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Old 07-22-2009   #11
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 33
Wow, that homebuilt gear=great gear! Good job Hpmg those fittings are very impresive and make for some awesome frame porn......I know what I'll be thinking about when I go to bed!

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Old 07-22-2009   #12
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,150

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Old 07-22-2009   #13
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
I'd expect to pay $80.00 plus for fittings as beautiful as those. More like the $180.00 range to have a machine shop turn them out for you......(and that would be cheap around here )
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Old 07-22-2009   #14
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 99
I'm not seeing any pics....anyone else with the same problem?
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Old 07-22-2009   #15
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 887
They are all showing up, I am not even a rafter (yet anyways) and they look to be a pretty sweet setup.

Might try clearing browser, ect.
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Old 07-22-2009   #16
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 99
Just tried using a different browser with no pics showing up...oh well I guess I'll check at home tonight.....
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Old 07-22-2009   #17
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Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 670

I kind of threw my rig together without a lot of experience regarding how it all went together (crossing over from kayaking). There's been a lot of retrofitting. I'm already dreaming of the day I get to design and customize the next rig. What inspiration!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
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Old 07-22-2009   #18
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 201
Thanks for the responses and feedback!

I appreciate it!!!

I'll try to answer your questions:

What tube diameter is your boat? Will these fittings work on a range of tube sizes, or only on your size tube?
They will fit all tube diameters. When designing the fitting, I made sure it would fit all the advertised tube diameters I could find, from 17 to 24".

I am thinking those tubes need chafe protection, those snap pins might be a pain catching on things when you really do not need the extra drama; in a flip situation for example. I really like your choice of the NRS towers due their ability to take severe hits without bending or breaking something but I am wondering about the oar length/angle/stroke geometry with the locks set out off tube center.
I was concerned about the chafing on the tubes also, and made a call to Aire (raft is a Tributary), and they assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. They said worst case the outer skin could be worn through, and it would still hold air, because of the bladders. According to them, the (Real) Aire models don't even really have a chafe strip, the chafe area on top of the tube is just made with the heavier PVC material used on the bottom of the tubes.

The snap pins could be replaced with a bolt and acorn or nyloc nut, but this would add considerably to the breakdown time. When the side decking is in place, it actually covers up the snap pins, so it would be hard to accidently get attached to them, but I hear what you are saying.

The geometry actually comes out really close to 1/3in 2/3 out with a 9' oar. (78" between locks, -4" gap between oars, = 37", x 3= 111, which is fairly close to 108") I came across a sweet deal on some factory rope wrapped Cataract oars, but I think I am going to be wishing I had bought some 10 footers.

I like the simplicity of the NRS oar towers, but was very disappointed with a (HUGE) drilled clearance hole for the oar lock shaft. I am going to have to do something about that......I've got some ideas.....

Do you have any bright ideas to hold down your dry boxes? I'd like to get away from camming mine down and having to undo 2 straps and the latches to open them.
I am working on something for the side boxes, as I want to be able to open them easily while underway, but haven't finished it yet. It's really simple, I'll post some pics when it's ready.

Pricing info:

I figured out the pricing for the fittings, plus a list of items that would be required to build a 4 bay frame:

8 Double Fittings $78 $624
2 Single Fittings $42 $84
18 U-Bolts $2.50 $45
10 Snap Pins $2.50 $25
8 Frame Plugs $1.50 $12
45ft. 1.25 Anodized Pipe $4 $180
NRS Deluxe Footbar $119 $119
NRS 8" Oar Stands $89 $89

Total $1178

Some items could be added/replaced that would change the overall price, but this should be an honest ballpark.

Thanks again!


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Old 07-22-2009   #19
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 139
The Jesse James of framemakers! That's very nice work. I have the same boat. I'm guessing from the detail and finish of those fittings that you're a guy that likes to keep his gear in top notch shape. After 4 years I'm looking to add some chafe strips and wish I'd done it last fall. Just to be bomber-er.
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Old 07-22-2009   #20
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 201

Yes, I do like to keep my gear in nice shape. To be proactive, I was planning on glueing a PVC strip onto the top of my tubes from the start, but according to Aire, that definately was not the thing to do (don't exactly remember their reasoning, but they were pretty firm about it.) Instead they suggested (if I must do something) to use Flextuff from Man of Rubber It can be tinted to match your boat color, and being recomended by Aire, it must work OK. I'll see what it looks like after next season, and by then I'll have a good idea where it is showing wear.

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