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I tried and liked my ghetto 2x6 side boards this summer so I am going to make some nice ones out of plywood this winter. To those of you who have done this in the past how much clearance ha e you found to be a good amount between your boxes and side boards?

Thanks in advance.

-Fly
 

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I'm redesigning my frame and was just thinking about this same question. In my case I have to think about leaving sufficient space for the side mounted handles on my long dry box. If it is too tight of a fit, I risk smashed fingers when placing the box into the hole. (Handle placement on dry boxes may differ) So I'm going for enough space for a hand on the handle and then once it's in, enough space to also be able to reach down into the chasm to fetch that important item that fell in between the dry box and the tube.
 

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I made the mistake of not leaving enough room to get my hand between the frame and my dry box when I built it, it's not aggravating enough to build another box, but I sure do chastise myself every time I rig and de-rig the boat. I'd say 4 inches would be the minimum you'd want but everyone has their preferences. I combat the lack of clearance by opening the box and lifting from the inner lip as a workaround.
 

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I cut little routed handle gaps for my dry box. This way I don't crush fingers dropping it in and the rest of the board still prevents side to side movement of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I made the mistake of not leaving enough room to get my hand between the frame and my dry box when I built it, it's not aggravating enough to build another box, but I sure do chastise myself every time I rig and de-rig the boat. I'd say 4 inches would be the minimum you'd want but everyone has their preferences. I combat the lack of clearance by opening the box and lifting from the inner lip as a workaround.
4" from the edge of your box or 4" past the handles?

I cut little routed handle gaps for my dry box. This way I don't crush fingers dropping it in and the rest of the board still prevents side to side movement of the box.
I was planning on cutting some reliefs for my drybox handles. Probably cooler too but with rope handles I don't think the reliefs will need to be as deep. Do you run the rest of the board tight to your drybox?
 

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Half inch rope or any rope or webbing with a short piece of old garden hose (4") makes a good "handle extender" if you're in a tight fit scenario...
I never had the back to lift a big 'ole dry box in and out of boat, one reason I went to plastic boxes for kitchen. They're cheap and don't last forever, but 2 or 3# versus 48 for my big (admittedly made for motor) dry box. Plus you're "modular" - can get everything for 3-4 peeps into one, or the whole shebang for GC trip (15-16 folks) into two.
 

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I made the mistake of not leaving enough room to get my hand between the frame and my dry box when I built it, it's not aggravating enough to build another box, but I sure do chastise myself every time I rig and de-rig the boat. I'd say 4 inches would be the minimum you'd want but everyone has their preferences. I combat the lack of clearance by opening the box and lifting from the inner lip as a workaround.
I like the solution with a rail welded to the drybox resting on a rail on the frame...and the handles above.


of course, my own drybox has neither. haha
 

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I like the solution with a rail welded to the drybox resting on a rail on the frame...and the handles above.
of course, my own drybox has neither. haha

I built my drybox to sit flush with the diamondplate decking so I could sleep on a totally flat surface. That is a nice setup in the photos though.
 

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I was going to build a longer/wider/shorter drybox to do the same.

then I built a dory with a smooth deck.

Doubt I'll worry much anymore about the raft's drybox!
 

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"Do you run the rest of the board tight to your drybox?"

Not tight, but maybe a 3/4 inch Gap on each end except for handle cutouts. And I have the stock spring handles, which I like.
 

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I have my boards pretty close. about an inch gap with cut outs for the handles of my dry boxes.. no need for cut outs for the cooler as you lower it in with rope handles then tuck them in. I also made cut outs just big enough so my captains boxes would open without touching.. I wanted to get my gaps small enough that there was no way a foot or hand could get entrapped in there..
 

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Side boards

I see the heads of some carriage bolts and some black spacers along the zip ties, what are you using for the nuts?
 

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I see the heads of some carriage bolts and some black spacers along the zip ties, what are you using for the nuts?
They are spacer pucks from whitewater machine works. Accessories

they happen to be just the right height so i can rest my side decks on the kee lite fittings and use these as supports on the longer stretches so my deck floats. this way it is really easy to run straps around the deck or frame.
 

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FWIW, I wouldn't make them any wider than the rails of your frame for the pinch factor they present. I'm thinking if one gets bucked out of their seat, (being high back, low back or Paco pad....) they could receive a good butt pinching between the box and the board with only an inch or two of clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
FWIW, I wouldn't make them any wider than the rails of your frame for the pinch factor they present. I'm thinking if one gets bucked out of their seat, (being high back, low back or Paco pad....) they could receive a good butt pinching between the box and the board with only an inch or two of clearance.
Thanks for the tip. I was planning on setting my decks on the rails for support, I'm thinking about how to get a strap around the frame and under the deck easily for securing the frame to the boat, perhaps it'll reveal itself when the rough shape is cut out.

How dare you insinuate I would have a high back seat on my boat! What kind of monster do you think I am?!
 

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I like to run my decks an inch smaller than the inside of the tubes as that space is generally unusable to store an ammo can or water jug.


I create strap holes in the boards by drilling 1/2" holes the appropriate distance apart for the desired strap and connecting them with a jigsaw or router with straight cutting bit.


I round over all edges with a 1/4" radius bit on a router.
 

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I have my boards pretty close. about an inch gap with cut outs for the handles of my dry boxes.. no need for cut outs for the cooler as you lower it in with rope handles then tuck them in. I also made cut outs just big enough so my captains boxes would open without touching.. I wanted to get my gaps small enough that there was no way a foot or hand could get entrapped in there..
Nice decking. Could you tell me the brand and where you got it? Thanks!
 
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