Thanks all. No casino. No live well. There is a bar though, right now it is located behind my seat so that it is within easy reach. It also has two cupholders on each of the angler seats and my gear bags in the rower's pod has cupholders on the ends. No one would ever drink and boat though. Not sure what to do with this thing tonight? There must be something.
There is a bit of wiggle in your seat Rob, will be working that out tonight or tomorrow. Hope to toss it in a lake to check out the weight distribution. Any body out there got time to serve as a live counterbalance?
Awesome! The first day I was not balanced as well as I'd like but only had Rob up front. I got us in a bit of trouble but the boat handled it all very well. Day two was a short run, Rob and Matt on board and the day was fantastic. Day three was the longest, not the most technical but held many choices of lines through various boulder fields and past strainers. Every line the three of us decided looked best were pulled off very well. The boat is awesome. Everyone should have one or have a friend with one for sure. Many thanks to all who chimed in with suggestions that helped this big boy cataraft take shape, especially Riverman for wanting to down size frames via a trade and Freestone who's been my unofficial pen pal via PM on ideas and thoughs from her vast experience. Did I say this thing is awesome yet? Well, it is awesome.
Chris, thank you. Just tell me when and you and your family can come pick it up for a river row. It sits in its utility trailer unless I'm using the trailer for yard projects. I'm sure there are great benefits to a raft, but I've never had one. Maybe we'll take it out on the Yakima soon.
Two problems surfaced on the Hoh as I got this bad boy wet for the first time. The first was the lack of somewhere to step to get in and out (we were stepping on the frame tubes and/or pontoons or having to straddle it all to get inside. The second was that my rod holder, although great for holding rods, was exposed along the top of the frame and tubes. This made it tough to get around them and of course I managed to break my friend Rob's spey rod as I pinned us in some nasty large woody debris.
Tonight I mounted side boards made of PVC lumber, a bit lighter than the composite deck material that I've been considering. They are only strapped in place right now so I can test them out. They are also only 5 1/2" wide. They fit perfectly between the frame connections and the front angler's U shaped thigh bar. I might later opt to double that width making cut outs of the frame connectors and around that front U shaped thigh bar if the narrow 5 1/2" is not enough.
Beneath the frrame tubing and to the outside of the drop down rails (and just inside the pontoons) I slid some of the grey electrical PVC conduit to serve as rod tubes. I realize that getting rods in and out will require pulling over, but if the front angler has his/her rod in hand and the rear angler has his/her rod in hand pulling over to swap should not be that big of a deal. Right now they are just sitting there at 10' in length. I plan on extending them to accomodate switch/spey rods too and will router/dremel out notches to hold the reels. As my friend Freestone says, dremel the notch, sand it well, add a velcro strap around to hold the reel in place and presto, safe transport. Thanks Freestone!