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Nice boat! It looks a lot like my new one did a few years ago. It appears like you are well on your way to getting your setup sorted out but happy to give my .02 if you have any questions. I am not sure how tall you are but it looks like you may end up wanting a little more room in your cockpit but obviously you can adjust that over time to your comfort as has been mentioned.

I like the name too! :cool:
 

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I'll be at the Inn at Alcova the March 18-21, white yellow stone drift boat with light tan seats. If your are around stop by for a cocktail.
Scott
 
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Maravia Zephyr (Lime) Aire River Couch (Also Lime)
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Yes, I've been told recently that every man should have a router. I might get one soon. I just filed and sanded the inside of the holes and the edges by hand as best I could. And it's imperfect for sure. If I get a router I'll do the edges and holes and refinish.
Sweet rig! If you get a router, I highly recommend a compact "palm" router. After I bought mine (Bosch Colt) about 5 years ago I have honestly never used my full-size Bosch router since. Also, the palm routers are in the $90 to $150 range instead of the $200-$400 range. I see Amazon now has the Colt for $89, which is a steal. Another budget-boating suggestion: if you're still needing a foot bar for your frame setup, a local electrician shop should be able to bend you a piece of EMT with whatever dimensions you need for very cheap, or even free (they did mine for free when I built my first frame.) Another option is the IBEW union training hall.
Cheers!
 

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Sweet rig! If you get a router, I highly recommend a compact "palm" router. After I bought mine (Bosch Colt) about 5 years ago I have honestly never used my full-size Bosch router since. Also, the palm routers are in the $90 to $150 range instead of the $200-$400 range. I see Amazon now has the Colt for $89, which is a steal. Another budget-boating suggestion: if you're still needing a foot bar for your frame setup, a local electrician shop should be able to bend you a piece of EMT with whatever dimensions you need for very cheap, or even free (they did mine for free when I built my first frame.) Another option is the IBEW union training hall.
Cheers!
This ^

I haven't used my full sized router since I got a palm router almost 10 years ago. As far as bending EMT, conduit benders are cheap, easy to find and offer unlimited adjustments for free.

Another tip I am hesitant to bring up because I haven't tried it myself, but makes a lot sense, is to seal the end grain with cyanoacrylate (super glue). Home improvement stores sell it in big bottles. It soaks into endgrain like water... which means water won't. If you are going to apply stain, do that first and then apply the cyanoacrylate with a brush, and be sure to drip some on the floor where you are working because that's fun too. It's probably the next best thing to doing vacuum resin impregnation (which is way beyond the scope of a home workshop). My experience with using construction plywood for boat frames is the edges ultimately determine the life of the build. Couple seasons max before it starts delaminating.
 

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Let me add to that +1 on drilling and bolting the pipe/tube to the cross fittings.

One more thought...it might be worth the extra $20, especially if you're ever breaking down the frame for any reason, buy a stamp kit and stamp both the fittings and the tubes you're drilling with individualized letters or numbers when you're done with the drilling and fitting. That way, if you've ever broken down the frame, you can quickly align the right 2 fittings to the right pipe/tube and not have to play any guessing games on your alignment. I have these on my fittings and tubes, and I always know which goes to which...

So I have a fitting that says A A A on it aligning with the proper tube that has the corresponding A A A. The other side of that fitting + tube has B B B on both....etc...

Stamp set like this make it easy to do that...will save you a bunch of time in the future if you're ever using those fittings in different frame configurations, etc

Amazon.com: Number and Letter Stamp Set (36 Piece Punch Set/A-Z & 0-9) Industrial Grade Hardened Carbon Steel Metal - 1/8" (3mm) Characters - Perfect for Imprinting Metal, Wood, Plastic, Leather, More!: Home & Kitchen
 

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Yes, I've been told recently that every man should have a router. I might get one soon. I just filed and sanded the inside of the holes and the edges by hand as best I could. And it's imperfect for sure. If I get a router I'll do the edges and holes and refinish.

I haven't used my full sized router since I got a palm router almost 10 years ago.
^^^
x3. I use the heck out of my 1/4" palm/trim router. At least once a month.
Not even sure where my big 1/2" plunge router is. I think I moved it here 14 years ago, but not sure.

This set of HF roundover bits has worked well for me...but the 1/2" roundover won't fit through the shoe of my trim router.

As far as bending EMT, conduit benders are cheap, easy to find and offer unlimited adjustments for free.
If you're doing 1.25" EMT (1.66" OD), I'd argue that it's cheaper to bribe an electrician or apprentice at the IBEW hall with beer.
 

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canoedog87c I'm in Denver and have a router and enjoy beers if you want to knock the edges off everything.
I finally pulled the trigger on my first raft. Got a Hyside Max 12 in orange. I think I'll call her the Tangerine Dream. I'm building my raft frame and decks on the cheap. I have not bought oars yet. I'm not sure what size to buy and would appreciate any suggestions. I'm still waiting for a lot of things that I've ordered and I'll post more pics as things arrive. I'm finishing up the sanding of the decks and I'll start finishing them soon. Probably the first place I'll put her in is up in Wyoming on the Grey Reef area of the North Platte. Hopefully in the next month. View attachment 63136 View attachment 63137 View attachment 63138 View attachment 63139 View attachment 63140 ea
Nice setup, coming together nicely. A couple of suggestions on the deck and front seat board. You should cut out two small slots on the back of the seat board to allow your dry box support tabs to set level and allow the seat board to be easily raised from the front to access the drop bag below the seat. I would also take a can or other round template to draw a radius on the four corners of the deck boards to avoid the sharp corners that stick out. You have a nice setup and it won't be long until you can start enjoying the fruits of your labor.
See you on the river soon.

Pointswest
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Thanks everyone for all your interest and suggestions. It's been a long process rigging the boat. A lot of things are backordered. I'm still waiting on the oar locks. I got Sawyer Cobras. My biggest frustration so far is deciding on oar length. I have some questions in that regard. Thanks in advance for replying. First of all what is the length of an oar? Is it the length of the oar shaft or the shaft plus the blade? And what angle do I mount the oar towers? See pic to see where I put them. Where they are now there is about 62 inches between them. By that calculation if approx a third of the oar should be inside the oarlock then that give me about and 8 foot oar. Does that mean the entire oar length or just the shaft? Seems very sort to me either way.

Right now I'm thinking about buying this oar shaft/blade combo.


The Polecat shafts 8' 6" and the Dynalite 30" shoal cut blades. The blade is 30" so that would give me a total length of 11' for the oar. Is that too long? Those oar towers are 8". And my seat is fairly high.
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I'm very confused. I'd really rather not spend $400 on each oar before I know it will fit.
 

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Thanks everyone for all your interest and suggestions. It's been a long process rigging the boat. A lot of things are backordered. I'm still waiting on the oar locks. I got Sawyer Cobras. My biggest frustration so far is deciding on oar length. I have some questions in that regard. Thanks in advance for replying. First of all what is the length of an oar? Is it the length of the oar shaft or the shaft plus the blade? And what angle do I mount the oar towers? See pic to see where I put them. Where they are now there is about 62 inches between them. By that calculation if approx a third of the oar should be inside the oarlock then that give me about and 8 foot oar. Does that mean the entire oar length or just the shaft? Seems very sort to me either way.

Right now I'm thinking about buying this oar shaft/blade combo.


The Polecat shafts 8' 6" and the Dynalite 30" shoal cut blades. The blade is 30" so that would give me a total length of 11' for the oar. Is that too long? Those oar towers are 8". And my seat is fairly high.
I'm very confused. I'd really rather not spend $400 on each oar before I know it will fit.
The oar length is for shaft and blade together. So a shaft for a 10' oar will be closer to 7.5-8' long to account for the added length once you add the blade. Oar shafts are labeled for the total length; so if you buy a 10' oar shaft it will be 10' total once you add the blade.

As for what length to go with, I like the [distance between oar locks] x 1.63 formula. So if you have 62" between oar locks that would put you right at 8.5' oars. You are sitting pretty high with that cushion (damn that thing is plush!) so you could probably do 9' oars and be good as well, but if it were me I would go with 8.5'
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
The oar length is for shaft and blade together. So a shaft for a 10' oar will be closer to 7.5-8' long to account for the added length once you add the blade. Oar shafts are labeled for the total length; so if you buy a 10' oar shaft it will be 10' total once you add the blade.

As for what length to go with, I like the [distance between oar locks] x 1.63 formula. So if you have 62" between oar locks that would put you right at 8.5' oars. You are sitting pretty high with that cushion (damn that thing is plush!) so you could probably do 9' oars and be good as well, but if it were me I would go with 8.5'
Thank you, thats what I was confused about...the labeling of the oar shafts. I think I'll go with the 8' 6" or 9' Sawyer Polecats. I have heard that if you're undecided between oar lengths go with longer.
 

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Sorry it's confusing, canoedog. There's no perfect formula.

An unbalanced Carlisle aluminum oar will feel better with the 1/3-2/3 rule, and the oarlocks*1.63 will be better with a well-balanced Squaretop or other oar with lightweight blades.
Also depends on your rowing style...younger, stronger rowers may prefer the *1.63 rule and can handle the "higher" gearing with proportionally more oar sticking out ... and those of us with more gray like a lower gear and proportionally less oar outboard.

And these rules only work for rafts that have a lot of water resistance and surface area/friction. Boats with "glide" like rowing shells have MUCH more oar sticking out, but you're not slowing so much between strokes and accelerating the entire boat during the stroke.

so a lot of it is personal preference, but your brain also tends to "learn" and then prefer what you experience first, so there's that factor as well.
 

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I have your same boat and have 8 foot Sawyer polecats with the VLAM blade and I would definitely suggest going with either 8‘5“ or 9 feet especially if you’re going with a lighter weight oar. If you have any questions I’m happy to try and help.
 

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I would second that vote for 8'6" or 9". I just got a 12'6" Aire, close to same measurements as yours. I initially had a seat height almost as tall as yours. This made the oars angle up way too sharply. So longer oars can help in that regard (though that may just be compensating for a bad root problem).
I ended up dropping my seat about 2" and even that made a huge difference.

The other downside of a high seat is that it raises your center of gravity, which makes for a more wobbly ride if you're doing any big rapids. Zach with NWRC also has another video about where you want your oar handles positioned for best power and comfort.

In the end, it'll be a matter of spending some time on the water to see how you like the feel of things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Thanks everyone for your input. I just ordered two 9 foot Sawyer Polecats. Blue. They come rope wrapped with a stop. I got the Gilman grip and counterbalance upgrade on the shafts. I went with the cheaper duramax blades to start. Hopefully I'll get another pair of the shoal cut blades at some point. But as you might imagine the costs are piling up. Now I need to find a cheap used spare oar and I'm pretty much ready to go.
 
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Run some supports on the inside of your deck boards to stiffen them or they will sag when you Big friend does their thing.
Nice looking rig!
 
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