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Old 08-30-2011   #1
James Brown's Avatar
Park City, Utah
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 22
Space for boxes/coolers...

Sorry for the first post to be bugging for information but I have a question...

I am trying to build a white water frame (NRS) on a self bailing rubber raft and am trying to figure out how to handle boxes and coolers. The inside tube to tube is at about 35 1/2 inches, and the top of the center railing is about 13" from the inflated floor of the raft. I see using the dry box up front as the seat, and putting a cooler and the rest of the junk in the back.

Most dry boxes come in 36" as the smallest dimension unless I special order. Do I want a dry box that I cram down in between the rubber (like the 36 inch into a 35 inch space) or do I want an inch of air on each end to protect against rubbing, and should special order the 34 inch instead?

And what about the hangers..How far above the floor do I want the box? Do I want a couple of inches to spare for when I have to spin off a rock?
Are the welded hangers better than being able to do the micro-adjustment using the NRS dry box hanging system? And is there any suggestion on how far above the center bar the box should extend (like how how should that front seat be above the cross rails?).

Thanks for any information and/or suggestions.


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Old 08-30-2011   #2
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
You're on to the right ideas. Leave an inch at least on each side, and probably two on the bottom for rub prevention. I know the guys at Cascade can put you in touch with the guy at Cambridge, who will build to your specs. I am entirely pleased with the quite large (44" x 15.5" x 15") drybox that turned up on my doorstep for a very reasonable $380 shipped.

The welded tabs are great as long as you are very set on that being the last place in space you'll mount that drybox.

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Old 08-30-2011   #3
don't bogart that
rpludwig's Avatar
Frosted Flakes N of Baytuckey, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 180
I like tight and level. Keep your center of gravity in the boat, you may have to right the vessel. I run an old 4crs welded frame on a 14 foot Marivia with cooler in front of my feet and boxes in front of that with a paco for seat, not to fancy but the weight up front helps.
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Old 08-30-2011   #4
Osprey's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
There’s a few ways to do this, just depends on what you want. On my NRS frame I run table/ drop bag up front with cooler next and I sit on the dry box or put a seat in when the dry box isn’t needed. You didn’t say what boat it is. I run a dry box that rubs on both sides and I have to push it down into the boat, no problems. Boxes are smooth, a little rubbing isn’t an issue unless you are hung up about metal marks on the rubber. (I wouldn’t want a ton of overage on each side, but I don’t think a ” on each side is that big a deal. It’s not like a cooler where the plug end might be digging into the tube.) As far as of the floor, it can just touch the floor or a little up if possible. Remember if you hit a rock it’s probably not going to hit all the way up to the top side of the floor, there is a lot of cushion between the top and bottom side. The thing is just getting the weight off the floor. Mine touch with the NRS hangars and it’s no issue except for aluminum markings on the boat. Part of it may depend on how high you want you or your passengers to sit. There are very few wrong answers for this, you just have to figure out what's going to work for you.
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Old 08-30-2011   #5
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
I row a cataraft with a 66 in. NRS frame. Because the frame is narrow, I've had to have custom sized dry boxes. I have been very pleased with my boxes make by Partner Steel in Pocatello. They have been very easy to work with, and I've gotten my boxes quickly. If you know Partner Steel stoves, then you know that they make quality river gear.

I can't speak to your floor issue, but I sized my boxes to leave about a 1/2 - 1 inch gap on the sides, between the box and tubes. I use the welded brackets because I didn't want to deal with the adjustable hanging supports. If you are just starting out, you may want to go the adjustable route until you are sure you have your set-up dialed in. The one thing about NRS frames that can be both a positive and a negative is their flexibility of set-up. They give you options to move things around, which can be good,but sometimes that leads to headaches & confusion. It might be worth setting up your boat in the driveway, throwing on the frame, and doing some measuring & tweaking. Use the specs on the boxes & coolers you are thinking about, move your bars around on the frame, then look at it to see if it makes sense. It's the old adage ......measure twice, cut once. Dry boxes & coolers cost $$$. You might want to PM Alex (kazak4X4), he has a really sweet raft set-up and could maybe send you some pictures & ideas.
Good Luck
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Old 08-30-2011   #6
oarframe's Avatar
Gardnerville, Nevada
Paddling Since: 00
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 447
James Brown - you need an avatar. x3 on what all have said. it's like a rubiks cube, so many permutations to think about. kazak spent the whole winter with his baby in the basement tweeking it, search his name to see some of his stuff. my family think i have a girlfriend who lives in the garage. one thing for sure once you start.... it never stops. then you too will feel like james brown
more snow = more water
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Old 08-31-2011   #7
James Brown's Avatar
Park City, Utah
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 22
Thanks for the information everyone. I now have some clear ideas on what needs to be done, spend more time in the garage!

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