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Still (slowly) building out my dream frame and wondering about captians floors. I have run boats both with and without them and wondering about the overall consensus and necessity of them. I understand one of the cons being the possibility of pinching the floor in shallow water, and weight, but other than that...?

Also, at the risk of asking a rookie question, is it mandatory to run a captains floor if I want to throw two 20mm ammo cans on each side of my rowing compartment?
 

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I rowed a rental boat on the grand with a captains floor and it was pretty nice to have. We had 20mm boxes strapped to the metal captains floors.

I don’t have a captains floor in my personal boat, but it also has a drop stitch floor so it’s a decently solid platform to stand on.

I have the rocket box slings on either side of my feet, so I could theoretically have a rocket box on either side. My boat is small at 13’ and quite narrow. The rental boats were 18’ and could house 3 rocket boxes each on either side.
 

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I couldn't run a captain's floor in my bucket boat because that's the only place I have to bail from. Rocket box slings can also hold ammo cans without a floor if you want to go that route.
 

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I don't have a captains floor, but instead have a full length floor in both of my boats. A full length floor allows me to easily load all kinds of different boxes, coolers and other cargo. I have done many low water MFS trips and have never had a problem pinching the floor, although I did pinch a tube on another river because I was running it too soft.
 
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I have one raft with and one without captain's floors... I like the floor in my larger raft for carrying my canyon 35 and a small-ish dry box. My smaller boat has no floor but I use ammo can slings that suspend either a large pelican case, water jug or ammo can on both sides.

My floor is suspended by straps and not fixed so it would be no worse for getting a hole in the floor than a dry box or cooler. I did have to tie it down to the floor of the raft so that if it flips the floor will not pop out of the raft when it's upside down. The same should be done when using the ammo can slings in your captain's bay.
 

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I have a big boat with a captain's floor. I looooove it. Love having a solid thing to stand/jump on. Love the ease of mounting gear to it (captain's box/ammo can on one side, day cooler on the other). Love smashing cans on it.
 

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I'm sure it's personal preference, but I have a drop stitch floor and even with that still like to rig my captains floor for overnights. The DS floor is nice and flat, works well for day trips, but if I'm spending a week on my boat I like to have a more solid surface to stand on/work with. I had multiple people at boat shops, guide friends, etc. tell me that with the DS floor I wouldn't need a captain's floor, glad I listened to my gut and whipped one up because I'll never go back. Just my $0.02
 

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Definitely some pros and cons with anything. I have rowed rental boats that had captains floors, and they were/are nice. For my taste though, I vastly prefer a drop stitch floor pumped up nice and tight. I am also a picky sort when it comes to weight. A captains floor adds a considerable amount of weight for a rather minimal aesthetic benefit (obviously a very subjective personal assessment). It also really depends on what kind of trip I am rowing the boat on.
 

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So I take it that if you want to run ammo cans, its either a floor or slings?
I don't think that's true. I've put ammo cans and 5 gallon water jugs directly on my AIRE sealed floor without any issues, securing them to the frame with 2-3 foot straps fore and after. No problems so far. I don't spend much time standing though. Certainly I CAN stand on my floor.
 

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Still (slowly) building out my dream frame and wondering about captians floors. I have run boats both with and without them and wondering about the overall consensus and necessity of them. I understand one of the cons being the possibility of pinching the floor in shallow water, and weight, but other than that...?

Also, at the risk of asking a rookie question, is it mandatory to run a captains floor if I want to throw two 20mm ammo cans on each side of my rowing compartment?
I am a floor proponent. I use 3/4 inch plywood, corners cut rounded off, holes and edges all router-ed smooth. A couple layers of marine varnish applied to it. It runs under my dry box, cockpit and cooler bays.

I see it like this:
Pros:
  • Dry feet when getting into box/cooler at camp
  • Stand up to look down river, stand to row
  • Crush cans easily underfoot on floor
  • Can potentially rig things to floor, though I do not
  • Inexpensive, about $100 and lasts several seasons
  • Dry feet more of the time
  • Good solid footing in the cockpit
  • The cockpit overall becomes a nicer place to be

Cons:
  • Weight, I suppose
  • Rigging complexity, a little bit. It amounts to a few dedicated straps and another step in rigging.

Regarding pinching the floor in shallow water: Nah. I guided commercially and the company used plywood floors in every oar rig. 5 years of trips with up to 50 boats out at a time all summer. Never have seen any floor do anything to the rubber floor in any circumstance. I saw broken wood floors coming out of high water cat and westwater occasionally, but they do nothing to the rubber.

Regarding rocket boxes: If no floor, use slings is probably the next best option. Another option I borrowed from a buddy is I run 2 rocket boxes on either side of my cockpit and while I have a floor, they are not sitting on the floor. It worked for me to adjust my frame cockpit and other bays such that the rocket boxes can rest on their swing handles extended out (as if I were carrying the box) and a dedicated strap goes lengthwise across the top of each can. This cockpit length happens to be good for my legs and distance to my kick surface (cooler). When strapped in, they rest there quite solidly. I had rocket box slings/harnesses for a season but they could swing around a bit and be wonky if stepping on them. Now they are solid and sturdy to step on. I also like to hook my toes under them when rowing rapids to hold a solid seat position.

Anyway, I would give up a lot of raft niceties before I would give up a floor.
 

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So I take it that if you want to run ammo cans, its either a floor or slings?
Other places I have put rocket boxes include sideways in the stern against my dry box, strapped to /suspended by the frame crossbar. Also, I have put them laying on their sides up on the frame on either end of my drybox/cooler. If your concern is the rocket boxes riding on the raft rubber floor, that is no problem, a bit wobbly maybe but no problem if that is what you have got! Cheers.
 

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Still (slowly) building out my dream frame and wondering about captians floors. I have run boats both with and without them and wondering about the overall consensus and necessity of them. I understand one of the cons being the possibility of pinching the floor in shallow water, and weight, but other than that...?

Also, at the risk of asking a rookie question, is it mandatory to run a captains floor if I want to throw two 20mm ammo cans on each side of my rowing compartment?
Go with the Captain’s Floor! Crush cans, protect boat, dry feet (mornings), etc.
 
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