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Thread: Frame Options for raft 67"

  1. #1
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Default Frame Options for raft 67"

    I'm picking up a Kenai Drifter 14' from Jim King. I need a fishing frame for it and $900 is a little too much for me. Does anyone have a good recommendation for frames in the 66"-67" range.

    I would like the stern riser seat as an add on. A casting bar add-on would be nice in the future, but definately not a necessity.

    I want to do some fishing as well as family drifting.

    Also, any info on frames would be helpful. This is my first raft.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  2. #2
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    Default

    Jim sells, or at least he did, knuckles & joints for a reasonable price. You can buy the anodized aluminum pipe at AK Steel (I think) for $80 per 20' stick. There are several oar mount options, including NRS's. It's still not inexpensive, but you can save money this way over a commercially built frame.

    Or you can also make a simple frame out of 2x8" lumber, and buy a couple bolt on oar stands at AK Raft & Kayak.

    Or you can weld a frame out of EMT or other pipe.

    Or you can buy my welded frame for $100. It has a mount for a rowing seat, a bench seat for passengers, and has a place to hold a cooler. It can be made into a breakdown frame with some very simple mods. It was taken from a 14' Aire. It's not what I want, and I'm planning on building one out of Aluminum.

    748-4858 if you're interested in mine.

  3. #3

    Default One piece at a time...

    Just like Johnny Cash, I built my frame one piece at a time. I bought my parts from NRS and started with two side rails, two cross-rails, one rowing seat rail (seat station welded in place), and oar locks. NRS fit all the knuckles so all I had to do was tighten down the u-bolts. Over the years, I bought the stern seat, anchor system, foot bar, and an extra foot bar I turn upside down for a high fishing seat. I also have one of Jim's 14KDs and love it. Little secret. Every year after floating season is finished, NRS has a 10% sale. What you buy during that time, you get 10% in "boater's bucks" to spend after January 1st. So if you carefully plan what to buy in that period, you'll have cash toward the extra stuff in the new year. BTW, I wish I'd bought the foot bar the first year. It made a big difference. I leave mine to swing free rather than bolt it into one position. I can't remember whether I bought the 82 or 88-inch side rails but I got them to run the full length of the black strip and glad I did. I'll be setting up my raft in the next week or two for spring cleaning and can take a picture of the frame for you if interested. I also have a source for rowing seats that will save you money. Google "Tractor seats" and I think you'll find what you want for half the price. I'm not very partial to the Action Seats. I have a couple extra if you're interested.

  4. #4
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Default raft frames...

    i'd love to see your setup tj, wonder if there'd be enough interest in all us johnny cash frame builders to start a sticky for pics of raft setups??? heck i'd haul mine out too for pics

  5. #5

  6. #6

    Default Another

    option is to go to Home Depot/Lowes and buy the galvanized steel posts for chain link fencing. Same diameter as NRS aluminum frames. Get the quick fit t-clamps and you are good to go. Last time I priced, cost was about 60% of the store bought. You can customize these to your hearts' content.....

  7. #7

    Default Yet Again,

    another option I have seen is to buy the steel conduit again from HD/Lowe's, rent a pipe bender, and make your frame that way.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    I'm picking up a Kenai Drifter 14' from Jim King. I need a fishing frame for it and $900 is a little too much for me. Does anyone have a good recommendation for frames in the 66"-67" range.

    I would like the stern riser seat as an add on. A casting bar add-on would be nice in the future, but definately not a necessity.

    I want to do some fishing as well as family drifting.

    Also, any info on frames would be helpful. This is my first raft.
    I have a suggestion. Go to a welding shop for muffles or such and have them weld you up out of conduit. It doesn't rust, it is strong, it is light, and it won't cost 900 bucks - no way.

  9. #9

    Default

    In Fairbanks, Aluminum pipe is about $75 a stick (20ft) for 1.5" diameter. Two sticks should get you started. Hollaender handrail fittings should hold everything together nicely. That's what some of the custom frame builders are using.

  10. #10
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Knuckles and such

    The Knuckles that NRS has are very heavy cast aluminum.
    Also the risers are just really heavy.
    That is fine for rafting out of your car, but if you fly into places, you are always looking for ways to shave some weight and not loose integrity of the frames unions.
    The light weight unions and such that you can buy at Lowes and home depot are ok for the rivers that you won't white water, but if you do like 6 mile or some of the other more violent rivers, you can bust these inexpensive T's and Knuckles.
    You guys that have busted a few T's and knuckles know how difficult it is to navigate once one gets snapped,, you are just at the mercy of the river at that point..
    The cost of the NRS Knuckles, T's and Risers is pretty expensive, and you will find you are going to spend more on these things than you are for the pipe.
    I have made almost all of my own frames over the years, and I went ahead and bought a pipe bending machine that works on Hydrolics.
    Last year I helped a few guys make some pretty nice CUSTOM frames.
    What ever they dreamed up.. they did,, we had seats sitting up high like a crows nest so the moose hunter could see over the river banks, we made cooler holders, seat pedistals etc.
    We used Anodized Aluminum, because if you just use Aluminum pipe, it will turn your hands and your raft black where ever it touches or rubs.
    One thing you can do with the cheaper T's and Knuckles is to drill holes thru them and into your frame pipe after you get them set where you want, then buy some pins to put thru and support, so you are not making the whole frame supported by the allan screws that just push against the pipe.
    Also the T's and Knuckles will leave your raft black where they ride if they are not Anodized, and cleaning off that Aluminum black is very difficult without damage to the raft fabric, so go Anodized if you can.
    Jim King had some T's and Knuckles and risers made special for him, and they are stronger than the type you get at Lowes, and they are Anodized.
    not sure of the pricing, but he is easy to reach, and has the prices maybe on his website.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  11. #11

    Default Wallie World

    Quote Originally Posted by springer View Post
    Walmart has the same seat for 32.00 - seat pedestal, swivel bracket, etc etc.... was just in the one in Eagle River tonight looking at them...

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