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How to Strap a Rowing Frame to a Raft

Knowing how to properly secure a rowing frame to your raft is an essential skill for any rafter. Every experienced boater has an opinion on the best way to tie down a raft frame. The method you choose is largely a matter of personal preference, but there are some important concepts to keep in mind. In this video expert NRS boater Kurtis shows you our favorite technique for strapping down a rowing frame on a raft.

There are some key concepts to keep in mind; the first and most important is counter-tension. You want your straps on each side of the frame to be pulling in opposite directions, or opposing diagonals. This triangulation ensures the frame stays firmly in place, fore and aft. You want to strap from the boat’s d-rings to the intersection of a cross member with the frame’s side rails.

If you want to add extra security, you can run additional straps from the frame to other d-rings on the boat. Remember, NRS 1" HD straps have a tensile strength of 1,500 pounds and the 1.5" straps have a tensile strength of 2,000 pounds, so you don’t have to go crazy with the number of straps.

Rafters will argue on whether it’s better to pull down the strap end to tighten, or pull up on the end; again, it’s personal preference. Setting the straps for pulling up to tighten makes it easier to adjust tension from inside the boat.

A sharp way to keep the strap from sliding when you tighten is tie a girth hitch. Make a loop on the buckle end, run that through the d-ring or around the side rail. Pass the buckle and tail through the loop and pull them tight. Voila, no strap slip.

Every boat and frame is different, but if you follow these basic concepts your frame will be securely attached to the boat and you can hit the water with confidence!