Frame to raft fit... Your opinion/experience? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-16-2013   #1
PawPaw
 
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Missoula, Montana
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Frame to raft fit... Your opinion/experience?

Hey Ya-all, I have included three photos with this post: one that shows front the interior of my rig and how the dry box is pressing the side tubes, the other two photos are close-ups of the where the dry boxes contact the side tubes.

Stats - the interior side to side measurement of my raft is 40". It is an AIRE 156d. My frame outside measurement where the lower sidebars form the rower's cockpit is 45". The dry boxes are 42"...

So to get to point of my post: Is this frame too big? My gut feeling is that it is but I want it to work. I called AIRE and they said that the frame was probably too big but I expected them to be conservative in their estimation. The frame and boxes need to be installed while the raft is soft- that way I can tuck the boxes and frame down into the side tubes, then I blow it up to full inflation. As you can see in the photos, this presses the tubes and frame in place and creates a binding point around those boxes. I fear that that binding point might 1) rub and abrade, 2) rip the raft under extreme pressure (while crushing holes on class 4 rivers)...

So what do you think? Who runs their rig like this and has it been a problem? What type of raft are you running? What level of water? Your thoughts and experience is appreciated!
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Old 10-16-2013   #2
 
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Westminster, Colorado
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Probably don't want to hear this...smaller dry box.
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Old 10-16-2013   #3
 
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Eugene, Oregon
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X2 on the drybox. I don't think that frame is meant for that boat.
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Old 10-16-2013   #4
 
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Sandy, Utah
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From the pictures it appears that the frame is too wide. The outer side rails aren't resting on the tubes and look to be extending out beyond the tubes. On a single rail frame, the side rail should rest on the center of the tube or just beyond the center. If you have to soften the tubes in order to force the drop rails of the frame into place, it's not the right fit. The pointed edges and corners of your dry box should not be poking into your tubes. That's not good. It can damage the tubes over time. Just my 2 cents, but the frame & dry boxes are not a good fit for this boat. The frame will work in a pinch, but the dry boxes definitely need to be smaller.

General rule of thumb for frame sizing is to take the overall width of the boat and subtract the diameter of one tube. That gives you the center to center measurement. That's the optimal frame width. You can add an inch or two, but the side rail should still be fairly centered.
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Old 10-16-2013   #5
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
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The frame either needs to be narrowed or replaced and the box needs to be replaced. It is possible to cut and taper the sides of the box to allow it to fit, but it would cost enough or be a big enough pain in the butt to just replace it.
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Old 10-16-2013   #6
 
San Francisco, California
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I have the same boat. Both the frame and the box are too wide for the boat. FYI, I use 36" wide drybox, and it's still a tight fit under my seat due to the taper of the tubes. 40" is at the center of the boat, and probably with the thwarts in. I have a double rail diamond plate frame that spans 70" wide on the tube. You could ask a local welder to shorten the width. But, for the box or cooler, I wouldn't go any wider than 40". My 120QT cooler is 39.5" and I have to press it into the 2nd bay.
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Old 10-16-2013   #7
 
pocatello, Idaho
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As a rafting cheapskate authority I can state that the frame is a bit big, but more importantly the box is a bit big. HOWEVER I would still run it if use is very occasional, and the water isn't that hard.

If you bought this on the cheap to use on an overnighter once a year go for it. If you want to run several trips per year deep in the backcountry you should at least swap the box out.
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Old 10-16-2013   #8
 
Boise, Idaho
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I bet that Salmon River Frame was made for a maravia Willawa 1.5 or 2, they are wider between the tubes. I am pretty sure Cy could make you a new middle section that would narrow it down. He coudl definitely make you a new dry box. The Cambridge welding box that I got with my new 156R is 38"
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Old 10-16-2013   #9
 
Salida, Colorado
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Unfortunately, both the frame and box are too large for that boat. You should consider replacing either the frame/box or the raft.

Did they come together or did you pick them up separately?

Frame should rest about 2" to the outside of the center of the tube, keeping the oarlocks within the outside edges of the tube.
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Old 10-16-2013   #10
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Missoula, Montana
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Thanks Guys

Yup, some times I know something in my gut but my stubborn mind lags behind. Thanks for all the good info and advise guys. Hands down that frame is too small. I will have to replace it. Instead of cutting it down, I think I will instead keep it, as it is, and then sell it with the boxes and the cooler - a package deal... I dunno. Buy anyways, thanks to all you river rats for the input!
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