Culmination of lots of Question --- Changing Raft Setup - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-07-2015   #1
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 176
Culmination of lots of Question --- Changing Raft Setup

First of all, thanks to all who have answered my elementary and typically less than thought out questions over the past week or so.

I am planning to make some changes to my current frame setup to for upcoming summer Lower Salmon Trip and get ready for wife / kid to come on multidays.

A few caveats:
- I am not going to get a bigger raft --- I absolutely love my Willi 1
- I did a full powdercoat on my NRS frame --- meaning I powdercoated lopros bolted to crossbars all at once. Hind site being 20 / 20, this was a $160 mistake (4 lopros vs. 12 lopros)
- I do not believe I am going to add a floor --- cockpit is like 25L x 36W with a custom cross bar in it, doesn't really seem like a ton of room for attaching stuff
- The raft image is not to scale --- my boat is proportionally skinnier and has bigger tubes.

Okay, so here goes....

Raft Specs
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Current Setup
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Planned Setup
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Would really like feedback from folks --- criticism is appreciated as well.

One question I do have, was thinking of only riveting the deck to the new rails (red dotted line) so that if I ever wanted to take the decks off and run light I would have that option.

In that same line of thinking, was wondering if it would make sense to have two or three sections on each side of decking. I would probably make the small sections on each side of the drybox permanent and then have either one additional section from cooler back through cockpit or individual sections for cooler, cockpit and drybox. Seems more than 2 would be stupid but maybe even having two is a lame-ass idea as well.

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Old 04-07-2015   #2
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
1) Looks like it could be pretty clean.

2) your original setup is pretty solid already.

3) side decking is really nice. It is a good place for all of the items you listed.

4) everything bags are nice for rigging and relatively clean.

Questions to you:
I don't see a need for additional bracing under the decking. As long as it sits on the rails and the existing crossbars it should be plenty strong. If you are trying to save weight by doing a lighter material I think the additional bars would make it heavier than just better decking material.

No table?

The custom drop bag looks like it is still in the 9" range. That is pretty small. using it like you have been seems just as efficient.

I find passengers don't like to sit on a tall cooler. I'm sure there is plenty of disagreement to be had but I prefer a drop bag with a table/backboard/hatch lid + paco on the front bay for passengers. That would require a longer frame though and you probably aren't going to go there.
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Old 04-07-2015   #3
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 176
your point makes sense...

I do have a table that sits on the yeah, it is pretty tall but have yet to have folks complain. now the wife and daughters may do just that and then, well, I am screwed
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Old 04-07-2015   #4
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I'm guessing cans A and B (20mm rockets for Partner and trash) fit under the table. Are they inside the bay? Otherwise, that table will be elevated quite a bit, as already mentioned, enough that it would drive me nuts.

I built a similar frame years ago. Found the rail boards nice to walk on, though with a boat that small I had to be very selective on what I placed on the rails (lifting the center of gravity in big water and hitting things w/ the oars). I did end up going with a small floor at the captain's feet so I could fit in water jerries or 2 more 20 mm rockets while still keeping the center of gravity low.

Other brainstorm, though likely not that useful, would be to extend the frame length to get more room in the bays.

Other design variation- I have a single table that covers everything in the front (2 bays), and fits between the rail boards for a smooth fit. Way more room up top, though less storage room down below. I sit on the cooler. May not be an option based on tube diameter.
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Old 04-07-2015   #5
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Posts: 74
Will the 20 mm's be covered by the table? Just don't like the idea of the pointy edges being close to the passengers. Maybe you could put some cans in the back and some soft gear up front.
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Old 04-12-2015   #6
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My 2 cents

PDX - I'd recommend a full length deck - your cross bars should provide adequate support without extra bracing - especially if your deck isn't too thin. There are lots of photos of decks with cutouts that 'sculpt' around the low-pro fittings. Instead of rivets you could use the NRS Frame U-bolt and instead of the aircraft nut, use a lower clearance nut like this . I found a nut similar at a bolt & nut supply store here in SLC. Or you could put footman's loops on the bottom of your deck and use straps to attach - it would shorten your rigging time.
For 'daily' style runs I built a large padded bench seat for my wife/kids/friends to sit on in the place of the forward dry box. The footman's loops are secured by carefully counter-sunk T-nuts so everything stays put.
I'm a big fan of a fixed floor - I've rigged them for both of my boats. One side has footman's loops that give great flexibility in allowing me to secure a rocket box, water jerry, or whatever - the other side has a captains box for quick access items.
I've strapped all kinds of things to my side decks - and generally try to avoid putting anything sharp (rocket boxes) near passengers - the girls really like it when a big 5/10 gal Gott drink container is nearby. Decks are a great place for overflow bags - the lighter the better for weight and ballast.
I'd really appreciate being able to talk to you about why you thought it was a mistake to powder coat your frame. Sorry for the long read. Darryl
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Old 04-13-2015   #7
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 176

IRT powdercoating the only reason I said it was a mistake is that I can't take the lopro fittings off the end of the bars without jacking up the paint. I had all crossbars fully assembled before painting. Don't get me wrong, I love the look and like the fact that any of the rough bolt / but edges have been painted over but I lost a little flexibility. Had never really planned on going with decking or adding second set of rails before coming here --- make sense?

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Old 04-13-2015   #8
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 176
Culmination of lots of Question --- Changing Raft Setup

Darryl --- boatmen's hooks on backside is a damn good idea! Had not considered let alone even thought of that idea.

I think I am going to start with decking next to drybox (bay 4) and cooler (bay 1 and 2) so essentially decking everywhere else but the cockpit. If my math is right I can get a full 8x4 sheet and get it cut for those decks, a floor and full length decking in future. At $5 per square foot the full sheet seems like the way to go.

Also have jettisoned cross bar idea for now --- may need in future if I opt for full length but that decision right there saves minimum of $128 on lopros alone...

Lastly, the rocket boxes up front are a no go. Completely forgot about guide table that needs to go there and safety concern for passengers is legit.

Will need to figure out where third and potentially fourth box goes --- maybe on someone else's boat

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Old 04-13-2015   #9
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 148
Here's an idea from a boat we rented in Utah. I really liked it. The rocket boxes and ammo cans on the drop deck could be rearranged however you wanted and holes for straps put in. The rocket boxes were low enough that a table went across the top no problem. No foot bar, just put your feet against the boxes. Decks were strapped onto crossbars with cutouts for Lopros and had plenty of support. I think the frame in the photo was 72"x72"

There are additional crossbars but only from the back of the drybox to the front of the cooler.
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Old 04-13-2015   #10
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Paddling Since: 1980
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Rocket box storage

PDX - Thanks for explaining your frame paint reservations. I'm in the mental design stages of putting a new frame together and have been soaking up all the advice and ideas I can get. I make about a trip a month to Portland and two weeks ago discovered A&B - their basement is great! I'm coming up the end of the month for another look-see.
You might consider building a beaver-tail board for your rear compartment. I made mine from plywood with strategically placed holes to hang it from D-rings - plus a few more holes to strap heavy items (groover and firepan). It's a great way to keep your secure and maintain a low center of gravity. I pile dry bags on top and use a NRS net to keep everything in - makes loading a snap. When I built the board I routed ALL edges and holes with a half-round bit to prevent any chaffing issues.
If you ever pass through Vernal, Utah (exit for Lodore or near Deso-Gray put-in) make sure you stop at River Runners Transport. Melanie's husband makes his own custom decks for all of their rental boats - he's got great attention to detail. I wouldn't be surprised if the picture Aerocam posted isn't theirs.
Last item - how did you create your spec and setup illustrations? Really well done. Thanks - Darryl
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