Handbuilt frames

Completely Custom

Riverboat Works has been building white water river rafting frames for 18 years now and after trying many different types of materials to build frames from we’ve decided that for the best white water rafting frames we only use 1-1/2” Nominal (1.9” OD) Anodized Aluminum Alloy Round Tube (6061-T5 and 6063-T6 schedule 40).  Great quality, strongest for anything you plan on boating, lightweight (12 oz. per foot), and anti-corrosive for the nicest of raft frames. We also use Hollaender Aluminum Magnesium Alloy Fittings each weighing 6 oz. to complete the assembly of our lightweight rafting frames.

All four corners of our raft frames are bent 90 degrees and a 5-1/2” radius to make a smooth transition from the side rails to the frames cross bars. We feel our raft frames are much sleeker looking than the boxy, squared off, clunky white water rafting frames you see out there. We smooth out all cut edges, so when the pieces go together there are no sharp edges and the raft frame appears seamless.

Choose between a single side rail river rafting frame, double side rail raft frame, or have us install diamond plated side decks. Any side rail style can be made into a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 bay white water raft frame. The diamond plated side decks for your rafting frames are made with Treadbrite 3/16in Diamond Tread 6061 Aluminum Alloy. Standard widths of our side decks, including pipe, is 12 inches. We feel this is the optimal width to build them at: for walking up and down the frame while on the river, securing items to, or mounting River Sombrero’s (Bimini’s) to. Anything wider and you’ll need to add additional support underneath the diamond plate deck so you don’t warp the diamond plate or break the welds that secure the plate to the side rail pipes, all which increases the overall weight of the frame.

Are you in need of breaking your rafting frame down? Whether it’s for storage, transporting purposes in a vehicle, packing down to your favorite remote river, switching from a fishing-frame set-up to a multi-day rafting frame, our rafting frames are easily broken down. Our frame corners are held together by bolts but could easily be switched out with quick release pins. All other sections are held together with slip-on Hollaender Fittings.

If you are in the market for a white water rafting fishing set-up on your Hyside, Aire, NRS, or RMR raft we make the most practical and elegant raft fishing frames on the market… you will be the envy of the river!

Every rafting frame is fitted for your specific white water raft or you can have us supply the raft as well from: Hyside Rafts, Aire Rafts, NRS Rafts, Rocky Mountain Rafts, or Maravia Rafts. The width will be built to the specifications of the manufactured whitewater raft, with influence from you, and we will work with you on each bay size to come up with an overall raft frame length.

If you are new to river rafting and need help figuring out what the best whitewater rafting frame set-up would be for you or you just want to bounce some ideas or thoughts off someone for your new rafting frame, we would be happy to discuss and would really enjoy creating the perfect set-up for you!


The double rail frame offers maximum stability and more cargo strap area with or without diamond plate. We custom-make double rail frames for whitewater, fishing and cataraft crafts – available in 2, 3 or 4 bays. Ready for decking, additional components, and made to break down for easy transport.


Single rail frames are great for going light. We custom-make single rail frames for whitewater, fishing and cataraft crafts – available in 2, 3 or 4 bays, depending on the size of your boat. All of our frames break down to easy transport and can be further retrofitted with fishing or other components


Mini frames are the perfect accompaniment to small rafts like the Hyside Mini-Max and the RMR Storm. This setup provides light and easy transport. Turn your mini raft into a rowing machine.


Fishing frames can turn your boat into the ultimate fishing base. From basic two person setups to 4 person ultimate platforms, we build to your boat’s specs ensuring a great fit and ride. We also offer custom accessories like anchor systems and rod holders.
Top Ten List

Why Buy our Frames?

#10. Custom designed and built to fit the size of rivers you run: big, medium, small or all of the above. 


#9. Custom designed and built for fishing, whitewater, day trips, multi-day trips or all of the above. Check out our fishing/whitewater convertibles.


#8. Custom built to fit your boat exactly, not in 6” increments. Our precise custom frame design incorporates the exact dimensions of your boat and the crew.  When you pick up your boat and frame, the staff at Riverboat Works makes sure everything fits and works together seamlessly for the best possible performance.


#7. Constantly innovating to make a better boat. For instance, we created no snag hip loops on our lean bars. Our rounded design prevents snagging fly line and is more comfortable than straight “horns”. The loops provide secure hand holds while seated and a safe place to store flyrods.


#6. Built to last — life time warranty not to fail under normal river use (backing over with truck not covered).


#5. Built with top quality, lightweight, super durable 1 ½” schedule 40 anodized aluminum pipe.


#4. Built in Salida, Colorado, USA, by boaters for boaters.


#3. One day service on adjustments and retrofits done by appointment while you wait (go fishing or play in Salida).


#2. Increased production facilities: now building up to 3 frames at a time with most orders finished within one week.


#1. Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed.

Customer Reviews

I am now heading in to my twelfth season with my trusty 14-foot yellow Hyside and custom frame purchased from Riverboat Works in Salida, and I am super happy with it. I can’t say enough about the design and, more important to me, the great service I get from the guys at the shop, every time I go in.
Patrick Willits

Ridgeway, CO

I have been paralyzed and in wheelchair since 1994 and thanks to the new oar-frame customized raft the guys at Riverboat Works built for me, I successfully navigated Lake DeWeese and then Grizzly Creek to New Castle stretch of the Colorado River due only to the quality of my new inflatable vessel! Also, this was my first trip navigating down a river ever, as I did not partake in this sport even prior to my paralyzing accident!

Everything you built for me worked perfectly, from the seating to the custom footplate. Thank you again for your ingenuity and ability to create a custom, stable raft that easily kept me afloat during several of what I considered to be near-death experiences.



Just wanted to say thanks for all the help with the frame for my Hyside Mini Me. I had the maiden voyage at Gauley fest last weekend on the lower Gauley during release. I stepped it up and ran the upper the next day. The boat worked AWESOME and everybody commented on the frame. They said how cool it was, and had never seen anything like it on the Mini Me. I bragged about Riverboat Works and there great customer service. Thanks again!
Matt Bowles

Cleveland, OH

built to last

Lifetime Warranty

We design and hand build our own frames because we’re river nuts, who put our own products to the test on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis.  All of our frames are built with top quality, lightweight, super durable 1 ½” schedule 40 anodized aluminum pipe, right here in Salida, Colorado, USA.  Built by boaters for boaters.

We believe in our products – that’s why all of our frames are backed by a lifetime warranty. Yes, we’re that nutty.