How wide should my frame be? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
 
Golden, Colorado
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How wide should my frame be?

I have a narrow 16ft raft with 66" from center to center of the tubes and 22" diameter tubes. for about 43-44" between the tubes. I'm making my own double rail frame from scratch with 1.5" pipe and HDPE decking and debating how wide to make it.

Right now I'm leaning towards center to center on the outer rails of 68" (so one inch wider than the center of the tubes on each side) then 11" to the center of the inner rail with 13" wide decking and the space between the inner rails ends up being 44 inches.

I'm curious if people have opinions on how wide compared to the c-c width of a raft to go? Does it depend on the space between the tubes? Favorite width of decking boards?

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Central Point, Oregon
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Outside of top chafe strip works great.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
 
Golden, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Whitewater Worthy Equip View Post
Outside of top chafe strip works great.
Why so wide? Do you then go for wider decking or do you pull the inner rails out too and then end up with unusable space over the inner curve of the tube? I always hated that space as passengers would drop stuff down there all the time and then be terrifying to try to grab.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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Originally Posted by pilom View Post
Why so wide? Do you then go for wider decking or do you pull the inner rails out too and then end up with unusable space over the inner curve of the tube? I always hated that space as passengers would drop stuff down there all the time and then be terrifying to try to grab.
Wider deck boards and more leverage on the oars.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
 
Fraser, Colorado
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Besides what WWE said, another reason to go wide, is if you ever replace your rubber. Since that 16’er is narrower than most 16’s, if you build a frame that is just wide enough, it is going to be to narrow for a lot of boats that length, and possibly to long for a 14’ raft, depending on what ya build.

Most 16’ rafts take a 72” frame, and that should work fine on your boat. Extra side board room, and will fit pretty much any 16’ raft, whether you replace your boat, or sell your frame someday.

I have a 14’er, with 66” from center of tube, to center of tube, and I run a 72” frame, and it works great.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
 
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Portland, Oregon
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I actually love that little space between the sides of the drybox and the tube. I always have smaller drybags that I just clip on to a cross bar and flop into that space.

Your boat may be slightly smaller than other 16ers but not by much. A 68" frame would still fit other boats if you even care. If your towers mount on the rail and tilt out a'la NRS, DRE, AAA etc then you'll have plenty of leverage for either 10' or 9.5' oars.

One thing to consider is whether you will have bent corners or squared off ones with fittings on the outside. I've run NRS frames for years and they work but I've always hated that big ugly low pro hanging out there. One reason to go slightly narrower is if you can use or make bent corners then you can actually stretch your frame a few inches in length as the bend fits inside as the raft tubes begin to lift up at the ends.

Why don't you tell us exactly what raft you own so we we can really start to criticize you.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt man View Post
Besides what WWE said, another reason to go wide, is if you ever replace your rubber. Since that 16’er is narrower than most 16’s, if you build a frame that is just wide enough, it is going to be to narrow for a lot of boats that length, and possibly to long for a 14’ raft, depending on what ya build.

Most 16’ rafts take a 72” frame, and that should work fine on your boat. Extra side board room, and will fit pretty much any 16’ raft, whether you replace your boat, or sell your frame someday.

I have a 14’er, with 66” from center of tube, to center of tube, and I run a 72” frame, and it works great.
^^^

All of this.

If you're only 68" at the outer framerails, then you'll likely want 9.5' oars...which can be slightly short for a heavy 16' raft. (Unless you're in technical, narrow water, then disregard what I said as there shorter/more maneuverable trumps leverage).
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
 
Golden, Colorado
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Thanks for all the insight. I hadn't though of just making it a standard size to make it easier to sell but that makes perfect sense to me. I'll probably go for 72" wide and just do super wide (~15") decks which sound pretty sweet the more I think about them.

Quote:
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Why don't you tell us exactly what raft you own so we we can really start to criticize you.
It's a Global Grand Canyons 5.0m: SierraRios RAFTS FOR SALE: self-bailers and catarafts. Rocky got me a fantastic deal on one that had been used on one trip. Criticize away
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
 
Salida, Colorado
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At the end of the day, the closer to center your pivot point for the oars is, i.e. oarlocks / pins & clips or whatever, the more leverage you'll have at the blade end with the least rowing effort. I would go with 72" if you can, for all of the reasons listed above, and 10 foot oars. I have my Avon Pro set up this way, with Sawyer MX FG counterbalanced oars, and rowing is almost effortless with a light boat, and with a heavy boat, you have the power to move it when it needs to move....


My 2’, your mileage may vary..
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
 
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Portland, Oregon
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You're only a bit narrow. Assuming you have the boat, make sure you take your own measurements; most manufacturers tell you to do that if you are trying for a precise fit. If a 72" frame doesn't hang over the side then go for it. It will still work if it hangs over, but that gap under the side rail and the divot under the cross bars will probably bother you. I would do a quick mock up with 2x2s or even some of your metal before you make a final decision.
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