IMHO, people take an unholy amount of shit on day trips. Unless you're planning to be on the river for 5-6 hours and stopping to make an elaborate lunch, consider paring things down.
I have a 2-bay day frame that works great. Just a rower's bay (seat on the back crossbar), middle crossbar is a combination crossbar/foot bar, and I run a drop bag in the front bay. Small cooler in the drop bag and a table/seat over that. Your passengers will have all of the front two thwarts to sit on, plus the table/cooler bay takes up just enough space you won't hit someone in the back of the head with the oars.
Even more Spartan is a single-bay stern frame. Get your weight ALL the way back and leave all 3 thwarts open for passengers to sit on. I really don't understand the impetus for wanting your oars perfectly centered. I use this rig in class IV...not sure why it won't work in II-III!
All you'd need is an extra (shorter) pair of long bars and move your NRS bars over to them. Save the super long bars for when you need 4 bays for an overnight trip.
Originally Posted by wildh2onriver
First thing I got rid of was the seat, and used the crossbar and low pros for the front bay. It's a table that sits over the drop bag in front.
Btw, the seat bar combo wastes precious space. I also got rid of the extra kick bar and replaced it with a combo straight crossbar/kick bar. That also allowed more space for the front drop bag/seating area.
Good advice. The standard NRS setup, I'm convinced, is simply designed that way to enable NRS to sell an extra pair of Lopros.
Originally Posted by Grifgav
I have an Aire 156R, and often do day trips with myself and 5-6 folks. I have a Cambridge welding Salmon River Frame, so not adjustable like your NRS frame. What I do is put a bench in front of the cooler, and put in a thwart as close to the stern as I can. The passengers behind me sit on the tubes, and rest/hook their feet on or under the thwart. Works fine for class II/III floats. I sit on a dry box...the front bench can be replaced by another. Pic includes for example
Good setup with a minimum of fuss and would work with his existing rig.