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Thread: A new cataraft in town-

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Thumbs up A new cataraft in town-

    Hi folks,

    AIRE has just produced a couple of new cataraft designs, marketed under the name "Wave Destroyer". The tubes have a dramatically upturned bow, and are clearly designed for heavy whitewater. The upturn is so the ends of the tubes don't become buried in an oncoming wave and squirt the boat out backwards, a problem that has plagued cats for years in whitewater.

    Interesting concept. The Wave Destroyer is available in two lengths; 15' 6" and 14'. This boat will probably work very well with an outboard on rough water too, but the high bow is not really necessary for most float hunting situations in Alaska, except in heavy whitewater. Nice to see something different for a change.

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  2. #2

    Default Elf slipper designs

    The new design is somewhat like the Sotar designs. I have friends who have demo-ed these on a class V+ river and loved them. They have all had the older AIRE designs for years.

    I agree they are made for Class IV and V whitewater but they would be fine in flat water as well.


  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I’ll have to say that the new “Wave Destroyer” is nothing but/yet an additional way to perpetuate the already greater sales of a current line-up of exceptional product. Am I saying it is a solution to a non-existent problem? Not exactly… read on ---

    Several years back… I had spoken with Alan Hamilton of AIRE to design an 18’ LEO with the stern ½ being that of the 16’ Jag then moving the continuous curve axis forward of center. We also addressed the equally appealing geometry of bow and stern symmetry (all dynamics therefore equal) vs. hull and load bearing asymmetry plus the costs of both designs (mitered vs. continuous cut welded construction). This was to be the enhanced cat blueprint to run my Newhalen River Gorge trips.

    What is interesting about this anecdote is that SOTAR put out an alteration of this design two years later!!! Their premise tho’ was that the craft punched waves similar to a big boat, however the tapering to the stern section was to reduce back-suction from hydraulics, diminish downward forces from waterfall drops, and to trim down the traction-like sluggishness along eddy lines.

    The elf-eared, big upturns on bow and stern will not lend itself to flat-water at all not to mention in winds. I see very little utility other that steep creekin’ where your overall angle of attack on waves is already at gradient or ultragradient in tight, rapidly transitioning quarters. This is likely where this new boat from AIRE will excel.

    Would I procure a Wave Destroyer? The easy answer is yes! It is an AIRE – They are outstanding boats – Made here in the USA – Great company of folks to work with – Great store and service center on your side (particularly when that’s were you make your purchase) right here in Anchorage Alaska!!!

    Brian Richardson


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