Big Boy Cataraft

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Thanks Christian. With that known I'll fabricate something with what I've got at hand and make a more informed decision later. I've never stood on one but they are sure less expensive than the full aluminum reinforced decks. Do you have your mesh floor full length? I was thinking on my 122" frame I'd prefer just to deck the front with a 48" NRS floor and the back with another 48" deck. That would allow a good space for the anglers or family to stand and move about but also provide a floor for a cooler or two for storage. They also have mesh floor spreaders to span the drop tubes to keep the floor at higher tension, do you use those also? Thanks again.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Christian, what about boot soles and those fabric floors? What do studded soles do to them? I have my fears but since I've not used them I don't really know.

Derek, I have a 25# pyramid that I plan to hang from the back. I hope to tie off the terminal end of the rope to the base of the pulley arm and hang the anchor on the rope on a pulley to make pulling it up a bit easier. Thoughts?

Big_E, I'm game, but maybe I can find a few tiny guys to row around first. Nothing personal but both you and Nick are grain fed block the sun big fellas. I'm a pencil neck geek with matching arms. We should get out, but when?

Derek Young

Emerging Rivers Guide Services
Pulley's FTW. I've got a used pyramid with some chain linked onto it as well - thinking it goes about 30 pounds. I just got a 45# chain anchor a few weeks back, and that's going on the new Clack!
regular studs on boats are going to hurt the mesh floor. I have a couple of scraps of carpet tie wrapped to the webbing where my feet usually are just to help minimize the wear and tear.

I have a Sotar frame with the Sotar web floor so I'm not sure about the NRS spreaders with the NRS frame and floor...I'm sure that they would probably be vital in keeping the frame from flexing inwards in the center when you're standing on the web floor.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Christian, I thought about zip tying down some carpet or workout mat foam to protect the decking.

Derek, not sure what Pulley's FTW is, but I'm pretty sure if the 25# pyramid won't hold me I should not be anchoring there. I was only using a 10# on my 12' boat and that seemed to work pretty good.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Despite the awesome customer service from NRS I foolishly did not take Pam up on her question "Are you sure there are not any more parts you need to complete your project?" Well, the things I ordered arrived today. I mounted the front U shaped lean bar. I forgot to order another cross bar to mount the rear Y thigh bar. I also forgot to order oarlocks. My oarlocks are the small size for my single boat with thinner shaft oars. I mounted my rear seat atop a cooler that is strapped down nicely to the frame. I had a friend tell me that going with good plywood for the decking for now would be a good idea and less expensive than the mesh floors or rigid floors. He also said it would be lighter to make this load bearing plywood deck than a deck from heavy composite lumber that I was thinking about. His last recommendation, which he's made at least three times and I'm finally going to look into it, get the plywood fully sealed at a Line-X shop. We have one not too far from home.

Okay, so U bar, rear deck, cooler seat (non swivel for now) mounted, anchor rope, rope inside tubing drag handles that I made are installed. Here are a few photos of the progress. The front deck area will be 35" from front to back but I could not cut my 32" x 48" plywood down to 32" x 35" because everyone who is normal, rational and smart in the house is asleep and has been for hours. That will bring that decking fully under the front seat and to my foot bar. This will allow for some more storage in front of me and around the front passenger. Since this passenger has to get inside the U bar, wrap around safety, but a PITA to get in and out, I did mount a swivel to this seat. Oh, the decking is 3/4" red oak that I'll seal with some floor sealant if I can't get it Line-X sealed. I can freaking dance around on the rear deck, roomy and strong.

Anyone have any recommended spacing ideas. Where should my rowing seat be in relation to the center of the tubes? With the rear seat on the cooler all the way back and the front angler about 2' back from the front of the frame I'm wondering if the weight is shifted too far to the rear. Suggestions welcome, I'll likely be tinkering with this thing more tomorrow after all are asleep.

shawn k

Active Member
The rowing seat is something you are going to have to play with the first time you use it. Typically what happens is the person in the front of the boat makes it plow so you will need to adjust you rowing seat back to balance your boat. what did you use to mount your seat to the cooler? I am thinking about doing the same with my yeti cooler.
make sure that the plywood is narrow enough so it does not rub the pontoon, you do not want too tight of a fit. Remember that the linex may add a 1/8 on each side. I would reconsider the back seat cooler, doesnt look sturdy enough to me. Those handles are really easy to snap and you dont want that ot happen in a rapid. Just sayin'

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Shawn, I mounted the seat to the cooler with a small piece of cutting board material inside. I did not apply a swivel as the rear guy has a lot of room.
Kirk, I plan on mounting a low frame of 1x1's to encompass the base of the cooler so that it nests better and does not slide side to side, forward or back. I'm considering some eye bolts through the side of the cooler to more securely mount the cooler if I stick with it. I forgot to order a cross bar for that seat position until last night. It will be here in a few days and make the cooler mount a moot point. I also plan on taking about a 1/2" to 3/4" strip off the plywood side, then plan on sanding all the top, bottom and corner edges smooth before spraying (if I can afford the linex route).
Michael, I hope it is fun, safe and lots of good times.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Ha Ha! Just got off the phone with a Seattle area representative to a metal mesh flooring, stair tread and platform manufacturer. A brief conversation to confirm load bearing capacities, dimensions between my frame tubes and two platforms will be at my door by Wednesday. Of course I'll post up how it goes, but the fabrication of these was CHEAPER than the quote for LineX spraying of my plywood platforms. Yeah, you know I'm excited.
Do you mind sharing the cost and name of the manufacturer?

I like the idea of a cooler (or dry box) mounted seat. It adds a lot of storage without taking much space - which you may find that you need. However, you would definitely need some cooler mounts.