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Discussion Starter #1
Wanting to get my 14' raft set up for fishing. Saw one for sale that had a home made suspended floor so the rower could stand up.
Wondering if anybody has made one that worked well.
I intend on using NRS components for fishing seats and platforms front and rear.
 

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I have one very similar to the Pic above but I ran my straps to the foot bar, it eliminates a lot of sway in the floor if it doesn't fit tight to tubes/boxes/coolers. 3/4" CDX coated in epoxy with a sprinkling of sand on top for traction. Has lasted 7 years. It looks like that person used 4 straps, one for each corner. I just used 2 one-inch straps that also ran under the whole floor. They also have lasted 7 years, though they are due to be replaced as they are fraying and fairly well nuked by the sun.
 

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The advantages are obvious, but what are the disadvantages of having this kind of suspended floor setup?
Entrapment if you get your foot wedged between the edge of the floor and the raft or frame
 

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My floor is suspended similar to the one in the picture as well. I strap rocket boxes to the right and left of my legs. The only foot entrapment I have ever experienced was in the process of loading or unloading when my foot slips into the drain holes.
 

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Not to me... How is this any better than standing on a self bailing floor? I can see it'd be useful for rigging gear to the floor, but otherwise, I don't see it being helpful. enlighten me.
To me, it's a solid, dry place to stand, it's stable for those late night trips to the beer cooler, and a great place for the dog to lay. It's a great place to set boxes and/or a garbage bucket so they're not always slopping around as the floor moves. It's warmer in cold weather and most importantly my beer can smasher! I simply really like the solid, unwavering floor for many reasons, that all probably revolve around comfort. I find it less necessary in my Sotar, but in my old Hyside with a leaky PRV, if I stood on the floor I would sink down 3-4" and my feet would get all wet...meow! I have one in my new boat because I really got used to it, I could live without it but I don't want to!

Mine fits pretty tight to the tubes on the sides and a cooler and dry box front to back. it would be pretty hard to get a foot stuck and if you did, the floor will hing up from the back. I'm sure it would be possible to get really stuck in it somehow, but I'm not gonna loose a wink of sleep over that possibility.

As I have gotten older I have realized that what I really care about is having as much fun as humanly possible while remaining as comfy as I possibly can, so most things in my life revolve around comfort one way or another.
 

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Ya, a floor is more comfortable to be sure. Wet rubber floors get really slick too, which can get dangerous and in my mind provides more opportunity for entrapment scenarios. The floor should be as stable as you can get it, no swinging or sliding around.

I've an old plywood deck that has lived for 20 years with just 3 refinish coats of an outdoor urethane over that time. I will also tie the floor to the webbing (or drain holes) to keep it solid to the floor. You have to plan ahead of time for straps to tie stuff down to the floor and get them into their respective slots before that step.
 

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Not to me... How is this any better than standing on a self bailing floor? I can see it'd be useful for rigging gear to the floor, but otherwise, I don't see it being helpful. enlighten me.
When you stand on a floor, you sink in. This would reduce that. Probably more importantly (to me), most the rivers I tend to run are muddy. Standing on this instead of the floor with grit should reduce wear. Am thinking it would make the boat overall cleaner. I also am a fan of reducing weight directly on the floor. Just seems to make the raft behave better.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The intended use of a floor in my raft would be fishing, a stable place to stand while scanning for fish, setting/pulling anchor, or assisting fisher-persons.
 

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I intend on using NRS components for fishing seats and platforms front and rear.
Have you fished from a boat with the front and rear floors? In my experience they cause more problems than they solve, especially the front. I set my front seat close enough to the bow so that when sitting on the seat (the NRS bent fishing seat) your feet rest on the tubes, you can spin very easily this way and always have a foot on a tube for balance. The seat puts you as high as you would be standing and there is far less for fly line to get tangled on. The NRS floors are fairly spendy and most folks I see ultimately take them out. If you rig you boat like I'm describing you wont need a casting brace making it much easier to get in and out and more versatile while saving money. The rear is more problematic because you sit lower on the rear seat. It works fairly well but inexperienced casters will have more difficulty. I'd like to try a beaver tail in the rear with a casting brace coming up off the back of my frame, like NRS's newer casting brace. But I have a vision slightly different from the way they do it. The big thing back there is to have a large floor that fills whole compartment, this gives the fisherman more options to stand and move while minimizing places for fly line to get stuck. The little floors just catch fly line in my opinion, I think I'd rather have a casting brace with no floor before one of NRS' little floor/deck or what ever they call it.

You might notice a theme here, IMHO fly line can and will wrap it's self around anything it can and I like to minimize that. There's nothing more frustrating than setting up perfectly to hit a pod of risers, start to let out a little line and then feel that tell tell tug as you realize your 10 feet short of line and the rest is wrapped around something on the boat. By the time it's cleared your buddy in the back has hooked that 20" bow that should have been yours! You can preach line management until your face is blue, it just simply happens that if there is something to tangle on, it will happen. I call it the fly line conspiracy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Elkhaven, thanks for the input. I agree with the line getting caught on anything possible. Just did not know about standing on inflated floor, good/bad for raft. Guess it makes sense to just start with a seat and see how that goes.

Do you know if the bar for the NRS fishermans seat is the same as the footbar? They look the same in the catalog. I could save the $ and just use my footbar to mount front seat on. The stuff we fish here would not require the rower to need the footbar.
 

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Do you know if the bar for the NRS fishermans seat is the same as the footbar? They look the same in the catalog. I could save the $ and just use my footbar to mount front seat on. The stuff we fish here would not require the rower to need the footbar.
They are not exactly the same, but close enough. I just flipped my footbar and put a seat on it and it works fine. Buried in NRS's website is a chart with most of their frame dimensions in case you're curious.
 

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I use a footbar for my fishing seat...but as Guilty Dog says they are not exactly the same, the fishing bars are narrower on the straight section I believe. This is so the bar doesn't get in your way when spining around the side ____/---\____ (fishing) vs __/-----\__ (foot bar). Also as GD said, there is a spec sheet on the NRS site that gives their standard dimensions. Also you'll have to get a seat bracket if you use a foot bar. The fishing seat comes with a welded on plate, but you can buy from NRS a bolt on bracket (or make one yourself, they're simple). The nice thing about the bolt on bracket is that it's removeable and your parts can have multiple purposes. Lastly I rig my fishing seat bar differently than NRS does, mine is longer than the other cross bars and I have the low-pro's mounted on the side bars, that way when stacking boats I can just loosen the low-pros and rotate the seat into the bow, allowing us to stack boats for a shuttle (something we do very frequently). The side benefit of this is that I have another straight piece that I can replace the bent piece with and set a table on the front for family trips, it takes just a few minutes to totally repurpose the boat.

FWIW
 

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My floor is suspended similar to the one in the picture as well. I strap rocket boxes to the right and left of my legs. The only foot entrapment I have ever experienced was in the process of loading or unloading when my foot slips into the drain holes.
This is the main reason I want to build a floor, to connect my two rocket boxes too through their handles to use at captains boxes since the rocket box slings seem to suck and make it nearly impossible to open during the day, or to strap a day cooler too that I can load with cold beer in the am and not have to get in and out of my big cooler under my seat every 30 minutes for another beer...

Any concern with flex? Would you consider two layers of 3/4'' plywood and screwing them together?
 

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We used 5/8" plywood for floors on all our rowing rigs, from 16' to 32' pontoons; we used chain to suspend them, and rubber tubing to protect the tubes from wear on the chains. Rounded corners and a coat of paint finished them up. The longer floors we hinged to make it easier to store and move them.

Never had an entrapment issue, and those floors held up for many years of very heavy use. Never saw one flex or anything to suggest they would fail and we truly LOADED the floors with a lot of gear. Never saw or heard of one breaking or failing, and we stored them outside for the winter.

I always thought a floor could double as a table pretty easily as long as you were willing to unload the boat completely, which we rarely did. Legs wouldn't be a problem; either screw on or hook on.

A cheap, simple solution.
 
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