Hi everyone! This thread is going to serve as a 'build log' for my Sotar Legend outfit, and will hopefully contain information for other people looking to do the same. Much of my research has come from this site, across many different threads, so I hope to compile everything I have learned here.
First off, a little about me- My name is Neill, I'm 26, and am a software engineer by trade. I've lived in Colorado since 2003, and in Fort Collins since 2007 when I moved up here for school. I've been rafting for ~4 years, though have gone on a commercial trip or two prior to that. During the season, we try to raft the Poudre River 2-3 times a week, and have done the San Juan, Desolation Canyon, Gates of Lodore, and Brown's Canyon/ The Numbers. Last year, we competed at the GoPro Mountain Games for R2 Raft Cross, and R2 Raft sprint. This year we only pulled a San Juan permit, so we are using it as an introduction to rafting for many of our friends.
I may have met some of you on the west coast while I was out in Portland in January. I stopped by Andy and Bax, and was invited to the PDX Kayak film festival that night. Seemed like a great community out there!
At this point, our group has a 14' Aire Ocelot, 13.5 Hyside, a Hyside mini-max, and a Hala Hoss BT paddleboard. This year we are adding my 13' Legend, a second paddleboard, and a RMR paddlecat, with plans to take a total of 12 on the San Juan.
Anyway, on to the good stuff. I ordered a set of 13' Sotar Legends through Dusty at DRLRiverGypsies, as he has apparently bought up the rights to the remaining purple material Sotar uses. Both Dusty and Kory at Sotar were very helpful in answering questions, and the only complaint I have is Dusty needs to accept payments other than check.
Mailing checks in this day and age seems archaic to me... That being said, the 20% off on raft accessories he offers with purchase of a boat is worth it.
So these are my tubes- Teal with purple and gray. (Photo from Sotar, they are in the mail currently. I think the lighting is a bit off.)
13' Long (+6" from standard)
23.5" Diameter (+1" from standard)
I added the length and diameter to the tubes as this will be a dual purpose rig, and I wanted the increased load rating for multidays while still remaining small enough to oar on the Poudre (hopefully!). Sotar estimates the tubes will be able to handle ~750 lbs at 1/3 submergence (up from 564 on the stock dimensions).
I also ordered:
3- 9' Sawyer Squaretops
3- ProLok Next-gen
3- ProLok oar sleves
NRS Lowback Seat
NRS Pro throwbag
5mm accessory cord for oar leashes
Still need to order:
K2 Summit 70 Cooler
Southco K3-1735-52 Rotary Draw Latches + other piece. (Think drybox latches)
Tube to frame straps 16- 1" or 1.5"?
Oarlock retaining hardware
Aluminum sheet .80" for drybox.
Tools still needed:
1" SCH 40 pipe (1.315 OD) bender die
1" .120 wall tube bender die
After much debate and research, I plan to build two frames- one for play, one for multidays with gear. I've been collecting all the images of cat frames I can, and compiling them here (have probably 50 more photos to add, but they are on my other computer):
Cat Frames - Album on Imgur
Note that these photos are not mine, they belong to the people who took them- I simply pulled them from many different threads, websites, etc. and hope people don't mind me compiling an album for reference and inspiration.
I haven't identified final dimensions yet, as I'm waiting on my tubes to arrive Monday. I plan to CAD everything up in Solidworks, and play with the designs a bit before finalizing them.
Initial ideas on the play frame- 34" between tubes, ~60" wide over the tubes, length tbd, rower in front, passenger seat off the back. Made with 1" SCH 40 6063 pipe (1.315 OD), and 1" .120 wall 6063 tube.
Gear frame- 36" between tubes, ~62" wide over the tubes, rear gear bay, rower in back sitting on top of a custom kitchen drybox, rower's leg bay, cooler bay, then a beavertail/footrest for the passenger in front sitting on the cooler. Made with 1.25" SCH40 6063 pipe (1.66 OD) and 1" SCH 40 6063 pipe (1.315 OD).
I have a few ideas that I haven't seen before, but not sure I will incorporate them into either of these frames, as I don't have the machining capabilities yet, and want to make sure I can get out on the water this season
The 6063 tube/pipe is proving harder to find than expected- I have a quote for 100 ft of 1" SCH 40 6063 pipe (1.315 OD) at 3.65/ft, but haven't been able to find a supplier for 1" 6063 tube (or 3/4" 6063 sch40 pipe- 1.05 OD).
I do not claim to be the most knowledgeable person when it comes to fabrication, rafting, or anything else, but am open to input, and hope this thread is helpful to the community and others looking to do similar. Anyone from/visiting Ft. Collins, let me know- lets grab a beer or paddle once the weather gets nice.