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Thread: 16' cat enough?

  1. #1
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    Default 16' cat enough?

    I have a 16' cat and will be doing my first float hunt this fall. I will be going with someone who has experience on this particular river. My question is if a 16' cat is big enough for two guys gear and 1 moose? As I understand it this river is not overly braided, so we shouldn't experience too much low water.

  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default w/limited info provided....

    Yes.
    Yes probably, with the limited amount of information that you can/have provided.
    Yes if the water is deep enough.

    Go as light as possible, expecting to add 800+ more pounds of critter.

    Don't shoot that second moose, 'cause I would not expect you to have the space on top of the boat or the water depth under the boat to make a two-moose float. Regardless of how I plan, i seem to run out of space anyway, and end up stacking gear higher than the experts recommend...
    I prefer higher water than expected as opposed to lower water than expected. Higher water provides me a wider highway to drive...low water is hard on raft-draggers and rafts.

    Providing the gentle floating conditions you expect(***), and enough water under the boat, you guys are gonna have a great experience.

    dennis

    (***) Control the controlable, expect and prepare for something to go wrong anyway.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Not all 16' cats are created equal. Some have fairly blunt ends and large diameter tubes. These can pack a lot of weight but are slower and less designed for critical whitewater. Others are faster with sleek entry lines and or narrow tubes, but they don't pack so much. What brand/model do you have?

  4. #4
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Default yes

    well at first i was going to say absolutely but Jim is right, some tubes work better than others. I have 16' aire lion tubes and i have had upwards of 2000 lbs during a hunting/camping trip, or the time we ran from Healy coal plant to Totatlinka campgrounds with 10 people; approximately 2100 lbs (bit tight for seating, lol) or when we floated and crossed the delta river with a wheeler and two of us; 1200 lbs (exciting trip)... basically i wouldn't give up my cat for any round raft... even sold all my other rafts except it and my zodiac.

    it may have tracked a little different and rode a little lower in the water but not as bad as some might claim (IMHO). If you are used to your cat and oars then the single thing to know is distribute the weight and be ready to shift some of it on the fly when you find you have a tracking problem. loaded evenly i don't beleive you'll have any problems.

    B

  5. #5
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    Default Air Jaguarundi

    Sorry I should have given a little better info. I have an air jag, and my friend tells me that they have not had to deal with low water any of the times he has floated this particular river, but you never know.
    As far as the two moose we will have 2 boats 4 people, with only two of us actually hunting. The other boat will be an 18' air cat.
    The reason I ask about the 16' being enough is I have been contemplating selling my tubes and getting the 18' tubes. I would never try to put more than two people and 1 moose, or 2-3 caribou on this boat at once. I just don't want to wind up wishing I had more floatation, but if I can get away with the 16' tubes it seem like it would be a little easier to maneuver down a narrow river with sweepers.
    Anyway thanks for the input.
    Only 4 more months to wait!!!

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default The AIRE Jag-

    Normally I would defer to Dennis and Jim's advice here, but the Jag makes me nervous, especially with heavy loads. It's a good fishing boat, or a good solo boat for caribou, sheep, bear and such.

    I don't prefer the Jaguarundi for moose hunting, especially with two guys and gear aboard. The fact that you have a Leopard available for overflow helps a lot, but the truth is that the 16' Jag has about the same load capacity as a 12' round boat. It's just not enough in my view. You could get away with it on a deeper slower river as you suggest, but this boat will not give you much flexibility to float hunt other types of water. It will be a slug if you put two guys and a moose on it.

    The additional info you provided helps a lot. Seems you are looking not only for whether this boat will work on the river you're floating this fall, but for future hunts as well. In that case I strongly suggest moving to a large boat. Doesn't have to be a cat necessarily, but if you go with a larger cat the obvious choice is the Leopard. For a little (well okay, a lot) more money you could also consider the AIRE Cougar or the Super Leopard. I would put two hunters, a complete camp, and two moose on these boats without hesitation. You can also run an outboard on them if your river requires it. The Cougar is my favorite because it sits low in the water, offering excellent performance in a head-wind situation.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  7. #7
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default

    Based on my experience with my Jag I would say yes to 2 guys, camp and 1 moose, but that's the upper limit and depends on the river conditions and the skill of the oarsman.

    I have had 4 adults plus me and camping gear in some long stretches of pretty big water in this raft and I remain impressed with the agility of this boat as compared to a friend's Leopard which was an absolute pig to maneuver. (Klutina 03)

    Not much talk about frames beyond portability, but the frame affects performance. The Leopard mentioned above had too narrow of a frame IMO (6 1/2 feet tube center-to tube center) and was unsuitable for any water beyond Class I for any duration.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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