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Hey C n D

Ii know exactly what yyou're talking about. Have you floated the lower Hoh, Oxbow to mouth on them? Have you floated with a buuddy who had oone? I saw two fly guys on the Hoh with them last April. They seem like great little boats.

Now now Sparkey. I never push Ccats, but Ii say if you haave the $$ and are planning to use them hard, you want a cat over a pontoon obat. Like PM, I didn't once tell him he had to get a Steelheader, because it wasn't what he needed. I use my boats hard and wanted somethiing thaat willhandle the abuse. I've rowed quite a ffew pontoon boats, probably as many if not morre then you have :) but I prefer the feel of a true cat. Mmuch different beasts. Not a ford/chevy thing either, this is aa car/truck thing. Two totally different beasts.

I had heard about some probs with waterskeeter recently on another BB. But come to find ouut waterskeeter are great CS people. They expedited repairs to guys boat and reimbursed him for any losses (gear)0 from a malfunctioning seat.
 

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My only contribution to this thread will be to state the obvious. This is your life you could be talking about here (check out the Waterskeeter thread on Pisc. Pursuits page). No amount of refund on busted equipment can compensate, etc. So get a quality made boat that matches the waters you will run, and use a cheap rod. You'll catch just as many fish, and you'll live to tell about it!
 

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Yes I saw that thread last week on piscatorial pursuits about the Water Skeeter first run,seat falling off on a new one, poor fellow almost not making it, after his dunking. Don't worry I will check out all of the options, kayaks, pontoons, cats, rafts, canoes, drift boats etc.... and safety is the number one factor.

Cannot afford a stupid fatal mistake, thats for sure.

Thanks
 

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water skeeter

We had a fellow fishing lake crowley in one of those waterskeeter float tubes. The one that kind of reminds you of a lazy boy with rockers on it. Flipped the thing over as he leaned forward to net a nice trout, lost the trout and his rod and took a good dunking. There was no wind, just nice smooth water. Bad deisgn, highly unstable.
 

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Cataraft vs Pontoon boats

Steelheader,
Thanks for taking the time to share your insights. Much to consider for those considering the numerous options available versus one's needs.

For those interested in catarafts, you might consider Wing Inflatables. There a local manufacturer in my area and aside from manufacuturing RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) for the USN, Seals, etc., they manufacture various high quality whitewater craft such as catarafts. Their website is:

http://www.wing.com/index2.html


John
 

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wow--great stuff!

I've recently decided I need a pontoon boat and I thought "hmmmm...where could I get some info..." and here it is! I need something very packable and portable (needs to fit into an A-Star helicopter along with a 14ft raft, a week's worth of gear, and three other anglers :eyecrazy: ) so it will be a pontoon boat, but this cataraft stuff makes me think ahead to another purchase I'll need to make down the road somewhere...
 

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steelheader69 said it all. this is the exact thinking that i went through last spring. i have a 9' x 16" pontoon boat that is wonderful in lakes and small moving water. BUTT, i wanted something to work down through some spots that put the water in my lap in the small boat.

after lots of conversations with many different vendors, i had a frame made here in portland. two parts, as suggested, a rowing frame with a single bay and anchor system i designed. also another independent frame, single bay with foot rest using a 72qt igloo as the seat. jacks plastic welding, www.jpsinc.com did a set of custom 12' x 19" tubes.

i can lift this alone, onto the top of my PU so no trailer required. i use quality whitewater oars on both of my boats, BTW. the catboat is really a world apart from a pontoon boat. get a ride sometime, you will want one for sure.

oh, total cost? $1,800.
 

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Have had this discussion many times on other boards, but had been talking with Pmflyfisher and was suggested I post on here too. I've been running both for quite awhile (sold off all my pontoon boats). I figured I could throw out some suggestions and some goods and bads (and at same time help PM with his delima). First off, there is a difference between a cataraft and a pontoon boat. Materials used, design, and overall performance distinguish them apart. They both have their places, and both are useful, depending on your needs. I'll give you some of my insight in this area. Been whitewatering since I was in my early teens. Mostly bucket boats, but handled my first cat when I was about 16. Never had an inclination of using one for fishing. That's what our prams and driftboats were for. I bought my first cat when I was 18 (still have it, Brian/Doublespey has seen it). Thanks to getting married and having kids, had to sell off some of my toys. Got rid of the DB. Almost got rid of the cat too, didn't know when I'd be able to really hit those rough class 4/5's. Luckily, my Dad had made a trip to AK. He saw up there some guides using catarafts to fish out of. Set up in DB fashion. The light clicked and it's been downhill ever since. I had dabbled before with smaller pontoon boats, but found them not to my liking. Tried most of the pontoon boats out there, then finally found someone building true cataraft fishing boats in the 9' range. You'll really feel the difference in handling once you try one over the other. Ok, here's the differences. A cataraft has a gradual curve or segmented hull design whereas a pontoon boat has rocker hulls. The pluses to the cataraft is you have more hull in the water per foot of tube. You track better, boat moves and rides in water better. You're more stable to stand up. The negatives is that you can't swing boat around on a dime. The pluses to a pontoon boat is that the rocker hull makes it very maneuverable. You can sweep boat back and forth quickly. The negatives is that it's very unstable when you try to dig your oars in (you'll really find out why they call it a rocker hull LOL). Plus you try to stand up on anything shorter then 12' and you'll be swimming (unless you used to do balancing in the circus). Most catarafts have frames built to whitewater standards, whereas pontoon boats are simply made to keep the tubes together. The pluses to the cats is that they're built virtually indestructable, but downside is they weigh more because of this. The pluses to the pontoon boat is they're alot lighter, but aren't as stable (especially in whitewater). Next, the tubes on my cats are built wider in diameter compared to overall length. Usually the longer the tube, the wider the diameter, giving it more stability and weight bearing capacities. Most pontoon boats leave a standard diameter, no matter the length of tubes. An 8' Outcast has same diameter tubes as a 12', and worse thing is, they don't widen frame when they lengthen the boat (bad bad bad stability). Ok, here's a few things you have to ask yourself before you buy a boat. 1. How many people do you plan to have fish with you? Do you plan to make it a one many portable boat? 2. What type of waters do you plan to run with this boat? 3. Do you plan to fish from boat, or simply float from one spot to another? 4. How much do you plan to spend? I guess the best way to do this is to go through most of the spectrums here. Bear with me and I'll do my best. First off, once you buy a boat, it's hard to expand it. It's easier to downsize a bigger boat to fish alone then it is to cram too many onto a smaller boat. It's really a key to the whole process. Ok, here's the checklist. Do you plan to only fish low key water (slow moving rivers and lakes)? Do you only want to float from point A to Point B? Do you want to keep price to below $1000? If you answered yes to all these, then buy a pontoon boat. If you want to fish from the boat (I mean stand up and fish, not sit and fish) or run serious whitewater then step up to a cataraft. I'm very much into buying what you need, not paying for what you don't. A cataraft is a wonderful thing, but overkill is overkill. Why spend over $3000 for a cataraft when a $500 pontoon boat will do you just fine? Now, big decision, 1 man or multiman boat. Here's my recommendations. If you're buying a pontoon boat, go with an 8/9ft (waterskeeter, outcast, and bucks, plus the tons of others make comparable boats). Then of course, multiman you can step up to the 12' outcast (not sure if the others make a multiman boat). Now catarafts, this is where I really up the stakes a bit. I personally feel (and most of my friends who are cataraft enthusiasts) feel the ultimate 1 man boat would be a 12' cataraft. Why you may ask? Well, first off, you hit big water a 12' will ease you through it easier. Mind you, I've used my old 9' cataraft through the boulderdrop on the Sky and barely kept it upright, and it's a cataraft, not a pontoon boat. We've seen pontoon boats hit same stretch and usually most will flip or frames will buckle. The real benefit of a 12' boat comes with the frame setup. You can have a multipiece frame built. A rowers module and a spare/passenger module. This way when you want to fish alone you just use rowers frame and fish. Then if your buddy wants to come along strap down front module and you're in business. They make up to 18' cats (I've heard that even a few manufacturers may have a 20' one now, YIKES:whoa: I'm running a 16' Aire Ocelot. Now, any of you out there may say "Wait a tic, the Ocelot is only a 14' boat, the Ocelot classic is a 15' boat". Well, I guess that's if you're whitewater people. But as I said, I bought mine 13 years ago, and the Ocelot was a 16' boat back then. I have two sets of frames for my boat. First frame is my whitewater frame, multipiece. It's designed to either punch water or setup as a cargo hauler on whitewater trips (my old designation). My fishing frame is a one piece designed to fish 3-4 people (depending on my seat configuration). Well, I'm sure I'm rambling now, too much info to give and only so much room to write. But, if you want, any of you can email me and I can answer your questions as best I can, or post here. But I will add that any of the pontoon boats will get you buy, if you only want a vessel to travel from hole to hole. Look for the best deal you can and buy what you like. But when it comes to cats, you'll have to do some research. There are a few manufacturers of complete boats (Skookum/Steelheader, fishcraft). But mostly you'll be buying your tubes, then outfitting it with a frame and the goodies. Tubes, you can go with Aire, Maravia, Sotar, Wing, NRS, and Hyside (plus a few others). NRS has their own website NRS | Kayak Gear, Raft Supplies, SUPs & Boating Equipment that has tubes, oars, and frames. They also make their own takedown fishing frame. It's pretty nice, but pretty pricey too. It's kind of decieving, you'll see that it's a set price of like $600, but by time you add all the seats and such, it's well over $1700 just for the frame. I'd highly suggest if you buy a cat, to have a custom frame built. This way you can have the exact frame you want built to YOUR standards. I hope this helped some of you. I know I missed some stuff, any comments? I'm not all knowing, won't claim that. But have done alot of whitewatering. Specialized in cats and kayaks way back when (loved running class 5's like the WAY UPPER Nisqually). I've had alot of fun running cats. I've helped teach people to run them, ran little clinics on them way back when in college. I've also seen the bad side of whitewatering (1st hand in fact). Had boats buckle under pressure, watched big boats get flipped and thrown multiple feet in the air. Had to hear about, and have seen, friends die running whitewater. Just pay your respect to the river gods and stay within your means. Because your boat is built for a certain river level, doesn't mean that YOU can run it. Know your limits and build up. Ok, enough preaching, any questions???
I just bought a 16 foot ocelot. Email me if you read this. Thanks [email protected]. I would love to see pictures of your old frames
 
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