Big Boy Cataraft

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Ed Call, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Christian Brewer

    Christian Brewer Super Slacker

    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.
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff 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.
  3. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

    Nice boat Mumbles. You know I'm jealous!
  4. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff 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.
  5. shawn k

    shawn k 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.
  6. Michael Nelson

    Michael Nelson Old And In The Way

    Wow that is a very stout, safe looking boat. You're gonna have Tons-O-Fun(tm) with that bad boy!
  7. Kirk Singleton

    Kirk Singleton Capt Kirk

    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'
  8. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff 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.
  9. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff 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.
  10. Jake Dixon

    Jake Dixon Member

    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.
  11. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    If your quote for spraying Line-X was more than $10-$15, I have to question the dealer's integrity/business acumen!
    I had the entire 4 piece bow section of my boat sprayed for $20. They just sprayed the sections along with a truck bed they were doing while I waited.
  12. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Well, let's just say it was more than that. He gave me an estimate for treating both sides and all the edges for both platforms. The price shocked me. Then I got a call from the metal fabricator and his call made my day. Hell, even the misses is impressed I think.
  13. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Metal grating platforms arrived. Damn heavy, they are galvanized steel and not aluminum. Easily twice the weight I was willing to go for. Back to the LineX guy with the plywood, he wanted as much as doing a full truck bed. We settled on much less than that. He had shut down his spraying equipment so I'll be back there tomorrow at lunch. He said they would be done because he had at least one truck bed to spray out tomorrow anyway. Some dip wad ordered the wrong width crossbars for the rear seat and thigh bar mounts. (That would be me) I ordered based on the oarlock width, not the frame width center to center. I must be staying up too late at night. Once I get the platforms and correct sized crossbars then I'll be done with this (must add "for now" because I know if I say I'm done that I'll be lying as I've already thought of a few things I want to try). No work planned for tonight, but if all goes well I'll have some crossbars and decks to mount tomorrow.
  14. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    Ed, give the Bamboo a try, depending on what type of bamboo flooring you have it could be mostly resin already. Throw a chunk in a bucket of water and let it soak a day and then dry a day and see how it performs. Perhaps put some fiberglass cloth and resin to the underside and top to keep it together; it would suck for it to come apart while standing on it in the river. Could also do the same thing for the platforms on the the tubes to step on.
  15. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    I was also thinking about your cooler mount. What about using a set of toilet tank bolts through the bottom of your cooler and through the platform? Could even use a set of carriage bolts, large washers and wing nuts for easy removal, throw in some rubber or neoprene washers to seal and your all set.
  16. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    James, I should be returning to the LineX shop in an hour or so at lunch to pick up the platforms. The bamboo is top sealed, but does soak up too much water to be a real solution (unless sealed all around). I thought of some through mount bolts beneath the cooler but did not want to have the bolts exposed out the bottom of the cooler making it a pontoon boat only toy. I thought a frame around the cooler would work if that frame were bolted to the platform. Ultimately I decided to get NRS cross bars, one for the seat and the other for the lean bar. I, of course, ordered the wrong width. NRS and their stellar customer service said, we'll send you return labels, have you ship them back on us and then we'll swap them out. More awesome feedback for those folks. I opted to remove one lopro from each cross bar, cut the tubing to the correct length and remount the lopro. I did that last night and I'm happy to say that I did not manage to screw it up at all. Now I'm pondering how to position bags/boxes for the convenient access to all parties involved, what rod mounting options and tube cover step treads should be used so that getting in and out is not too hard on the people and does not put the tubes at risk. Lots of fun so far, still plenty to do. Thanks for the suggestions. If you have photos of any decking/platforms over your pontoons I'd like to see them.
  17. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Ed, I know a guy with a ww expedition cat that simply lays a strip of indoor/outdoor carpet down the lenght of the tubes (under the frame) to protect the tubes and act as a chafe strip. Even studded boots shouldn't be able to go through the carpeting.
  18. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Sue, good point. I have some of that automotive carpeting, maybe I'll put some of that in place. I've also got a few other ideas that I'm brewing in my little nugget.

    Just back from skipping lunch to pick up my deck platforms. I must say that my initial impression of the LineX is very high. The young kid that I haggled with to get the price down to an affordable point (we're talking about plywood man, not some fancy $40k truck, plywood that you stand on) did a very good, no VERY GOOD job with his edge prep before applying the linex product. They look very good and I'm glad that I went that route. Thank you Mark Walker for the great idea and the prodding until I made it happen. You, sir, nailed this one for sure. Rob and Kerry, if you don't like the casting platforms it is all Mark's fault.

    After the young ladies are out for the night I'll see what I can go about getting these two platforms mounted and post some photos (for the one or two who might be interested). I'm glad it is my Friday. I will have a few hours of daylight to mess around tomorrow.
  19. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    No matter how good you do, or how you try to help, there's just no escaping the "barrel".:rofl:
  20. OHJoe

    OHJoe New Member

    I for one will be anticipating the pics. Im not sure how you are getting all of this completed so quickly AND answering all of my questions to get things rolling this spring :thumb: This is giving me tons of ideas for a future toon and my son is quickly getting pulled into the whole toon thing. looking forward....