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Old 05-08-2012   #1
colorado, Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 84
Frame and Weight configurations?

I am in the process of trying to setup my new 14 foot raft with a 3 bay DRE fishing frame. I have the combo set for the one day trips, but the longer week long trips have me a bit puzzled.

I am trying to figure out where to locate a 120 qrt cooler and a large dry box while keeping the "poly deck" in place. The ploy deck is located in front bay where there is currently a removable seat that I planned on taking off for larger trips but puting back on for fishing trips. This plastic deck is what DRE calls their "poly deck" and it looks like it would be nice for laying down on and sunbathing on the flat stuff.

My dry box (that is not here yet) will not fit under the poly deck and niether will the cooler as the deck is only about 14 inches max off the bottom of the floor of the boat. If I wanted to fit a cooler or dry box under it, then it would have to be only about 13 to 14 inches high and I dont want a cooler that small for bigger trips nor my main dry box to be that small.

SOOOO my thought was to possibly locate the cooler right BEHIND the oar seat OR in front of the poly deck and put the big dry box under my flip seat and then putting some hanging gear bags under the poly deck. Sounds great??? Well I am not sure how the boat is going to handle with a 100 lb cooler all the way in the front or somewhat to far back should I elect to put it behind my oar seat.

Any comments or advice for this rookie would be welcome. thanks

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Old 05-08-2012   #2
Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3
I would have no problem putting the 100 lbs up front. Most of your gear, water, drinks, etc for multiway trips end up in back so you need additional weight up front. I have a 16 ft and both my dry box and cooler are in front. I am still a little back heavy even with my wife and kids up front as well.

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Old 05-09-2012   #3
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
Do you have the DRE San Juan fishing frame? I think for multi-day trips you are going to have to ditch the poly deck if you want a dry box. You will need the space behind the rower bay for all your dry bags and other gear. You could put the cooler up front, in front of the poly deck/drop bag, but how will you secure it? It wouldn't be supported in the frame. If it were me, I'd sacrifice the poly deck and drop bag in favor of a dry box for a multi-day trip.
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Old 05-09-2012   #4
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
One could get a DRE trailer frame which would add an additional bay. Talk to DRE, I'm sure they could design something for you. You could use it on long trips and leave it home on short/fishing trips. An extra bay up front will pretty much max out all your room in a 14 ft. Raft I would think???
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Old 05-09-2012   #5
LongmontRafter's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 168
I have the San Juan 3 bay frame on a 13' boat. For multidays I had to ditch the polydeck and put a 80qt cooler in a drop bag. I cover the cooler w/ a Paco pad and thwart for the forward passenger to sit on.
As you can see, a 13' boat can be a challenge to rig for a 4 day trip w/ 3 peeps...Agree w/ above poster...get a trailer frame for the 14 footer
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