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Thread: Rookie question on raft frame setup

  1. #1
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    Default Rookie question on raft frame setup

    I'm finally building a frame for a "new" old Udisco (about 11.5')that was given me. Boats in fine shape, only been in the water once & that was with me, always stored indoors.
    Anyway, I want to give rafting a try on the lower Kenai on Mondays just for fun. I have some NRS oar mounts & clips that I bought used & I am building a 2x10 frame. My question is approx where do you start with your mount position fore/aft in relation to the rowers position?
    Any other tips?

    Thanks...
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Building a raft frame

    Vance,

    Generally speaking, your oar stands should go at the midpoint of your frame. This is so you can spin the boat more easily. The next consideration is the placement of your seat board. I have found that an oarsman's seat placement seems to work for most people if it's about 19" aft of the center of the oar stands. Naturally you want to test this yourself, as some people have longer reach than others.

    Make sure you place your side rails on top of the seat board and your other cross-member up front, otherwise it will bounce you up and down as you row. There was a thread on this recently. And of course you want to counter-sink all your hardware, so nobody gets hurt if they slide across it or get tossed around in the boat.

    I've not had many dealings with wood frames (I came along in the conduit days), but 2x10 lumber sounds a bit too big to me. You might do fine with 2x6, but I would defer that question to guys like Mr. Strutz and others who have used / built these frames in the past. Just out of curiosity, how come you don't just purchase a used conduit flat frame? You could probably get one of those cheaper than building your own, and it breaks down very easily for flyout trips.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for the info Mike, that helps a lot & gives me what I need to get started.
    As far as the wood frame goes, I actually meant 2x8, trying to give maximum area for my large butt. I've watched for used frames but don't find much for under $300 or so, especially down here in the Kenai area away from the big city. I paid $60 shipped for the clips & stands & will have about another $40 in the frame materials for a total of $100. It won't be fancy, but if I decide I really enjoy rafting I will probably watch for a bigger boat & then build a conduit frame for it. I'll be able to use the clips & stands I already have so I'll just have about $30 woth of scrap 2x8s (or 2x6s) laying around. My budget is extremely limited so it will have to do for now.
    As for the fly out trips, the budget also keeps those just a dream for today...
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've seen them made out of 2x8" and 2x6" material. For a small boat 2X6" would probably be enough, except that I would still use a 2x8" for the cross member under the seat, and another in front if there will be people sitting on that cross member. As long as you have the type of oar stands that can be bolted down to a wood board they should be fine. Also some stands need at least an 7" board to bolt to, so check that.

    Wood frames work OK, but they are on the heavy side, and don't break down.

    I usually put my oar stands 16-18" in front of the seat's leading edge, but I'm on the short side.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks Jim.
    I'm almost 5'7 so I may lean more toward your measurements...
    2x8 for the seats & 2x6 on the sides sounds practical. The oar stands I have are actually designed to clamp on so my plan is to put a short length of the right size conduit mounted on top of the side boards to clamp the stands to. Another option is to simply put two pieces of conduit on each side rather than side boards.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  6. #6
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    Default

    "Another option is to simply put two pieces of conduit on each side rather than side boards" -- That sounds like the NRS Skidguard frame. http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.a...20&deptid=1052 The advantage to doing it this way is that you can adjust the oarmount position to fit. The difficulty is getting the pipe mounted so that it won't turn on you.

  7. #7
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    Default

    My thought was to insert a short section of closet rod or appropriate size wood dowel in the end of the conduit to prevent crushing, then drill 2 holes through the conduit (on each end) to mount it to the cross board. I figured two 3/8 bolts should prevent rotation.
    Make sense?
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  8. #8

    Default

    I am old enough (and poor enough), that I still build and use wood frames.

    I especially use them for fly-in trips, cause they stack very compact on the way in, and I can just pull off the hardware and burn 'em on the last day !

    I have 3-4 laying around. If you want to drop me a PM you are welcome to stop by and take some measurements.

    In my mind there are two critical dimensions when building any kind of frame. First is the distance from the seat back to the oar locks (don’t' measure diagonally from the center of the frame where the seat is, to the side where the oar lock is, just measure along the side from the back of the frame to the oar lock). This places the oarlocks in a comfortable distance to maximize your power and match your reach.

    The second critical placement is a board in front to put your foot on when you are really putting your back into your rowing. The correct placement of this board depends on your height and again should be measured from the seat back, forward.

    Most of my frames have a slot to drop in a dry box, so the "foot board" is a 2x4 (and the front of the frame is a bench seat). If I do not have a slot for a dry box, then the front of the frame is a bench seat made with 2x4's and plywood, and I put my foot on the back of that.

    Sit in some frames (made of anything) and see what feels comfortable for arm reach and foot brace/reach, take these measurements, then all the other dimensions (length & width of the frame) are dependent on the length & width of your boat.

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