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Old 04-26-2016   #1
norcal, California
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 101
Double rail gap width?

I'm thinking of converting my single rail 4-bay AAA frame (similar to DRE) to a double rail, to better support side decks and make rigging a bit easier. The frame is 72"W and the raft is 84"W with 20" tubes. Ideally, how far inboard would I want the inner rail?


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Old 04-26-2016   #2
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Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
Typically double rail frames will be wider overall than their single rail equals. Only you can decide how far inside the tubes you want your rails to be. I decided that I wanted both rails supported on the tubes so my decks are a little skinnier than the norm. Most frames I see have the inner rail off the tube an inch or two. Depending on where your outer rail falls on the tube you could end up pretty far inboard with your inner rail if you get too wide. Anything off the tube will make strapping easier. Play with it a little, find where you are comfortable and go with it. No black magic involved.

zach baird
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Old 04-26-2016   #3
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 427
As wide as you can without creating a huge overhang. The numbers you gave, I'd think ~10" would be about as wide as I'd go- that leaves 52" or so between the inner bars, and depending on your boat and frame, I don't think that'd overhang too far for me.

My boat is 92" wide, frame is 80" wide, and there are ~52" between the inner rails. That makes for 12" wide decks, plus the 2" tubing. Pretty sweet to walk on. If you use sketchup, I could email you a file of the boat with frames. PM me.

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Old 04-26-2016   #4
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Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 140
I would think that 10" would be about right. That's the distance I have on my dbl rail frame (88x74) I have a 16 foot Avon and the distance between the tubes are 44" I added 4 1/2 inches on each side for a total of 53inches between the inside rails this allows me to drop in the cooler and dry box and be able to get to my handles between the decking, It's a little skinny between the two rails but it works great.
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Old 04-26-2016   #5
norcal, California
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 101

Thanks for the good advice, appreciate it.
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Old 04-26-2016   #6
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 47
If your boat has a top chafe strip you may not want to go any wider than that or some of the frame will ride off of the chafe strip.
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Old 04-26-2016   #7
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
I wouldn't make a move without giving White Water Machine Works a call. No one would know more about double rail sizing than them. Just a thought
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Old 04-26-2016   #8
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 485
Plus one on what Coby said. I used Whitewater Machine Works double barrel lo pros on a frame build and love how they work. I really like that the deck is elevated so you can strap around it ( above the pipes). It is definitely a good way to go.


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