Dry Box(es) for Cataraft

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

  1. Mumbles, I'm no expert but I like the "concept" of dry boxes but in reality, they have some disadvantages. If you have the coin and can afford the weight, they work great under a seat or as a bench seat. But getting custom boxes are spendy unless you can do it yourself. Plus, unlike a dry bag that can flex, dry boxes are rigid. Keep exploring ideas though, you may run into a winner that nobody has thought of yet.
  2. Ed, the action packers work great. My whitewater frame was designed to use those specifically. They are great boxes to use, and can be made pretty watertight with the right seals. Plus you can lock them down as well.

    This is an old pic. But this shows my old Ocelot with my whitewater frame on it. Did some quick mods to it to make it fishable fast. If you look, you can see one of the action packers on the left side of boat. A second one fit perfectly on the right side where the rods are in the picture.


    Also, you should find dryboxes that'll work great with your frame. They do have many advantages. You won't need to worry about flex, etc. They will nicely sit in the frame crossbars while they do the twisting. If you look in the frame above, where the bike is sitting would fit two dryboxes. You can take one of your seat benches (maybe the front passenger) and subsitute it for a drybox with either cushion seat (full pad that covers full box) or have a swivel seat mounted to top and sealed to stay water tight. It's much easier to do a quick pop of the secure locks to get into drybox then unwrap, rewrap a drybag IMHO. I LOVED my drybags, but mostly for stashing gear I didn't need right away and could lash to my frame for long multi day whitewater trips.

    Another thing to consider is military tool boxes and rocket launcher holders (as in the multipack holders). They are big, watertight, and will fit under your seat. They're like monster pelican cases, just cheaper for their size. If I had a pic of one, I'd show you. But we used to use the ammo cans alot. They worked well, and lashed easily to the frames. They really aren't that heavy if you find some of the newer ones. They're a thin walled steel usually.

    I'd stay away from doing a custom dry box. You have a frame that adjusts as you wish. Buy a factory built one from Cascade, NRS, etc. Your cross bars will adjust. Plus, they sell special straps that are made to lash onto your crossbar and tether over a drybox.

    OH, and lastly. You can buy coolers and do the same thing. Just add the insulation type foam to the area that makes contact to make a seal. We used to buy the big igloos and put the insulating foam on the top and bottom of the area that made contact. Once you hit the locks, it usually sealed it right up.
  3. If you want a custom box fabed as in your sketch, talk to Dave Nissen in eastern washington http://www.madcatr.com/dryboxes.php . I have one of his dry boxes and they are top notch and price competative with the other major brands, I will bet $100 that recretec prices are significantly higher than Dave for a custom job.

    I also use 20 mm ammo cans slung between frame bars with ammo can drop bags that Jan at stitch n stuff makes (great products labeled rocket box drop bags on her website) http://www.stitchesnstuff91.com/dropbags.html

    We also have a frontier play aluminum dry box and I can't recommend them for several reasons, wouldn't buy one again.

    On the cheap I found a couple plastic boxes similar to aciton packers but with stiffer plastic and an integrated rubber lid gasket. I have seen them marketed by Coleman and they were about $30 and a great size for between frame bars, a littlie narrower than action packers. I have used this plastic box to carry my dutch oven gear for several week long trips. Here is a link http://www.amazon.com/Storage-Box-Green-15-3-30/dp/B000FNSY5U you can trim the little outside tabs off under the lid on either side with a angle grinder/cutter easiliy so it drops lower and more snug between the bars. One of the real great things about these compared to action packer boxes, is if you sit on top of the box there is no deformation, the plastic lid is very stiff and has a latice of structural stiffeners under that really make it solid.

    Another really great option if you can find one local (shipping cost is super high) are these aluminum military surplus medical first aid boxes. I don't have one, but have a friend that uses them and they are gerat, except a lot of latches:

  4. Yup, that's true. But in my frame (and all my friends who did the same) we had them right next to our seats will all the essential stuff we wanted asap. So never stacked on top of it, stored gear, sat on, etc. The ones in the picture were probably 14 years old at the time. Still were like new (just sun bleached). But yeah, if you want to sit on them, not a good idea.

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