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Old 09-03-2008   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 70s
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 63
Frame ?/bias

I just got a 14' (used, but good shape) Hyside selfbailer....I am looking around for a frame before next spring.....sounds like everyones new prices are going to go up then....anyway I am in Denver and probably want to stick with Downriver, AAA, or NRS.....(vs build my own or have something that ould be harder to sell in a few years) I can probably get the best price on an NRS frame....I have seen/talked to all the folks in town and basically know the details, but who has opinions on dealing with/service/hassle/holding up etc. with any of these companies.....basically a whitewater frame, but more day fishing and occassional family/weekend trips....I don't think I will do thigh bars or front floor or back seat to start with, but maybe eventually add some of that stuff.....also any opinions re oars? thanks, CTR

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Old 09-03-2008   #2
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
I just "built" an NRS frame. I like it because it is modular, you just have to order the lengths you want. I also built in sections using the Speed rail fittings that DRE and others use. Much cheaper than NRS. So I use the NRS for structural, and speedrail where it's not holding the whole thing together. The nice thing about speedrail is you don't need a drill press. People may say the NRS is less bomber because it is skinnier, but the specs on that pipe are bomber, good stuff, less weight.

So far I've had good experience with both DRE and NRS as companies, not used AAA.

I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 09-03-2008   #3
ecarlson972's Avatar
Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 288
Go with DRE. They make a great frame and have excellent customer service! Plus there local.
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Old 09-03-2008   #4
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
Exactly what Ihowent said.

I also have an NRS frame (10 years now) (with a few DRE crossbars and footbrace). I do like NRS fittings for adjustability...the DRE fittings are so tight that even undoing the set screw you need a hammer to move the thing. DRE frames look prettier though...well made.

Customer service is exceptional at NRS and Downriver. Had them cut me wierd lenghts and whatnot...very professional and knowledgable.

Oars- Sawyer composite shaft (mx-g has counterweight i think) with the big VG wood blade....that would be the pimp setup

you could save some cash adn get cataract composite shaft with carlisle or cataract blades

Or save lots of loot and get the sawyer pole cats (recommended a bunch on here)
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Old 09-03-2008   #5
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 986
I ran a wood frame made out of 2x12s on my first raft. It cost about $100 with oar mounts. then I moved up to a NRS Bighorn when I financially recovered from the purchase of the boat.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 09-04-2008   #6
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Self-built frames

I enjoy building my own frames (see the 'Games with Frames' thread posted last year for sources and methods) with steel tubing, Hollaender SpeedRail joints, and various custom fiddles.

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This is the frame I built for my Jack's Cutthroat tubes, set up as a support boat, with a separate gear frame front (holds 2 York Packs) and a rudimentary rear seat in case someone needs a ride.

One thing about a modular frame is that you probably won't sell it. Instead, you can keep the joints, oarstands, etc. and buy different lengths of tubing to fit whatever new boat you've picked. You can also change the dimensions according to the requirements of a certain trip.

I just bought more tubing to lengthen my big-boat frame for a different load configuration. Total cost for 28 ft. of top-rail: $42.27. The same length of NRS aluminum tubing costs $112 + shipping. But that's still a lot smaller bite than a whole new frame. I've got a tubing cutter, a vise, files, etc. But the tools are likewise, cheap.

Whatever you do, good luck.

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Old 09-04-2008   #7
Matty's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 213
I have what was once an NRS fishing frame. Over the years I have modified it many times. While NRS has some of the best customer service in the industry, their frame system has one critical design flaw. As you tighten the connectors they will twist the cross bars. Unless you are super diligent about turning each bolt a half turn and then switching to the other, the u bolt will twist the bar it is tightening around.This leads to the whole frame twisting and one corner lifting up in the air. If you have your heart set on staying local, the guys at DRE have always been super helpful when modifying my frame. I have looked at many new frames, and my next frame will be from proriver out of flagstaff.
Professional River Outfitters | Outfitting Expeditions in Grand Canyon Since 1983
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Old 09-05-2008   #8
Rafter Town, California
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 63
Dont forget in addition to buying raw schedule 40 1 1/4" nominal alum pipe ( 1 5/8OD)you can use the fence post as some have said. With the Hollander type fittings I would use this type of set pin as backup as well. Spare Snapper Pins - Clavey River Equipment

I've seen quite a few setups using the Hollanders and these.

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