Seat Height for 13' Raft - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-13-2019   #1
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 6
Seat Height for 13' Raft

Hey all, first post here.

I am investing in a 13' RMR and I'm trying to make a decision about a cooler. I am getting a three bay DRE frame, and I am planning row sitting on a cooler. I'm looking at the Canyon outfitter 75 and outfitter 125. Both would fit in the frame, and 125q would obviously be nicer for long trips, but I'm a little worried about its height. I am estimating that the 75q would sit with 6-7 inches above the cross bars. The 125 would sit with 8-9 inches above the bars. Both of these sound a little tall to me.

I know I can just get longer oar towers to compensate for the higher seat position, and I'm planning to use 9' oars so I'm not too worried about length there. My main concern is just my own center of gravity. I plan to row some big water in this thing (grand canyon, cataract, westwater, main salmon, snake, etc) and I'm worried about getting tossed out of my seat because I'm sitting too high.

Do you think the 2" increase in height would make a difference? Is 6-7 inches above the bars too high to begin with? What do I do here?

Thanks for the advice!

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Old 02-14-2019   #2
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,093
Yeah, that's pretty high.

A lot of people row lower, a few higher.
6-7" is probably do-able. 8-9" feels high.

Personally, I'm not a fan of 3-bay frames. If your passengers are sitting on the front bay, you're hitting them with your oars. (but I also have long arms and long oars, YMMV).

I think it would be worthwhile for you to try a rig set up like this before you spend the cash.

Or..put the cooler in the front bay and sit on a drybox or table/drop bag that puts your ass lower.
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Old 02-14-2019   #3
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 13
I've a similar conundrum trying to solve. 13' maravia. previously sat on 125 qt rubbermaid. last year purchased canyon 125 qt. the difference in height made me adjust oar towers, but not enough travel in oar tower adjustment for what i needed, resulting in oar handles coming to close to thighs on return stroke. looking into canyon prospector 103, which would reduce sitting height almost 2" relative to 125 qt canyon. 8-9" higher than frame seems hi. MT4runner has the right idea tho', might just go w/sitting on dry box, and move big cooler to front.
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Old 02-14-2019   #4
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 6
I also considered moving the cooler to the front and sitting on the dry box, but I'm worried that a passenger would significantly obstruct my view if they sitting higher than me.

Rowingo: I also looked at the prospector 103 but I don't have room between the tubes. Tube width is 35", prospector is 36.5"
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Old 02-14-2019   #5
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,093
You can stuff 36.75" in a 35" space, plus the Prospector 103 only sticks up 5" above your bars.

I really think you should mock this up. Find someone near you with a 13' boat sitting on a trailer in their garage and buy them some beer. Sit in their boat and move their frame around. Move the seat. Have them sit in front of you.

I think a mockup will help you. I still think you will find you'll hit a passenger with your oars if they're sitting on the cooler or drybox or table right in front of you in a 3-bay frame. I'm not telling you you MUST NOT DO IT...but speaking from experience with a 3-bay frame and my wife yelling, "stop hitting me with the oar handles", I'm hoping to save you from the same fate.

That RMR 13' has 71" of flat on top of the tubes. Figure 72".
Subtract 24" for the rower's footwell, and 1.5" x (4) for tubes.
That leaves 42".
The Canyon Outfitter 125 is 19.5" long.
That leaves 22.5" open space for your remaining bay(s).

If you sit on the cooler, you give your passenger a full 24-25" of deck. That would be a massive table. Or split it with a narrow drybox and they sit on a 12-13" table--and stay up front ahead of you.

OR--mount your seat on the stern-most crossbar and put the rower's footwell in back. 2 gear bays ahead of you. Cooler sticks up, but you don't care. Front bay is for the passenger to lounge on, and they never get hit with your sticks. Everything bag behind/under you. The other benefit is that this puts the weight of the cooler farther forward, instead of having both your weight + cooler weight behind the midpoint of the boat.
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Old 02-14-2019   #6
Be Like Water
Rivertime, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 139
I sit fairly high in my 15' Maravia, or high enough that I've had a few people mention it re center of balance (some folks just love critiquing other people's rigs). So those folks are saying that in my fully loaded 15' boat, which weighs how many hundreds of pounds?, that 2" higher makes a huge difference in my center of balance? I call BS. I have gotten bounced out of my seat before, but I think that's more about a bad line then any other issue.
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Old 02-14-2019   #7's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,196
First off, I sometimes row a 12' RMR and it is 1" wider (36") in the center then the 13 footer (35") I think. The prospector barely fits in my boat and to put it in or take it out I must lower the pressure to 1# to do so. At about the center of your tube the prospector will be 37 1/8 inches wide. What I'm saying is be ready to shove really hard to get it to wedge between the tubes. I would not go that way. Seat height on my 12 footer is about seven inches above the top of my frame where I sit.
My frame is 60" wide frame, 66" long, three bay (3.5" outside center of tubes) . I have 12" wide 8" high towers, row with 9' 6" oars which give me a 38 1/2" lever and about 7" of thumb clearance. It is very comfortable to row, not top heavy and not very hard to stay in.
I put my cooler in the front bay, dry box in back with a seat that I sit on. I have not had a problem rowing with a passengers in front. That's my 2 cents.
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019   #8
FlyingDutchman's Avatar
Hampden, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 347
Photo below is me sitting on a Canyon 75. I am 5’9” . I personally wouldn’t want to be any higher.

Maybe you can suspend a raised floor in the captains bay to compensate for the added height.
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Old 02-14-2019   #9
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 662
I have a 13' RMR and I have a flat seat on top of a drop bag for the rower... Maybe 1.5" above the bars for the wood and pad. I love being as low as possible for rowing... Just feels more stable. I would hate even being 6" above the cross bars.

Also, I have a prospector 103 and its a friction fit between the tubes, but it fits (and probably adds some regidity) and doesn't create any wear marks.
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