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Old 06-25-2012   #1
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1
How to mount dry box/cooler in cataraft

I plan to get a cataraft for all-around use, say a 14-foot Ocelot or Wave Destroyer. The question is how to mount the dry box for longer trips. Both boats have 22-inch tubes, and the frame could drop about 8-inches at most. If it the box is mounted so that the bottom of the box is even with the bottom frame tubes, then the box stands tall, and since I would be sitting on the box, I would be sitting tall. If the box hangs from the cross-bars like on a round boat, then the bottom of the box hangs below the raft frame, which makes me nervous about hitting something. What are people's thoughts about mounting a dry box or cooler? Sit tall or drag low?

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Old 06-25-2012   #2
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
I have the Ocelot. If you haven't bought the drybox or frame etc, you can order the drybox to whatever depth and dimensions you want. Of course this option is not available if you go with something like a frontier play box.

You definately don't want to be sitting up too tall on that boat it will totally mess with the rowing geometry.

One thing you might want to consider (especially if you "plan" on hitting rocks) is to have a firepan made that fits the size of your cooler or drybox bottom. Allows the box to sit lower and if you do hit something its much cheaper or easier to repair a bent firepan than it is to have an aluminum drybox. Plus the pan under the box gives you a convenient place to stow it. (if you have a welder you can make your own pan for about $35 in materials. ...)

On that boat you can probably do about a 9" drop unless you are planning on running over rocks that should be enough clearance. If you go with an NRS frame I'd run 66" wide it allows for a 94qt cooler with some roome to spare.

I worry about having stuff too high on a boat, particulary trying to right the boat if it flips or what gear is going to scrape off if it flips and goes over shallow rocks. My huge gear boat has some pelican cubes that stick about 10" over the frame. Fortunately most bigger water doesn't have a lot of shallows and most shallow water trips won't result in a flip.

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 06-25-2012   #3
mrett's Avatar
Lincoln City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 96
May want to listen to the "Tard" advice. Look at the frame rowing geometry/tractor seat height. Measure distance from the top of the tubes to the "D" rings inside the tubes. How high is the tractor seat above tubes ?? The dry box gets much taller you will not be a happy oarsman
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Old 06-25-2012   #4
La Grande, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 77
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I agree with Avatard. We set up a 16' Aire with Ice Chest in front of Rower and two dry boxes behind. Rower sets on a frame that bridges the area under, set up a bag below and set a table over it for a top, allowing the rower to set much lower.
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Old 07-18-2012   #5
lewiston, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4
i have an 18' aire cougar and i actually sit too low. there is a sweet spot on height. too low and you are unable to lift your oars high enough in big water to miss waves and can have an oar ripped out of your hand; too high and you get too steep of an angle and can have more trouble hitting blades on rocks and bottom in shallower water. also need to think about being able to see over, around or through whomever is sitting in front of you. i have rowwed from too high and too low. if i had to pick one i would go too high and think about longer oars
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