Review Whitewater Machine Works small raft frame - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-17-2018   #1
 
Paul7's Avatar
 
Post Falls, Idaho
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Review Whitewater Machine Works small raft frame

Background:
In order to explain how this frame came to be Id have tostart by explaining the boat switch that necessitated the new frame. For the last five years I had been boatingwith a 156D which was a fine boat and was a very good fit for my family at thetime.
Over the last few years I found that I was boating solo orwith just one or two passengers as my kids grew older. My daughter is now outon her own and my son is 100% of the time rowing his own boat. Although I lovedthe do it all nature of the 156D it was very hard to manage for day trips withlow people counts to help load and unload. One of our favorite day runs theUpper Spokane requires a 30 yard uphill carry.
New Boat:
This season started with a new 40 pound lighter 136DD to replace my 156D, with the high hopesof having something that will nail the day runs and also offer carry capacityfor 2-3 for wilderness floats. This boat has far exceeded my expectations, veryplayful while still offering enough capacity for our multiday needs.
New Frame:
I wanted something that would work equally well for daytrips as well as overnighters, for day trip mode I wanted the smallestconfiguration possible to cut down on weight and bulk. From the very beginning I wanted a two partframe or two module frame so that I can run just a basic rowing frame whendoing simple day floats.
I quickly found myself running out of length as I alreadyhad two 16 boxes and a Prospector cooler a one piece 4 bay frame just fits onthe chafe strips but adding the additional cross tube that a two module framewould require added too much length.
Luckily Guy with Whitewater Machine Works was able to solvemy length problem with two solutions.Firstly by building the frame with smaller OD tubing this frees up about twoinches of length right off the bat. Secondly buy making the fames pin togetherwhich effectively deletes one cross bar vs a two module frame.

Review:
Im stoked with the frame it wildly exceeded my expectations;it is so easy to take apart with the pins no tools needed. I especially likethe versatility that the two part module adds. I cant imagine have a betterframe for this boat its absolutely perfect for my needs.
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Old 11-17-2018   #2
faja
 
Eugene, Oregon
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What a great looking frame!
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Old 11-17-2018   #3
 
Bend, Oregon
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It's hard to have your cake and eat it too.... What a great Solution!
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Old 11-17-2018   #4
My name isn't Will
 
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Willamette Valley, Oregon
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That's pretty cool. I would like a day frame for my current boat, but it's probably not going to happen. If I ever replace boat and/or frame, I'll consider something like this. Very versatile indeed, and might open up some more difficult access and take-out than backing the trailer down a ramp.


How much does the position of the oar towers change when you add the forward bays? I'd be concerned that would change how the boat handled. I think I've noticed handling changes when my frame had shifted forward on a trip this year.
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Old 11-17-2018   #5
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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When in its full configuration the oarlocks are near the center of the boat. When in day frame mode you can pretty much have them wherever you choose.

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Old 11-17-2018   #6
My name isn't Will
 
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Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul7 View Post
When in its full configuration the oarlocks are near the center of the boat. When in day frame mode you can pretty much have them wherever you choose.

I love it. Now I want one. Probably not until I get a new raft, though, and I hope that's a LONG time away.



Whoever built the frame I own was taller than I am; the oarlocks are too far away to be optimal, but otherwise it's basic and functional and holds my old smaller boxes; it's actually a nice set-up, just not ideal for someone my size.



Realistically I think having a smaller boat for day trips on smaller rivers would just be a hoot, and I'd probably JUST get a day frame. But then I need a bigger house
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Old 11-17-2018   #7
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Welcome to the 136DD club...I love mine!!

I also used Whitewater Machine Works...but I got their double rail frame fittings and did the tubing myself. I do really like the lower profile and lightweight frames they make. It would be great for an expedition package where you had to break it down and fly with it. I know there is company that makes a little cataraft setup designed to fly with, and they use the WWMW frame. Two bags that are less then 50lbs each so no extra cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Amette View Post
Realistically I think having a smaller boat for day trips on smaller rivers would just be a hoot, and I'd probably JUST get a day frame. But then I need a bigger house
Haha...small boat big water is an even bigger hoot.

I recently went this route and got a Hyside Mini-Max and its been a lot of fun. I made a little day frame with just a seat and oar towers and it does a great job. I made a little 3 bay frame too, and I did a Lodore trip and Westwater trip and it also did a great job with that.
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Old 11-17-2018   #8
My name isn't Will
 
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Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Posts: 139
I will still need a "bigger" boat to haul gear. In my case, that's just 15'. But I sometimes fill it up.


It's an easy but organized set up. I think the frame was a home built copy of a Cambridge Welding frame. I could still read the printing on the galvanized pipe when I bought the boat a couple years ago, and the boat was built in 2000. Looked pretty new, so maybe it just sat around a lot. Main boxes are in 13" wide bays, two Captains' boxes, and a WAY cooler that fits the space that was probably originally designed for an old Igloo and that a Yeti 110 fits pretty good. In case you weren't aware, WAY is an acronym. It stands for We're Against Yeti.
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Old 11-19-2018   #9
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Super super cool frame, Paul7 and WMW! Was pricing comparable to similar high performance frames?






Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Amette View Post
How much does the position of the oar towers change when you add the forward bays? I'd be concerned that would change how the boat handled. I think I've noticed handling changes when my frame had shifted forward on a trip this year.
After running a variety of stern, 2-bay, 3-bay, and 4-bay frames on 15-16' boats, I believe that oar tower placement makes way less difference than you'd think.

Passenger (weight) and gear placement make a MUCH bigger DIFFERENCE.

The boat doesn't pivot around the oar towers. It pivots somewhere between the center of lateral resistance in the water (friction/water resisting the turn) and the center of gravity (inertia of all the gear resisting the turn)
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Old 11-20-2018   #10
 
Arnold, California
Join Date: Dec 2017
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I also have a 156D and would like to get something a bit small and a bit lighter. Ill do day trips with several kids in the boat so I want more room than a Super Puma would offer. It seemed that this is close to what Id like, although still a bit heavier than Id like.
Im also making a new frame this winter that is convertible from day to overnight for my 156D. Thanks for including the picture of the breakdown connection. That seems more precise with less play than the DRE/AAA style swedge connection. Is that a separate machined fitting that slips in both ends of the pipe?
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