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Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum. Long time boater here, most experience is with C-boating and kayaking, although I did guide rafts for a season and have rowed the GC in a rented boat. I'm working on building a raft rig to get into multi-days with my small family.

I'm looking for frame recommendations for a Tributary 14HD. It only has a 68" flat surface area. So far, I am considering the NRS Bighorn I. Anyone running this setup and care to share pics/advice or rig details? Any other frames I should consider?

Thanks so much!
 

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If this is your first time outfitting your own raft, I would agree with your idea to use an NRS frame. Way easier to move the rails around until you understand what you like best.

(Not sure if your prior season was doing overnights/multidays or day trips? Definitely a difference between a 14' boat and a 5-bay 18' GC outfitter boat for gear placement.)

what are your home rivers?


The 14.0HD is a great boat. (I have a 13.0 and a 156R)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If this is your first time outfitting your own raft, I would agree with your idea to use an NRS frame. Way easier to move the rails around until you understand what you like best.

(Not sure if your prior season was doing overnights/multidays or day trips? Definitely a difference between a 14' boat and a 5-bay 18' GC outfitter boat for gear placement.)

what are your home rivers?


The 14.0HD is a great boat. (I have a 13.0 and a 156R)
Thanks for the reply! Home rivers are here in the Southeast- French Broad, Nolichucky, New, Gauley, Chattooga. Our raft will be used primarily as a paddle raft, but we are planning *Fingers Crossed for Permits* to start getting out west again on our own - San Juan, Main Salmon, Deso, etc.
If we strike out on permits, I'd like to still plan to get on the lower main salmon in late July/early August this year.
I guided day trips on the White Salmon in Washington with paddle crews.
We did rent an 18' NRS boat which was awesome at 20,000cfs on the GC.

Just looking for ideas on rigging the tributary 14 HD with a Bighorn 1 or similar: Cooler placement, dry box(s), etc.
Thanks!
 

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On a basic overnight frame setup, you basically choose to:
Sit on the dry box
Sit on the cooler
Use a flip up seat over either the dry box or cooler.

It really is personal preference, My wife and I are VERY different heights so we row from the dry box with no seat. It makes it much easier to fit both of us for quick change outs and then we have our foot bar on some hollander fittings so that it can be adjusted in under 30 seconds. A t-handle allen wrench lives in our captains bag dedicated for this purpose. I like the cooler up front so that it is easier to get in and out of at camp.

The biggest thing for me is an everything bag in the stern. It is by far my favorite piece of gear and makes rigging so much faster and neater.
 

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I have a 143e, similar specs to your boat and a similar NRS frame.

I have a canyon cooler prospector (they sit right on the frame super cool)in the front bay, water jugs/ trash buckets in the towers bay. I sit on a dry box with a pad and stuff the rest of my schtuff in a santa bag in the back they sure make loading and unloading fast. I have some photos of my setup somewhere I'm happy to shoot them over or talk you through why I've done things the way I have, shoot me your number if you're interested.
 

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Anything over 14' would be enormous on your local rivers!




What the other posters said:


Usually sit on my drybox and run the cooler in front. The cooler is heavier/more dense and you usually want to run that up front if you ever get in the wrong place in a wave or hole so your weight is through it before the rest of the raft gets there. Weight back means a more likely flip.



I don't have a newer Canyon cooler...I'm still rocking an early Canyon/Galaxy cooler, but it's working so well I haven't justified a Prospector/Navigator. The Navigator is a bit large for a 14' raft, so go with the Prospector. It's a great fit in a 13-14' boat. They're optimized for frame/rafting use, I can't see buying anything else.


Instead of a drybox you can also run a row of ammo cans, but they're awfully heavy for the volume they store. Figure $30/ea on (5) ammo cans and you're almost halfway to the value of a drybox.



Like the other two said, an everything/santa bag is the way to go. So much easier than trying to strap everything individually. Usually it's drybags with tent/chairs/sleeping bags/clothes so bulky but not heavy.


I don't like flip seats, so I strap my PVC pad flat over the drybox and sit on it.


For the lower Salmon in late July/early August, I'd seriously consider a $120 eBay bimini or a $40 umbrella.
 

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Ditto to a cheap Bimini, Amazon has them too. Also thumbs up for sitting on a paco pad they can make recliners with a pile of stuff in the santa bag, they're nice up front for passengers too and keep the sun off your cooler. Bonus with the cooler up front you can have your passengers grab you beverages for you or turn it around so you can access it from your throne.

Here's a general idea of how my setup is laid out. The sideboards are really nice for a place to walk, drink holders and a place to mount a bimini.
 

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With the santa bag, I tend to beach my raft stern-first as that best enables us to unload the majority of our gear from the beach with minimal walking on the raft.

I have a 4th bay in my 15.5 and the propane/beer go in the drop bag under a bench seat in the 4th bay front of the cooler) and only getting water/propane and shopping from the cooler require a walk on the boat while in camp.
 

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I have the same boat. I went with the bighorn frame and when I got it on my boat, it sure looks like I could run another 12" of frame.

I'd like to see what the hive thinks but I'd get my boat and measure it and plan from there, the NRS recommendations don't make any sense.

Monkey see...I have the same setup as several who have posted, I sit on my dry box with a flip seat and I have a Yeti cooler in front with a pacific river bag in back...and amazon bimini. I've installed nrs side boards along the front two bays.

I find that with a full sized human sitting on my cooler they don't have enough headroom under the bimini...and my view gets blocked badly.

This spring, I intend to look into shortening the tower bay and getting some longer side rails so can have a front bay with a drop bag and dancefloor style deck. That way my px can sit down a little lower and get into the cooler without a major troop movement. I'd also like to have some bilge beneath that forward bay for trash during day trips and chairs and water during overnight trips.

my 0.025$
 

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I have the same boat. I went with the bighorn frame and when I got it on my boat, it sure looks like I could run another 12" of frame.

I'd like to see what the hive thinks but I'd get my boat and measure it and plan from there, the NRS recommendations don't make any sense.

I don't disagree--back when I used to run a 3-bay frame, I had complaints from passengers sitting on my cooler when I'd lose an oar and they'd get smacked in the back with a stray handle. Now when they sit on the 4th bay (and I hang onto my handles), it's not an issue.


You can't go WAY up onto the curve, but it seems that 6" front and rear won't be awful, and the 12" will be well-used. Seems you could fit (3)x 16" bays plus a 24" rower's bay plus (5) x 1.5" crossbars in an ~80" frame length.


I find that with a full sized human sitting on my cooler they don't have enough headroom under the bimini...and my view gets blocked badly.

There are 48"h and 54"h biminis. Which do you have?


I'd also like to have some bilge beneath that forward bay for trash during day trips and chairs and water during overnight trips.
I like my "stuff" in a drop bag so it's suspended from the frame and not rubbing directly on the floor.
 

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Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum. Long time boater here, most experience is with C-boating and kayaking, although I did guide rafts for a season and have rowed the GC in a rented boat. I'm working on building a raft rig to get into multi-days with my small family.

I'm looking for frame recommendations for a Tributary 14HD. It only has a 68" flat surface area. So far, I am considering the NRS Bighorn I. Anyone running this setup and care to share pics/advice or rig details? Any other frames I should consider?

Thanks so much!
We have run 76" 4-bay frames on 14' Tributaries. The kick isn't very abrupt on the boat and our rounded corners allow for a little more length than a square corner frame. Give us a ring if you would like to go over some details.
 

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We run 78" x 66" NRS Compact Outfitter frames on all our Trib 14' Rental Boats. They fit great and give you 4 bays instead of 3. We run them with a Cambridge Drybox, Canyon Prospector and a Salamander SM Camp Table in the front bay and it all fits perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Anything over 14' would be enormous on your local rivers!




What the other posters said:


Usually sit on my drybox and run the cooler in front. The cooler is heavier/more dense and you usually want to run that up front if you ever get in the wrong place in a wave or hole so your weight is through it before the rest of the raft gets there. Weight back means a more likely flip.



I don't have a newer Canyon cooler...I'm still rocking an early Canyon/Galaxy cooler, but it's working so well I haven't justified a Prospector/Navigator. The Navigator is a bit large for a 14' raft, so go with the Prospector. It's a great fit in a 13-14' boat. They're optimized for frame/rafting use, I can't see buying anything else.


Instead of a drybox you can also run a row of ammo cans, but they're awfully heavy for the volume they store. Figure $30/ea on (5) ammo cans and you're almost halfway to the value of a drybox.



Like the other two said, an everything/santa bag is the way to go. So much easier than trying to strap everything individually. Usually it's drybags with tent/chairs/sleeping bags/clothes so bulky but not heavy.


I don't like flip seats, so I strap my PVC pad flat over the drybox and sit on it.


For the lower Salmon in late July/early August, I'd seriously consider a $120 eBay bimini or a $40 umbrella.
Thanks! I'm definitely looking at getting a Canyon Cooler. I was torn between getting a bit smaller raft than a 14 footer but decided to go for it for the functionality. I've got a wife and an 8 year old that isn't getting any smaller so wanted to make sure we had the room on week long trips with the oar rig, and big enough to take another family paddle rafting on day trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ditto to a cheap Bimini, Amazon has them too. Also thumbs up for sitting on a paco pad they can make recliners with a pile of stuff in the santa bag, they're nice up front for passengers too and keep the sun off your cooler. Bonus with the cooler up front you can have your passengers grab you beverages for you or turn it around so you can access it from your throne.

Here's a general idea of how my setup is laid out. The sideboards are really nice for a place to walk, drink holders and a place to mount a bimini.
Thanks for the pictures. Did you add an extra crossbar to the bighorn I or is that a bighorn II?
 

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Canyon has/ had some prospectors in their "boneyard" for a price you won't beat, If decide if you want one I'd order asap while you can. Also $100 off might make the decision for you.
 

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We have run 76" 4-bay frames on 14' Tributaries. The kick isn't very abrupt on the boat and our rounded corners allow for a little more length than a square corner frame. Give us a ring if you would like to go over some details.
Thanks for the reply. I'll give you a ring to chat frame options. Good to know folks are successfully running longer frames on Tributary 14 HD's without issue.
 

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I have a 68” frame on my 13’ Spider. 15” drybox, 65 qt Pelican cooler, rower bay + a very small bay for a 20mm/water jug. I don’t see any reason you couldn’t add another 6”+ for the extra 1’ of boat. Especially if you go the style with rounded corners.

I have a Prospector for my 15’ boat and highly recommend it, especially from the boneyard.

With a kid or 2 there is an advantage of doing a drop bag & board for them to sit on. It gives a wider platform to sit or lounge on the river. On my larger boat I do ammo boxes under a board for kids in the front bay.

I don’t have one but thought a lot about an everything bag. Seems like a great thing, just haven’t pulled that trigger.
 

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Thanks for the pictures. Did you add an extra crossbar to the bighorn I or is that a bighorn II?
I got it used, I beleive it started out as a Bighorn I. I did add an extra cross bar so my cooler and box could be cuddled. My frame is 60" wide and 68" long to give you an idea of fitment, I am a gangly person so my rowing bay is longer than most. The 6" oar towers that come with the NRS frames are worthless, I would suggest piecing together what you need or seeing if you can pay a bit to go to 8's maybe even 10's depending on your height and rowing position.

The rigs 4CRS has to rent are sweet, I've seen them on a trailer ready to roll, I never thought I'd get boat envy over a rental. They sell them cheap as a package at the end of the season too if you are patient.

Someone mentioned their bimini being too short, one of the guys on here drilled out the rivets to the lower supports and replaced them with 1/4" trailer pins letting them move the support up (closer to horizontal) making the whole thing taller, it looks like a good mod to help with head space.

When I looked at everything bags Ray at Tough River Stuff had the best setup, the material is doubled over so you get 2 layers of mesh over everything and the price cant be beat. I found myself wanting a fancier closing system and handholds for a passenger, now I own it I have no desire for either.

Also OP, while these are more than many other options they dont make your water taste like plastic and you wont have to replace them every few trips. I was originally appalled at the price for a smaller container but wont ever go another route.
https://www.buylci.com/water-can-5-gallon.html
 

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Yeah, it’s tough to beat the flexibility of nrs frames. I’ve run them for nearly 20 years now and it’s great to be able to adjust your frame to each trips gear, portability/packability and a variety of passenger trip specific needs. They aren’t super sexy to look at but they crush it, otherwise.

And I STRONGLY second the idea of piecing together your setup from their parts page vs. buying a generic Bighorn. Get your side rails cut to the exact length you need, properly sized/height oar mounts, add, subtract or get specific types of crossbars to your exact trip type needs, ect.

Anyway, good luck.
 
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