bar and wedge myself into a high-back rower's seat as stated by someone else. On multidays the dry box or cooler in the front can biff on rocks if I'm not paying attention. But then there's all kinds of crapola hanging down between the tubes on a multiday boat too. I like to be able to climb back in through the captain's hole when the world goes upside down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
After rereading my post I was not exactly clear. I boat scout a lot by standing up in round boats, row a lot of slant board stern frames and thus have grown accustomed to the power I can get into the forward stroke while standing up with one foot forward and one back and engaging my whole body into the stroke, yes Schutzie even my arms. Most of the time I do this to get the boat moving in the direction I want it to and also to hover in really steep rocky runs so as not to get "guideapulted", and then I move into the traditional two feet forward pushing my rear into the slantboard or cooler,or drybox when things mellow out.
So I am feeling awkward not being able to generate that power initially. However, from what I am gathering from this discussion the goal is to have a light nimble boat that you don't need a lot of initial power to get moving in the forward direction and have a tractor seat to push off of, which makes sense.
Does anyone have a good scout bar configuration they feel comfortable rowing off of?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
Scout bars are a drag to stand up and row from. The floor of a raft has your feet right at river level, and scout bars are much higher. However scout bars are in different heights, depending on the frame. So when I stand to scout and need to keep in line with my oars it is not something for maneuvering or powering, it's just looking and then get back in my seat.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top