Cataraft - Drybox fitting - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-25-2010   #1
 
JustKip's Avatar
 
Fresno, California
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Cataraft - Drybox fitting

I'm about to order a kitchen box to be used for both my cat, and my 13.5 ft raft. I've built a break-down, universal frame with a removable drop floor which (obviously) is required to keep the cat tube spacing. The drop floor module is 35" wide, so that's the spacing for the cat tubes.(the raft is 38" between tubes)

So here's my question; Standard drybox sizes are often 36", and I think the extra inch pressing into the sides of the cat wouldn't be good. When ordering a custom size, should I get exactly 35" to match the tube spacing? or 34" to give a little extra space and keep side pressure off the box?
Also, I intend to row from atop the box...seat, or no seat? The frame is 11" high. Should I order a lower than the normal 16" height?(especially if there's a seat bracket)

All thoughts would be appreciated,
kip

BTW; the frame can be seen by clicking on "Images" under my avatar

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Old 12-26-2010   #2
 
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Oregon City, Oregon
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I had a similar situation on my cataraft. I already had the dry box when I threw the cataraft rig together, so I had to figure out how to make it work. It was very easy. I just set it up so that the dry box sat higher on the frame, where there was more room. Sounds like that won't work for you, if you are going to sit atop the box.

The box should be in contact with the tubes, to help maintain proper tube spacing--especially important, since your weight will be added to the load. All you need to do is glue some abrasion patches onto the tubes in the areas of contact.

I really doubt that one inch of extra length on the dry box will matter. It would mean only a half-inch of compression on each tube, and if you have 22 or 24-inch tubes, that really shouldn't matter. At worst, it would only mean that it might be a little bit harder to drop the box into position when you rig the raft.
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Old 12-26-2010   #3
 
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I really appreciate your input. Really
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mogur View Post
The box should be in contact with the tubes, to help maintain proper tube spacing--especially important, since your weight will be added to the load.
But with the frame itself maintaining tube spacing, why does the box need to do it too? I've had 2 people on the cat with only the frame holding spacing...what am I missing?

Quote:
I really doubt that one inch of extra length on the dry box will matter. It would mean only a half-inch of compression on each tube, and if you have 22 or 24-inch tubes, that really shouldn't matter. At worst, it would only mean that it might be a little bit harder to drop the box into position when you rig the raft.
When I rig the raft, I'll have 3 inches MORE space. A 36" box would have an inch of clearence on each side in the raft, and compress each tube 1/2 inch in the cat.
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Old 12-26-2010   #4
 
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at my house, Montana
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I got a drybox for both the cat and raft this past year. The cat has a 36" wide frame, and the raft has just under 40" between tubes. The frame bottom sits probably higher than your NRS frame, so the box still doesn't touch the tubes as they are curving away/out at that point. Maybe my frame is just a tiny bit wider than 36" as I'm not splitting hairs keeping the box off the tubes. I use loop straps to hold the box in place side to side so it isn't going to slip towards a tube also. This smaller width gives us a bit of a gap on the raft and the only drawback I see is a dangerous slot for dogs paws. I solve this with a paco pad (also use polymax on the 2nd bay so there's no gap) and for day trips I have a hinged lid/deck that is a bit bigger and leaves no gap. I would not have a drybox on either my cat or raft that rubs against the tubes. If I were you, I'd get a 34- 34.5 wide drybox.

I am a seat person, I can't imagine bracing even in Class IV without a back (even a low back like I use), but it will put you higher. I wouldn't want to be up that high on my cat since I'm doing Class V now, but on my raft I don't mind it at all (Class IV tops and not a lot). My seat is right on the frame on my cat and I sit on a cooler in the raft. To put a seat on the cooler, I bolt it to a piece of wood (shim appropriately so as not to gouge from the bolt heads) and strap that to the front/rear bars, 4 straps total, and it doesn't move. Make sure to have some width to the board (both side to side and front to back) so it has stability.
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Old 12-26-2010   #5
 
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Wow!
I guess there's a lot to be said for "Keep asking till somebody tells you what you want to hear".
Thanks Ihowemt. I agree with your philosophy and greatly appreciate the thoughtful post. There's even more info than I asked for, and things I'd not thought of....what's Polymax, and where do I get it?
Yes, I can row class III from a cooler or dry box, but class IV? not so much. The seat board for the cooler is now in my immidiate plans. And 34 inch wide seems right to me, held laterally with straps, of course.

As for the seat height on top of the dry box; that's why I mentioned shorter than average height. Unfortunately, if I pare it down too much, in too many directions there won't be much point to having it. Maybe I should scrap the idea and just use rocket boxes.
Guess I'm not as ready to pull the trigger as I thought.

But Thank You, to every who has replied!
kip
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Old 12-26-2010   #6
 
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When deciding on the dimensions of my drybox, I was limited with the clasp hardware, it sticks above the rails a bit on the raft (since it's hanging) so those clasps don't interfere with the hang rail. My raft bays are tight fore/aft, I suppose you could leave enough room that the clasp is behind the bar so the box sits flush, but then it would be subject to damage and you couldn't get to it without lifting the box. I usually just leave the drybox in place and take what I need up to camp. I had wanted it to hang flush with the top of the bar to have a huge flat deck for passenger and dogs, but it just didn't work out. Below are photos from version #1 of the raft frame, it is now on version 2 and the drybox goes in the front bay with the 2nd bay about 14" deep. That polymax I use for dog decking, and damn near anything on the boats. I even used it as a lid for that 2nd bay on a trip this summer (over a drop bag). It's not strong enough to span by itself but I put things below it that could take the weight (chairs/table/drybags without breakables). It was nice since the grid lets me strap through it, but I wouldn't rely on strapping only to it (always to the frame also).

I strap the drybox fore/aft on the raft and also side to side on the cat. My seat board is probably 24-30" wide, not the full length but also not just the width of the seat.

The cooler in the below photos is the "day-trip" cooler, 98 qt vs our 120 qt multiday.

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...ies-23889.html

PolyMax Poultry/Kennel Flooring - TekSupply
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Old 12-27-2010   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
The cooler in the below photos is the "day-trip" cooler, 98 qt vs our 120 qt multiday.
A 98-qt. daytrip cooler? Jeez. That's Aussie-level beer drinking: a slab per person per day.

"The road of Excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom."
--William Blake?

Anyhow, besides teasing Laura, I'll add one complication to this rigging discussion. If you haul your boat fully rigged, with coolers and stuff in place, make sure that dryboxes, etc. aren't chafing the sides of the tubes when you're underway. If you haul a lot or for long distances, those little wiggles can wear holes, particularly if there's some grit involved.
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Old 12-27-2010   #8
Shapp
 
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For what it is worth, if you use the regular NRS drybox mount and a clavey flip seat bracket for a frame with standard NRS aluminum pipe (1 1/4" nps) then a box 15" high with 1/2" foam glued on top of the box works sweet.
This is assuming that the dimensions of both items (NRS drybox mount and clavey flip seat bracket) are the same now as when I got mine a few years ago.

If you need a custom size, I can highly recommend madcatr.com I ordered a box from him over the phone, and the box exceeded my expectations.
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Old 12-27-2010   #9
 
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Nah, the cooler is just a seat platform. I looked at two different flip seats available. One was too high (another 2-3 inches above whatever it was over) and the other was dependent on something such as a cooler, and the wood is cheaper and more adjustable. On day trips, the cooler is pretty much empty, or has our foul weather gear as it is a pain with someone sitting over it. Perhaps some day I'll make a bracket myself, but it will be a while.
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Old 12-28-2010   #10
BCJ
 
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All good ideas and comments. Here's my experience: I've built and rowed 5-6 different boats and frames. Going custom works for me. Also, building the box a bit shallower (15 inches) does make then sit lower. Put the clasp hardware on the side front corners, and you can use welded tabs to drop it on, so it sits nice and low-profile (verus having a box that sits higher only to accomodate the hardware on the front). As far as touching the tubes, no worries. glue some neoprene to the box for wear patches (instead of gluing to the boat). I use my boxes to hold the sides of the raft out. Not necessary in a cat. BTW, you can get sheets of black (or white) ethafoam from Cascade Outfitters in Boise if you want to foam-top the box. Go with regular contact cement in a can (not spray). Put 3-4 coats on until the foam is soaked well. Worked better for me than the 3M77 spray stuff. Also less expensive. Cheap 89 cent pain brushes to put it on with. Buena suerte.
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