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Old 06-26-2013   #21
Wounded Knee's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 8
Forensic reconstruction showed . . .

Having revisited the scene of the crime last summer, the most logical explanation for the Achilles tear seems to be that when we hit Madonna, her spare oar ripped the tube open.

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Old 07-10-2013   #22
jrice345's Avatar
Springfield, Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 75
I've thought about injecting low expansion foam (the canned stuff for sealing doors and windows) into the shafts of my Cataracts. Use some vinyl tubing so it is deposited up the shaft a bit. Anyone else tried this?

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Old 07-10-2013   #23
oarframe's Avatar
Gardnerville, Nevada
Paddling Since: 00
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 447

maybe I missed it, but how did the experiment turn out?
Did the oars float, or sink like the Titanic?
more snow = more water
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Old 07-10-2013   #24
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
Compelled to toss my two cents in even though it will likely start a war;

Always used wood. Manufactured ones that we glassed the blades and necks of, then painted in company colors.

Also these God awful "Apatong" oars made out of some exotic wood that weighed more than steel, and were absolute torture to row with. Heavy, unwieldy, cumbersome monsters that had very little power to them. Hated those things, but it might be because I was using them when I learned the unforgettable (painful) lesson about why you never, ever, wrap your thumb around the end of the handle.

I rowed the Grand with Carlisles; they worked, but i never liked the feel, they felt like what they were; plastic and aluminum toys in my opinion. I do recall that the shafts had been filled with closed cell foam tubes (I don't know where the owner found closed cell foam tubes; this was before the internet) and the ends capped with plugs, cause, you know, he said otherwise they filled with water and would sink.

We never counter balanced any of the oars, and on an 18' boat with a 6' beam we used 11' oars with an inch between the handles. Some wit suggested drilling the shafts and adding lead, but he was a sissy who quit after the first training trip. Even the women would row all day, although they tended to bitch more about the Apatong oars and refused to do any chores around camp that night.

If I was shopping for oars I'd buy wood. I'd glass the blades and necks, and paint them a pretty color.

And I'd use a tether, cause that's the way I was trained, and then I wouldn't worry about it cause, you know, wood floats.

In my opinion wood oars are more durable, and in the long run, less expensive than plastic, but I'll admit it's been a few years since I rowed anything.
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Old 09-09-2013   #25
Lehi, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by jrice345 View Post
I've thought about injecting low expansion foam (the canned stuff for sealing doors and windows) into the shafts of my Cataracts. Use some vinyl tubing so it is deposited up the shaft a bit. Anyone else tried this?

I have to older Cataract shafts from the guy I bought my boat from. I bought a new one for my spare. The new one looks the same, but it has a foam core to ensure floatation. The older ones didn't have the core, so I found some large rummer corks in the Lowes hardware section.

Put the cork in until it stops (the diameter is larger than the oar shaft) cut off all excess hanging out of the oar, then ram the cork in far enough so that your paddle fits. Super snug fit, will last for years, and can be removed with a long drill bit if needed.
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Old 09-09-2013   #26
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
It is weird that your cataract oars didn't come with plugs. Mine always have, and now I check. I first discovered the plugs when water got stuck inside one oar, and it took a while to get it to drain/dry out. I put an additional plug in that oar, and have never run into it again.

Personally I like counter balanced on mellow water (raft), nonCB on wilder stuff (cat). I once flipped with CB's and open oarlocks. Both oars popped out (but that is stuff for another thread) and both oars dove from the CB handles and jammed into the rocks below. They were pretty darn stuck. It was pretty tough to get them out, I was getting close to cutting the tethers. Could not have reflipped the boat with two anchors holding it down.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 09-09-2013   #27
CBrown's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 347
What about putting children's type water wings on your oars. Low cost, easy to acquire, easy to stow, lots of colorful choices and some extra padding for when whack the kayakers who creep up on you for beer.
"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 09-09-2013   #28
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Cat shafts are pretty light and IMO rarely need to be counterbalanced. Even my 11' oars violate the 1:3 golden ratio and still easy row and not fatiguing.

Call me a puss but there's something nice about the idea of not getting punched in the mouth or whacked on the back of the head by a four pound chunk of steel.
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 09-09-2013   #29
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 103
My 1-year old cataract shafts did not come with foam float plugs. I emailed customer service, asked for 6 plugs (2 per oar), and I had them in a couple days- free of charge.

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