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Looking to buy my first dry box. The interior width of my 14' raft is 44". And the box I'm looking at (Cambridge) comes in either 36" or 44". A couple of advantages to an exact fit that come to mind are maximum storage space, and harder for a foot to slip between the box and a tube. But I'm wondering if there are disadvantages to an exact fit that I'm overlooking. Thanks in advance MB.
 

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I would worry about pinching tubes w/ a 44" wide raft and 44" box. The tubes will change diameter quite a bit w/ temperature changes...Also you wouldn't want to pop a tube because it got pinched between a rock and the box. I would think that .5"-1" of space on either side would be better...My drybox is 34" wide and I have 36" between tubes on my 13' raft.
 

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Cambridge Welding will make them any size you want. Call Cy direct. Sorry, don't have the number handy.
 

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I don’t quite get the pinching thing as you’d have to compress the whole diameter of the side tube to pinch it. Even if you had space in there and hit a rock the compression would flex the tube into the box. I can tell you though that my dry box is probably a good inch or two too big for my space, and other than having to push the box down to get it in between the tubes it’s never been an issue. Boxes are smooth so as long as the handle isn’t rubbing inside there I think it’s fine. Only downside is aluminum rub marks on the tubes but you’re going to get those anyway. That’s been my experience since I went to a wider box a few years ago, no problems so far anyway. I went from a regular box to a kitchen box and that’s just how it worked out since it was a production model. If I was having one made I would probably measure the actual width (spec width generally ends up being different), and subtract 2-4” just to make it easier to get in and out of the boat. Inch or so on either side isn’t much.
 

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Will you ever be lifting this box by yourself? 44 might be too wide for that. Also, I like to have a gap for cramming miscelaneous items. You definitely don't want the box to be rubbing.
 

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I went with the 44" in my raft as well and had it in the the front bay. I had to move the frame back a bit because I found the corners of the box rubbing where the tubes narrow up in the bow. Now I dont have any problem with it touching the sides.
 

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My box touches on each side (exact fit). It makes a rub mark about the same as your frame on the chafe strip. 5 years now running this with no issues with rubbing through the exterior coating of the PVC fabric.. But of course I have an Aire and the outer hull is essentially 1 giant chafe strip anyway.
 

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ive got a 39'' inner width with 38'' box rubs heavily. hasnt beena problem in the next few year ill add some chafe straps to the area
 

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Big pan for big groups, small pan for small groups. Get one of each. If $ is an issue, don't bring more size or weight than you will most frequently need.
 

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Oops, smokin d again . . . . thought Barco was talking "firepan." Barco mon, go wide - - stick some minicell on the sides to protect the tubes. Helps keep your boat spread out, versus no thwarts and everything hanging loose and the boat will compress a bit. I also recommend getting it custom made for depth, i.e., so the top of the box doesn't stand way above the frame. Makes for a lower profile load, easier to walk/sleep/sit on. Storage between a 14-15" tall box and a 16" tall box is not that much different so to me it's worth the sacrifice. Also not that much more to get it custom done, versus off the shelf. In the end nothing wrong with either, but sometimes OTS won't fit exactly how you'd like and over time you'll realize it.
 

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Dry Box fit

Looking to buy my first dry box. The interior width of my 14' raft is 44". And the box I'm looking at (Cambridge) comes in either 36" or 44". A couple of advantages to an exact fit that come to mind are maximum storage space, and harder for a foot to slip between the box and a tube. But I'm wondering if there are disadvantages to an exact fit that I'm overlooking. Thanks in advance MB.
Yep, big disadvantages!

My interior boat width is 42 so I have two kitchen boxes that are both 42 wide. They fit, but everyone complains about putting them in and out of the boat. Granted, when I say they fit....you get them part way in and then either step on the box or jump on it to seat them. In retrospect, I would have given up an inch to either side.
 

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I used boxes that were too wide for the raft when I was running commercially. In the 4 years I was using the same box / boat setup the seams and floor had more wear than where we had to jump on the box to get it squeezed between the tubes.

Get the exact fit, you'll be glad you did.
 

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Be sure to measure your inside width without your thwarts inflated if you haven't . My Hyside loses 3 inches. My dry box fits snug and I wish I had an extra inch on each side. It's not wearing on the tubes but it is harder to get it in there.
 

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OOOHHH! Man, I am smokin D! OK Barco, here's sumthin else to consider: About this idea of not being able to wrench the dang box outta da boat to get it up to camp: Try comparmentalizing your kitchen a little bit and carrying up only what you need, i.e., dutches in a carry bag, stove separate, UT's and dinnerware in a York Pack or something.

After lifting boats and working with heavy-iron rope tied gear for half dozen years so many years ago, figured out that the aerobics of going back and forth to the boat a few times was a lot more "user friendly" than trying to haul ONE GIANT F'IN METAL BOX up to camp every night, and then only using 1/3 of what was in it!

My drybox never leaves my boat. Instead, my legs do the work.
 

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I'm afraid we are the opposite of BCJ. We carry our kitchen box into camp every time. It's the main component to our kitchen. It's well organized, and we use everything in it. It's not hard to carry at all with 4 people & 2 kitchen box legs. We have the lock-in Recretec boxes, so there's that neat lip/handle on the end. A 2 ft. cam strap, a kitchen box leg on each side, 4 peeps, and away she goes.....easy as pie. There's already so much other stuff to carry up to camp, so we get plenty of trips to the boat. Then there's the ever popular....."Anybody going down to the boats.....get me a drink."

I have a little space (one inch on each side?) between my boxes and Cat tubes. When I run my tubes softer for the late season MF trip this gives me some leeway to prevent rubbing.
 
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