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Keep it right side up
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I just pre ordered a Hyside 16' xt and am looking at options on coolers and dry boxes. Had an old Avon bucket for about 10 years, frame and boxes are shot as well as the cooler. There are a lot of different brands to choose from so I am looking to the buzzards to help point me in the right direction. Thanks
 

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AAA Inflatables makes a good box. I have a 16' boat and it fits great in my frame set up. Their box is 42"x19" the biggest box I could get for the money without having to go custom. The high dollar coolers are nice, Engle is about the same height as my box so the deck is the same height if they're stacked bay to bay.

ALUMINUM DRY BOX
 

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The Old Troll
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If it doesn't fit you must acquit. You may want to wait until you have your frame and boat set up and actually set the cooler or dry box into the inflated boat. The tabs on you dry box should only be welded in place after a careful fitting.
 

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^^^^^ x2 on everything they said ^^^^^
 

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I shouldn't say "their box" the one I have is one of their standard sizes, they have 4 standard sizes listed on their site and can obviously build custom. You can search on here and find some dry box threads, I went with the best fit for my boat and a local shop.
 

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not a big fan of the shoebox lid dryboxes. owned one, doesn't seem as though the lid is as sturdy, it scraped against the box top when closing. the newer designs have boxed over lids with multiple bends. Much more rugged. this sounds like a plug but I've been happy with the canyon inflatables boxes, but that's my only experience with CWI ...

as far as a cooler go as big as you can find. i've got a yeti 120 and 120 just aint enough space. An extra 40 qts is 10 extra gallons of ice! would love to get the nrs big sky 175 if I knew someone who got the nrs discount ...
 

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not a big fan of the shoebox lid dryboxes. owned one, doesn't seem as though the lid is as sturdy, it scraped against the box top when closing. the newer designs have boxed over lids with multiple bends. Much more rugged. this sounds like a plug but I've been happy with the canyon inflatables boxes, but that's my only experience with CWI ...

as far as a cooler go as big as you can find. i've got a yeti 120 and 120 just aint enough space. An extra 40 qts is 10 extra gallons of ice! would love to get the nrs big sky 175 if I knew someone who got the nrs discount ...
I bought one with shoebox lid last year and took it back and got one that compresses. I looked at Canyon, but their stock stuff wouldn't fit my boat and they were not responsive when I called about a custom one. Not knocking their product - pictures looked great, but service was a bit lacking. Check out Mad Cow Metal works. Paid extra because custom, but it's clear this box will never have an issue. Thickest gauge metal on market.
 
RMR, Hyside, NRS, Sawyer, K2 coolers, Whitewater Worthy Trailers, Frames and soft goods
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I have had a great experience with the craftsmanship and customer service at Cambridge welding. Cy is a great guy and is easy to work with. Everything is hand built and custom so no extra charges and he'll put the hanging tabs on where you want them.

I would recommend getting your Boxes and cooler before you build your frame. Contact me directly if I can help in any way.
[email protected]
 

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I've had both Cambridge and Recretec boxes in past and current boats. Both are well built and good at keeping your stuff dry. I prefer the Recretec in my current boat because of the way they are designed to clip-in to the frame and become an integral part of the frame structure. No need to unstrap anything to access the box.
 

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I went with Mad Cow Metal Works for a dry box and am very happy with the result. The box is solid and well constructed. Part of the reason I went with Mad Cow was that I had a slightly wider bay (18"), so I wanted the extra rigidity that their thicker metal provided. I also like the "cut-out" on the tabs for strapping down the box. On "big rapid days" I would still put a strap over top. However, most days, it is one less strap needed, while still providing a reasonable level of security.
 

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Frontier play for dry box
They still making them out of spare hardware and tv dinner tray material? There's a box you will be able to stomp on. No thanks
 

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Look, trash them all you want( and you do every chance you get), but we've had a Frontier Play Kitchen box for 6 years and it been dry on the front of our cat till this season when the gasket finally wore out. Yeah, the hardware is a little low quality, but it only cost $200. I never expected them to be the quality of Recretec or some of the others 'merikin made boxes. If you're on a budget, they work fine. On the Selway this Summer, I bash a rock pretty good, hard enough to bend the steel frame tabs that hold the drybox on the frame and although the Frontier Play box dented, it wasn't as bad as one would think. A dead blow hammer straighten out the dent in the bottom in no time. Dinner tray Material? Balogney. Obviously, you've never really seen one in person.


FWIW, our US made shoe box style lid drybox has leaked a little on the front of our cat since year two. Yes, it's got better latches, but how hard are latches to replace?

We just ordered a new frame and (non-shoebox lid) drybox and kitchen box and I'm sure at some point down the road we'll need to replace the gasket on the box in the front.
 

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Ive owned one. Never again. The bolts rust. After cutting open my leg I decided the lock tab on the latches needed to be cut down an ground off to prevent further injury and afterward and the latches would occasionally just pop open without the padlock tab.. Hard to keep your contents dry when that happens. So I stored canned goods in mine and had nice rust rings form on the bottom. Not to mention the need for a dead blow hammer to the lid when my 260 lb friend jumped to the boat from shore. So if you are happy with yours thats fine but ill never own one again and certainly wont recommend them.
 

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OK. Sorry, I withdraw my comment about never owning one and you're right, the lock tabs are POC. I cut ours off too. My SO is half the weight of your friend. Maybe that's the reason our lid is still straight. Or, it could be the fact that we have the 38 x 18 x 13, so if you had a wider box , that might explain the denting. Or, it could just be the fact that the guy weights 260 lb. I just looked at our box and there's no rust on the bolts. Are they dull? Yup. After 5 years, are the latches a little quirky? Yup.

I'm not claiming these are the greatest boxes ever made, but if someone is just getting their first boat or slowly acquiring equipment, these aren't a bad way to go. When we got a GC permit 6 years ago, we bought some used Leopard tubes, NRS frame parts and bought a FP kitchen box for what was a great deal. That's what the budget allowed at the time and it's served us well over the years. When we get asked on trips, we are always requested to bring our kitchen box.

Now that we've run both our cats for 5-7 years, we know exactly what we want. We have ordered some new tubes and have decided what frame and dryboxes we want that will work with both sets of tubes. All US made stuff.
 

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coolers andboxes.

Lots of threads on this. Avoid shoebox style. Beyond that, there isn't a tremendous amount of difference as far as I can tell. My recretec boxes have held up for 20 years, and they serve as seats in my cataraft. Never needed a thicker lid, and I have ranged 225 to 245. I like the welded-on tabs along the side so I can just drop it in at the right height, and use loop straps over the top to hold it in.

Woot had deals on gasketed coolers from Mammoth a while back. I got one and it seems to be a high quality product for the money. Avatard is right about getting the biggest one you can afford and that will fit in your frame. I got a 98-quart and am disappointed in myself.
 

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Super happy with Mad Cow. Todd isn't the cheapest, but he'll make exactly what you want and uses ".100 material as opposed to everyone else's ".080. Heavier, but that might be exactly what you're looking for.
 
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