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Inflatable Watercraft Rafts, pontoon boats, kickboats, etc.

Thread: Raft or Cataraft??? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-04-2004 06:36 PM
interiorak Been using a Super Puma for the last ten years. Can see no downside. Two+ week fly-in/fly-out wilderness trips all across Alaska 3-5 times a season. Fishing and hunting. Friend and i are leave-no-trace, obsessive flyfishers with too many rods. Suggest you find out EXACTLY how much your entire "out the door" setup weighs (including people) ... then pick a raft/cat that floats you AND GEAR the highest in the water column while still agile enough to dance down your favorite type waters. We did. And last season we switched to the PUMA. We can now be picked up and dropped off anywhere in AK in a 185 Cessna. It is perfect for us. Might not be for you.

My friend has several Aire Cats and alot more big river whitewater experience than I. He prefers the cat for lite dancing ... and the raft for tripping with gear.

My experience is in 11-14 foot rafts and my preference is for intimate rivers. I find the Puma the closest feel to fishing in a drift boat while still riding on air and out of cold water. It is the penulitimate 2 person go lite 2-3 week tripper for small/medium rivers in AK. It is just right for 2 people on a 2-3 day fish with all the toys and comfort gear. And OK for a three person day trip. If you are going to overload ... don't get it.

The Puma has the added bonus of being an outstanding white water paddle raft ... And I can also take just myself on a successful moose hunt with no worries (as opposed to my pakboat.)
01-04-2004 06:30 PM
interiorak Been using a Super Puma for the last ten years. Can see no downside. Two+ week fly-in/fly-out wilderness trips all across Alaska 3-5 times a season. Fishing and hunting. Friend and i are leave-no-trace, obsessive flyfishers with too many rods. Suggest you find out EXACTLY how much your entire "out the door" setup weighs (including people) ... then pick a raft/cat that floats you AND GEAR the highest in the water column while still agile enough to dance down your favorite type waters. We did. And last season we switched to the PUMA. We can now be picked up and dropped off anywhere in AK in a 185 Cessna. It is perfect for us. Might not be for you.

My friend has several Aire Cats and alot more big river whitewater experience than I. He prefers the cat for lite dancing ... and the raft for tripping with gear.

My experience is in 11-14 foot rafts and my preference is for intimate rivers. I find the Puma the closest feel to fishing in a drift boat while still riding on air and out of cold water. It is the penulitimate 2 person go lite 2-3 week tripper for small/medium rivers in AK. It is just right for 2 people on a 2-3 day fish with all the toys and comfort gear. And OK for a three person day trip. If you are going to overload ... don't get it.

The Puma has the added bonus of being an outstanding white water paddle raft ... And I can also take just myself on a successful moose hunt with no worries (as opposed to my pakboat.)
12-24-2003 01:21 AM
Steelheader69
well

If you're doing long trips, I'd go cataraft. They have heavier carrying capacities for similar sizes and are designed to carry heavy loads (what they're purpose was). For as long of trips as you're talking about, you'll want a lot of gear. I used my 16' Aire Ocelot (would be a Jaguarundi nowadays) as a cargo hauler for my friends whitewater business. I carried all the gear. The benefit of a cat is the high carrying capacity and maneuverability with a load on it. Though, to tell the truth, no boat maneuvers REALLY well under heavy load. But a cat will do a bit better.

That's something to consider. Plus, they cost more, but you can go to NRS and buy their takedown aluminum frame. Is designed for packing in on airplanes. I know a few friends who used to take a 14' cataraft with the NRS frame and do multiday trips out of a bushplane in Alaska. Can give you the link to the website if you want to PM/email me. You'll be paying a premium, but everything is whitewater grade. Plus, they actually sell a REALLY nice convertible fishing frame. It's awesome. I would love it if it wasn't aluminum (great normally, but sucks if you whitewater, one hit and you've weakened boat).

You can easily get by with the Puma's too if you can get a deal on one. I hate to admit it, but I used to run bucketboats. LOL. Shhhhhhhhh. Nothing wrong with them. We had an old homemade one and a maravia at one time. But, prefer the cats. I'm biased that way. :hehe: I do believe NRS carries Aire still, and also do have their own line of boats (good too). Can buy the whole package through them.

Hope I covered most for you. But when it comes down to it, both are good/bad. Depends on what you want out of the boat. From sounds of it, the cataraft will be way to go. Just make sure you have a good two way pump to inflate once you land, and a good repair kit incase something happens.
12-23-2003 09:19 AM
Flyguy9
Raft or Cataraft???

Hey guys, Good info here. I have been doing 12 - 16 day trips in BC and Alaska with a Sevlor inflatable kayak. Weight is important as we either fly in or fly out. It's time to get a bigger boat and I'm not sure wether to go with a raft or cata raft. Thinking about the Aire puma. What are the advantages or disadvantages of a raft over a cataraft?

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