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Old 10-25-2014   #21
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Originally Posted by tmacc View Post
OK. Sorry, I withdraw my comment about never owning one and you're right, the lock tabs are POC. I cut ours off too. My SO is half the weight of your friend. Maybe that's the reason our lid is still straight. Or, it could be the fact that we have the 38 x 18 x 13, so if you had a wider box , that might explain the denting. Or, it could just be the fact that the guy weights 260 lb. I just looked at our box and there's no rust on the bolts. Are they dull? Yup. After 5 years, are the latches a little quirky? Yup.

I'm not claiming these are the greatest boxes ever made, but if someone is just getting their first boat or slowly acquiring equipment, these aren't a bad way to go. When we got a GC permit 6 years ago, we bought some used Leopard tubes, NRS frame parts and bought a FP kitchen box for what was a great deal. That's what the budget allowed at the time and it's served us well over the years. When we get asked on trips, we are always requested to bring our kitchen box.

Now that we've run both our cats for 5-7 years, we know exactly what we want. We have ordered some new tubes and have decided what frame and dryboxes we want that will work with both sets of tubes. All US made stuff.
glad your SO isn't pushing 260. that's a lot of boat capacity. fat man in a little boat. I'm not all that much lighter, around 200, but still sometimes when the metal hits the or whatever that phrase is, you gotta jump from one corner of your boat to the other. And the forces much exceed the static weight.

the rust was on the washers and nuts on the inside. evidence that moisture was getting in the box regardless of the results of a static test done on a new box upside down in a bathtub.

The big difference I see in the frontier box (other than the hodgepodge assortment of miscellaneous bolts, screws etc and screwed in hinges) is that the lid doesn't really have a very strong lip. that and you can't get the lid in a thicker material. So yes any 0.080 material might bend if you honk on it but the other lids I have really haven't yet. I never measured the thickness of the frontier box it seemed like it flexed a lot. My larger US made boxes all have 0.100 thick lids and so far so good. my 13" deep box is 0.080 but knock on wood no deformation from a little bounce on it jumping across the rowing bay.

I Didn't buy my frontier box I got it with a used boat. the dims were 24" by 12x12 I think --- captains box. but it was used in the front corner of my cat on a trip. why pay $200 for a frontier box when there are a lot of used ones out there from others upgrading? I rarely see other brand boxes sold used unless its an outfitter sellling a 44" wide box that nobody can use ...

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 10-26-2014   #22
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 493
Yes, definitely a hodge-podge of screws and fasteners. I think we paid $195 for the 38 x 13 x 18 kitchen box and $95 for the smaller 19 x 10 x 12(?) captain's box from FP. Freight was dirt cheap too. Other than oars, and some NRS frame parts, probably one the few new things we bought for our cats. I still have no major complaints about them. Definitely not as beautiful as Mad Cow's boxes, but how long are any of these boxes going to have that new appearance. Our Sotar boxes are looking a little dull these days after 7 years of our use on the rivers.

Our 38 x 15 x 13 Sotar boxes are probably .080 and I can't say that I really notice if the lids flex. Big waves or big hole are the only thing that can force water into either the boxes.

I was thinking that I wouldn't worry about .090 or .100 lids on the new boxes, but maybe I'll reconsider it.

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Old 10-26-2014   #23
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
Dry box.....Partner Steel. Shoe box lid, but no problems with moisture after 4-5 years. Sturdy and well made. They made two custom sized boxes for me at a decent price and got them to me super fast.

Cooler - I use a Canyon Cooler 105 Sailor. It was the biggest cooler I could find to fit my 66 inch NRS cataraft frame. I could go bigger now in my raft, but I'll probably stick with the 105 for now. It has a sturdy lip all the way around that rests on the cross bars, so no need for a drop bag or sling. Another plus is that it sit's level with my dry box. I'd love to find a 110-120 that's long, wide, and short that doesn't break the bank, but so far I can't find one that's perfect.
"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
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Old 10-27-2014   #24
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 636
I have a 16' Hyside XT so can offer some advice, for once, with actual experience:

Cooler: NRS 175 qt. Love the cooler and the latches work great with the frame, from Riverboat Works

Dry Box: My box is the shoebox lid style. I tested it in a lake before a main Salmon trip with only a few drops of water. But if I were to get another one, or maybe get a kitchen box, I'd look closely at the Mad Cow boxes.
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Old 10-27-2014   #25
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Not sure how he makes them now but I have some Cy (Cambridge) built, shoebox style boxes. Two side boxes, big box up front and a seat box. My biggest complaint is they are too big and everyone sees that you have four boxes and wants you to carry all their shit. Beer especially. Screw that. I am getting all drop bags for next year and someone else can carry all the junk. Especially that damn big kitchen box.

The shoebox style has let some water in at times. Think running Velvet sideways at 7 feet and the slap of water pressure against the box forces some water through the seal. Why would you want to do this? I didn't but there you go. Thankfully I haven't had to test them upside down. I think the side boxes would stay dry but I doubt the big boxes would. I would also add to make sure when closing boxes nothing, as in nothing, sticks up above the lip that the lid sits on. I have seen people sit on them like an overloaded suitcase to get the box closed and this is not a good idea.

My coolers are pretty much old used crap so I have nothing there.
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Old 10-27-2014   #26
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Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 282
pretty much everyone I run with regularly has Recretec boxes, and their ability to keep out water has everything to do with the gasket seals. They flatten out and move out of alignment with where they need to be over time, which is one advantage of the shoebox style Cambridge boxes I used to have where the gasket slips over a lip on the box and always stayed in the right place.

I've replaced the seals once in the 10 years I've had the Recretec boxes, and when I ordered the new "poron" seals Timmy at Recretec gave the rather obvious advice (but not previously thought of by me until then) that the boxes should always be stored with the lids propped open (or at the very least not latched) so the seal doesn't get compressed. The new seals are several years old now and are holding up really well.

Not exactly on your question, but the gasket is really where the water is kept out of the box regardless of who manufactured it. Pretty easy to replace.
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Old 10-27-2014   #27
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North Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 442
I remember the topic of whether to store dry boxes, ammo cans and coolers open or closed came up a while back within a thread but I can't find the thread. Any ideas as to the best way to store, open or closed? I keep all my ammo cans and coolers closed and latched with no seal problems. Like all methods of everything there is a counter. Any reasons to store unlatched?
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Old 10-27-2014   #28
90Duck's Avatar
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by nicho View Post
Any reasons to store unlatched?
I should clarify that I have been storing the boxes open since getting that advice, and the seals are holding up a lot better than the previous set. I also avoid latching my ammo cans and cooler unless they are in use. Of course, leaving them open allows things to get in them, a non-starter problem if you have rodents in your garage or have to store your boat outside. Luckily I have a garage and a couple of cats to keep mice at bay.
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Old 10-27-2014   #29
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North Denver, Colorado
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Posts: 442
I unlatched my dry box, latched would condone gasket memory but it seems like open would save some wear on the gasket. I 303ed my gasket.
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Old 10-27-2014   #30
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Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 105
I have two Eddy Out dry boxes. They have been field tested (as in up side down in the Salmon) and no leaks. They sit in an Eddy Out frame (think RecreTec) so they don't have carry handles and they latch in. I'm happy with them.

I'm still looking for a cooler.

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