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Old 04-27-2010   #1
Logan, Salt Lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 66
Big Water Raft Co. Dry Box Research

Hey Buzzards,
So, here at Big Water Raft Co. ( ) are in the designing stages of making Big Water Dry Boxes. Now, as most of you know, our main goal at Big Water is to supply quality gear for a great price. We have some of the best priced rafts on the market, and do it by not making a ton of money on them, and passing on the savings to the buyer. Anyway, we want to do that with dry boxes, because it seems like the boxes out there are now, while nice, are pretty spendy.
So, I have been working with a manufacturer here in Salt Lake City for a bit, and we are working on making a box that will be affordable and tough. It will be a pretty basic box, with supports on the front and back to sit on the frame. Suggestions on anything you would like on the box would be great, and anything else you can think of that would be good to have as far as a dry box goes. Also, let me know what you would be willing to pay for a box like this. Once again, we are trying to keep the price on the boxes as low as possible, and make owning a multi-day rig affordable.

If you haven't heard of us yet, check out our boats at Big Water Raft Co: Quality Hypalon

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Old 04-27-2010   #2
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
I would love a decent 36" kitchen box for $300 please!

I see a lot of 38" kitchen boxes around $500. But my 14' Hyside is only 37", side to side.

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Old 04-28-2010   #3
SimpleMan's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: '05
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Posts: 394
Agreed. Kitchen box with legs. Other companies making them are charging another $150 for the legs? Even $350 would taste just fine for a kitchen box with legs, high quality, low profile latches, smoothish corners.
Dude, I'd see you on the river but I'm hardly ever out there.
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Old 04-28-2010   #4
mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 418
maybe some type of system so folks could do customized internal dividers...
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Old 04-28-2010   #5
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 82
I went super cheap with my dry box, and then made modifications and was very happy. I bought a box from Frontier Play, it was cheap made in China and works great. I welded some tabs on it and glued some foam to the top and was done.
Use a shoe box lid, it is cheaper to manufacture and you can make a double seal (see frontier play box) Don't bother with lid chains, most people don't like them anyways and that will keep labor down. Mass produce the boxes in 2 or 3 different sizes, but offer tabs and foam tops for an additional charge (you can make the adjustments before shipping the boxes). Make sure your boxes are not too wide, so that you do not have to support the lid with more metal.
I think the more simple you can keep your boxes, the cheaper you will be able to offer them. Good luck, I think your plan is great and I look forward to a affordable Big Water dry box!
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Old 04-28-2010   #6
Bozeman, MT
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 106
Make them as cheap as possible is my vote! I'm tired of awkwardly stuffing things in dry bags and Duluth packs. I Would love to get one, but it's hard to justify paying almost 1/4 of the cost of a raft. To make it simple, No springs or chains on the inside, those things are annoying anyways.
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Old 04-28-2010   #7
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 426
Put a chain on the lid!! It's not that expensive, and it'll save your hinges. I've seen too many boxes with mangled lids and hinges because there was nothing stopping the lid from swinging all the way to horizontal.
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Old 04-28-2010   #8
B.V., Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 192
2nd vote for the frame tabs! This feature is important to me. I know the tabs could be welded on after, but i don't weld. I think DRE said 40$ before labor to put some on an existing dry box. I wouldn't pay over 300 if it didn't have tabs. 36" preferred.
"Huck Finn?...more like huck-and-swim"
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Old 04-29-2010   #9
Logan, Salt Lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 66
So, here are a few things I am gathering would be a great idea:

Frame tabs are a must (this is something I had on the design already)
Shoebox lids are the way to go
Kitchen box for around $300

Here are a couple questions I have:

Chain or no Chain, let's hear thoughts.

What lengths would everybody like? I am looking to do probably 2 different sizes, and offer the bigger in a kitchen box. I want one to fit in our 12' boats, so that would have to be about 30" long. The other size, I was thinking about 36-38" Let me know what you guys think about that.

Thanks guys, we appreciate the feedback, and hopefully we can make a box that boaters will be happy to buy.
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Old 04-29-2010   #10
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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As I stated above, many 14' rafts are around 37" so a 36" box is max for a very common size boat. 36" would also be fine for 16' boats so I think you would have a good seller there.

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