Drift Boat Style Raft Frame vs Whitewater - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-11-2018   #1
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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Drift Boat Style Raft Frame vs Whitewater

Hey Buzz,

I have been building my own raft fishing frames recently and have really been toying with the idea of making a DRE Green River Drifter style frame for my Outlaw 130. MOST of the time I row class 2 water and spend most of the time fishing and brainlessly hitting rapids with little to no risk. However, I do intend to row some class IV sections once in a while once I learn the runs.

Does anyone have experience with these frames? What design modifications would you suggest if I were to pursue this build? I was thinking that if I kept the floor at the nose on a hinge where a big front hit could still flex through the raft, I could avoid many of these concerns.

I would love your thoughts! I would hate to limit myself to class 2/3 conditions in a raft I got for versatility.

P.S. Do any of you raft fishing guys have issues with water coming over the floor in your Outlaw rafts? I understand it is a self-bailer meant for getting wet, but I was hoping to run with a dog in the floor and he will not be happy sitting in water all day (he told me himself).

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Old 12-11-2018   #2
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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The boat is a self-bailer. Even a self bailer floor gets wet, but it doesn't tend to hold water of any depth for any prolonged length of time. I would think the suspended frame would drain slightly quicker than the floor and your dog would be reasonably dry.

I would recommend you consider wood slats on the floor--even on top of the metal floor--for your dog's comfort. He can grip the wood with his toenails and the wood will be warmer/more comfortable than lying on damp metal all day.


That's my dog-owner opinion. I haven't rowed one of those frames in big (or small) water, but don't see any major concerns there.
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Old 12-11-2018   #3
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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The boat is a self-bailer. Even a self bailer floor gets wet, but it doesn't tend to hold water of any depth for any prolonged length of time. I would think the suspended frame would drain slightly quicker than the floor and your dog would be reasonably dry.

I would recommend you consider wood slats on the floor--even on top of the metal floor--for your dog's comfort. He can grip the wood with his toenails and the wood will be warmer/more comfortable than lying on damp metal all day.


That's my dog-owner opinion. I haven't rowed one of those frames in big (or small) water, but don't see any major concerns there.
Great advice. Yeah I forgot to mention I did plan on going with wood for the floor for comfort, noise, etc. You mentioned wood slats. Any details there? I was just thinking of finishing out a plywood sheet.
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Old 12-11-2018   #4
 
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At first I was just visualizing some unfinished slats of softwood like Spruce or seater so your dogs claws could grab it. It would be sacrificial but still look pretty decent.

I think poly finished plywood would be slippery, but you could also add silica or sand to be final or second to final coat to add some grip.

I recently heard about using crushed walnut shells as a traction additive, and plan to experiment with it for a fraction coat on my dory deck.
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Old 12-12-2018   #5
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
At first I was just visualizing some unfinished slats of softwood like Spruce or seater so your dogs claws could grab it. It would be sacrificial but still look pretty decent.

I think poly finished plywood would be slippery, but you could also add silica or sand to be final or second to final coat to add some grip.

I recently heard about using crushed walnut shells as a traction additive, and plan to experiment with it for a fraction coat on my dory deck.
Last time I build some standing platforms for fishing, I used spray on truck bed liner and that was incredible. These platforms weren't in direct sun so the black wasn't an issue and I'm not sure if that comes in different colors but it was perfect.
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Old 12-12-2018   #6
 
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That's a great idea!

Line-X and Rhino both come in colors, if you could build it and had time to wait, maybe you could leave your floor with the coating company and get it professionally shot sometime they have that color in their gun for a customer vehicle.

Or it is possible that the DIY liner in a color could be ordered in
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Old 12-12-2018   #7
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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Does anyone understand if the inflatable floors on these boats are supposed to be flat from bow to stern? Or is it by design that it should turn up some with the kick of the boat in the bow/stern?
I feel like it flattens out nice on the trailer but it is really hard to determine how it is supposed to behave or could behave when I have it on the water. I guess one simple way to phrase this question...Could you theoretically build one flat frame to fit the interior of the bottom of the boat assuming you weren't anticipating flex from rapid hits?
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Old 12-12-2018   #8
 
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Does anyone have experience with these frames? What design modifications would you suggest if I were to pursue this build? I was thinking that if I kept the floor at the nose on a hinge where a big front hit could still flex through the raft, I could avoid many of these concerns.
My experience with absolutely rigid boats is that they are flippers. A drift boat style frame while excellent for fishing tends to make a boat extremely rigid and generally less suitable for rivers that might be capable of flipping a boat, such as a true Class IV. As you mention, hinging the front will help reduce the boats rigidity. However, I've seen many flips occur due to a rigid(and/or overweighted) stern in instances of stalling when negotiating large standing waves and large pour overs. Maybe also hinging the stern can reduce potential back ender flips. I'd be interested in other observations of causes of back ender flips.

Maybe I'm over thinking it but be careful that your hinging mechanism doesn't "pinch" a paw or a foot.
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Old 12-12-2018   #9
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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Originally Posted by GeoRon View Post
My experience with absolutely rigid boats is that they are flippers. A drift boat style frame while excellent for fishing tends to make a boat extremely rigid and generally less suitable for rivers that might be capable of flipping a boat, such as a true Class IV. As you mention, hinging the front will help reduce the boats rigidity. However, I've seen many flips occur due to a rigid(and/or overweighted) stern in instances of stalling when negotiating large standing waves and large pour overs. Maybe also hinging the stern can reduce potential back ender flips. I'd be interested in other observations of causes of back ender flips.

Maybe I'm over thinking it but be careful that your hinging mechanism doesn't "pinch" a paw or a foot.
Very good point about the pinching. Definitely something I would need to be conscious of in setting up where folks will be seated for bigger rapids. I wouldn't bring the dog for those luckily.
I was also leaning towards making the rear rigid so glad you piped up there. I'll have to talk to some experienced guides but our difficulties lie more around rocks and pins than surfy holes so I still may be good with a rigid tail.
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Old 12-12-2018   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoRon View Post
My experience with absolutely rigid boats is that they are flippers. A drift boat style frame while excellent for fishing tends to make a boat extremely rigid and generally less suitable for rivers that might be capable of flipping a boat, such as a true Class IV. As you mention, hinging the front will help reduce the boats rigidity. However, I've seen many flips occur due to a rigid(and/or overweighted) stern in instances of stalling when negotiating large standing waves and large pour overs. Maybe also hinging the stern can reduce potential back ender flips. I'd be interested in other observations of causes of back ender flips.

Maybe I'm over thinking it but be careful that your hinging mechanism doesn't "pinch" a paw or a foot.
Very, very good insight!!
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