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Thread: AIRE Cougar Frame

  1. #1
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default AIRE Cougar Frame

    Many AIRE Cougar catarafts have a flat frame with a raised seat bar.

    Does anybody have an AIRE Cougar, with the 17 or 18 inch "double wide" tubes, that uses a 4 or 5 INCH DROP-DOWN FRAME?

    AIRE Leopard catarafts, with their 26.5 inch tubes, use a drop-down frame with the center area dropped down about 10 inches or 12 inches, although I have not actually measured the length of the dropped down center area yet. I'm getting ready to build a new frame for a new AIRE Cougar I purchased last summer, but never used. That is, I purchased the Cougar tubes, and I'm finally ready to build a new cataraft frame.

    So again, AIRE COUGAR owners...do you use flat frames or (short distance) drop-down frames?

    Thanks.....AlaskaTrueAdventure/Dennis

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    hey dennis,
    here is one i did for mine. it has a little of everything, nrs fittings, bends and welding.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Oyster,
    Thanks for the quick view of your Cougar cataraft and frame. I can see that the center area drops down about 4 or 5 inches.
    But....most impressive two features of the picture are....1) the family and kid-friends out for a day of rafting fun on your boat and on the companion boat taking the picture, and 2) everybody wearing a PFD (so simply, an absolute must for them and for you as a parent, but still worth commenting on).
    Thank you for your quick contribution to this little thread.

    Any other comments or pictures from anybody?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Dennis,

    The main reason the center rails on a Cougar (and the old Panther, for that matter) drop down, is to allow the oarsman's seat bar to pass over. I think the raised oarsman's seat bar was originally developed by Paul Jobe, when he owned the now-defunct Wild Alaska Rivers Company in Anchorage. The intent was to get the oarsman's head up above the passengers for the purpose of better downstream visibility / hazard avoidance. I never preferred that design on the Cougar. The flat oarsman's seat bar provides better wind protection for the oarsman and I think the visibility issue is negligible. Additionally, a flat oarsman's seat bar loads into an airplane a little easier, and ships easier as cargo.

    To each his own, though, and there are certainly a lot of those setups on the water these days.

    Best regards,

    Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Mike....I'm a missing sumptin...

    So,on the newest model of COUGAR tubes do you prefer the FLAT frame with the raised seat bar?
    Or do you prefer a slight DROP-DOWN (center portion) frame with a flat seat bar?
    Or do you suggest a slight Drop-Down frame with a slightly raised seat bar?

    Note that I was prepared to build a flat frame, was estimating the cost to bend the raised seat bar, when your buddy Tracy H. suggested the entire Cougar frame DROP-DOWN concept (more similar to a Leopard drop-down frame).

    Cost is not a factor.
    Weight is not much of a factor.
    This boat will probably not be a fly-out boat...i gots others for that.

    I'm aware that there simply isn't many AIRE Cougars drifting around these last few years, so I appreciate the help from those few that are using this fine boat. I'm surprised that it is not currently in the regular production line of AIRE products.

    Thanks to any and all for the guidance......AK-True/Dennis

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    Mike....I'm a missing sumptin...

    So,on the newest model of COUGAR tubes do you prefer the FLAT frame with the raised seat bar?
    Or do you prefer a slight DROP-DOWN (center portion) frame with a flat seat bar?
    Or do you suggest a slight Drop-Down frame with a slightly raised seat bar?

    Note that I was prepared to build a flat frame, was estimating the cost to bend the raised seat bar, when your buddy Tracy H. suggested the entire Cougar frame DROP-DOWN concept (more similar to a Leopard drop-down frame).

    Cost is not a factor.
    Weight is not much of a factor.
    This boat will probably not be a fly-out boat...i gots others for that.

    I'm aware that there simply isn't many AIRE Cougars drifting around these last few years, so I appreciate the help from those few that are using this fine boat. I'm surprised that it is not currently in the regular production line of AIRE products.

    Thanks to any and all for the guidance......AK-True/Dennis
    Dennis, I'm talking about option #2. That's the standard Cougar frame. Because the Cougar has a smaller tube diameter than the Leopard, a deep drop is not possible.

    Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up Quad-tube Cataraft frames

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    Many AIRE Cougar catarafts have a flat frame with a raised seat bar.

    Does anybody have an AIRE Cougar, with the 17 or 18 inch "double wide" tubes, that uses a 4 or 5 INCH DROP-DOWN FRAME?

    AIRE Leopard catarafts, with their 26.5 inch tubes, use a drop-down frame with the center area dropped down about 10 inches or 12 inches, although I have not actually measured the length of the dropped down center area yet. I'm getting ready to build a new frame for a new AIRE Cougar I purchased last summer, but never used. That is, I purchased the Cougar tubes, and I'm finally ready to build a new cataraft frame.

    So again, AIRE COUGAR owners...do you use flat frames or (short distance) drop-down frames?

    Thanks.....AlaskaTrueAdventure/Dennis

    Thanks for the PM Dennis,

    The double tube per side (or quad tube) designs that started back in the day and later was to form AIRE partnerships ('A' for Argonaut) where experimental boaters gettin' creative and taking real design risks. You'll find all sorts of frames... the good, bad, to ridiculous.

    From my on-water perspective (now 30th year) the component frames we see up here are not all that optimal in terms of best in class for quad tubes. They are shop creations... typically let's see what we can build, see if it works well, and suits comforts well enough.

    I'll relate many do all great of the aforementioned for some, and undetermined at best for others... lol. A cat over a raft is a personal choice boat with all sorts of finding what makes it good for the individual and its use... so who's to say - really.


    My recipe:
    What you really want on a Quad tube cat is a flat twin side-rail to run atop the tubes. One running 2/3rds out from center-line (outer tube) and another side-rail running to 2/3rds off inside center (inside tube). What this does is effectively secure frame to D-rings at the most acute angle thereby increasing the traction (think snug no-movement) from d-ring to frame while actually lessening the strain on D-ring anchor point. You really don't want the drop-downs with side-rails or drop-rails if you don't have to --- there are clearance (think straddle) issues and performance considerations with this design.

    Place your extra rails on top so you have a rail stretching each tube (4 in all). This will provide better performance, make a frame to tube fit more secure, maintain attitude in a deflation scenario, help with clearance, and allow for substantial beam adjustment. Also not a bit more weight or space gain and maybe shaving it somewhat. Might even save ya some $$$.

    Now, you may think I gave readers here all the ingredients... surely Dennis you know better than that... as there are really cool ways of making a frame like this stand out from pack.

    Cheers,
    Brian Richardson

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    Oyster,
    Thanks for the quick view of your Cougar cataraft and frame. I can see that the center area drops down about 4 or 5 inches.
    But....most impressive two features of the picture are....1) the family and kid-friends out for a day of rafting fun on your boat and on the companion boat taking the picture, and 2) everybody wearing a PFD (so simply, an absolute must for them and for you as a parent, but still worth commenting on).
    Thank you for your quick contribution to this little thread.

    Any other comments or pictures from anybody?
    dennis,
    there was 4 boats that day, 3 daughters, 7 grandkids, 2 son in laws and me and my wife. it is quite a doing to get that train rolling. we do not let the kids take their life jackets off even on shore unless its bed time.

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    My Cougar frame is just about like Oyster's --- but without that upside down foot bar he has mounted on the front. It's a fairly straight forward design and seems to work well enough. I think my frame started out about 6' by 6' with an additional flat cargo module on the back. I have since stretched this a bit by adding an additional cargo mod.

    I never thought I would like a raised rower's seat; the slightly higher view isn't much of an improvement. However, the typical flat design with dropped inner side rails puts your feet only 5" below the seat rail which is pretty close to a flat sitting position. As I've gotten older I find it harder to get up from that seat. So a taller sitting position might be nicer for me now. Personally, drop inner rails combined with a raised seat would make my old life easier.

  10. #10
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Thanks to Michael S, Brian R, and Jim S for contributing their collective ideas and concepts for me to ponder......'cause it's time to get busy on a couple of new frames, with this frame for the new AIRE Cougar tubes being my top priority.

    Special Thank You to OYSTER for keeping rafting REAL....4 boats full of three generations of family!!!

    AlaskaTrue/Dennis

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    dennis,
    the frame i showed has a aluminum floor and is not optimum for comfort with only around 6 or 8 inches from seat to floor. with my big gut and sore spine i like a little more height. with out the floor you can drop a foot bar.

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