What he said.In my opinion the virtues of NRS frames having nothing to do with quality, performance, durability, cost or any other pyisical characteristic. Their strength is in their availability, which is ultimately due to their catalogue. In this day and age you can get NRS parts anywhere in the western US (I don't know about elsewhere). You can look on craigslist just about anytime, anywhere and find deals on parts and pieces, you can order directly from NRS or pick up parts from an actual store... Here in Montana at least 9 of 10 frames is NRS based or has been adapted to use NRS components. I have a NRS frankenframe, it started as a simple stern frame that I bought used to attach to an old brazed conduit frame... then I bought a new bighorn to take advantage of a larger boat, then added cross bars, anchor system, yada yada until it is what it is. If I started from scratch, I would NOT buy an NRS, I would however still use 1 1/4" material, just so I CAN use NRS components if desired (i.e. lowpro's). The low pro fitting revolutionized raft frames from my experience. I'd love to see other versions of a fitting that allowed the frame components to align on the same vertical center line AND be individually removable (without disassembly of other frame parts). My perfect frame would undoubtedly be a combo of welded, speedrail and lowpro joints, each used in specific areas for specific purposes. But if I had to chose one without the others it would hands down be NRS lowpro's. They are infinitely more useful than speed rail fittings IMHO.
NRS minions exist because NRS carries the majority of the market and they produce user friendly and innovative products. They advertise to the masses, are readily available both via the net AND numerous stores. True they are usually, heavy, expensive and ugly but they're readily available.
I don't love NRS for NRS, I love the things I can build with their stuff.
I admit: "I've had broken welds". That was in 1984. That was the days of migging with a cobra handle. Since the Syncowave came out, "no broken welds". I've had structural failure and from that I /we learned a great deal.Gary, why not repair the broken welds in the frame you have? There is a ton of advice here on the Buzz about how to weld aluminum. Something to think about it might be cheaper than buying an NRS frame. Although maybe you are looking to go with something you can easily break down or move around as your needs change like the other guys said.
Great info. Maybe we could morph this derogatory thread into a where can I get American made products or where do rafting products truly come from thread... Then folks can make up there own minds how to best support our country. Just a thought.FWIW...
I'm pretty sure AIRE's urethane fabric is made by The Seaman Corp., here in the states.
The aforementioned manufacturer started here in Idaho and later transitioned to out-country That may have been a necessity a few years ago. However, that is now their downfall. Idaho has the second lowest percapita funding of any school system in the US. You think a few more local jobs would augment the system. My argument gos "make it here or get out". Verify the stats. No derogitory statements are intended. The reality is economic war with the trading partners.This is really a buy US, buy local - anti import propaganda thread. Go 'merica, everything else is junk, specially that asian shit. Is there truly an all American made boat? I seem to recall something recently, that there is one company making or somehow soucing USA made rubber and using it to make it's own boats, DIB maybe?. But nearly all the other American manufacturing companies simply assemble foreign produced components here in the states. Don't get me wrong I don't think we should ship everything oversees but what really is "American Made" anymore? Where is the line drawn, 5%, 10%, 50% - where?
These numbers are definitely discouraging, but in my experience it does not reflect the real world availability of domestic aluminum. 100% of the components sourced for our rowing/cat frames are Made in USA, including raw aluminum bar and tube. Even if I did not ask my distributor for domestic material, which I do, they would supply it because it is all they stock in "normal" sizes. Maybe they are a large business with a conscious and want to support domestic aluminum production? I hate to be cynical, but I would assume it is still just better for their bottom line. Either way it's a good thing.On the downside I also noticed that china produces 45% of the worlds raw aluminum while the US produces 4%. That doesn't bode well for the source of raw materials for our frames though.
Well that's certainly nice to hear. Thanks for the real world scenario. I know virtually all of the steel well casing I've seen the past decade was manufactured (? maybe just imported?) by Hyundai in Korea.These numbers are definitely discouraging, but in my experience it does not reflect the real world availability of domestic aluminum. 100% of the components sourced for our rowing/cat frames are Made in USA, including raw aluminum bar and tube. Even if I did not ask my distributor for domestic material, which I do, they would supply it because it is all they stock in "normal" sizes. Maybe they are a large business with a conscious and want to support domestic aluminum production? I hate to be cynical, but I would assume it is still just better for their bottom line. Either way it's a good thing.
A quick look at the aluminum rack in the shop turned up only 1pc. of foreign material, 7075 round bar with a special heat treat.....Made in Italy of all places. Domestic aluminum is there if you want it.....steel, unfortunately, is a different story.......