Design Help NRS Bighorn II on Aire 156R - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-29-2013   #1
 
readNrun's Avatar
 
Niwot, Colorado
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Design Help NRS Bighorn II on Aire 156R

Title says it all. I'm the new owner of the above and working on getting it configured as a family raft. Captain is 6'2 and we need bow space (forward bay) for decking for family to sit.

Anyone with a similar config wish to share their ideas, suggestions etc?

Considerations:
* Looking into getting some side decking for additional storage
* Currently have 9.5' oars, cobra locks & standard NRS towers
* Currently have the NRS highback seat

Thanks,
Andrew

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Old 10-29-2013   #2
 
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Sandy, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmanbldr View Post
Title says it all. I'm the new owner of the above and working on getting it configured as a family raft. Captain is 6'2 and we need bow space (forward bay) for decking for family to sit.

Anyone with a similar config wish to share their ideas, suggestions etc?

Considerations:
* Looking into getting some side decking for additional storage
* Currently have 9.5' oars, cobra locks & standard NRS towers
* Currently have the NRS highback seat

Thanks,
Andrew
One good place to start would be to look through the raft porn thread. It has lots of different frame set-ups and pictures of them in use.
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Old 10-29-2013   #3
 
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Niwot, Colorado
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I have. Well....not the whole thread...just about 50 pages of it. I've pulled pictures but I was hoping to get a reply like....

"I just set up a raft like that and used an XXX drybox and an XX cooler etc, etc."

I know - it's a shot in the dark but I thought I would give it a try.
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Old 10-29-2013   #4
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Colotucky, USA
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I have a 156 r, built the frame myself to hold my gear, 4-1/2 bays. Still waiting to upgrade cooler and drybox. Made side decks using 1 x10 solid pine painted them with exterior grade paint and they lasted all season!
I know i have some photos in that thread, look em up. Or wait 5 days till i can fuck off and find them on the computer
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Old 10-29-2013   #5
 
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I'm laying out a frame right now for a 15' Maravia. Here are a few guidelines for your to chew on- get you started in the (hopefully) right direction. I'm not expert- but this will be the 4th boat I've laid out in 4 years... so maybe I'm learning a little bit along the way. Each one has turned out a little better than the last.

There are a lot of 16" wide dryboxes on the market. It's a popular dimension. If your tubes are 42" between, then you'll want about a 40" long drybox. 16"x16"x40" is available from most manufacturers without customization. It's a good first dimension for one of your bays.

Coolers: 123 qt Engle is 17" wide by 40" long. Now you've got two bays spoken for.... on to the harder stuff!

Your rowing compartment can be over the cooler or drybox- or you could do something else. I like the idea of putting one or the other beneath me so that a lot of the weight is centered in the boat for stability and mass centralization. Those are two seriously heavy items- and I'm the heaviest item of all- put those together right in the middle and it's easier to lay out the rest of your bays without compromising balance (and ballast) of your rig. I don't like to sit on a cooler or drybox- simply because I need back support or I end each day in too much discomfort. With that in mind, I use a high back tractor style seat, mounted to a flip bracket- and on this boat that will bridge over my drybox in bay #4

If I put a drop bag in the front-most bay I can put a table over the top of that and create a passenger seat that is big and wide. Pad it with a Paco or some such- and you've got a nice day bed that isn't too heavy way out at the end of the boat- where it will most affect handling. Next bay for me from front to back is the cooler- that way it's accessible during the day for meals and shuttling enough beers into a day cooler. Its weight is near the mid point of the raft. Next bay is my foot rest. 4th bay is my drybox/seat arrangement. You can stop at 4- but that doesn't fill a boat as long as yours- so the fifth bay is another area where you can put a drop bag- rocket boxes, or long slender things like chairs and pumps, tarps with their poles.... tents can go here.... get one that closes at the top. The dimension of this final bay can be somewhat flexible as a result- allowing you to get your rowing position just right by adjusting that 2nd to last cross member- the one between the back support for your seat/drybox and the last cross member in the rear-most of the frame. Behind the frame is a catch-all, but don't overload it- or you'll get the same impact on handling that you avoided in the bow by making that first bay somewhat lighter weight. Good place for drybag'd soft goods like clothes, sleeping bags, tents, tarps.


Anyway- that's my thought process on my project right now. Final dimensions are going to be laid out as I arrange my components. Got to get the hardware situated and finalize a few cross member positions. My worry is keeping my seating position close enough to the bow for the best handling. Too far back and I believe that handling suffers. You see lots of boats that have the rower near the stern- I don't think that's the best way to maintain your pivot ability- and who wants to be any further away from the action end than necessary.

good luck- post pics- and enjoy the river!
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Old 10-29-2013   #6
Mut
 
GWS, Colorado
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I have the same raft and same frame. I put a table across the front bay and a paco pad on top. I also put a small dry bag under one end and make a pillow out of it. My wife and daughter fight over it. I put a drop bag under the table for gear. I then put my cooler in front of the foot well. The dry box goes behind the seat. You could also use the cooler or dry box as a seat. All the dry bags and groover go in back. This has been very comfortable for our family of 4.

I put running boards down the sides.

Add a river sombrero and life s good.

We do 1-4 nights without any issue. When we go longer I add a cooler as a seat.
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Old 10-29-2013   #7
 
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Niwot, Colorado
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All good info. This rig is headed out on the grand first then will be a week plus rig with family (deso, gol, sj, etc) - so it has to serve multiple purposes. I don't think there will be many changes between the rigging so I'm going to focus on the family (the raft not the organization

Here are some of my thoughts and things I'm still learning.

It came with two oars - I just put a tape measure to them and they are 7' shafts with a 29" blade. I imagine these are 9.5' oars but not 100% positive. The frame is 74" from the center of the oarlock to oarlock.

So - back to the frame. The way I look at it, I need to configure 3 significant bays. Starting from the bow:

bay 1 (seating) - this could have a table as decking with a pad on top and a drop bag under. I would love to make this an additional drybox that would still accommodate seating for three but I'm not sure how to make that work.

bay2 (cooler/drybox) - probably would put the cooler here, especially if I go for an additional dry box in bay 2.

bay 3 (foot well) - Captains box and cooler. I like some room here so I don't want to overload it.

bay 4 (dry box) - I'll sit on this with a flip chair. Currently it has the double bar in order to support the seat but I think that's a waste. So, I'll probably drop this bar.

A few other notes.

  • Definitely considering adding side decking for additional storage. NRS has a nice solution for this.
  • I would like my daughters and wife to be able to row - in other rigging the footbar was just too far away for them to be able to get any leverage to row.
  • The whole frame is powder coated so any movement in the bars will require "breaking" into the coating.
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Old 10-29-2013   #8
 
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Grants Pass, Oregon
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I just bought a sotar sl 14.5 with a three bay frame. I will sit on one dry box and I have a yeti 120 qt cooler for up front. That leaves a ton of space to play with. For long trips I'll use two coolers and one dry box. One for beer and the other for food. For short trips (2-3) days I'll probably ad a dry box up front with the cooler right behind it. The rowers box has a low back seat which will most likely get switched out for a high back. I'm 6'1" and I use 9 ft oars. Hope that helps. Not sure about the size of the boxes as I'm one of those who doesn't care what it's called as long as it fits.
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Old 10-30-2013   #9
 
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Sandy, Utah
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I've been using an NRS frame on a 14 ft. cataraft for a number of years. I went with the longest frame that would fit and made 5 bays. In the spring I will be setting up a 14 ft. raft with a 4 bay frame. I'll use my cat frame parts to make it.

A few things I've learned and am still learning. I've always liked rowing from a seat. So I use a AAA flip seat bracket over my largest dry box (16 wide). I like the AAA bracket because it sits directly on the dry box, not over it, so it keeps me lower. That being said, I rowed a raft last spring on a 7 day Deso trip, sitting on the box to row, and it wasn't bad. No sore back. So I might ditch the seat on the next raft? Not sure yet? I have 4 of the NRS side rail racks that you mentioned. Mine are the 3 ft. long ones. I really like them because I can position them where I want, use 2 or 4 of them, or leave them home if I don't need them. They do add weight to the set-up with extra pipe and LoPros, but the versatility with them is very nice. I'm not a big fan of rocket boxes, and I have a second dry box (14 wide). My plan for the next raft will be small dry box & cooler up front, then rower bay with soft captains bags, then larger dry box to row from. I rarely have a passenger, so my dry bags, chairs, tent, etc. go in front instead of behind me for balance. If you really want to go with a second dry box up front instead of a drop bag & table, you'd have to find the right combo of box & cooler that are at similar heights to cover with a pad for seating & lounging space.

Good luck with your new raft & have fun on the Grand!
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Old 10-30-2013   #10
 
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Maybe it will be worth just heading down to AAA and working with them to flesh it out. I like the idea of being able to run with two coolers or two dry boxes. I'll have to figure that out. Thanks for the info.
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