Dry Box/Raft Question

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by PT, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,490
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +648 / 1
    Want to replace my Coleman cooler/dry box with and actual dry box. Question is regarding the width. Current cooler is 35" wide and just touches the inside sides of the raft when in place. Most of the dry boxes I'm looking at are 36" wide. Will having the box fit snug inside the boat do damage? I wouldn't think so, but thought I'd ask. Fully inflated, a 36" box would have to be pushed into place whereas my cooler falls in and is slightly loose.
  2. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,176
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +157 / 2
    I would not want an aluminum dry box with corners rubbing on the sides of my inflatable when fully inflated, whatever material it was made out of. That just seems like a situation begging for a patch/repair job in the future. If I were to do it, I might put some patch/wear guards in place first, just for some preventative maintenance.
  3. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,490
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +648 / 1
    Thanks, was just going to post an answer to my own question. Not going to force it. I'll find one 35" or I'll have one custom made.

    BDD, any suggestions for box makers?
  4. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,176
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +157 / 2
    Don't know the specs but I have always been partial to Recretec or NRS for quality products and customer service.
  5. shawn k Member

    Posts: 697
    buckets worldwide
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Call recretec and tell them what boat you have and have them build you one.
    constructeur likes this.
  6. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,217
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    Many of my expedition rafting buddies (Grand Canyon, etc.) just use coolers instead of dry boxes. Coolers are lighter and cheaper and in reality, often about as dry as a dry box. If you flip in big water, even a 'dry box' often isn't totally dry. The downside is that you loose some internal storage space with a cooler because of the insulated walls but the good news is since you don't need the insulation, you can just get cheap ones. Keep a couple cam straps around the lid and you'll be about as dry as an expensive dry box.
  7. Ray Member

    Posts: 337
    Post Falls, ID
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    And coolers float better after you pin/flip/wrap yardsale.
  8. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Good point, Ray!
  9. Robert Engleheart Robert

    Posts: 1,143
    Lemoore, CA
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    Before I bought my dry box, I was considering one of these:
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/tractor-supply-coreg;-chest-32-in
    The local store had several, including a diamond plate aluminium one that fit my size requirements and I thought they were pretty well constructed. I believe it was this model that had a top with a seal similar to a dry box that would work reasonably well. About $99, much cheaper than a custom dry box. Wish I'd bought that instead of the cheap Chinese dry box I got instead.
  10. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,176
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +157 / 2
    I was into dry boxes for a while. Then I realized, that nice as they are, they can be expensive, may not be readily available, and don't often come in the sizes you need. A cooler can double as a dry box and cooler, are lighter, less expensive and readily available. And as Ray said, they float.
  11. hookedonthefly Active Member

    Posts: 566
    The Confluence
    Ratings: +120 / 0
    Both our frames, dry boxes and fire pan were built by Cy Wert / Cambridge Welding. He's a super good guy. You can reach him at 208-257-3589. He also builds for Cascade Outfitters.
    Derek Young likes this.
  12. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,490
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +648 / 1
    A cooler doesn't keep things dry, it keeps them cold and usually wet. Dry box will keep things dry and the cooler can be left to serve its intended purpose. A number of things could be done to my cooler to try and make it more like a dry box but I have enough shit to tinker with as it is. Besides, then I'd have to buy another cooler to serve the purpose of keeping things cold while my original cooler is being used to keep things dry.....
  13. Christian Brewer Super Slacker

    Posts: 351
    Slacking in Mill Creek
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Robert, can you stand on that tractor supply box?
  14. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,606
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +758 / 0
    Cy's workmanship is second to none. I stand by his products for my professional and personal use.

  15. Robert Engleheart Robert

    Posts: 1,143
    Lemoore, CA
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    The one I saw was strong enough to stand on or bolt a seat to. It's been a while and I can't be sure the one I linked is the same one I looked at, very similar. Their diamond plate boxes were far superior in retrospect to the POS dry box I bought off the internet.
  16. Fleshfly New Member

    Posts: 21
    Oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    There's a company in Portland called Downriver that builds composite dry boxes that are amazing. They custom build everything to the buyers specs, come in any color, are lighter and stronger than aluminum, and will float with the lid open. I believe they're also about the same cost as aluminum.
  17. isaacfab Member

    Posts: 181
    West Point, NY
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I bought a set of dry boxes a few years back from 'frontier play' a small rafting equipment company. Their prices are comparable with high quality coolers and they had a good selection. IMO dry boxes are necessary for equipment and other stuff that needs to stay dry on multiday trips.
  18. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,490
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +648 / 1
    Ended up buying a box from Canyon Inflatables. Box is really nice, service was excellent, cooler can go back to serving its intended purpose.
  19. shawn k Member

    Posts: 697
    buckets worldwide
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    winner winner chicken dinner.