I outfitted my 14' cataraft with load bearing plywood platforms treated with Line-X (thanks Mark Walker). These floors are super, great traction, studs are no problems and are just solid. They are heavy though. I have also added a 10' x 6" PVC running board atop the cross rails for foot placement, gear lashing, etc.
When I'm fishing with my WFF friends weight is not really an option as two or three of us can handle the loading and unloading pretty easily.
When I'm floating a lake or river with the wife and two daughters I do most of the moving, lifting, loading and unloading alone and it is a lot of work (read: puny little wuss).
Are trampoline floors firm enough for fishing (toss down a mat or something for my stud wearing friends), as I see that as one of the primary ways to shave weight off the setup. How about removing some of the sections of my side boards as I run them full length. This would shave some weight, but not nearly as much as the casting platforms.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts...there are so many of you really experienced watercraft folks out there.
Mark, I thought about that but wondered if it would be wise. Going with a lighter option may add to the versitility. I was wondering about the tension trampoline flooring, maybe with a carpet swatch for when studs are on board.
JC, here is one of the family floating. There are a few of the wood decking, the rear is about 32"W x 42"L and the front is 32" x 36". I should stop worrying about weight and go on a diet and start lifting weights like Rick Todd and get my guns pumped up a caliber or two. I don't know too many who can manhandle their boats onto and off of trailers all the time by themselves, but until the girls are a bit bigger they won't be too much help.
Family on the Yakima
Black Line-X decking up front with side by side seat for girls.
My friend has the nrs web floors on his cat and he wears studs in it all the time. He says the studs dont rip the mesh for what ever reason. I would see if you can get sotar to make floors for your cat. The have the best floors that I have seen.
Mesh floors are fine Ed. I had them for years on a few of my boats. As mentioned, they will of course feel mushy. Nature of the beast. It's a trade off you get. I say, just hit the gym you old geezer.
Or better yet. Get a set of rear wheels to attach to the frame. At least that way you can leverage it as you move it to the water. If you get some of the fatter tires, you can actually walk it through some rougher ground. I just always set my boats up (frame wise that is) so I could easily step in and lift the front and drag the boat when I needed too. That included my old 16' Ocelot. That boat saw alot of miles and did alot of dragging with it.
I just finished building a 14ft cat and I opted for 12 x 32 pressure treated plywood finished with epoxy and sand for my casting platform and rowers platform. I use drop bags for my seats so I did not want the weight of a full floor. I have taken it out only once so far but plan to hit the Yakima this weekend.
Oh - I order my drop bags from Stitches and Stuff in Colorado. Same material they use to make floors. These are the people that owned DRE and have since sold to the current owner and moved to Arboles, CO. Now they make accessories like cataraft floors! Great place and great prices on straps, floors, bags, you name it... http://www.stitchesnstuff91.com/cataraftfloorsdecks.html
I just got a note from Jan yesterday or the day before that she was back in the shop. I might look into the drop bags for my front and rear seat boxes and go with lighter flooring. The boat performed great on the water with three bigger guys this past weekend, but hoisting it up a rougher launch is a bit of work. Lots of options to consider, thank you for your input!
Good luck and I'll be on the lookout for you. I'll be floating Red's to Roza tomorrow if I can get everything ready. I went back and read through the posts and saw that Stitches and Stuff was already discussed. Sorry for the repeat - just excited about my new ride.
Mumbles - love your Guinness pic.... homebrewing is my other vice when I am not fly fishing!