DIY raft drop deck - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-18-2011   #1
 
norcal, California
Join Date: Mar 2011
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DIY raft drop deck

I'm thinking of making this but without the metal reinforcement. So essentially a rectangle of plywood with rounded corners and slits along the edges for the hanging straps.

I don't know exactly what I'll be attaching so I'd like a bunch of tie down points that will give me flexible strapping options. I was thinking to drill four rows of holes perpendicular to the hanging slits and lace rope through each row creating low 'loops' on the deck that I can run a strap through. Maybe knot the rope so that pulling against one loop doesn't tighten it's neighbors.

Suggestions? Thanks!

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Old 07-18-2011   #2
 
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Gardnerville, Nevada
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Hey barco,
lots of threads on similar items here. Maybe somebody can dig out some search terms for you. I've been on the quest for the "better floor" for a while myself and have found a happy ending in a thick piece 3/4" of birch plywood(?) drilled out to take an assortment of rocket boxes, day coolers, etc.
Alot depends on the frame, the boat, attachment points, the weight requirements, the phase of the moon, how much beer you drink, etc. basically there are lots of permutations. Get some cheap thin plywood sheets, start cutting patterns until you have what you think you want, then step-up and get some solid wood and transfer the pattern, sand, seal and get on the river. After all, summers are meant for boating..
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Old 07-18-2011   #3
 
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I'd make a plywood deck to fit your boat with holes in the 4 corners, coat it with either Kwal exterior paint (the burly stuff- AAA recommended using that), spar varnish, or truck liner. then use loop straps to attach the floor to the frame. the loop straps make it easy to adjust the height or remove completely and you don't need to worry about loops that a foot can get stuck in.
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Old 07-18-2011   #4
 
norcal, California
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I titled my post poorly

Thanks oarframe and whoapiglet. Mainly I'm looking for suggestions on how to add a lot of strap anchoring points to this floor so that I can tie down random stuff. It seems like a lot of people know exactly what they want to lash to the floor and where, so they cut slots and pre rig straps with that in mind which seems ideal but my rigging has not evolved to that point yet. My rope loops plan seems kind of lame, so I'm hoping MB will deliver a better idea.

PS I did a search before I posted and got a bunch of good info on materials and coatings.
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Old 07-18-2011   #5
 
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Is this for you to stand on? or a floor for a cargo bay that will be completely full of gear? if its the latter, get a drop bag - its easier, less bulk, etc. if its the former, I'd get a piece of plywood, and go to town with holes, and see which ones you use the most. then make a better, more permanent one this winter.

I don't like floors in self bailers because I think it is better to suspend things from the frame and then strap them down nice and tight and you can stand to scout etc. on a self bailer well enough. plus if there is somewhere on my boat that I can't get to easily, inevitably, my lighter, map, sunglasses or weed end up under it.

If something is strapped to a floor that is just hanging from the frame, if you flip, all that stuff is going to hang way low from your flipped raft making it harder to re-flip and you'll probably lose a bunch of stuff as it whacks rocks etc. while upside down. not to mention a floor with two heavy and sharp rocket boxes chasing you out of the boat could do some damage to you or maybe tangle you up in your boat. If you throw straps over the rocket boxes you can't get in them while rowing, so you might as well have them in a drop bag.

Isn't that sweet-ass NRS Revolution stiff enough for you to stand on the floor?
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Old 07-18-2011   #6
 
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I know the feeling - BUT think about what you will possibly be putting there. rocket boxes, coolers, bags, cases of beer. put these items on your wood and see what logically works and where.

I took a 1 1/2 inch circular drill bit and bored holes in my cargo floor. The pattern was dictated by where certain things would probably go. then i used various lengths of cam straps depending on the size of the cargo and ran the cam strap thru the holes on the floor and back up over the cargo. if possible i try to run the cam strap thru a frame member for Xtra security.

have fun!
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Old 07-18-2011   #7
 
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Oh! a big 2x on piglets comment about being inverted. if your frame has drop bars you can hang/strap the floor from it rather than the top bars.
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Old 07-18-2011   #8
 
norcal, California
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The flip consequence is a good point and one I hadn't considered.

My main goal is to exploit the space in the cockpit to either side of my legs. I'm having a hard time imagining how to do that without a floor (single rail, 4-bay, AAA frame). I could try and put dry bags there, but there's nothing to attach to besides the crossbars so I'm worried stuff would flop around and get in my way at the wrong moment.

What about hanging a floor from the crossbars, strapping ammo cans etc to it, and then running a strap across the top of that gear pile through the crossbars? That would keep the floor from popping out in a flip. That might have been what oarframe was suggesting.
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Old 07-18-2011   #9
 
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what about captains boxes that mount to the frame or pelican 1430 cases in a harness? or DRE captains bags with small dry bags/pelican boxes for what needs to stay dry?

I have a dry zipper duffle that fits the length of my captains bay perfectly, that I strap to the rails. can't move to get in the way, and the duffle config. lets me get in when I need to without unstrapping anything. I did the rocket box in a sling thing for a couple seasons, but didn't like having hard, sharp objects next to me, and I couldn't get into them when I needed to anyway because of the way an ammo box opens.

Also, you have to make sure your footbar (if you have one) doesn't get in the way of any hard box you plan to put there. Soft bags don't have that issue.
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Old 07-18-2011   #10
 
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Barco, i have a frame with drop bars that go almost to the floor of the raft so I can put a floor across it and strap it down. I 've seen people hang floors from the top crossbars, but don;t know how they keep it in position when upside down.

I'll try and take a pic this evening and post.
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