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Interesting Trips With Our Inflatable Products

Paul Hodges Overloaded Daddy Cat On the Middle Fork Idaho

Jack and Crew,

I purchased two of your boats this year and have loved them both. I was invited to go on the Middle Fork of the Salmon this year and really wanted to have my own boat. After some deliberation and study I decided on a Daddy Cat 25. We took the boat on some shake down cruses and had a ball. Cats are really alot more fun than rafts.

Well, we took it on the Fork and had a great time. Stellar weather and low water (2.1 in the Lodge Gauge). The trip was supporting a large contingent of day boater mentality Kayakersites one of whom was the permit holder. Even after much coaxing and pleading, the rafts departed way overloaded. With myself and a passenger the Daddy was drafting 12.5 to 13" into the river. We spent the whole first day grinding and pushing the boat over razor sharp rocks and gravel. Tried to raise the water level by pouring large quantities of beer and wine into the river. All in all the boat still handled great and stood up to the brutal abuse we gave it. No river patching! When we pulled out at Cashe Bar 6 days later, I tuned the Daddy over. There are some frightening scars of war on its bottom. Some of the cuts went all of the way through the 42 oz. floor strake and exposed some blue color of the 35 oz. main tube. Proves to me your design is a winner.

I was so impressed by the Daddy Cat that I purchased a Cutthroat 1. I used it on someday trips in low and high water and I absolutely love the light weight and performance. Even did the Alpine run on the Snake with a passenger up front, bigger water; what a blast! By August, I had received another invitation to float the Middle Fork in September at lower water (1.3-1.5 in the Lodge Gauge). The rest of the crew were in duckies, all self support. After the lessons of the previous journey, I sent my Cutthroat back for some upgrades. Erol and your crew added some 42oz. PVC to the bottom plus some handles, all in record time. I and my boat were, at times, the envy of the trip. People from other partied stopped me to inquire about my boat, I had only glowing commentary. Very stable, very maneuverable, very fun. My total boat weight was near 550lbs. with me in it. I was able to carry plenty of gear to live like a king over the 8 day trip. Just stayed off of the bottom, only pushed a few times. No repairs. I'm sold. Guess I will be looking at a Fat Pack Cat next for those even smaller trickes.

Thanx Jack and Crew,

Paul Hodges
Salt Lake City Utah

Jack's Note
This trip could have been a real disaster if it were not for the double bottom on the daddy cat. Twelve inches of draft on a daddy cat is aproaching 1 ton. That could be 1000 lbs on one tube. This is a serious amount of load on one sharp point. On the other hand. 500 lbs distributed on two tubes means that the boat would have to put up with 250 pounds of stress on one tube on a sharp point. Five Hundred Pounds would be a heavy load on a Cutthroat. As you can see there is less of a chance for a rip on a cutthroat. This is why we feel that the need for a double bottom is diminished on a Cutthroat.

If you are running seriously heavy loads, try running the tubes softer than normal. this will help keep sharp points from cutting through the tubes as easliy. With softer tubes, the weight gets distributed over a larger surface area, and cutting of the boat is diminished somewhat.

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