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This is our second year with our boat, last year we had it set up very minimal and did a bunch of day trips. Currently I have an "everything bay" and a new table on the front bay, cooler second bay.

I'm planning on doing some weekend trips this summer with the family, I want to set the boat up so we can be self sufficient.

I will have a dry bag for each person and of course will be secured in the everything bag. I would like to get a drop bag for the 1st bay.

As you see in the picture I have a watershed Mississippi in the fourth bay, My thoughts were to use this instead of a dry box. I'm undecided on this as I'm not sure it would hold up like a box would but it is half the price and comes with great reviews. I've also thought of just getting a drop bag large enough to take up the 4th bay and area under seat. A dry box currently is not in the budget.

Also I have no idea where or in what should I carry water, currently I have some of the Jerry can style cans and one of those square cube blue cans. I could put them in the everything bag but Im concerned about weight distribution.

Another consideration is how I have my cooler mounted to the foot bar I'm thinking I should get the NRS cross bar and deluxe foot bar.

We have a total of five, three kids 9, 13, 16. The boat is an Aire 156D

All useful comments welcome, setting up a boat is fun but the options are mind boggling!
 

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I just swapped out my standard footbar for a deluxe, and I'm really liking it so far. There are 3-4 positions to put my feet on it, depending on what I'm doing, which I really dig, especially on hard pulls.

As for drop bags, I just had one made custom by another Buzzard, grantc80, he did a great job and was cheaper than buying pre-made.

I personally see a dedicated seat bar for the rower as a bit of wasted space, since you have another bar directly behind you. If you go for a dry box, a flip seat is a nice addition that allows you to get rid of a crossbar and still have a nice rowing seat.
 

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Nice looking set up! I rig my cooler exactly the same and love it (except the latches face the rower). I've suggested it multiple times, especially for folks with coolers that have lower or longer latches. I've thought of something similar to the deluxe foot bar but have never made the leap. It works perfectly for me as is but is a little long for my wife. For her we just line up ammo cans in front of the foot bar (I have a hard floor).

Dryboxes are nice but not necessary; that bag looks pretty sweet. I see spenceuiuc's point but could go either way my self. I really like my cooler set up just the way you have it and don't want a cross bar there. You could ditch the one behind your seat entirely if you don't find things that will fit in the at mini bay, but I bet you'll find that space pretty usable.

Drop bags are handy and making one for under your rowing seat would be a good idea, it won't fit a lot but maybe chairs, water bottles, day bags, pump, etc. Maybe your jerry can style water jug would fit on one side... I set water jugs on the frame either next to the cooler, rowers seat or rear bay (in front of your everything bag).

I use the blue cube style, I really have no opinion on water carriers, they carry water and have not failed me so I've never even thought of changing. I also have a katadyn bag filter. Best purchase ever. As long as your not running desert silt conveyor type rivers. If you running clear freestone type streams the bag filter will refill your 5 gallon can in a couple hours while you sip cocktails. Unless filtering water is impractical or you fear for pesticides and such it seems silly to carry a ton of water when you're floating on an endless supply. Side streams are usually your best and safest sources...
 

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I agree with Seantana's thoughts on the separate seat bar. I think I would move that back to form the front of the bay with the Mississippi bag, and move that other crossbar to just behind the cooler. Your foot bar could then move back just enough to make it more usable for its intended purpose.

I didn't recognize your boat as an Aire until you said that - that webbing through your D rings is so tight and straight I thought it was a rubbing strake!
 

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I agree with Seantana's thoughts on the separate seat bar. I think I would move that back to form the front of the bay with the Mississippi bag, and move that other crossbar to just behind the cooler. Your foot bar could then move back just enough to make it more usable for its intended purpose.

I didn't recognize your boat as an Aire until you said that - that webbing through your D rings is so tight and straight I thought it was a rubbing strake!
My only issue with using the seat bar as the front of the bay, is it's much harder to get stuff in and out of the bay. The space under the seat bar is usable if you get creative.
 

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True enough, Elkhaven, I know I just like being able to get my feet behind the footbar for big push strokes. Then again, I sit on a drybox in my rig so I don't have a seatback to brace against. Those NRS frames are kind of fun for the options and ease of trying out different configurations.
 

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Your frame is pretty close to mine so I’ll just say what works for me. Can't even count all the things I've tried and changed over the years.

Front bay stays a table with drop bag always (day or multiday trips), for the cooler I use the shared crossbar with the table in front, then a crossbar in back, and the foot bar right behind it, I use the NRS cooler mounts so I need both. Then I have my umbrella mount, which is a lopro mounted to the middle of the foot bar.

For the rowers seat I have two crossbars which hold a dry box for mulitdays, but for day trips I just throw in the seat bar in between the two crossbars. The seat will clear the front crossbar. If you pick up a used FrontierPlay box or something you can get a usable dry box for cheap. You don’t need one but it sure is nice for more storage, kitchen, misc and weird shaped items. For day trips I just use the unnecessary crossbars to hang dry bags from.

Paco pads go on either side of the cooler, 7 gallon cube water jugs go on either side of the drybox. Use a bucket system for food/garbage which go down for the base of the cargo bay, bill’s bags, dry bags, chairs, all that goes on top and then a King Sling over the top. Everything bag is nice but I think you give up some room, King Sling you can still use the tops of the tubes around the back. Firepan goes in the drop bag and two rocket boxes for groover will also if needed. Always keep all the water guns, patch kit, rescue stuff in the drop bag.

Left enough extra on the side rails if I want to slip on the fishing seats they go on quick. The NRS system makes a versatile little rig. Mine’s a 14’ btw, you probably have room for another bay or the seat and the bay behind the seat if you wanted it. More cargo room in the back is always nice though.

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The NRS system makes a versatile little rig. Mine’s a 14’ btw, you probably have room for another bay or the seat and the bay behind the seat if you wanted it. More cargo room in the back is always nice though.
I have a 15'er and have a true 5 bay frame. I agree with Osprey and almost mentioned it earlier that at some point you could lengthen your side rails and get a much longer frame on that boat.

I just did a 3 day 2 night trip with 2 passengers, completely supported within my boat and only had 3 drybags above the frame. And the whole rear bay (where your everything bag is) was open for the fishermen on my rear tube. I would have never dreamed this level of gear capacity and still be totally fishable 2 years ago in my 13'er.

Rigging was by far the easiest I've ever had it. Now if I can just keep it that way when I replace my minimalist buddy for my 2 kids and 2 dogs!
 

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If you want to save a little money on a deluxe foot bar consider contacting dusty at drl. I just bought a foot bar from him. It will save you about $90. I got mine for $150 shipped. ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1431033727.940859.jpg


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If you want to save a little money on a deluxe foot bar consider contacting dusty at drl. I just bought a foot bar from him. It will save you about $90. I got mine for $150 shipped. View attachment 9822


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If you have a crossbar already, the NRS deluxe foot bar is the same price ($149) and ships for free as well, plus it's more adjustable than the solid bars. Just depends on what you want, I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the helpful ideas, for this weekend I'm gonna try moving the bar from behind my seat to the cooler. I think I will get a drop bag with lid to take up the space from seat bar back

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Hey guys! I'm about to start on frames for not one but two boats at once and I've been prowling around the forums for a month or so getting ideas. I read on one post the name of a couple of different suppliers for the rial fittings on the frames (even wrote them down) but now I can't find them.
Any recommendations?
Thanks in advance!
 

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VFL94- check out whitewatermachineworks.com

Built my frame with his fittings last year- I love it.

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You might consider a row of rocket box ammo cans as opposed to a dry box. I set up my new big water cat (20 footer!) this way and it's working out well. You could also consider building an old school plywood dry box and just keep things like the kitchen in it.
 

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Move the cross bar behind the seat bar to the front of the foot bar. No new purchases needed + larger rear bay for storage.
I like this idea.

I also used to want to have dry boxes until I realized that in addition to the added expense, they are rigid in dimension and I like being able to mess with dimensions as I learn what works best for me. Most things I pack now (with the exception of a few) are packed in dry bags that I pack the way I see fit. I don't even use the good drybags and have never gotten anything wet that shouldn't be... but I'm also not as gnarly as some in terms of the rivers I run.

Might not look as well "presented" on the river, but I still run a pretty tight ship and I frankly don't care! :)
 
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