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Old 03-04-2016   #1
UpThePoudre's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 24
Outfitting my Legend

Hi everyone! This thread is going to serve as a 'build log' for my Sotar Legend outfit, and will hopefully contain information for other people looking to do the same. Much of my research has come from this site, across many different threads, so I hope to compile everything I have learned here.

First off, a little about me- My name is Neill, I'm 26, and am a software engineer by trade. I've lived in Colorado since 2003, and in Fort Collins since 2007 when I moved up here for school. I've been rafting for ~4 years, though have gone on a commercial trip or two prior to that. During the season, we try to raft the Poudre River 2-3 times a week, and have done the San Juan, Desolation Canyon, Gates of Lodore, and Brown's Canyon/ The Numbers. Last year, we competed at the GoPro Mountain Games for R2 Raft Cross, and R2 Raft sprint. This year we only pulled a San Juan permit, so we are using it as an introduction to rafting for many of our friends.

I may have met some of you on the west coast while I was out in Portland in January. I stopped by Andy and Bax, and was invited to the PDX Kayak film festival that night. Seemed like a great community out there!

At this point, our group has a 14' Aire Ocelot, 13.5 Hyside, a Hyside mini-max, and a Hala Hoss BT paddleboard. This year we are adding my 13' Legend, a second paddleboard, and a RMR paddlecat, with plans to take a total of 12 on the San Juan.

Anyway, on to the good stuff. I ordered a set of 13' Sotar Legends through Dusty at DRLRiverGypsies, as he has apparently bought up the rights to the remaining purple material Sotar uses. Both Dusty and Kory at Sotar were very helpful in answering questions, and the only complaint I have is Dusty needs to accept payments other than check. Mailing checks in this day and age seems archaic to me... That being said, the 20% off on raft accessories he offers with purchase of a boat is worth it.

So these are my tubes- Teal with purple and gray. (Photo from Sotar, they are in the mail currently. I think the lighting is a bit off.)

13' Long (+6" from standard)
23.5" Diameter (+1" from standard)
Top Chafe.

I added the length and diameter to the tubes as this will be a dual purpose rig, and I wanted the increased load rating for multidays while still remaining small enough to oar on the Poudre (hopefully!). Sotar estimates the tubes will be able to handle ~750 lbs at 1/3 submergence (up from 564 on the stock dimensions).

I also ordered:
3- 9' Sawyer Squaretops
3- ProLok Next-gen
3- ProLok oar sleves
NRS Lowback Seat
NRS Pro throwbag
5mm accessory cord for oar leashes

Still need to order:
K2 Summit 70 Cooler
Southco K3-1735-52 Rotary Draw Latches + other piece. (Think drybox latches)
Tube to frame straps 16- 1" or 1.5"?
Oarlock retaining hardware
Aluminum tube/pipe
Aluminum sheet .80" for drybox.

Tools still needed:
1" SCH 40 pipe (1.315 OD) bender die
1" .120 wall tube bender die

After much debate and research, I plan to build two frames- one for play, one for multidays with gear. I've been collecting all the images of cat frames I can, and compiling them here (have probably 50 more photos to add, but they are on my other computer):
Cat Frames - Album on Imgur

Note that these photos are not mine, they belong to the people who took them- I simply pulled them from many different threads, websites, etc. and hope people don't mind me compiling an album for reference and inspiration.

I haven't identified final dimensions yet, as I'm waiting on my tubes to arrive Monday. I plan to CAD everything up in Solidworks, and play with the designs a bit before finalizing them.

Initial ideas on the play frame- 34" between tubes, ~60" wide over the tubes, length tbd, rower in front, passenger seat off the back. Made with 1" SCH 40 6063 pipe (1.315 OD), and 1" .120 wall 6063 tube.

Gear frame- 36" between tubes, ~62" wide over the tubes, rear gear bay, rower in back sitting on top of a custom kitchen drybox, rower's leg bay, cooler bay, then a beavertail/footrest for the passenger in front sitting on the cooler. Made with 1.25" SCH40 6063 pipe (1.66 OD) and 1" SCH 40 6063 pipe (1.315 OD).

I have a few ideas that I haven't seen before, but not sure I will incorporate them into either of these frames, as I don't have the machining capabilities yet, and want to make sure I can get out on the water this season

The 6063 tube/pipe is proving harder to find than expected- I have a quote for 100 ft of 1" SCH 40 6063 pipe (1.315 OD) at 3.65/ft, but haven't been able to find a supplier for 1" 6063 tube (or 3/4" 6063 sch40 pipe- 1.05 OD).

I do not claim to be the most knowledgeable person when it comes to fabrication, rafting, or anything else, but am open to input, and hope this thread is helpful to the community and others looking to do similar. Anyone from/visiting Ft. Collins, let me know- lets grab a beer or paddle once the weather gets nice.

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Old 03-04-2016   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,133
I also have a new Sotar, a custom design at 12'x21".
My priority is light weight. Lots of the rivers I plan on running have poor access and portages.
One chamber per tube, smaller D-rings, no handles, 3/4" Schedule 40 @ .39 lbs per ft.

One thought on your two frame plan. Why not one day frame plus a trailer frame for gear that can go either front or back?

Alreco Aluminum Products in Brighton (303-287-7210) has Schedule 40 in both 6061 & 6063 for a lot better pricing.

When I have more time, I will check out your photo collection.
Good luck with your project, keep us posted with updates.

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Old 03-04-2016   #3
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 244
i too have a brand new sotar legend. standard 12-6".

my frame is currently in progress, 1.5" .056 steel tube. bent with a hossfeld bender with 4" radius dies. i only have oar towers to build and it is done. 58" wide with 36" between the tubes. it is a big water day run frame only. there is nothing hanging down between the tubes, no cross bars except on top of the tubes. overall it will be a very minimalist frame, designed to keep weight to a minimum and upside down profile small.
the design is my own, and it may prove to be no good. if i like it, it will get powder coated. if i do not like it, it will be modified until i do like it and then powder coated. if i really like it, i will duplicate it in aluminum.

i would be concerned about strength with a frame made from 1" aluminum tube. not a problem if the spans are kept short. i made a small frame for my 11x19 jacks tubes out of 1" .063 chromoly DOM tubing. even that material flexes quite a bit, and it has only 28" between the tubes.
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Old 03-04-2016   #4
Spokane, Washington
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 12

Best of luck with your build. I just wanted to comment on your straps. I would suggest waiting until you have your frame before ordering straps. I ended up using twos and fours to secure my standard 12'6" Legend. This allows some play with the frame depending on play or multiday and leaves enough to grab to tighten.
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Old 03-05-2016   #5
Southwest Raft and Jeep's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 14

You have quite the project going on!

You had mentioned building a frame.....a great idea. I deal with the guys at Downriver Equipment (Phil, Matt, and Zack) in Denver a lot. They are very knowledgeable if you need advice.

As for the K2 cooler....let me know when you are ready. I can bring you one from Durango.

I'm excited to follow what you have going on with the build!

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Old 03-05-2016   #6
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,363
Custom loop straps from tuff river stuff~ 1 1/2" polyester

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
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Old 03-05-2016   #7
Nye, Montana
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 232
Following thread. I'll try to sell you something too when I can think of something.

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Old 03-05-2016   #8
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 60
I'll be interested in how you like those tubes. A while back I asked for feedback on the the Maravia 14x24 tubes for exactly the same mix you mentioned. I was treated like a leper because 24 inch tubes were WAAAAAY too big. Keep us posted. Thanks
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Old 03-05-2016   #9
curtis catman's Avatar
Rivertown, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 9:45
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 416
I have a set of 14' 24" sotar legend tubes. They are great and I say go big or go home. Good luck on your project. Looks like you guys have put together a few boats already.
I am an American Whitewater member. One of 6300. There are an estimated 100000 paddlers in the U S. If you are not a member you should join. AW is fighting for our rivers everyday and could use some help.
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Old 03-05-2016   #10
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by curtis catman View Post
I have a set of 14' 24" sotar legend tubes. They are great and I say go big or go home. Good luck on your project. Looks like you guys have put together a few boats already.

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