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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Y'all,

I am having a frame and drybox made for me by DownRiver in Denver. I love the guys and trust them since they have made thousands of frames and dryboxes but I am stumped. I was told that my new Aire 160 DD can only accommodate a 12" high drybox. As is was explained to me, the floor is very high and that is why it can only handle that depth. It is about 25% smaller than the drybox on my 15 ft. Can anyone help corroborate this?

Thanks
 

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Congrats on the new boat! I suppose the height of the dry box would depend on how high you'd want it to stick up above the tubes. If you are sitting on it you'd need to adjust your our towers accordingly.


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Basically yes.

I bought a 16' double d two years ago and went through the same process. I had a custom frame and dry boxes made. I really like the boat for a variety of reasons, but I was really disappointed by how different the actual specs were compared to what AIRE claimed they would be.

Before ordering my boxes and frame, I inflated the boat and took measurements. This helped me realize the specs were off and I ordered my boxes/frame based on the new measurements. What I should have done, and what you should do, is take the raft to a lake and see how much the the specs change when you float it. The floor gets pushed up a ton, way more than other makes/models. Borrow someone's frame that will roughly fit your boat, borrow their boxes/coolers and fill them with water to simulate the weight of carrying the weight of a multi-day trip. Then take your final measurements.

Because I didn't do this, I had to fashion 3 inch shims to go under the tabs of my dry box to lift it off the floor. I also have similar problems with my captain's box. I also had to raise my already tall cooler, which is my seat. That of course required me to raise my oar towers. It is a cascading effect that could have been avoided if I had taken measurements in the water with weight on the boat. I've been able to mitigate some of my issues, but when you are spending that much money to pimp out a new boat, it's worth it to be patient and get it done right.

Lastly, I emailed AIRE about major difference in their specs vs actual and suggested they update them so people don't make the same mistakes I did. To my dismay, they never did. I think it makes the AIRE look better on paper to the competition then it actually is, which is why they probably didn't change it. I'm still happy with the boat, but wish things had gone differently for me.

Good Luck!!!!!
 

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We only do frames on Aire boats if we have them at our shop. The frames are fitted to each boat because of differences in specs. A raft is not a precision manufactured item. It is also the reason we have about 20 different size dryboxes in stock,instead of trying to make the common size work and throwing off all the geometry putting you way up in the air we build to the boat and rower instead of forcing a boat to a frame.
 

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GreenWall -

I like your philosophy and wish I had been more patient and taken your approach.

Although the raft manufacturing process will cause some degree of variability, it's unacceptable to advertise a range of possible specifications and then produce a model that falls well outside that range. For example, if you purchased a boat and the manufacturer stated the floor depth would be between 14-16 inches and it ended up being 12 inches, that isn't okay. It's either a quality control issue or misleading advertising. Even if I had been smarter about designing my frame/boxes after putting the boat on the water, I still would have felt mislead. I compared the dimensions AIRE advertised to other similar boats made by Maravia, Hyside, etc. Part of my decision to purchase the boat I did was based on the advertised specification range. My boat's actual dimensions were outside the "range" in almost every category. When it's time for a new boat in 15 years, I'll definitely be asking the manufacturer to inflate my boat and send me the actual measurements before shipping it to me. Sorry for the rant but hope someone benefits from experiences.
 

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Windriver , you have a very valid point. I remember having a complete frame ready for an Aire boat only to find out it was 6 " off on the interior width from spec. The Aire boats will be narrower then spec without thwarts and having been inflated for a while when new to relax. After 3 of us got in the boat sitting on the floor with our backs against the tubes and feet on the other side pushing we gained about 4" back. It was a lesson learned, now we just don't build until the boat is sitting here. That being said all the ones I have done are very consistent in sizing from boat to boat.
 

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Even with the high floor, 12" seems crazy. The cooler i've been sitting on in my 11' cat is 15.5" tall, and i only need 8" towers to make that work. Seems like if you have a high floor, you NEED your seat to stick up a little higher then normal so you have some leg room. Also helps you see where the heck your going for little boats, don't want to sit TO high, but still.

Dre has always seemed to know what there doing, weird.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think downriver is spot on in that they say that the height of the drybox can only be 12" but it just sucks compared to what my smaller boat held. I have never had my new boat on the water and I already have a sour taste in my mouth. I don't know if it is deceptive or I just didn't do enough research.
 

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Send the fucker back to them, tell em you want a refund on a 16' raft that can only handle a 12" tall dry box, just sounds retarded to not have any space in a boat that big.

Don't know if you can return it, but i'd be annoyed.
 

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That should be exactly what they mean with floor clearance.Then its how far do you want to sit in the air. I have a question,instead of getting all hyped up and posting why not just give them a call? I tell people don't ask the 500 that might know ask the 1 that does. Ha!
 

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Exactly right, Call Aire. They are great people and more than willing to help. Most likely, as others have stated, that is from top of side tube down. 16dd Will take a bigger box than 12". I've fitted one. Have not seen this years model, so I cannot say if this still holds true for sure. The only difference that I'm aware of for the newer model is more kick.
 

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Hello all,

This is a good discussion and I thought I would chime in with a little more info. When determining the dry box height there are lots of things to consider. First we take a measurement from the top of the raft floor to the top of the raft tube. We take this measurement in the middle of the boat as well as at the end of the straight section. Generally there is less room at the end of the straight section because of bow and stern rise. In the case of an Aire DD, which has diminished tubes, the smaller tube diameter in the bow and the stern will also make also add to this difference.

In this instance, we measured 11" from the top of the floor to the top of the raft tube in middle of the boat and 9" at the end of the straight section. Generally, the difference between these 2 measurements is not more than 1," but the smaller tubes in the bow and stern added to this differential.

We will usually set our tab height to the top of floor to top of raft tube distance. In this instance, the dry box is going in an end bay, so we are putting the tabs up 9" from the bottom of the dry box. When the tabs are resting on the pipe, that will give approximately 2" from the bottom of the box to the top of the floor. As others have mentioned the floor will rise when it is in the water, and will probably take up that 2" space.

As far as the overall height is concerned, there are some things that should be taken into consideration. If the dry box is going underneath a flip seat, the dry box is limited to 3" above the tabs. If the dry box is going directly in front of the rowers foot-well, we recommend limiting the height to 4" above the tabs so that you have less of a chance of hitting your knuckles on the box.

In this particular instance, the dry box is going under a flip seat and will be sitting at the end of the straight section. So, we recommend putting the tabs at 9" from the bottom and we are limited to 3" above the tabs so that the seat will still flip, which gives us an overall height of 12" for the dry box.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if anyone has any questions or if we can be of assistance with anything.

Sincerely,
Zach
 

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I bought a 16' double d two years ago and went through the same process. I had a custom frame and dry boxes made. I really like the boat for a variety of reasons, but I was really disappointed by how different the actual specs were compared to what AIRE claimed they would be.

Before ordering my boxes and frame, I inflated the boat and took measurements. This helped me realize the specs were off and I ordered my boxes/frame based on the new measurements. What I should have done, and what you should do, is take the raft to a lake and see how much the the specs change when you float it. The floor gets pushed up a ton, way more than other makes/models. Borrow someone's frame that will roughly fit your boat, borrow their boxes/coolers and fill them with water to simulate the weight of carrying the weight of a multi-day trip. Then take your final measurements.

Because I didn't do this, I had to fashion 3 inch shims to go under the tabs of my dry box to lift it off the floor. I also have similar problems with my captain's box. I also had to raise my already tall cooler, which is my seat. That of course required me to raise my oar towers. It is a cascading effect that could have been avoided if I had taken measurements in the water with weight on the boat. I've been able to mitigate some of my issues, but when you are spending that much money to pimp out a new boat, it's worth it to be patient and get it done right.

Lastly, I emailed AIRE about major difference in their specs vs actual and suggested they update them so people don't make the same mistakes I did. To my dismay, they never did. I think it makes the AIRE look better on paper to the competition then it actually is, which is why they probably didn't change it. I'm still happy with the boat, but wish things had gone differently for me.

Good Luck!!!!!
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to raft floors rising is Aire rafts have a laced in floor. Depending on how tight the rope was weaved will effect how much the floor rises when getting in the water. So, two people could have the same boat, but if one floor was not laced as tight, their floor could rise another inch or so when in the water.

Also, at some point you will probably want to hold that floor down to keep it from rising too much. That is one of the functions of thwarts when they are being used, or if using a frame, boxes, coolers, etc. can help prevent the floor from rising too much.
 

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Hi Zach,

Thanks for sharing your input.

I'm curious about your comments regarding keeping the floor down. How much pressure is okay to put on the floor? I've always worried that if I hit a shallow rock, or flexed the boat in a big wave that a lot of pressure on the floor from my dry box might cause issues? As a result I made shims to increase the height of my tabs to keep my box a half inch off the floor. If the floor can take the abuse, I'd much rather not use the shims and have a lower sitting dry box and avoid the hassle all together.

Thanks
 

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Hi Zach,

Thanks for sharing your input.

I'm curious about your comments regarding keeping the floor down. How much pressure is okay to put on the floor? I've always worried that if I hit a shallow rock, or flexed the boat in a big wave that a lot of pressure on the floor from my dry box might cause issues? As a result I made shims to increase the height of my tabs to keep my box a half inch off the floor. If the floor can take the abuse, I'd much rather not use the shims and have a lower sitting dry box and avoid the hassle all together.

Thanks
We don't run our boxes tight on the boat anywhere, holding down a floor is a new one on me.
 

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Thwarts holding the floor down is one thing. I would not recommend using rigid parts to do this though. Premature wear and floor damage will result. Two inches clearance from the floor is pretty standard.
 
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