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Old 05-21-2014   #1
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 361
Is a double-rail frame that much stronger/better?

I built myself a double-rail frame because I read they were stronger.

Makes sense I guess, but now I find myself in a predicament... with my transportation arrangements it's a bit of a pain to transport my setup with the frame in one large piece so I'm debating putting break-down side-rails and converting it back to a single-rail in order to make the frame transportable in two pieces.

I'm only running up to class III+ on this boat, usually I and II. I might push up to IV, but probably not V in this boat. I have side decking I made, but I think if the cross-rails now go to the edge it will have more than enough support.

The only obvious limitation I see is that the frame is constructed with speed-rail fittings that have been drilled and pinned and oriented to prevent the frame coming apart because of fitting slip... it's just not possible at all unless a pin fails AND a set-screw loosens... and it would probably take two of each of those to actually have the frame come apart. With a single-rail, I can't see how I can set it up to be absolutely sure I have 4-direction protection.

Thoughts... opinions... suggestions?

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Old 05-22-2014   #2
Atomicrider's Avatar
Arco, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 74
I like my double rail frame, but I see your issue with break down. Have you looked at Whitewater Machine Work's products? I haven't used them, but that double barrel fitting that he makes looks amazing and versatile.

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Old 05-22-2014   #3
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
you ever try to slide a speed rail fitting adn adjust a crossbar?
they don't move around at all and are hard to move manually with a loose set screw (even with a hammer). I don't see the need for pins, the set screw is plenty (just check it time to time).
Single rail frame with side boards (as long as they are supported with enough cross members) seems just about as good to me as a double rail.

You seen any of the Russian Rafting videos...they run class VI with wood and rope frames. Yours is plenty strong (assuming its not some botched frankenframe !)
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Old 05-22-2014   #4
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 361
Good input, thanks. I suppose another option is to drill through the fitting and into the tube and put a bolt in it, if I'm really hung up on "pinning" the frame.

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Old 05-23-2014   #5
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 485
The reasons for doing double rail frames on two of my boats is for better rigging and ease of travel in and out of the boat. I agree that single rail frames are plenty strong. I am currently building a frame using the WhiteWater works double barrel lo pros and I think they are super nice and they should allow me to break down my frame pretty easily. I really like that my side boards will be attached only to the lo pros.

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