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Old 01-31-2016   #21
mttodd's Avatar
billings, Montana
Paddling Since: Tues
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 333
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With regards to drybox material. I believe most are using .080 thick 5052 sheet. I've built some out of .100 material, but you really don't need it that thick. I would recommend 1.25 pipe as it is plenty strong and gives you the ability to use bolt on trinkets and oar locks that nrs sells.

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Old 02-01-2016   #22
SpeyCatr's Avatar
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 267
You could always build your base welded frame out of 1 1/4" aluminum (1.66" OD) so you can use the clamp on NRS oar towers to start and after using them for a while you can fine tune the sweet spot front to back and height wise with them to find that good rowing geometry then you can add welded on oar towers later (if you decide to ditch the NRS oar towers). If you buy the taller NRS towers - 8" is probably good to start unless you're planning on rowing form something taller than a seat - you can push them out to lower them if they are too tall. Just a thought anyways...

You wouldn't be out much money as if you decide to use them to start you can sell them later.

Future owner of AIRE Wave Destroyer w/MadCatr Frame
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Old 02-01-2016   #23
mattman's Avatar
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,046
I'm a big fan of going with a removable plywood floor, saves ya weight, some cost maybe,
and adds versatility, lot's of people love there diamond plate floor, but I have also heard the complaint that it was hard on the eyes.
" I wish I were a headlight, on a North bound train..."
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Old 02-01-2016   #24
tallboy's Avatar
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 175
I built mine out of 1.5" EMT and had it powdercoated. Super easy to bend all the corners with a conduit bender and it has held up great. It is on an 18' cat, the main rowing frame is 8.5' and the trailer frame is 3' It weighs just over 100 lbs, (the equivalent aluminum frame with all the crossbar fittings weighs almost as much but is more $$$)

The dimensions for mine were based on the AIRE Leopard D ring placement and the Yeti 120 cooler I had. I would look at what you want to haul and if you plan on taking it on any longer trips and go from there. My cooler is 40" wide so I ended up making the frame 44" between tubes. This has been really nice to have the extra space in width (storing rocket boxes and water jugs sideways). It is 10" deep and I made the top outside dimension a little wider than it needed to be for a 27" tube just in case. Your cat will handle like a pig if you make it too deep and overload it...frame dragging in water is muy malo.

Spend the time geeking out now, use a program like sketchup and dimension all of your boxes so you can see how they will fit. Its well worth the effort so you know what works and what doesn't. Believe me, ending up 1/2" too narrow will make you kick yourself.
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Old 03-14-2016   #25
Go with the Flow
ALBANY, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4
A little help here, I'm in the process of welding up a Cat frame, I have 24" tubes, what is a good distance for the drop down rails, 8" seems too small?
Thanks CurtO
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Old 03-14-2016   #26
DRL River Gypsies's Avatar
Albany, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 61
Hey Curt!

I typically go 9" center to center on the drop but that's typically 21-23" diameter tubes. With 24", I typically go 10" or 11" but I wouldn't want to go anymore than that. A major consideration is the inside D-ring height on your tubes. Some of the Aire and RMR tubes have a pretty high inside D-ring location limiting your floor drop.

Good luck and let me know if you need any help. THANX, Dusty

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