BEST Raft Frame - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-04-2013   #1
 
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BEST Raft Frame

So, what is the best frame in the $700-1100 price range for a 16 foot boat
I'm talking about the frame that has the most conveniences, best storage, best build, most functional etc etc
Pics or links are great
I would prefer to not have to spend much or any time modifying the frame. I'd love to set it on the boat and start using it.
The ability to transport easily is also a plus

So who's got an opinion???
If you see a used one out there let me know.

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Old 03-04-2013   #2
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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$700 pretty much only gets you a basic frame from anyone.

$700 for NRS' Bighorn II.
$800 for Clavey's basic frame
$1,000 for AAA's basic Expedition frame (their small 2-bay tractor seat and cooler frames are ~$400)
$1,200 for RecreTec's basic cargo frame
$1,549 for MadCow's frame


$600 for Cambridge Welding's basic steel frame--probably the best bang for the buck for the starter price.

NRS are modular; still, make sure you get the correct width crossbars and long bars.
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Old 03-04-2013   #3
 
fort collins, Colorado
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Riverboat Works in Salida Colorado. Outstanding product, Best service you ever get, and there very helpful as far as giving you honest information and telling you where you can save some cash. Plus its always good to keep money in state, you can even go pick your frame up from the factory and try it out on the Arkansas that flows through town, in case you want some fine tuning.
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Old 03-04-2013   #4
 
Newberg, Oregon
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i would go with the NRS bighorn II. You can order it with longer side rails to fit the the full usable raft surface.The you can adjust for about anything. I started with that setup then built double side rails with diamond plate after I was happy with the set up. If you plan to weld on it later don't use NRS pipe,you have to grind the anodizing off.
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Old 03-04-2013   #5
 
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Golden, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnile970 View Post
Riverboat Works in Salida Colorado. Outstanding product, Best service you ever get, and there very helpful as far as giving you honest information and telling you where you can save some cash. Plus its always good to keep money in state, you can even go pick your frame up from the factory and try it out on the Arkansas that flows through town, in case you want some fine tuning.
Agreed... I bought my mini me frame frame Riverboat works and I only spent about 75 more on a frame than a Nrs and it was designed to exactly what I needed. the guys at nrs had never even heard of someone putting a frame on a mini me. They shipped it to me for a resemble price. It was still expensive but not there fault I live in ohio. I would give them A for product and an A+ for customer service
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Old 03-04-2013   #6
 
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Holy Cow. That's like asking "what's the best flavor of ice cream." or "who makes the best truck." Lots of opinions. I'll put in my 2 cents and the reasons why. I like NRS. Not everyone does, but I do. Here's why......
#1 - I like to tinker with my frame. Move things around, reconfigure, mess with it. Make bays bigger or smaller to fit different coolers/boxes/gear/passengers, etc. I also like to pick & choose the parts I want. The NRS modular system lets me do all this.
#2 - I have limited storage space. I can take my frames apart and store them on shelves in my garage. Easy, light weight pieces to store.
#3 - I run with a group that often does late season, fly-in Middle Fork trips. My frame pieces fit easily in the plane. PITA to have to put it together at Indian Creek? Yes, kind of, but not that big of a deal.
#4 - The NRS frame shop & customer service folks have always been knowledgable, friendly, and they will make custom stuff if I need it.
#5 - Cheapest choice - no, lightest choice - no. Best choice - ??? But when I order a part, I know exactly what I'm getting. All their frame part specs are on the website, so no surprises. I know friends who have spent countless hours in phone calls and e-mails back and forth with out of state frame builders to work out all the details of a frame, only to have it delivered and be wrong.
If you are lucky enough to live close to a frame builder, then that's great. You can look at their stuff, talk design, and get a nice frame that suits your needs.
For what it's worth. I'm outfitting a new raft and got a basic NRS Compact Outfitter frame (custom sizing and I already have the oar towers) for $460. Nothing fancy, but I can pimp it out whenever I want (and have the $$$).
Good luck with your frame. And remember..... it's just the means to get you out on the river. Don't stress over it too much and miss the point of this crazy hobby/obsession
KJ
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Old 03-04-2013   #7
 
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Seems like the NRS frames will cost the same or more when they get customized. Im with ya about just enjoying the rafting thing and not get tied up in the gear but unfortunately thats not my nature until I am super stoked about my setup.
So, hopefully I can get it right this time.
I really like the cost and design features of the boat works stuff.
WHo's got pix?
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Old 03-04-2013   #8
 
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I don't think you'll go wrong with some of these options. One thing I would suggest is to consider a local fabricator, so you can work with them in person to dial in the configuration for your boat's geometry and your body (as the rower). I was glad to have had DRE design the frame with me in mind, as I'm pretty tall.

Some suggestions:

* if you get diamond plate walk rails, ask to have plenty of fore & aft space on the crossbar cutouts so you can modify the widths to adjust for different setups, a change of coolers, etc. I have about 8" of cutouts on the diamond plate, so my third or fourth bays could be as narrow as 17" or as wide as 27". I can also extend or shorten my rowing compartment.

* same goes for where the oar towers are mounted. You might want them further towards the bow, or closer, if you change your rower's seat later on.

* if you're planning to use 20mm ammo cans for storage, plan your bay width accordingly to either sling them or suspend them.

* if you're doing walk rails and are planning on a bimini top, get the slider mounts. Allows much more configurations, as I mentioned on the Sombrero thread.

* take a look at where the d rings are mounted on your boat. You might plan on suspending a floor in the bow or stern, but the ring placement might make it difficult.

Good luck & have fun. I'd take pics, but it's hanging in the rafters of my garage so you wouldn't see much.
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Old 03-04-2013   #9
 
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May the force be with you El Flaco
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Old 03-04-2013   #10
 
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you could always buy fittings and rails to build your own. then you can build exactly what you want

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