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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I am looking at upsizing my raft for a growing family. I currently have a Maravia New Wave II which is a 13.5' raft. It has a fishing frame on it with a raised front seat, stern seat, anchor system, rower's seat is on a dry box.
I have a spare bare bones NRS frame I use for whitewater as well.

The point of upsizing - I want more room up front, more room in general, and mostly a way for my wife and and 1 or 2 kids to sit on a bench up front.

I am looking at a Maravia Zephyr.

Anyways, I see alot of setups with a dry box in front of a cooler, and that looks pretty sweet. But I will keep my dry box under the oarsman seat, and I really don't need that much storage.

I do mostly day or overnight trips and can use drybags for longer trips. 95% of raft use is fishing.

So a bench in front of the cooler might work, but I like the idea of being able to sit higher (like on a drybox) for fishing up front. But maybe I want to keep it low for the kids and compromise on fishing.

I like the idea of swivel seat(s) option up front too. I want it to be comfortable for all day sitting. Or maybe down the road I'll swap out the bench for a single raised seat.

Anyways I'm rambling now - I'd love to hear ideas or advice and see pics of anyone's configuration.
 

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My front seat is a table with drop bag under. I put a large drybag on either side for the arms of the couch and a paco under butt. Everyone loves it especially my kids. Not sure the ages but I feel safer with them down low and with the bags to help cradle them in the boat.
 

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I built a 12-inch wide x 60-inch long bench seat out of wood for the front of my raft to be used as extra seating. My favorite part about it, is standing on it to fish! It's like casting from the raised platform of a salt-flats boat. And since it spans the full width of the frame I have a ton of real estate to move side-to-side on and it's plenty stable. I wouldn't worry about trying to rig up something special to raise the seat up, just stand on it when you want to fish, you will love the high angle it provides.

When it's just my wife and I, I leave the raised fishing seat on the frame, just in front of the bench seat. That way the wife can sit in comfort all day long but I can still use the bench seat to cast from when I can convince her to take over the sticks! If I had a longer boat, i'd go with a 16-inch wide seat to allow for better standing stability, but the 12-inch wide bench seat works fine.
 

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I have a Diablo and wanted to set it up to be convertible for whatever is needed. My solution was to buy frame fittings from Whitewater Machine Works. I left the outer rails of the double rail set up about 1.5" long in front. For whitewater use, I have a hatch cover over a drop bag like bcpnick shows above. If you want an elevated seat, slip on two of the single fittings on the end of your outer rails and you're set. I also have the front bay sized so I can remove the drop bag and cover and swap in a second dry box. A set of stern rails in the rear with fishing seat on top of stern and you can go from whitewater to fishing rig in no time. Don't remember who it was, but I was brainstorming ideas and came across this set up on an NRS boat in the raft porn thread and decided to copy it.
 

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I too run a front deck and a raised seat. I had the raised bar made to be 3-4" taller than NRS's version and the "hoop" is narrower not the long gradual bends the N company uses. It leaves room for a passenger in either side if need be but usually if we are running bigger water or longer overnighters where fishing is secondary I leave it at home and the passengers sit on the front deck. I've done the paco thing on the deck but it always seems that you are sitting in water so we've moved more to using stadium chairs (a step up from crazy creeks, but they work too). They give you butt padding and a back rest and they drain quickly so it's a bit drier.

Honestly if you fish a ton having a removable front fishing seat is key. Standing on the deck is nice in flatwater but as things get rougher it's probably not the safest option. I fish that way on the Mo, but not so much on the Big Hole or Madison... Mine attaches with 2 lopro's just like a frame cross bar, just loosen them up and slide it forward - very quick and simple conversion to a bench seat.
 

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I was on the Big Hole last weekend fishing. I was standing on my front bench seat and loving life with all the casting I could do. That was until my wife got attacked by mosquitoes and took a few hard pulls on the sticks to get away from them. I almost took a nose-dive off the raft. So like elkhaven said, don't plan on standing up there if you are in rougher water or rowing hard, but in flatwater its the bees knees.
 

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I dont understand why people put dry boxes or coolers up front for people to sit on. It creates a raised passenger that is more likely to slide off the boat. I have seen this happen, you put a taco pad over a dry box and then someone just slides right off the boat. A flat and low bench in the front allows for a drop bag which is great for gear and dry bags and its more comfortable for the passengers bc they can sit further over the tubes if they want. They can also do paddle assist which is not really possible with a box up there. And lastly the rower can now see over the passengers. Build it out of wood, plastic or metal and throw a paco over it and its luxury.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a Diablo and wanted to set it up to be convertible for whatever is needed. My solution was to buy frame fittings from Whitewater Machine Works. I left the outer rails of the double rail set up about 1.5" long in front. For whitewater use, I have a hatch cover over a drop bag like bcpnick shows above. If you want an elevated seat, slip on two of the single fittings on the end of your outer rails and you're set. I also have the front bay sized so I can remove the drop bag and cover and swap in a second dry box. A set of stern rails in the rear with fishing seat on top of stern and you can go from whitewater to fishing rig in no time. Don't remember who it was, but I was brainstorming ideas and came across this set up on an NRS boat in the raft porn thread and decided to copy it.
Any pictures? Having a tough time visualizing. Been a long day haha
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I too run a front deck and a raised seat. I had the raised bar made to be 3-4" taller than NRS's version and the "hoop" is narrower not the long gradual bends the N company uses. It leaves room for a passenger in either side if need be but usually if we are running bigger water or longer overnighters where fishing is secondary I leave it at home and the passengers sit on the front deck. I've done the paco thing on the deck but it always seems that you are sitting in water so we've moved more to using stadium chairs (a step up from crazy creeks, but they work too). They give you butt padding and a back rest and they drain quickly so it's a bit drier.

Honestly if you fish a ton having a removable front fishing seat is key. Standing on the deck is nice in flatwater but as things get rougher it's probably not the safest option. I fish that way on the Mo, but not so much on the Big Hole or Madison... Mine attaches with 2 lopro's just like a frame cross bar, just loosen them up and slide it forward - very quick and simple conversion to a bench seat.
Interesting I'd like to see it. Ya I prefer to sit and fish, and when we're floating we're generally fishing the entire time. But I have a deluxe fishing frame right now. The front seat sits real high.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was on the Big Hole last weekend fishing. I was standing on my front bench seat and loving life with all the casting I could do. That was until my wife got attacked by mosquitoes and took a few hard pulls on the sticks to get away from them. I almost took a nose-dive off the raft. So like elkhaven said, don't plan on standing up there if you are in rougher water or rowing hard, but in flatwater its the bees knees.
Haha sounds like something that would happen to us. Must have been in the upper meadows! Mosquitos are terrible up there. I spent 4 days camping there one year and by the end I had built up an impenetrable layer of sunscreen and bug spray and they left me alone. Kinda gross actually
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I dont understand why people put dry boxes or coolers up front for people to sit on. It creates a raised passenger that is more likely to slide off the boat. I have seen this happen, you put a taco pad over a dry box and then someone just slides right off the boat. A flat and low bench in the front allows for a drop bag which is great for gear and dry bags and its more comfortable for the passengers bc they can sit further over the tubes if they want. They can also do paddle assist which is not really possible with a box up there. And lastly the rower can now see over the passengers. Build it out of wood, plastic or metal and throw a paco over it and its luxury.
I can see that for big whitewater but a raised seat is really nice for fishing. But like you say, maybe a low seat would be good for the little guys.

Thanks everyone for all the great ideas!
 

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Ya know, you people are a bad influence. I just joined up here the other day, and at that point I was thinking my raft was all ready for another season, my old plank sideboards replaced with some sleek (lighter) plywood ones. Then I saw some pictures here. And then I had to remodel the whole damned raft!

I have a home-brew version of the NRS "kitchen dry box" which used to drop in behind the cooler. Now when I need it it will replace the front bench seat. It's the same height (plus half an inch) as the sideboards, so the comfy seat will remain functional. The whole rig's lighter, more comfortable for passengers, has better visibility ahead and is more secure for me (what with the new "deluxe" foot bar with the toe-gripper thingies), and even includes a shady nook for the dog. Nice going, people. Nice going. ;)

Some before/after shots:

P.S. What's the trick to making the photos show? Do they have to be hosted someplace else first?
 

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I have a home brewed frame made of 2x6 and 1-1/4" emt. Set a lifetime table on the front bay and strap it down with a big drop bag underneath. The whole family (5+) usually sits on the table and front tubes of the boat comfortably. Cooler goes just behind captain chair and huge dry box behind it to the stern.

For multiday trips i hang a 20 gallon plastic barrel on either side of my feet using webbing cargo nets to round out the captain's bay. Tons of weight but the 18' Hyside takes it no problem.

Benches rock


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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RMR, Hyside, NRS, Sawyer, K2 coolers, Whitewater Worthy Trailers, Frames and soft goods
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