Dry Box(es) for Cataraft

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Ed Call, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    I've assembled and done a majority of my accessory outfitting for my 14' cataraft. What I'm focused on currently is dry box or dry storage options. A search here found a dozen or so threads where dry boxes were discussed. I sent some PMs to folks with setups that really sounded good. I've got sets of saddle bags that are water resistant (read: water collection system) and of course space is limited. I'm looking for any input you might have on dry storage solutions, be they small, low profile under seat or bay filling dry boxes. A combination of these types will likely give the best versitility on my boat. Thanks for your input. Ed
  2. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    I am reading a Whitewater Rafting book to better understand river running and there's a picture of a guy entering a drop with 2 ammo cans attached across the dual frame rails just behind the seat. Heavier than plastic but rugged and waterproof, $7-$15 each
  3. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Brian, I dig ammo cans for many reasons. I want, or think I need, a larger container that will sit behind my seat and allow for lockable larger storage items. My deck platform is about 32" between the pontoons and I'd like one that filled that space but was about 15" x 15" in the other two dimensions, kept water out and locked (read: put spare rod tubes, clothing and other items in here and out of the way). So far the only thing I've not really liked about the cataraft is the lack of really good places to put things. I have some mesh nets beneath the seats and the saddle bags. I guess I'm greedy and want more. Plus a lockable storage box would sure be nice for those spare rod tubes.
  4. Roy

    Roy New Member

    What I've found to work very well are dry bags. They come in a variety of sizes, easily bungee to anything, will float if they come loose, and can be stuffed or attached to virtually anything. They even can double as floatation for people or rafts. Clear ones let you see quickly whats inside too, and the bags add little weight.
  5. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Wondering if something like this is possible and affordable?
  6. Michael Nelson

    Michael Nelson Old And In The Way

  7. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Michael, thank you. I've considered a pelican or similar case but the fit into the space between the pontoons and the front to back dimension I'm hoping to find has yet to be revealed in a pelican case. I'll look at your recommended model and browse some more. I think you are right about the toughness of the cases, we use them for many applications at work and in the field.
  8. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

    While not specific towards your need for a larger dry box, I have plans for mounting a few smaller pelicans on the side rails. A good place for utility storage while fishing and a bit more handy than the bags, I think. Will probaby do both the bags and smaller boxes.

    For work purposes I have a few of the large pelicans. Not sure I'd go that route even if there was an appropriately sized one. More effort to open / close (multiple latches) and too heavy, IMO. Not to mention expensive.
  9. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

    Your sketch looks like a trucks job box. Doubt it would be sized right or waterproof enough.
  10. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    You ought to commission your local HS metal shop; It would make a cool project. Maybe in aluminum to save weight?
  11. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Chris, good point on the multiple smaller boxes at right hand points for smaller stuff. I agree that the larger pelicans are four or five latches that might become a hassle as much as I'm always fiddling with stuff. A truck box is really in my head but finding one that will span the top of the tubes but have the narrower lower portion has so far proven unavailable "off the rack". That might be a point of consideration as you build up your cataraft. A wider tube placement makes a truck box a much more plausible fit. (Not sure if waterproof enough is a suggestion that I'll have this bad boy upside down a lot or something...) I've got a couple of dry bags that can be stuffed then put into the mesh cargo nets that are beneath the seats currently. Just finding my way through this project one thought at a time.

    Derek, good point on a fabrication class, and yes, aluminum is better because I'm such a weak rower anyway. Less weight is better! I have been pondering a road trip to see how removable someone's drift boat storage boxes might be, but I fear that the local law enforcement would not be in approval of my project. What I really covet though, Derek, is the way you can store the backup rods in tubes in your dry storage. I've tackled and somewhat solved rigged rods, standing platforms, trailer, rollers, lean bars, saddle bags and other such things but the longer storage currently is missing.

    I've pondered coolers too, but at only 32" between my tubes and then a loss of up to 2" of thickness per side for the cooler insulation that puts you down to 28" side to side. Even 9' rods in tubes would have to be angled as they are all closer to 30" in length. Angled tubes will fit fine, but it will complicate how neatly and how much other stuff you can stow.

    Dang Chris, that truck bed job box sure could be cool. Maybe they make a shallow one with no middle drop section. I could put it all the way tube to tube and then use the dead space under that box for stuffing dry bags...interesting...

    Thank you both. By the way, any chance of fishing soon? This cubicle sucks.
  12. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Fishing? I'll be on the river all weekend!
  13. Michael Nelson

    Michael Nelson Old And In The Way

    I wonder if appropriately sized lengths of PVC tubing with screw-in end caps could be used to store rods in their tubes securely? Find some way to make a rack of them....
  14. TD

    TD Active Member

  15. veilside180sx

    veilside180sx Member

    The Action Packer is my second recommendation if you don't want to spend the cash for a regular alum. dry box

  16. shawn k

    shawn k Member

    what you are looking for will set you back some serious coin because it is a custom dry box. Down river sells one like that. I would reccommend you get ahold of recretec http://www.recretec.com/ They have been making custom dry boxes and frames for years.
  17. surfnsully

    surfnsully Active Member


    You could always take your drawing, or send it, to a driftboat builder (aluminum) to see if they can build it for you. I know Koffler and Fishrite make custom dry boxes for folks but I have no idea of the cost.

    Good luck
  18. NRS can order customs as well. If you bought their frame, they may even stock the size. I agree that a hd unit makes a great seat and addition to your craft.
  19. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

    Ed, Much ado about nothing! A single sheet of A-C 1/4'' plywood, some epoxy and fiberglass cloth and a weekend's work and you can build the dry box of your dreams that exactly matches the shape of your boat.

    Just by coincidence I am refurbing a similar plywood box that has been in my pickup bed for 16 years. It still looks good and is still waterproof but needs a fresh coat of paint. I can't imagine a boat box getting a fraction of the hard use it has received. If a pram can be built out of those materials and last for decades you can bet a well built dry box with probably out last your boat.

  20. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, lots of options. Some I've seen, others are outside the box thinking and I really like that. I'll send my drawing to a couple DB shops and check the links provided here and in PM. Ive, how much do you think a fiberglass and epoxy covered box would weigh? I've got the tools to custom cut the plywood I guess but I'm not versed in the arts of glass and epoxy. I've done some epoxy work on other things though. What about the costs of plywood, glass, epoxy and then hardware? If you were to have to rebuild your full truck box today how much do you think it would cost you?
    (small wheels turning inside my brain nugget thinking that a trip to the wide open spaces of Ione should be in my future...)