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Hey Buzzards! I have a new DRE frame for my Max 12 coming in a couple of weeks. It's a three bay that I'll mostly run day trips with, so I got the hinged decks for the fore and aft bays to sit on. I plan to either just run the thwarts under these (removing the third, center thwart, of course), or run shallow drop bags to throw gear in.

So how should I pad my poly decks? My top choice right now is the Maravia Tush Cush, with bolts going through the poly deck and grommets, secured on top with a rubber bumper nut. I don't want a bunch of straps everywhere for simple day trips and these would still be easy to remove that way. The problem is that they're expensive, a little slippery, and expensive!

Also, has anyone used the poly deck hinges from DRE? Are they really better than just using straps? Anything I should consider here?

As a side note, I'd be interested in thoughts on running drop bags, safety wise. I caught a bunch of shit on here when I posted my lines across the thwarts on this boat, because of a softball-sized gap that everyone thought would kill me for sure. Wouldn't going under the frame and drop bags be a bigger hazard? I've only run boxes, cans, and coolers in frames and am wondering what hazards this simple, light, day frame setup might present for the rower and passengers.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. It's always good to consider what you beaters think before spending too much on the wrong toys!
 

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I just spoke with Zach at DRE and he recommended looking into these pads. I think I'm going to order two of them and I'll report back!
I use those pads on my dry boxes, one of which I sit on. It's great for the captain. Soft enough to sit on all day without getting the swamp-ass associated with thicker pads that collect water and sweat. One thing to think about for your passengers...It's nice to have an "Oh shit" strap or two across the pad in front for something to grab on to. Rowers have the oars and a kick bar, but there's nothing to grab up front if you don't use straps.
 

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Have used the poly deck hinges - worked really well. I also risked certain drowning with a drop bag underneath - made it back to report my good fortune somehow. No cooler with a day trip rig though?
 

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the square with U shaped wings "Throwable floatation cushion" from Bass Pro shop for example are $14.95....put the wings behind the deck and connect with a short cam strap and ready to go....good soft butt comfort and easy/cheap....one for one person several across a wide deck for several passengers
 
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