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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got an Aire 156D and a NRS 4 bay frame with seat on the cross bar. This is our first season and were only day-tripping for now. Boat also has two thwarts, we have a large cooler and no other major gear.

Whats the best way to set it up for day trips, currently I've got the oar towers centered in the boat the 4th bay is empty cooler in front of rower and in place of first bay a thwart.

We have 5 people and sometimes take a 6th. Three kids 2-3 adults.

With this setup everyone wants to congregate in the bow with virtually no weight in the back of the boat which makes the boat harder to turn.

any ideas (low-dollar) on how to set this up differently?

As this is our first season with our own boat were mostly sticking to club runs on splashy class 2-3 water to build up our experience.

Things I'm considering is putting the cooler or a drop bag in the fourth bay, putting a plywood bench over the first bay. I've even considered running it with just two bays with rower and cooler and putting in both thwarts and moving the frame back some sort of like a stern frame but not as far back.
 

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Put a deck on both the front and rear bay. A drop bag under one of them will hold stuff like patch kit, 1st aid, pump, etc., and keep it out of the way. A stern style frame toward the rear with 6 in front won't turn well either. Try to split the folks fore and aft. If they refuse, the stern style will work but inefficiently, potentially causing you problems at lower levels.

It's hard to tell in that photo, but it appears like your cross bars are set so that you don't have one at the front end. Put the cooler between the foot bar and the 4th crossbar, and put the last crossbar to the front to support your deck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah you are correct currently there is no crossbar at the front although I do have the bar.

So really I do need to have passengers in the stern also to keep it balanced and level. I like the idea of two decks with a drop bag in the rear That would help putting the bag in rear for weight.

Perhaps side boards would assist with movement of people from front to back.

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ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1404687918.242227.jpg ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1404688039.008068.jpg

Here's how I set up my 14' with the NRS frame, works great sitting on the dry box with a pad, and gets my wife and daughter down the river on week long trips in comfort.
My passengers sit on a paco pad over the table/drop bag.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
View attachment 8648 View attachment 8649

Here's how I set up my 14' with the NRS frame, works great sitting on the dry box with a pad, and gets my wife and daughter down the river on week long trips in comfort.
My passengers sit on a paco pad over the table/drop bag.

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I like your setup, Is that a table or a bench. It seems that having the seat on a cross bar like mine pretty much excludes using the fourth Bay for anything other than a drop bag.

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First thing I got rid of was the seat, and used the crossbar and low pros for the front bay. It's a table that sits over the drop bag in front.

Btw, the seat bar combo wastes precious space. I also got rid of the extra kick bar and replaced it with a combo straight crossbar/kick bar. That also allowed more space for the front drop bag/seating area.

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Another idea

I've got an Aire 156D and a NRS 4 bay frame with seat on the cross bar. This is our first season and were only day-tripping for now. Boat also has two thwarts, we have a large cooler and no other major gear....

Things I'm considering is putting the cooler or a drop bag in the fourth bay, putting a plywood bench over the first bay. I've even considered running it with just two bays with rower and cooler and putting in both thwarts and moving the frame back some sort of like a stern frame but not as far back.
I would make bay 1 for the cooler by putting that extra bar behind the sear bar. Move the sear bar up ALOT. Put the drop bag in that bay 2 that was created with the new bar and your seat bar. Bay 3 is your captain's space with your oar towers that you've moved forward. Now you have bay 4 to deck for all your passengers to sit. The frame will not be centered on the raft (fore and aft), but your towers will be in the middle for better control. The weight balances out because your heavy cooler is behind you and your seat is also behind the center line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would make bay 1 for the cooler by putting that extra bar behind the sear bar. Move the sear bar up ALOT. Put the drop bag in that bay 2 that was created with the new bar and your seat bar. Bay 3 is your captain's space with your oar towers that you've moved forward. Now you have bay 4 to deck for all your passengers to sit. The frame will not be centered on the raft (fore and aft), but your towers will be in the middle for better control. The weight balances out because your heavy cooler is behind you and your seat is also behind the center line.
I like that but would I be too close to the passengers with my oars?

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I like that but would I be too close to the passengers with my oars?

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You can test to see how far your reach is with the oars and see if the handles go that far. Also, you can use pins and clips so the oars will only swing forward a predictable amount and factor in that people usually sit on the front edge of the seat.
Try a very narrow 2nd bay to move you farther from the front passengers. The compromise might mean a smaller drop bag or storing stuff in dry bags hanging off the seat bar.
Btw I hate those NRS seat and foot bars! Total waste of space...the footbar isn't adjustable and you can't hang anything from it, as noted by someone earlier....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree with you on the nrs seat bar and foot bar, completely not thought out IMHO. I'm considering having a shop cut the drop portion out of the foot bar and welding it onto a cross bar, that still would not be adjustable but would Eliminate two lo pros and give me extra inches

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I agree with you on the nrs seat bar and foot bar, completely not thought out IMHO. I'm considering having a shop cut the drop portion out of the foot bar and welding it onto a cross bar, that still would not be adjustable but would Eliminate two lo pros and give me extra inches

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Price that out and then compare it with the bar combo that wild2honriver suggested. The price might be comparable and you will be able to adjust the footbar rather than having it welded in one position.
 

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I have an Aire 156R, and often do day trips with myself and 5-6 folks. I have a Cambridge welding Salmon River Frame, so not adjustable like your NRS frame. What I do is put a bench in front of the cooler, and put in a thwart as close to the stern as I can. The passengers behind me sit on the tubes, and rest/hook their feet on or under the thwart. Works fine for class II/III floats. I sit on a dry box...the front bench can be replaced by another. Pic includes for example
 

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looks to me like you just need to add that one cross bar you say you have to the very front. Put a bench and drop bag up there and a drop bag behind/under the rower and you'd have a great a versatile setup (with just the expense of a couple of bags and some plywood and paint). You could also put a bench over that rear bay (using the seat platform for support) if you wanted more flat spaces. In my opinion you want to be slightly front heavy so 3 folks and a cooler up there, the rower and two others in the back would be about right. Your locks look maybe 3" behind center which is about where they usually end up for me. No way would I want the rowers position moved way forward...

as far as the footbar, it adds maybe 4 lbs and takes up two inches. your frame could easily be a foot maybe two longer sf you so desire so you have not real issue with space. the newer NRS footbars or AAA welded footbars are nice but your talking $100 for minor changes imho....I don't use the rowers seat bar and would be just fine cutting that off if I were you but for simplicity sakes you could just start with a bench up front and see how you like it. That would run you less than $50... add drop bags front and rear and your at maybe another $150. The fancy foot rest alone will run you over $100...
 

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Here’s how I run my 14’er, table up front with drop bag, cooler behind, rower, then dry box or seat. For day trips the table/bag and cooler stays in, and I drop a seat bar in-between the two crossbars where the dry box would be. Then for multi-day trips that seat bar is removed and replaced with the dry box for the rower to sit on. I don’t want to carry a whole dry box just for day trips. For fishing I either just add the lean up front and have the front passenger use the table or I’ve left a couple inches of side rail I can just slide on the front seat assembly, the stern seat can attach to the back crossbar anytime.

You definitely have to distribute the people front and back. that’s way too many all in the front. Oh, and I would probably just remove all of the thwarts since you are running a frame. In the back I just use the extra crossbar to fasten dry bags around, you can buy drop bags that have zippered tops without adding a whole extra deck in the back.
 

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IMHO, people take an unholy amount of shit on day trips. Unless you're planning to be on the river for 5-6 hours and stopping to make an elaborate lunch, consider paring things down.

I have a 2-bay day frame that works great. Just a rower's bay (seat on the back crossbar), middle crossbar is a combination crossbar/foot bar, and I run a drop bag in the front bay. Small cooler in the drop bag and a table/seat over that. Your passengers will have all of the front two thwarts to sit on, plus the table/cooler bay takes up just enough space you won't hit someone in the back of the head with the oars.

Even more Spartan is a single-bay stern frame. Get your weight ALL the way back and leave all 3 thwarts open for passengers to sit on. I really don't understand the impetus for wanting your oars perfectly centered. I use this rig in class IV...not sure why it won't work in II-III!

All you'd need is an extra (shorter) pair of long bars and move your NRS bars over to them. Save the super long bars for when you need 4 bays for an overnight trip.

First thing I got rid of was the seat, and used the crossbar and low pros for the front bay. It's a table that sits over the drop bag in front.

Btw, the seat bar combo wastes precious space. I also got rid of the extra kick bar and replaced it with a combo straight crossbar/kick bar. That also allowed more space for the front drop bag/seating area.
Good advice. The standard NRS setup, I'm convinced, is simply designed that way to enable NRS to sell an extra pair of Lopros. :lol:

I have an Aire 156R, and often do day trips with myself and 5-6 folks. I have a Cambridge welding Salmon River Frame, so not adjustable like your NRS frame. What I do is put a bench in front of the cooler, and put in a thwart as close to the stern as I can. The passengers behind me sit on the tubes, and rest/hook their feet on or under the thwart. Works fine for class II/III floats. I sit on a dry box...the front bench can be replaced by another. Pic includes for example
Good setup with a minimum of fuss and would work with his existing rig.
 

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fwiw, before you get too far along, it looks your side rails are too long and sitting on the curve of the tubes. you will get hotspots and wear into your chafers, ect at the ends.

first hand experience with this and with this frame. it can happen pretty quick under load.

good luck.
 

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I get more people in my 13' than you are set up for. Some decks will go a long ways toward passenger comfort and practical use of space. I'm sure there are a ton of good ideas here. Just start building and go from there.
 

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Even more Spartan is a single-bay stern frame. Get your weight ALL the way back and leave all 3 thwarts open for passengers to sit on. I really don't understand the impetus for wanting your oars perfectly centered. I use this rig in class IV...not sure why it won't work in II-III!
This is what I do for daytrips and I really like the space and simplicity.

When camping, I move it up to where the rear thwart should be, where it rests on an elevated (from the tubes) wood bench from which dry boxes are hung. In front of that I add a day frame inplace of the kickbar where my coolers are hung and the front thwart and bow of the boat are open for passengers. The stern of the boat has a cargo net and is filled with gear. Works great.



...sorry can't get a pic to show!?!?
 

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Stern Frame

If everyone wants a front row seat - use a stern frame and thwarts. That boat will handle a rear oarsman and 6 no problem. If your passengers aren't great paddlers your stern frame set up should get you through most water you'd want to take your kids through. Good luck.
 
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