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Old 01-10-2011   #31
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Originally Posted by tmaggert View Post
It was higher than expected but I enjoy it where it is. I'm on the short side (5'-6'') and it helps me see over tall passengers. I might go back to DRE and design one that has a lower profile like the standard flip bracket.
Couldn't you just have that one cut down? Looks like the legs of the bracket could be cut down by 2-3" so it's just barely above your dry box.

Originally Posted by creek View Post
...One advantage I see is that the 2 heaviest items can be spread out (cooler and drybox)...
Definitely an advantage for being able to distribute loads. Nothing like doing a wheely all the way down the river (or plowing the nose all the way down).

On that note, one challenge I am having is getting a cooler and dry box that are roughly the same dimensions. I would like to be able to interchange them in the second and fourth bays. Reason being, as the trip goes on, the cooler gets lighter, but the dry box doesn't. It would be nice to be able to switch them for weight distribution during the trip. An adjustable design allows for that, but I have a flip seat, which essentially locks in the dimensions for both bays because of the seat. I like that adjustable seat bracket from that perspective. Otherwise, I need to find cooler and drybox with the same dimension between the bay cross bars.

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Old 08-25-2011   #32
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 76

I'm in the market for a new frame as well. Getting some ideas. I have a 16' boat as well. In looking at your PDF it appears the oar locks are just a few inches back of the center of your boat? Is that right?

Notice any issues with that?

Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
Not sure what size boat you're running, but I'm 6'4" and the 4 bay DRE frame on my 16 footer has a cockpit that's plenty big. I can even sling a ammo can on either side - makes it more cramped, but the length to the footbar is still fine.

I'm a fan of the diamond plate for the pure reason of getting heavy cargo (cooler, kitchen box) in and out. The slip resistance is great, and the way I instructed DRE to weld them on (cutouts) gives all my cross-pieces about 5"+ of adjustment. Seems to be plenty of play, given that my kitchen box isn't likely to ever change dimensions & one of the other bays is dedicated to a cooler. Most of the major cooler manufacturers range between 18" to 22" in width for the 100 to 200 quart sizes, and anything smaller can be secured in a drop bag.

The frame is heavy, but still manageable for me to put it on top of my truck by myself. If you have a 15'+ boat, I would think that the 4 bay just gives you better options. I have 2 plywood pieces that cover the 2 bays in front of the cockpit on day trips- cover them in pacos and it's a perfect lounge deck (with the day cooler in a drop bag under my rowing chair). Now if you're using your cooler or drybox as a dedicated rowing seat, then maybe that screws up your configuration flexibility. I can't go 3 bay, but I also can't think of a good reason that I would want to - the weight isn't that much of a factor on a 16 footer IMO. Plus I usually trailer it inflated anyway.

I did the attached PDF sketch a few months ago and it doesn't include the diamond plate cutout dimensions, but generally the crossbars have about an 8" cutout width along the rail. I can measure that when I get home tonight. Also - make sure you get them to cut out the plate adjacent to where your D rings are on the boat, plus the corners. I also opted for all the cross pieces to be pinned, so I can break it down somewhat if necessary....although I don't plan on it.

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-26-2011   #33
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Originally Posted by TUNACAT View Post
I'm in the market for a new frame as well. Getting some ideas. I have a 16' boat as well. In looking at your PDF it appears the oar locks are just a few inches back of the center of your boat? Is that right?

Notice any issues with that?
The crosspiece for the footbar is right on the center D ring on the boat, or dead center. The oar towers are set within a cutout that allows 12" of adjustment fore and aft - I run them about 12" back of the middle of the boat, and haven't noticed any issues with how the boat tracks or turns. But it's usually loaded down with people and/or gear to the degree that it wouldn't matter anyway. I could move it closer or farther if I wanted, but it's working for me. (see pics)

My key concern was a longer dimension of the rower's compartment, because I'm 6'4" and my wife is 5'5" (not that she rows much). I kept it versatile by allowing the footbar to swivel up or down to a couple of fixed points - a cotter pin hole on the left side locks the footbar for my length, and a hole on the right raises the bar up (and closer to the rowing seat) for folks who are shorter.

If I set the towers dead center, I think I would have had to shorten the overall length of the frame considerably to keep the kitchen box compartment a reasonable length (fore to aft). Or I would have had to order a kitchen box & a captain's chair at a much longer length. That would have been a huge and heavy kitchen box.
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Old 08-30-2011   #34
slamkal's Avatar
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
So does the passenger footspace (cataraft) and rowers space count as a bay? Is a four bay support two dryboxes and cooler in addition to rower legs?
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Old 08-31-2011   #35
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,133
My cat frame design evolved over time. Its a 7' three bay day/overnight frame that quickly expands to a 11' five bay frame for the Grand Canyon. The added bays are not just cargo modules that strap to the main frame but solid extensions of the main frame. Fits my 16' or 18' tubes for maximum gear capacity. The day frame works on my 12', 16' or 18' tubes.

I'm going to be selling it this fall so I'll get it out of storage to measure and take photos. I'll post some soon.
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Old 08-31-2011   #36
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 149
slamkal - The rowers foot space counts as a bay, but the passengers does not. On my setup I run a large drop bag in the front bay (41"x29"), about 19" for my feet and foot bar for the second, the third bay holds my 128 cooler (as my seat), and a fourth detachable bay hold a second 160qt cooler (used for either food or semi-dry box).
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Old 08-31-2011   #37
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vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
So my 18' leopard has a six, optionally seven bay 12' frame. Wow

One bay has two pelican cube cases (painted white) for dry food storage. Atop this lies some pacos so i can use as a passenger sun deck.

Next bay is about 16" for either 94 qt cooler or small barney bag.

I sit atop a drybox In bay 3.

Rowers feet in bay 4 although i keep this relatively open but i guess could fit captains boxes.

Then large drybox in bay 5

120qt cooler in bay 6. I lay pacos atop the cooler for seat cushions and this is covered with a bimini top for shade

Next is passenger foot area although on both trips this summer this is where the drink cooler went

Just got back from the Rogue where about 1/3 the river i had four passengers with this setup and two duckies in tow

I love my boat!

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