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Best inflatable canoe(s) for building a cata-canoe?

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  • Best inflatable canoe(s) for building a cata-canoe?

    Not asking which is the best inflatable canoe.

    Rather,
    If you wanted to build the best inflatable cata-canoe,
    using a rowing frame to form them into a cata-raft.
    Which pair of inflatable canoes would you choose to be the pontoons?

    The secondary purpose would be to use the canoes as canoes,
    only when the cata-canoe raft was unable to get into smaller waters.

    Inquiring minds want to know?
    Dave
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  • #2
    I would go with a couple of Aire Travelers

    Comment


    • #3
      Grabbner Outside(s)

      Comment


      • #4
        The aire traveler would be my suggestion. That is what my plan is. I bought the first o0ne and will be getting the other soon. Here is the way the first is set up and was put together by Tracy at ARK.

        ould be great for the cub.
        Semper Fi and God Bless

        Comment


        • #5
          It depends on what you're doing. The original intent behind the design was to float rivers that were too narrow for a conventional boat, but that widened out somewhere downstream enough to allow the cataraft configuration. Any pair of canoes can work, as long as they're the same general size (length, tube diameter, and configuration). Travelers are commonly used because they're light enough, at 55#, to allow a long overland portage into headwater areas, while providing enough lift to make it worth doing. You could do the same thing with the Pro Pioneer, however that boat already has a lot of lift, so it doesn't make much sense in most situations.

          In the end, it's all about the river and what you're trying to do.

          -Mike
          Michael Strahan
          Site Owner
          Alaska Hunt Consultant
          1 (907) 229-4501

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pipercub View Post
            Grabbner Outside(s)
            The problem with the Grabner Outside is that it has a flat transom at the back, instead of the tapered tubes that make it a canoe. If you have to back-row much, that transom is going to slap against water that's trying to flow under the hull (back-rowing is a method of slowing your drift slower than the speed of the current). The Outside is more of a narrow sport-boat design than a canoe....

            JMHO

            -Mike
            Michael Strahan
            Site Owner
            Alaska Hunt Consultant
            1 (907) 229-4501

            Comment


            • #7
              You need to look at the original white water designed "Outside"... They only made the flat transom version for a few years...they still make the original white water "Outside".....check out their web site....I've owned one for over ten years....they are a continuation of the Metzler line of boats....which Grabbner bought out.....tough as hell...vulcanized rubber into the fabric......no PVC BS

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by pipercub View Post
                You need to look at the original white water designed "Outside"... They only made the flat transom version for a few years...they still make the original white water "Outside".....check out their web site....I've owned one for over ten years....they are a continuation of the Metzler line of boats....which Grabbner bought out.....tough as hell...vulcanized rubber into the fabric......no PVC BS
                Ah, right you are, sir! I was recently distracted by a post of a Grabner Outside with a transom. Kinda confusing with two completely different boats of the same name, by the same company....

                Thanks for the correction!

                -Mike
                Michael Strahan
                Site Owner
                Alaska Hunt Consultant
                1 (907) 229-4501

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PugtSounDav View Post
                  Not asking which is the best inflatable canoe.

                  Rather,
                  If you wanted to build the best inflatable cata-canoe,
                  using a rowing frame to form them into a cata-raft.
                  Which pair of inflatable canoes would you choose to be the pontoons?

                  The secondary purpose would be to use the canoes as canoes,
                  only when the cata-canoe raft was unable to get into smaller waters.

                  Inquiring minds want to know?
                  Dave
                  The inflatable catacanoe is an expensive mistake touted by most who "think" it's a good idea, and likewise is merely a theoretical proposition. The PRICE that it would cost to build one of these rediculous things is through the roof when compared to a good professional grade full sized raft. Your best off going with inflatable canoes to be used as such, a real raft, or a real cataraft offered by AIRE. After it's all built, the width of this thing is outrageous, and the price is equally so. That's the truth with this gimmick idea........take it or leave it. I could source the advice of the most experienced Alaskan rafters in the industry, but that would be a PM proposition since the Rafting world is as caddy as a room full of women.
                  www.freightercanoes.com www.copperheadalaska.com
                  sigpic
                  matnaggewinu

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
                    The inflatable catacanoe is an expensive mistake touted by most who "think" it's a good idea, and likewise is merely a theoretical proposition. The PRICE that it would cost to build one of these rediculous things is through the roof when compared to a good professional grade full sized raft. Your best off going with inflatable canoes to be used as such, a real raft, or a real cataraft offered by AIRE. After it's all built, the width of this thing is outrageous, and the price is equally so. That's the truth with this gimmick idea........take it or leave it. I could source the advice of the most experienced Alaskan rafters in the industry, but that would be a PM proposition since the Rafting world is as caddy as a room full of women.
                    The original cata-canoe concept is probably older than the combined age of our forum community. In more recent times I was involved in sort of "hatching" this idea with Paul Jobe, the former owner of the now-defunct "Wild Alaska Rivers Company" (WARCO) of Anchorage. WARCO was at the time the largest shop in Alaska, and was the NRS and AIRE dealer at that time, a mantle that has now fallen to Alaska Raft and Kayak.

                    At any rate, our idea was to use two AIRE Travelers, connected to a simple flat frame, into a cataraft configuration. I never used it, however I know several others who have done so in a hunting application, and they have found it to be a very satisfactory boat for its intended purpose. I do not doubt that whitewater purists scoff at the idea, however float hunters are not generally floating whitewater, nor are they looking for a boat with top-performing characteristics you would need on whitewater. Simply put, most float hunters need a shallow-draft boat that hauls big loads. In that regard the cata-canoe does the job well, and offers the versatility of having a pair of canoes along for situations where they are required.

                    As to your points on the "through the roof" cost and "outrageous" width, I disagree. Properly rigged, the cata-canoe made with twin AIRE Travelers is only six inches wider than the AIRE Leopard, and the cost is a scant $500 more. I just confirmed these numbers with Mark Cohen, owner of Alaska Raft and Kayak, today while I was at the Fairbanks Outdoor show.

                    These minor differences are more than acceptable for hunters looking for a boat that offers this kind of flexibility, and are less than the differences between other boats AIRE offers. The other two big load-haulers AIRE offers are the Super Leopard and the Cougar, both of which are wider than the Leopard and substantially more money. For example, just the Cougar tubes alone (without frame and rigging) spec out at over $1300 more than the Leopard. The Super Leopard, if you can find one, is even more.

                    There have been some amazing strides in the inflatable boat industry in the last 20 years and some of them have been very benificial for Alaska float hunters. The cata-canoe concept, while certainly not for everyone in all situations, is most definitely appropriate for some situations in Alaska. It will likely be here for a long time.

                    Best regards,

                    -Mike
                    Michael Strahan
                    Site Owner
                    Alaska Hunt Consultant
                    1 (907) 229-4501

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I put two 10' Aire Lynx kayaks together and used it quite a bit. I liked it as a one man boat with a lot of gear capacity. Of course 10'x12" tubes put the center of gravity low enough for whitewater, but also low enough you were constantly getting splashed. A couple of 12' Lynx 2, or 13' Super Lynx canoes would have worked better for my application, and made room for two people, but you make do with what you have. I was going to take that thing down Sixmile, but never got around to it. Probably better not to; it would likely do a back flip in Suckhole.

                      I'm of the (personal) opinion that two Travelers are wider than I want in a boat, let alone two Pro Pioneers. I'm thinking two 16' Soar canoes would be a better fit for a cata-canoe than two PP's.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PugtSounDav View Post
                        Not asking which is the best inflatable canoe.

                        Rather,
                        If you wanted to build the best inflatable cata-canoe,
                        using a rowing frame to form them into a cata-raft.
                        Which pair of inflatable canoes would you choose to be the pontoons?

                        The secondary purpose would be to use the canoes as canoes,
                        only when the cata-canoe raft was unable to get into smaller waters.

                        Inquiring minds want to know?
                        Dave
                        Hello Dave,

                        Most are two wide and barge-like for me. Squatty, wide, wet ride, poor handling, and uncomfortable comparing with cats or rafts.

                        Cost factor indeed may be of issue to some folks. In the case of two AIRE Travs for example --- the price will be twice the cost of a set of 16'-18' Performance or Expedition series cat tubes. Even the quad-tubed set of Limited Edition Cougar cat (just tubes) will be had for less! The $500 one side or the other here nor there is a ridiculous posting to even be made up and completely depends on what the package on the whole will consist of!!!

                        Some History... also contrary to some misinformation, the 'AIRE Trav.' dates back to 2002 production models then became available in any on-water numbers just prior to 2003. So while an inflatable cat-a-canoe concept may have been experimented with in some custom orders at the Jobe's old wild rivers shop... it was not an 'AIRE Traveler'. The AIRE Travelers came into the scene by way of the current dealership here in Alaska by this time at Alaska Raft and Kayak!!! I should know this in that I have one of the very originals on my shop floor AND Sponsor top of this forum... Mark and Tracy at Alaska Raft and Kayak would likely confirm this regarding sales availabilities.

                        Lots of boats for different folks... not sure what waters you'll mostly on, pounds loads, numbers of people or how you'll go from one phase rafting to another canoeing --- I'd need better info from original poster to shed better insights. Most of the time however, a boater is better suited to the particulars in a particular boat by not combining stuff.

                        Back in the day --- I cat-boated a set of Lynx 1 & also Lynx 2 set-ups... I was way, far better off (in all cases) just going kayaking, or using one of my cats or rafts --- whether it was flat water or more demanding and differing character whitewater.

                        If I wanted to build the best... I'd have a highest end manufacturer like SOTAR custom build one of super strong yet lighter-weight all welded 40oz Urethane than going the other proven bladder system from AIRE. You want a super stiff boat to frame your cat, plus wish it to be super durable and lighter when canoeing. I'd also make the custom additions of keeping out the water so it stays more like a cat tube even if it already has self-bailing floors.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Now although these guys did not have inflatables, they had the design figured out, in fact a recent study of ancient navigators of the sea. it was determined that the polynesian ships were far above the greatest boats, capts and crew.
                          Able to go as far as 3,000 miles between stops. amazing boats and pilots...
                          The ability for these ancient boats to use the pontoons as open usable space was very important..
                          Last year I was in Hawaii at the PCC and spent quite a bit of time looking at the big boat they made to duplicate the old original design.
                          The Iosepa boat is over 50 feet long and made from single logs carved and hollowed. Although the folks from our day are not near the same muster as the old navigators of the old days, this boat does amazing on the open ocean..

                          This idea of tying two canoes together is still going strong even though the original designs may be older than any written history.
                          this thread is pretty interesting due to the different ideas, testing and thoughts on what will and not work, and in what type of water.
                          I like the idea of having usable space in the pontoons. Space is always a problem when floating rivers, and using the pontoons for more than just floatation would be nice.
                          I have tied a couple of standard canoes together with poles and hauled a moose across a lake before and have seen others do the same.
                          An inflatable canoe that actually looks like a canoe would be my choice for building a catacanoe.

                          this type of canoe paddles like a standard canoe on its own, would offer alot of usable space for storage, and the hull design is narrow and sleek .
                          Never done it yet, but I imagine it would work ..
                          When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

                          Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Alaskacanoe is correct on the Polynesian Canoes in outrigger or 'cat' forms. Even Southeastern Alaska Tribes used very large and capable canoes. These early mariners and explores with their designs are truly inspiring.

                            Some 20 years ago, I met a group of European Adventurers coming down a Brooks Range float. What did they have for a boat?
                            These guys (party of four) have the largest of the Metzeller Canoe --- spruce-pole lashed to two 20' large diameter cylinder-shaped tubes (before the catarafts caught on) on the outsides. What I'm relating is that this could effectively be so called another cat-a-canoe by definition.

                            At the end of the trip, they burned their spruce-poles rigging, and I bought the green Metzeller Canoe (w/full-length spray skirting) as well as the great big tubes that in a prior venture was used to float a Mercedes Benz on water for an advertising campaign.

                            The Metzeller Canoe was quite unstable (like an ordinary canoe you want to have canoeing skill-sets), yet this boat paddled much more like most canoes than the AIRE Trav (better described as a hybrid skinny raft). The Metz was a good boat... but by itself... if you are not a good canoeist/paddler... a canoe like this on waters of ever-changing character/demands/loads is a mistake. Cat-boated between to huge tubes made it very stable, but handling was log raft-like. Cat-boated as two canoes is also not the best boat of choice based on material, featured accessories, and design. In terms of useful space it was relatively limited and not good with a bunch of weight (tipsy and sluggish in a hurry).

                            All in all you actually you get right back to more or less my position: If you want a canoe go for the canoe and if you want a raft go with a raft or Cataraft. When you want to combine the two --- you should try to complement the package by having a more raft-like canoe to start with (think skinny Hybrid). I feel this is not the Trav because A.) it is too low 2.) too wide, 3.) the wrong type of self-bailing slits/locations for rafting. Something also to very much consider is that the fabric on most of these canoes and hybrids are much thinner and lighter duty than a real high-end raft or cataraft!!!

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                            • #15
                              http://www.grabner-sports.at/index.p...f2eb2fa9a7618c

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