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Old 03-22-2014   #1
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,362
New NRS forged oar towers

Anybody got a set of these? I'm working on a frame for a new Zephyr- wondering if I should go with these, or the DRE/AAA/Riverboat Works style? Thoughts on supporting your oars with just one U bolt? That's my concern on the NRS design-

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Old 03-22-2014   #2
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 493
The NRS don't twist if that what you're asking. On our first GC trip, on PRO rigs, the speedrail style of oar towers twisted several time during the trip. You need to keep the allen wrench handy.

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Old 03-22-2014   #3
TV, Idaho
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 166
I have the new ones. They are noticeably lighter and SO nice looking! I think the nylon collar inside the tower will work out nicely as well.
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Old 03-30-2014   #4
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,362
I was less concerned about rotation than about just snapping the u-bolt? Just one bolt holding them on- and if it goes, the whole tower is on the bottom of the river. I'm thinking a small tether might not be a bad idea?....
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Old 03-30-2014   #5
duct tape's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 636
Help a new guy. Don't the original aluminum alloy ones also mount with a U-bolt?
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Old 03-30-2014   #6
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
I have used the old ones for well over ten years, and have yet to have one move in any way. And, yes, I have jammed on them pretty darn hard. Especially on the MFS at low water. I just put the new ones on my new raft. I like the nylon bushing for the oar lock, and they also have added ribbing to the surface that is in contact with the side rail, so they really shouldn't move. I've never seen anyone break a U-bolt. I have stripped a lock nut on one once. I have used both the NRS and the speedrail type oar towers, and I prefer the NRS. They are easier to adjust or remove, they stay put, and they don't leave divots in my frame side rails. I never had any issues with the speed rail towers, just liked the NRS better. The new NRS towers are noticeably lighter and very nice looking as was said above.
"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
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Old 03-31-2014   #7
TV, Idaho
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 166
It would be interesting to test them to failure. I think the U-bolts they come with are very high quality. A fried runs them (the older cast ones) on a big 16'er, and he is unusually strong. He reefs on them with no concern whatsoever and never had a problem.
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Old 03-31-2014   #8
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
The NRS U bolts are very nice, high quality, thick and flattened to reduce pressure on the frame. I think the tubing would fail first.

I run the old ones and bought new ones in 10" for when I sit on a cooler. they seem nice.

I know of people that shear off oar locks before the u bolt breaks.

The old and new towers both use a single U bolt.`
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Old 04-05-2014   #9
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,362
I received my forged NRS towers this week- They're FREAKIN' GORGEOUS. They look like liquid metal. I'm hopeful that the U bolts won't be an issue, based on what I've read here. Thanks for your encouragement, everyone. I really wanted to make this boat esthetically pleasing, without giving up strength and reliability. I haven't seen anything out there that compares with the look of these towers- they've really advanced to a new level with this design. If anybody is wondering about the difference compared to the previous generation, it's night and day.
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Old 04-07-2014   #10
jakebrown98's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 165
I don't know the new ones yet, but if they are even as good as the old cast ones, you shouldn't worry about those oar towers or especially the U-bolts. It is a very sturdy design and in my opinion by far the best single rail oar tower available. Like anything that is adjustable, you should have the tool to do the adjusting on hand and I do carry a couple of spare U-bolts with nuts and washers in the tool kit because they cost and weigh nothing. The only time I've had to use them is when I mess up and drop a nut in the sand...

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