Originally Posted by B4otter
Advantage: if you want to run the rest of your frame without the trailer, you can center/position it how you want, and use added space for dry bags, soft gear, etc. - or to carry passenger(s) aft or provide additional room for passengers period. Disadvantages: you lose the width of whatever tubing your cross pieces are (usually the same as main frame - 1 /14 NRS or 1 1/2 DRE, etc.) in terms of overall length of the frame, PLUS you need additional rigging (straps) and add the "whiplash" factor of an independent frame. I have never run a 5 bay frame - but I have run 3 + 1 on many different boats, and now building my "ultimate" double rail w/diamond plate that is 4 bays, period (no trailer). What are you going to carry in a 10-12" wide drop bag - not even a decent 30 pack will fit! Good luck regardless, to each his/her own...!
Agreed that losing width to the additional cross-piece is definitely a downside, as well as additional rigging/straps. Also a 5th bay squeezes all the other bays for room.
My theoretical frame from bow to stern is:
Bay 1 - Drop Bag, Table (Primary passenger seating on paco pad)
Bay 2 - Dry Box
Bay 3 - Rower's with Captain's Boxes
Bay 4 - Cooler (I will probably sit on the cooler)
Bay 5 - Drop Bag with Hatch Cover
Frame length around 94''
My idea for the 5th bay is to have a narrow bench that one or two passengers could sit on in a flat-water day trip scenario, or have another place to strap miscellaneous items to. Obviously a the drop bag would be limited to smaller odds and ends, but that's ok. With the trailer, (double railed diamond plate with a diamond plate hatch) I could also use it as seating at camp. Take it off the boat and set it on two overturned 5 gallon buckets or stumps.
Thanks for the feedback