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Old 06-20-2010   #1
JustKip's Avatar
Fresno, California
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 177
Protecting Raft from Ill-fitting Frame

So I built this breakdown, double rail frame using Zorba-The-Greek's excellent machined aluminum fittings. I intended to use it both for my new cat and my SB raft, so I made all the cross bars based on the centerline deminsions of the raft tubes. The problem I'm having is that the rails don't fit the smaller raft tubes (19.5") well and the frame chafe is between the rails. The U-bolts rest directly on the tubes, rather than the chafe layer.

Anybody have any experience wrapping frame rails (1 1/4 inch alum pipe) to protect the rubber? What did you use and where did you get it? I've seen polystyrene foam pipe insulation at Home Depot but only for up to 1" pipe. I was thinking if I can't find 1 1/4 then I could use zip-ties to fasten the smaller ones, but will it hold up to multi-day trips, or should I spend more $ and just get Zorba's 6" wide fittings to replace the 9 1/2" I already have?

I'd really rather not spend more, nor have a second frame to store. So protecting the raft tubes is first choice by a wide margine.


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Old 06-21-2010   #2
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
what about just adding some preventative patches in the spots where the frame rubs??

zach baird
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Old 06-21-2010   #3
SimpleMan's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: '05
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Posts: 394
Could also get uruthane (sp?) sprayed on where it rubs, creating a chafe barrier.
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Old 06-21-2010   #4
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 32
Use the foam pipe insulation - split it in half lengthwise (you don't have to protect the top of the frame), and use good old duct tape to secure it. I've had this on my frames for years - a couple hours of "tape maintenance" every spring and you're good to go for the season - cheap, easy, and you can find different colors of tape for a more designer look (hah!).
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Old 06-21-2010   #5
sh$t show voyeuor/host
Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
Paddling Since: wen?
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 285
I have the pipe insulation on my frame too-was on it when I got it. Duct tape works great but can leave sticky residue (cleans up easy) will fall apart eventually. Zip ties would work good unless they spin around and the nub gets between the frame and tube. The only problem I have had with the pipe insulation around this that it allows the frame to slide in the insulation forward and backwards, and the insulation can spin around the pipe allowing the frame to slide/roll side to side. Its not a big problem if you get it strapped on super tight, or if you have lots of d-rings.
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Old 06-21-2010   #6
JustKip's Avatar
Fresno, California
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 177
Thanks for the responses everybody.
I've got some pipe insulation, zipties, roll of duct-tape....
truck is loaded up and I'm headed for Oregon and Washington for a week!

Life is soooooo good
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Old 06-22-2010   #7
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
I've used Vet Wrap for this. Available at farm/ranch supply stores (Jax). Easy on, cut it off.

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