The AIRE Leopard Cataraft – Suitable for Special Situations
The 18' AIRE Leopard cataraft is redesigned with more bow and stern rise for better maneuverability on the water. This is a full-size cat for long trips when you need to pack a lot of gear.
A Look at the Cataraft
This model comes with 20 D-rings, 4 replaceable lift handles, a repair kit, and Leafield™ B7 valves. The cat is backed with a 10-year no-fault retail warranty. The warranty for commercial use is 5 years.
Features/specs of the AIRE Leopard cataraft:
- Length: 18'
- Width: 7' 6"
- Max Frame Length: 144"
- Weight: 105 lbs
- Tube Diameter: 26.5"
- Bow/Stern Rise: 29"
- Waterline: 120"
- Base fabric: 1670
- Tube Material Weight Oz/Yd: 35/43
- Load capacity: 1427 lbs
- Hull colors: Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, or Red
- Price: $2,814
Note: the Frame, seat, and oars are sold separately. Five sizes in NRS frames (the Alley Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Fish, Top Cat, and Universal) will fit on the Leopard.
AIRE Inflatable Catarafts
Made in the USA
Manufactured in Meridian, Idaho, the AIRE Leopard cataraft is made with 1670 denier base fabric to decrease the risk of punctures and then covered with a tough PVC-coated outer shell material – 35 ounces of PVC coating per square yard on the top of the tubes and 43-oz weight on the bottom. This Ferrari® Precontraint coated fabric is lightweight enough to keep the weight of the boat down, yet offers a thicker coating of PVC fabric to provide exceptionally long life. Inside the tubes are four high-tech AIREcell system bladders which create a stiff but highly responsive cat.
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The 18' cataraft has 26.5" diameter tubes to carry loads of over 1400 pounds. Like other models in the AIRE’s Performance Series, the Leopard was redesigned in 2007 to include a higher rise in the bow and stern for better tracking and maneuverability, and a special frame chafe was added to the top of the tubes to improve durability.
What We Say
The 18' AIRE Leopard cataraft is the largest cat that AIRE makes and is suitable for special situations where you need a Performance craft rather than a higher payload, shallow draft Expedition craft like the Lion 16. Still, you won’t find many reviews on the Leopard because most folks won’t opt to spend the week rowing a large 18' cat even if it offers a nice rocker profile for punching through waves. The Leopard will beat a large raft in terms of handling, but for a large cataraft, it will be a beast to maneuver in tight rivers. A better alternative is to take a closer look at the 16' Lion which has a shorter waterline and shallow draft for easy pivoting yet still having the capability of hauling a big load.
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