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Old 04-28-2009   #1
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
Raft Frame Question

Looking for some advice.......I picked up a used steel raft frame, working to cut it down to fit my smaller raft - the frame is too long. It's a is a simple single bay (middle) frame with the rower seat across the back two bars and a passenger seat area across the front two bars (12 inch width between the bars). It also includes internal rails that drop at an angle and fit against the inside of the raft tubes, connecting with the front inner bar and back inner bar - with a footbar between (bracing) the two rails.

Question: For a raft - how important are the internal rails? I haven't seen them used on a raft before, only on catarafts.

I would leave the internal rails them but my raft is about 4 inches too narrow, forcing me to cut and relocate, and reweld them. I don't need the footbar, it will get in the way with the shortened frame, so I'm debating removing the internal rails all together.

Thoughts? Opinions?


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Old 04-28-2009   #2
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 15
I would get rid of the internal rails. frame is made of steel? sounds heavy, if it were me I would loose any parts i dont need.

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Old 04-28-2009   #3
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Sounds like the drop rails can go. But you might need to rig up a footbrace that attaches to either the crossbar at the rear of the passenger seat or the siderails.

A muffler shop could probably bend the pipe from the old drops and weld it, or you could look into fittings from SpeedRail, Star, Diamond, etc. If the frame doesn't break down, you'd need modular (2-piece) fittings. Lots of info on various frame threads on the BUZZ.
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Old 04-28-2009   #4
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
I was debating a foot bar, but the frame is going to be so small (raft is only a 10' SB NRS) that I can use the crossbar at the rear of the passenger seat as my footbar, albeit slightly higher than a traditional drop footbar.

Making the frame lighter is the other consideration for removing the drop rails and footbar, a reduction of about 25-30%.

Thanks for input.
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Old 04-28-2009   #5
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
Let me know if you need any help. I am in loveland CO. and have experiance making frames and welding iron in general. No charge, we can drink some beers or row some rivers is all. send me a pm if you have questions, or stop by and we can knock it out.


ps I can bend round tube or square tube up to 2''
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Old 04-28-2009   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 311
I'm in FT Collins and can offer welding help also. MIke
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Old 04-28-2009   #7
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2007
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86 the inside rails, but keep the the kick bar
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Old 04-28-2009   #8
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
Thanks for offers on the welding. A friend who is new to kayaking/rafting is helping, and it's a basic cut/weld project. I'll get some pics posted when done.

Another question - the front bench/deck area - about 52" wide x 12" deep (small raft) - I need to make a bench/deck. Considering plywood (light/cheap) - but saw a post where someone made a custom bench at a snowboard shop - thinking I can find a old used snowboard and cut it to fit....thoughts?



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