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Thread: Hunting rig - My 16' cat and new boat Question

  1. #1

    Default Hunting rig - My 16' cat and new boat Question

    I currently have a 16' AIRE cat. At the time I purchased it, I didn't think I would be doing float hunts (although I remember a certain someone telling me about 4 years ago I should buy a 18' Cat). This next fall, I will be doing a float hunt (or at least I am trying to get one researched).

    From my experience with the Jag, the tubes are smaller diameter than NRS 16' cats, and may not be able to haul as much. Anyone know a good capacity? I know this depends on river conditions. I was on a river 2 summers ago with 4 people and very minimal gear. Weight probably was around 750 pounds. I canít say if the problem was low river or too much weight. I want to say it was the river. We only drug a couple of times.

    Well I guess I want to know if the Cat will cut it for a fly in float hunt, which I guess will depend on species hunted, river location, and amount of gear taken.

    Gear will be 100 lbs. total (+/for comforts or basics) for two hunters plus food and salt for capes.

    For my first float hunt I was thinking of Beaver Creek (maybe just for scenary and a bear). My second hunt will be up in the Brooks Range somewhere (maybe the Sag).

    So will the 16' cat cut it for 2 people and 2 caribou?

    Then I was thinking about getting another raft because might have more of the family that wants to come hunting. Because of finances, I was thinking either Pro Pioneer or AIRE traveler. I don't want to get into the AIRE vs. PP debate. I know the PP is great for hunting flat, small streams but I am leaning towards the AIRE because it is lighter. Anyone hunt out of their traveler? I have seen many pictures of PP hunting, anyone have AIRE traveler experience?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Float Hunting Questions

    Rafter,

    You have a lot of questions in your post; I'll try to answer what I can, in hopes that it helps.

    1. AIRE Jaguarundi. You asked about load factors on this boat; AIRE specs them out at just over 1600# capacity. Personally I think that's a bit too much for my comfort level on a float hunt, but if the water is deep enough you should be okay with two people and a couple of caribou and gear. I know you would be better off with the 18' Leopard, but it is what it is. Use what you have and upgrade when you can.

    2. Dragging through shallow water is normal on a float hunt, as long as it is only short stretches. If you find yourself dragging for days on end, you did a poor job researching your hunt location. Water levels are typically low in the fall, and I plan to be in and out of the boat multiple times. But do your homework and you should be able to avoid too much of that.

    3. AIRE Traveler. You bring up an interesting point; take it a bit further though. Have you considered rigging two canoes into a cataraft? We call them "catacanoes", and they have HUGE capacity. We've written about them here, and I have an article on them in the TIPS section of my Alaska Hunt Planning website as well. It really doesn't matter what kind of canoes you use for the catacanoe, but they should be the same size and shape. If you go with a pair of Travelers, that would work fine. Here are the plusses of the catacanoe design.

    • Two boats instead of one
    • Low profile = great wind resistance
    • Huge load capacity
    • Great stability because load sits lower than in other boats
    • Canoes can be run separately, giving you options you never had

    If I were you and were considering replacing the Jag, I would consider a pair of AIRE Travelers with a frame. Tracey Harmon at Alaska Raft and Kayak in Anchorage has built many frames for the catacanoe design, and can help with that. If you cannot afford two Travelers, become friends with someone who has one and split the frame cost with them. Maybe you'll have a new hunting partner!

    Hopefully that helps!

    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.
    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

  3. #3
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Default lion

    i also have 16' aire tubes, although i have the lion model tubes...

    from personal experience mine will more than handle that weight, provided its distrubuted well... although i have had to redistribute stuff mid trip though to improve handling.

    b

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default AIRE Lion

    Quote Originally Posted by sbiinc View Post
    i also have 16' aire tubes, although i have the lion model tubes...

    from personal experience mine will more than handle that weight, provided its distrubuted well... although i have had to redistribute stuff mid trip though to improve handling.

    b
    Yeah, the Lion will certainly haul more weight, as will its counterpart, the NRS Grizzly. This is because you have more boat in the water, hence more lift. The tubes are blunt at both ends, unlike conventional catarafts, and this is where the additional lift comes from. You get the same thing with round boats with little or no bow rise. But in both cases it costs you performance and, to some degree, safety and comfort. The blunt cats plow more with a load and are therefore harder to row. They also don't perform as well with an outboard.

    It's a plus and a minus at the same time.

    -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

  5. #5
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    Default catarafts

    I've been on hunts on both 16' and 18' catarafts. Both are Aires. Two guys per raft. We've done four guys on the 18', but that was catch and release fishing so there were no expectations of extra weight. (meat). The 16' should be fine. Easier to drag when the time comes. Wear lightweight waders. The problem with the catacanoe is they don't fit in most planes.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default I disagree-

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    ...The problem with the catacanoe is they don't fit in most planes.
    DJ,

    I must disagree with you on that issue. I know several folks who have flown out with their Catacanoes, including one guy I spoke with the other day who has been stuffing his IN THE FLOATS!

    I know they will fit in a Beaver, a Cessna 185, a 206, a Maule, and a Super Cub / PA 12. Which aircraft are you speaking of?

    Take care,

    -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

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