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Discussion Starter #1
So bought a new hyside outfitter 13 and driving myself crazy deciding on frame length and cooler dry box sizes. 18 inch tubes make it a bit of a challenge not going to high. So would like to do a four bay but may be pushing it, I have 76 inch straight tubes but that may make the front bay way to small for passenger. Would love to hear how others have rigged there boats.
 

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Go with a three bay frame. Canyon prospector cooler if it fits width wise.

Put cooler in front and row from the dry box in back compartment. Pile extra gear in the back. Put bikini wearing passengers up front on top of cooler with sleeping or foam pad. Two rocket boxes in rowers compartment strapped to frame and through drain holes. Don't forget to rig cup holders.
 

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fat guy in a little boat
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I've got an odd sized old Hyside 15'er with 22" tubes and a 78 inch straight tube. I'm using a 4bay frame NRS frame.
The cooler sticks up around 6 inches above the frame. But it's up front, so the passenger just has to deal with it.

-Cooler(160qt i think) or 5 rocket boxes in the front bay.
-5gal water jugs sideways in the second bay(makes for a short bay, but it works!)
-Rocket boxes strapped to the floor in the 3rd/ captains bay.
-Rocket boxes and a smallish kitchen box in the back bay.

I bet you could get away with a 4 bay frame, as long as you can make one of those bays short- ie sideways water jugs or rocketboxes.
And with your interior width being shorter than mine, whatever cooler you get will be smaller by a few inches. That extra few inches might make it feasible.
 

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I ran the older version of that boat for years. I had a 4 bay frame with 80" or so side rails... they ran past the rub guards and up onto the rise a few inches. I liked it alot, I could store a lot of gear low. I had a front fishing seat bar, that came and went depending on the trip. It sat right in front of a small deck over a drop bag. I kept heavies in the drop bag. Next was a 100 qt roto cooler and then a 24" captains bay. I rowed from a dry box and had a rear fishing frame that would come and go. I suspended a mesh floor in the rear to keep gear off the floor for overnighters. I just wanted as long a frame as possible. One reason was it gave me room to get more weight up front but keep it contained under the deck. This left a smaller area behind the frame but I felt it forced me to balance the rig better. I tended to have a higher gear pile because of the smaller rear space, but most was light stuff like dry bags and food buckets. Kitchen gear was either in the drybox or under the front deck (propane, cast iron and such were always under the front deck). Then water jugs on top - that kept lots of weight up front. I could also build a really nice back rest on that boat.

For day trips there was lots of flat spaces for kids and such - I really never saw a drawback to the extended frame. I suppose if bigger water day trips are your thing I could see more flexibility in the boat with a shorter frame but I still feel the longer frame was well worth it.
 

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Not sure if it will help, but I had a Hyside Outfitter 12 for awhile. 19 inch tubes and 35 inch width inside. I ran a 3 bay with a cooler and rowed from a dry box. You might be able to swing a 4 bay if you do your math right. If you click on my name and then click on my albums you can see "Little Blue." That sure was a fun little raft.
 

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I was recently down in Moab and saw a 4-bay frame for a 13.5 ft NRS, built by Eddyline Welding. It had a drop-bag with hatch cover up front (makes a great passenger seat), an Engel 80 cooler, floor in the rower's bay with a captain's box, and a dry box for rower's seat.

It would be a tight fit for the shorter boat, but I bet Mike at Eddyline could make something similar that would work.

There are photos of it on their website under "rafts for sale". When I saw it, it had also been powdercoated yellow - it's really a sweet set-up.

Armando
 

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You could always go with a 3 bay and add a trailer frame when you need it. The trailer frame would hinge up on the rockered section a little better. I run one as a 5th bay on my 16' and a 4th on my 12', typically for an extra cooler on multidays. The smaller frame is nice for day stuff and leaves more space for passengers on day trips.
 

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It will be difficult to get a 4th bay in a frame for a 13' boat. The three main bays have a minimum space requirement of about 20" each including pipe. One passenger needs a certain mount of space, and two even need more, not leaving room for much a of a gear pile astern in either case. Overall frame length is limited by the rocker of the raft. If you will have no passengers, you MIGHT be able to squeak a 4th bay at 1/2 the size for something like a couple 50 ml rocket boxes (i.e. shitter system). But that will leave little to no room at either end for cargo or people.
 

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The method I use for cramming maximum volume of crap into my 14', and still have passenger space, is to rig a table over the bow of my raft, and fold a paco in half over the table. I have been using this lifetime brand table which my dad got from sam's club dirt cheap, for the last ten years. I rig short straps through the corners, which I attach to my corner D-rings, and front cross bar of my 3 bay frame. Also add a loop strap over the middle of the table from cross bar to front inside D-ring. This makes a good spot for my water jugs, and some rockets underneath. I leave the corner straps on my table so I can strap my dish rack to it at camp. Stainless loops tied on the ends of the table to help with rigging, and I can use them to strap the table down to my kitchen box and a water jug in camp so it doesn't blow away.

I ran a 12' hyside a couple times guiding, they gave me 7 passengers, and I looked at them like they were nuts, but what a fun ride! I found I could just submarine through just about anything, as long as I hit it straight!!
 

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The recommended frame length on my Outfitter 12 was 66 inches, so you only have 10 extra inches to work with. I used a 16 inch dry box to row from and I think my cooler on that raft was a Canyon Cooler 55 (?), so about 16 inches for the cooler. I'm a 5'5" female with short legs, so my rower bay was shorter than normal. As DoStep posted, you have to figure in about 2 inches per crossbar for the frame.

Will this be a weekend trip raft or a multi-day? Solo or passengers? Do you raft with a group that will carry a majority of the group gear?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I a man a little worried about the knuckles in the boat for the thwart attachment. I have 36 inches between tubes, totally limits my cooler sizes and was worried about going to tall, like having an 18 inch dry box seems like I will be sitting super high.
Kinda funny been guiding for my whole life then start putting a frame together and realize how much I didn't know.
 

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My dry boxes started life on my catarafts that used a narrow NRS frame, so they are 34 inches long X 13 inches high. One is 16 inches wide and the other is 14 inches wide. I used the larger, 16 inch dry box on the Outfitter 12 raft. The inside dimension on that raft was 35 inches and the 34 inch dry box fit just barely with the knuckles. It actually kind of helped, as it prevented the corners of the dry box from rubbing on the tubes. Make sure you inflate your raft and get a very accurate measurement before getting a dry box. The other issue you'll have to be aware of with 18 inch tubes is the depth of your dry box to avoid rubbing on the floor. My raft had 19 inch tubes, and the short 13 inch deep dry box just barely fit without rubbing.

Here's some pics of my Outfitter 12 so you can see the dry box & cooler.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about your height above the frame rails. I have an aire super puma which has 18.5 inch tubes. I sit on a canyon 75 cooler that gets strapped in and is about 5 inches taller than frame rails, plus a foam pad on top. Sitting up high is nice, easier to see the fish. Get some taller oar mounts if you need.
 

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inches Space
1.5 seat mount
1.5 frame
13 deck
1.5 frame
19 cooler Bay
1.5 frame
24 footwell
1.5 frame
13 dry box
1.5 frame
78 total length

The above was my setup in the 13' hyside. It worked great for more than a dozen years. Of course there were changes in that time but none that included changing the overall length. My profile pic shows that boat as well as this pic:

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well it may not be an issue anymore, looks like I just pulled the trigger on and NRS E 150. To good of a deal to pass up, so now I went from boat poor to two. If you saw the classifieds this morning, I just pay paled this guy after talking to him this morning and we are talking smoking deals. Supposed to go in the mail in the morning
 

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You have now joined the ranks of the "fleet owners." A boat for every occasion. Weekend sports raft.....multi-day family barge. Now you just need to buy a ducky or two and you'll be all set. Have fun with your new boats!
 

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Well it may not be an issue anymore, looks like I just pulled the trigger on and NRS E 150. To good of a deal to pass up, so now I went from boat poor to two. If you saw the classifieds this morning, I just pay paled this guy after talking to him this morning and we are talking smoking deals. Supposed to go in the mail in the morning
I truly hope it works out for you. That dude came on one of the GC rafting forums and spammed the heck out of it and was acting sketchy. They are good deals and I'm sure the boat will be great for ya. Hopefully the shipping from Florida won't hurt too bad.

Having a quiver of boats works and I think a 15' and 13' make a good pairing. One for day trips and small rivers and one for the bigger stuff and multi-day.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
He seemed pretty legit on the phone, but then again, if it's to good to be true and all. We will see he had photos, invoices and after talking to him he basically inherited a bunch of stuff he didn't know about and got online to figure it out. Or I just got played by a player
 
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