Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: raft frame question

  1. #1

    Default raft frame question

    Im getting bored just watching the outdoor channel all winter and decided I need a little winter project. I bought a 14' used raft and now I need to build/buy a frame. I have all the equipment to make a nice aluminum or steel rowing frame.

    Just was wondering what is the tube diamater for the frame that is best. I am planning on building one where I or a passanger will be sitting on the aluminum tube in a mounted seat.

    Also wondering on what you guys and gals did for the corners. I see that Alaska raft and kayak sells 90* corner fittings but is there a better way?

    And if you were building your own fame what features would you add or take off (coolers, rod holder, tiedowns, less weight...)

    Thanks

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default Frame Fittings

    You might try the Hollaender fittings. They come in many different types, angles, etc. HERE'S THE LINK

    The biggest negative with this is that they tend to rattle a bit more than the NRS Lo-Pro fittings you mentioned (as the through bolts wear through the aluminum pipe, they rattle even more). The Lo-Pros are solid.

    Good luck with your project-

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    273

    Default Funny you should ask.

    I am doing the same thing with aluminum. 1.5" schedule 40 pipe is available at alaska steel. It's about 1.9" outside diameter. You can usually find some in there scrap pile at about $3.30 per foot. or about $80 for a 20 foot stick. I am making a rigid frame that cannot be broken down, so for corners I am going to allow the side frame tubing to extend about 1" beyond the cross bars, notching the cross bars to the contour of the tubing then welding around the full circumference. I am making a cooler mount in the front, and just a seat bar in the rear. I might try to make a foot bar just behind the cooler, or just use the cooler for leverage. I don't know yet. If you are going to make it break down, I suggest using rectangular tubing of overlapping sizes and using clevis pins for attachments. A dry box mount under or behing the rower seat is a good idea as well, but you will need to buy or fab the box so you can size it properly. The only other good way is nrs lo-pro fittings or something similar to make the frame adjustable for later options. NRS uses 1.5" schedule 40 alloy pipe.

  4. #4

    Default lo-pro fittings

    I like how the lo-pro fittings look but at $23 apiece it adds up quick. As far as positioning coolers or dry boxes. My raft has 2 inflatable seats, do you put the coolers infront, behind, or on top of the seats?

    I like the idea of sitting on the coolers. I am also thinking of putting in a floor in the rear or front for my dog, so she dont tear up the raft. Anyone else raft with a pet and do you worry about them tearing up the floor?

    Also how much rise do you guys prefer for the oar locks if you are sitting on a cooler and how far infront of your seat are they?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default more frame ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by A_K_H_U_N_T_E_R View Post
    I like how the lo-pro fittings look but at $23 apiece it adds up quick. As far as positioning coolers or dry boxes. My raft has 2 inflatable seats, do you put the coolers infront, behind, or on top of the seats?

    I like the idea of sitting on the coolers. I am also thinking of putting in a floor in the rear or front for my dog, so she dont tear up the raft. Anyone else raft with a pet and do you worry about them tearing up the floor?

    Also how much rise do you guys prefer for the oar locks if you are sitting on a cooler and how far infront of your seat are they?

    Thanks
    Sitting on the coolers is fine as long as you suspend them from the frame. You probabaly know that, but some folks just set the cooler on the floor and go with that. Suspend the cooler and you'll be fine.

    You mentioned the inflatable thwarts (seats in your post). I removed mine and put gear or coolers in their place. If your thwarts are not removable, just deflate them and put the cooler there.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    273

    Default Coolers and Dry boxes and dogs

    Dogs nails won't hurt raft floors, but the dog hates it alot, as they like to have a firm surface to sit on.

    The way I like to rig is the cooler up front that the passengers sit on. I usually glue a 1/2" foam pad to the cooler for comfort. Then there is usually a foot bar just behind the cooler mount or use the cooler for braceing. The foot bar is lower and far more confortable. It is fabricatable, but I am worried about weld failure as there is an extreme amount of torque applied to this part. As far as the dry box goes you can sit on it as happens alot, but is not as comfortable. The way I would like to do mine is to put the dry box under the rowing seat. I have not come up with an idea to hinge the seat yet, but I will. I would not recommend attaching it directly to the dry box though, as the seat is could possibly be removed while floating upside down in a rock strewn rapid. The other option although I doubt you have room in a 14 footer, is to put the dry box behind the captain seat. The dog could sit there.
    Oh, and the thwarts need to be left deflated or removed for best frame application. And use straps or look at the NRS cooler mount on their website and copy it. Or just do it with straps. If you would like help, PM me and I would be happy to assist you with proper rigging.
    Chris
    Last edited by Chris_Stout; 01-13-2007 at 16:40. Reason: addition

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    273

    Default Inforamation from NRS website

    Determining Frame Width:

    Your frame should be as wide or wider than your boat's center-to-center measurement. Determine the center-to-center measurement by measuring the width of your boat and subtracting the diameter of one main tube (C = W - D) (Center = raft Width - tube Diameter). If the width of our frame does not match your numbers exactly, be sure to order a frame with a width slightly wider than your center-to-center measurement. This will prevent the frame from falling into your boat.

    Determining Frame Length:

    The maximum length of your side rails is determined by the available flat area on your side tubes. The wear patch material usually extends the distance of the flat area. Most boaters purchase the longest side rail length possible to maximize the useful area of their frame.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8

    Smile Thanks

    Thanks for all your replies so far. All this talk about frames is getting me excited about the up coming fishing season.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    554

    Default PVC

    I made frames out of 2" PVC; ABS would be a better material, though. Sand the pipe down at the fittings, drill them, and insert pins w/ hair pin clips to keep the pipe in the fitting. A hair wobbly, but not much. You can make the frame in as many pieces as you want that way. Mine went into a small plane w/ me and the raft. The frame sat on top of the tubes (strapped in place) and I used long-radius electrical elbows to drop off the tubes down to the floor or the raft (almost to it) so that I was sitting down low. A hinged plywood floor sat atop the bottom of the frame. PVC only lasted about 8 yrs or so; not sure if the sun beat it up or the cold. ABS is much tougher. Pretty cheap.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    273

    Default I would have never thought

    I would have never thought that PVC would hold up to the rigors induced by oarlocks in whitewater. Very interesting. And much cheaper than the aluminum one I just finished welding up..

  11. #11

    Default Pvc?

    with a pvc frame approx. how much weight can it support? If i suspend two 75lb coolers and then sit on it (185lbs + 140lbs) will the PVC hold up?

  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1

    Smile

    Just try for raft fittings on ebay

  13. #13
    New member spidennis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jklingel View Post
    I made frames out of 2" PVC; ABS would be a better material, though. Sand the pipe down at the fittings, drill them, and insert pins w/ hair pin clips to keep the pipe in the fitting. A hair wobbly, but not much. You can make the frame in as many pieces as you want that way. Mine went into a small plane w/ me and the raft. The frame sat on top of the tubes (strapped in place) and I used long-radius electrical elbows to drop off the tubes down to the floor or the raft (almost to it) so that I was sitting down low. A hinged plywood floor sat atop the bottom of the frame. PVC only lasted about 8 yrs or so; not sure if the sun beat it up or the cold. ABS is much tougher. Pretty cheap.
    I am very curious about this pvc frame!
    Got any pics of it?
    I have quite the interesting requirements ....
    and so far having researched nothing similar.
    this link shows what I'm trying to do:
    http://www.sandslave.com/2003wr250f/bikeferry/
    Do you think the pvc or abs materials
    can hold up to this kind of use?
    and hold the weight of two guys
    and a 650cc bike and gear?
    200+200+450 = 850 lbs total
    I'm still wondering about the
    length and diameter of the tubes .....

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •