What cataraft?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by PontoonerinOregon, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Randy Chong

    Randy Chong New Member

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    I looked at both the Skookum 10' Steelheader, and the 10' Bad Cat Magnum. I really liked both, and ended up buying the Bad Cat. The Bad Cat's frame was super sturdy, but at the expense of being a one-piece frame. I think the capacity is 1000#, but I don't think I'll ever get close to that. The BC is super sturdy to fish from, either sitting or standing, and I feel comfortable on any water I have ever fished. I didn't get out much early this summer as the water was running pretty high on my local rivers, but the BC would have handled all of the water well. I would have been very happy with either one, but I got a super deal from my local dealer who had one Bad Cat left and wanted to move it.
     
  2. DaMurph

    DaMurph Member

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    Tooner, I don't think you could go wrong either way with the 10' Steelheader or the 10' Badcat magnum. I personally have the 10' Steelheader Guide and its a great boat. Either one should give you several (10+) years of use if you take care of the tubes. I believe both are based on 10' Maxxon tubes, (I don't know if Bill @ Skookum still makes his own tubes but at one time he did, SH69 could tell you for sure.) Don't make weight an issue when deciding between these two boats, the fact is they are both heavy as will any heavy duty cat 10'+. Buy the boat that fits your needs: I chose the Steelheader because the length, capacity, versitility, standing abliliy, anchoring, price and durability. (the Bad Cat would have also met the criteria.) You will be able to strap all kinds of things to the frame so don't be put off by the size of the storage platform. If you really need a huge platform you can make one and you can strap it to your frame, with a HD frame you can be creative. If you are looking to run some bigger water you should look at a bigger boat.(heavier, bulkier, more $$, trailer required, storage space?, accessories, etc.) If heavy whitewater fishing is what your after check out Aire, NRS(check them out anyway just for all the cool accessories) Maravia, Sotar, Hyside etc. Just my .2 cents for whatever its worth. Good luck
     
  3. PontoonerinOregon

    PontoonerinOregon New Member

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    I want something I caould run a small river like the Beaverhead in Montana, but also be able to run the Yellowstone downstream from Billings. That is why I had looked at the Aire Wildcat (13') and bobcat (11'). I don't know how much true "Whitewater" I would ever be in, But I want something small enough to float a small stream, but is also able to be on a big, not neccessarily whitewater, river. Some other examples of rivers I might float would be the Big Hole, Ruby, Missouri above and canyon ferry and below Fort Benton, all parts of the Yellowstone, The Milk in Northern Montana, and the Powder and Tongue rivers of southeastern Montana.
     
  4. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    The nice thing about Aire is they don't hold thier value amongst the whitewater communities like Sotar and Maravia do. They drop in price dramatically. Look for the Northwest Rafters Association website (maybe www.nwra.com, not sure) and they should have used tubes. You can find great deals on them. Only thing I'd say bad about them is they are primarily "play" whitewater tubes. Not the best for fishing. Great carrying capacity, and maneuver great. Just that even the larger tubes still don't have the steadiness you'll want. Now the outfitters grade tubes usually have alot less rocker. NRS has them, and I think Aire does too. I haven't searched alot lately on them.

    Now with Steelheader. They used to make all their tubes. I know the ones I had, I picked up directly from them as they were finishing them up. Nowadays, have no idea. Like everything, they are probably being built somewhere else. One thing to consider though, that a product made in the same plant that looks similar does not mean it's the same. Some companies want their product built to a higher standard, so demand more out of what the manufacturer normally makes. I know this from a company I deliver to who has their product made in China. Their design has been leeched by lots of companies out there. But their demands on the product far outweigh what you'll see the others selling. It shows in the final product. Much better built and will last alot longer. But the flatter hulls of the boats make for a better "fishing" boat. Like with anything, you trade off depending on what you want. If you want a workhorse vehicle, you could buy a ferrari and maneuver and fly like there's no tomorrow, but if you want to tow or carry a big load, it falls short. There's no perfect boat out there, so what your needs dictate puts you into the boat you need. Why at one time I had like 8-10 boats. Drift boats, rafts, catarafts, jetsleds, you name it. Had several inflatables. Each served a purpose. But if you're primarily looking for a long trip fishing boat, you'll want the flatter water lined boat for maximum stability and storage capability.



    I always steer towards the steelheader if I want a premade fishing cataraft. It's about the only boat out there designed and based off someone who whitewatered and fished and had the capabilities to actually build one (from the tubes all the way up to the frame). Of course the frames are built one place, tubes somewhere else. If you get successful, you rarely do it all yourself after that. The steelheader frame may be simple and heavy. But it's meant to be a fishing frame with less chance to torque out on you running whitewater. I used mine to the extreme, and was a kick in the pants. Wish I still had my old 9' original steelheader.

    As said, weight shouldn't be an issue. You want a heavy grade boat, you get heavy weight. Weight capacity is alot of times given to what the tubes will bear versus what the frame will take under pressure. That's usually the max weight. Some can take alot more, just the more weight you add, the more you'll have to work to make the boat move. Sluggish is a good word. But whitewater boats on multiday trips loaded to the gill are this way. Where you need to know the water you're on, and make adjustments well before a run you're going into.

    You can find deals on boats, especially rafts. Take a look on craigslist. I've seen a few up here SUPER CHEAP. Fishing rafts with trailers. I almost bit on a nice maravia with fishing frame outfitted to the T with anchor system for $3000. The trailer alone was worth a couple grand with the storage boxes built into it. Just keep your eyes out. I'd suggest rowing a few. Find someone who has them and ask for a test drive (you pay gas, bring the lunch, etc). Sometimes what you think you want and what you really like is completely different.
     
  5. veilside180sx

    veilside180sx Active Member

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  6. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    That would be it. Thanks
     
  7. PontoonerinOregon

    PontoonerinOregon New Member

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    Thank you all for your information.
     
  8. Randall Dee

    Randall Dee Castaway

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    PO....I think Aire tubes are a great quality. They have a 10 year warranty that is fully transferable if you buy used. Their customer service is legendary. I would not be concerned with the bladder style. Most of the tubes on the market are PVC as opposed to Hypalon. In a PVC bladderless design, I would be more concerned with whether the tubes are welded (heat bonded) or glued. I have looked at the Maxxon tubes and they look good and I think they may be a good value, but I believe they are a glued construction made in China. I don't think the Maxxon brand has been around for 10 years yet, so if they are a glued construction, the longevity has yet to be proven. Anyone out there own a 10 year old Maxxon tube?

    Personally, if I was in your position, I would look for a good quality used white water boat. I do see them occasionally on Craigslist. Check out this NRS used gear bulletin board. It's got lots of used gear.

    Along with the other good quality tubes already mentioned, you might also give the Jacks Plastic Welding tubes consideration. They are made in New Mexico, fully welded with a 10 year warranty and you can order them with many different options including 2 air chambers per tube.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Robert Engleheart

    Robert Engleheart Robert

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    SpeyDude has a frame on the Classifieds that looks good for the $. He's in Portland....Check it out.
    If I were closer, I'd have bought 'em. The Oars have to be worth the price alone.
     
  10. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Can't give you all the details on maxxon. But do believe they are based out of Washington (but of course made in Korea I believe). They have been around awhile, almost as long as Aire I believe (maybe 92ish?). They mostly built avon style boats, but believe they switched to cats and rafts about 10 years ago. I do know someone who has one of their cataraft tubes that are about 10 years old. And, if Skookum switched to their tubes when they changed their design, then my green Steelheader 10' tubes would be Maxxons and are about 8 years old with no problems at all (I bought my original Steelheader 9' from Bill when they were still making their tubes in Washington). If they're Maxxons, can attest at 8 years old they are holding strong. I use my boat ALOT harder then about anyone on here (except the few who whitewater like I do). Beat the living crap outta my 10' tubes (on custom frame). Plus, I do believe Maxxon has a 10 year warranty as well. I know Aire was similar as well. When I bought my Aire Ocelot from Aire directly (went to Idaho to pick it up) back in 89' I believe, Aire was a fairly new company. But I heard from some of the guys I whitewatered with they were a good company and were making a quality boat for the price. Just sold that old boat (well the tubes anyways) when I was off hurt. Was different then the boats nowadays. They had segmented tubes instead of the continuas curve hull. Plus, it was a 16' boat, when the ones nowadays are 14 and 15' (think it's the ocelot and ocelot classic or something like that). Anymore, I have the money to buy Sotars, Maravias, and Wings. So if I'm going to build a boat, I'll build it on a set of tubes that are top notch. Plus, I've been to each factory and seen the way they're built over the years. Maravia is pretty cool the way they build them. If you have a chance, I'd suggest anyone to go and see.
     
  11. Robert Engleheart

    Robert Engleheart Robert

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    Check out the classifieds; 2007 Sky H2 with ALL the extras & a 2HP Suzuki 4 stroke for $1050. You can sell the motor for $300 and you've a $2000 boat for $750. Maybe not an Aire or a Steelheader, but find a similar quality for that price!
    That's a deal, boys!
     
  12. BirdyinBOI

    BirdyinBOI Member

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    Anyone know what kind of frame that is on the grey boat in the center?
     
  13. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

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    Check out Catchercraft> Extremely well made boats. Good luck with your search. It's half the fun.
     
  14. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    I don't own a set of 10 year old Maxxon pontoons but I know they are out there and yes, they have been around that long, and yes, they are made in China and are made of PVC and glued, not welded. But they have a pretty decent reputation for durability, longevity, and warranty, which is why we use them for our pontoon boats.

    But we just got our new Jack's Plastic pontoons and we are excited to use them and support an American company.
     
  15. shawn k

    shawn k Active Member

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    If the guy that resurected this three year old thread would have just read the post just below the pictures he would have seen that kent said it was a outcast frame. It would have saved you a shitload of time responding to this thread.