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Inflatable boat suggestions

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by cwb, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. cwb

    cwb

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    I'm looking at this boat: http://www.jpwinc.com/index.php?page=products&item_no=4365

    It's sort of a cross between a cataraft and a canoe.

    It's pricey, so I'm wondering if anybody has a suggestion for a more economical boat that's similar. I'd like something that I can run up to Class 3 water, but mostly it'll be casual class 1-2 and fishing.

    Chris
     
  2. Icantdive55

    Icantdive55

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    I have no experience running white water but I have been diving and fishing inflatable boats for 25 yrs. I highly recommend a boat made of hypalon. It's more expensive than the other materials but well worth it. I owned my last boat for 21 years and used it hard.

    Rod
     
  3. sirenmoses

    sirenmoses

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  4. tyama

    tyama

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    The Jacks plastic site you showed is a great place to buy a boat. They have plenty of experience with inflatables. I didn't look too hard at the one you pointed out. It'd be pricey new but with good care it'll last you many years. You can also buy rafts used at several sites. NRS, maravia, hyside, are all good companies. Star rafts is a cheaper alternative. A single person raft should probably not be over 12ft long. A good size is about 11-12 ft. Look at something like the aire puma may work to oar down a river. If you want to take more than two or three, you may want to look at 14 ft or so. HTH, ty

    I went back and lookd at the boat. It'd do what you're interested in doing. Although class III can be different around the country, it's generally the same. Western WW might be a bit bigger but the boat should do that well. IMHO. I'd think that raft you showed would do well in any class II or III and do good as a fishing boat to boot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  5. Jomama

    Jomama

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    I bought the Cutthroat 1 the first year Jack put it to market (2000) when I was spending the summer in Lowman ID.

    About the boat: Well worth the package price for what you get. I rafted up to class IV in it, although its lack of width made its lateral stability less than desirable..
    Ran it the first three summers as is, and after swimming one too many times, I widened the frame, by about 2x... If I had only been running class III- and lower, it would be fine, but I wanted a little more out of it.. Was very easy to widen, there is fencing pipe that ID is the OD of the frame, and I added a real tractor seat on a x-bar, and used the trampoline style seats that came with it as two floor sections for the widened frame...

    It is a fantastic 1 person play boat with the increased width-lateral stability, I can surf very small waves... It works on everything from our smaller tech creeks 900 cfs class III-IV's to the Nenana running around 13-14k cfs...

    Everytime I meet someone new on the water the comment is "wow, that boat looks like a lot of fun"...


    The only thing it is not is a gear hauler, and its a pig w/even 2 people on it (although its doable).. But it is a great safety boat, as I can go places larger cats/rafts cant, its almost on level of a kayak I have so much leverage and control over such a small boat..


    One option I wish I had back then was to get bigger tubes... Given the 16" tubes, the frame sits pretty close to the water, would be nice to be just a bit higher. If I could trade I would get the 19" tubes over the current 16"

    About JPW: Really great quality, and their welding process makes for really, really solid tubes. Jack is a nice guy who's talked to me personally a few times, not as a salesman, just talking boating and ideas, etc.. Another plus is all of the customization that is avail thru them that you really cant get thru other MFG's...

    Yes pvc can degrade in the sun and has its own set of drawbacks, (so does hypalon, and every other material, they ALL have their drawbacks) but a well taken care of boat from any of the major mfg's will last regardless of the material.. Care is more important than anything else if you want your inflatable to last.. PVC is less expensive, an is generally considered easier to repair...

    And AFAIK, jack had a policy of doing weld repairs if the customer requested...

    My boat has been hammered on, hauled out the side of a canyon (tore a tube), and generally abused in the summer, and preped and properly stored each winter and still has years of use left...


    My next set of cat tubes will prob be Jacks... But this spring I'm going to pick up a Star Bug or Superbug, for a dryer ride while still keeping cat like handling..


    IMO: Tho if you are really looking for a fishing Cat vs. a more Whitewater type boat, I would look at the Outcast pro series (tubes made by aire)... http://www.outcastboats.com/outcastboats/pro.shtml They do cost more, but they are also more properly rigged for the occupant to be standing up in front fishing.. The Cutthroat could definitly be rigged like this (and Jacks may even be able to do it for ya) but it will cost more $$$... We rigged a outcast last year here at work for electro-fishing sampling in western AK, and they are well equiped out of the box for fishing.. and could handle class III with ease..


    pm me if you have any other questions...

    :cheers: :beer:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
  6. High Desert

    High Desert

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    That thing looks pretty narrow to load up and hit anything over class2 rapids. Ceck out : http://www.nrsweb.com/

    these are professional quality rafts,
     
  7. Sleepy John

    Sleepy John

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    retired river runner here !

    Are there river outfitters near you? At the end of each rafting season most large rafting companies have a sale for their used rafts that they are retiring. I know the Natahala Outdoor Center does this each October.
    Sounds to me that you need a 12 foot whitewater raft. Anything larger would take some of the fun out of your class II and III river running. Another source would be to check the web sites of all of the white water clubs in your region. Most have a want-ad section.
    You can always purchase new but talk about sticker shock! Check out North West River Suppliers http://www.nrsweb.com/

    where do you live? you need to find a river where they run 12 foot rafts. Most big rivers run 14 foot rafts
     
  8. wtmtnterror

    wtmtnterror SILVER Star

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  9. cwb

    cwb

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    Guys, thanks for all the feedback. I'm still looking. I'm still committed to buying the JPW Cutthroat, but for an amateur like me it's a lot of coin. So I'll probably look for a used one for a while. Thanks again.