Raising Oarlocks - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-23-2016   #1
 
UriahJones's Avatar
 
Salem, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
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Raising Oarlocks

Hi All,

My first thread here. I've recently acquired a Super Duper Puma with a custom frame. I took it out for the first time and was disappointed in a couple things with my rowing setup. Here are a few of the pertinent detail about my setup... let me know if I am missing something.

I'm using standard bronze oarlocks with the 3" shank. 8 1/2' Carlisle HD oars with rights and stops. My seat is not overly large nor raised, and is as far back as I can comfortably reach with my legs. I'm 6'3" and have pretty long legs and I don't want to bruise my knees up trying to get the blades out of the water!

1st: I can't seem to get my oars over my knees. I bang my knees with my oars with each stroke.

2nd: I need counterbalances for my oars. My poor wife also tried to row my setup and barely could get the oars out of water after a 1/2 and hour. She is short 5'3" and still was hitting her knees too.

As far as counter balances go, is there anything other than the Cataract sleeves with nylon screws that I should be thinking of? They seem to be an elegant and easily movable/adjustable option.

About the oar height, I understand from geometry that I could either lower my seat, raise my oarlocks, or shorten my oars to help with the clearance over my knees. I feel I've already addressed the seat height issues, in that I can hardly go much lower to my frame unless I just sit on a plywood sheet (not comfy). My seat is also already as far back as I can comfortably go. So my knees are not at a 90 degree angle or anything close.

I don't want to shorten my oars as I like the power of the 8 1/2" oars I have. Nor do I think that 6" shorter is going to make enough of a difference. So I am on to raising my oarlocks.

I have a custom frame, so no help with an NRS tower or similair item. I would need to cut and re-weld on new towers onto my frame. This is an option I am considering, but would need to find someone to do it since I can't weld

What to you guys think about getting a longer oarlock? With a 5" shank, and using a nylon bushing to raise my oarlock an 1" above the tower. I've played with this option in the back yard and it gives me all the clearance I need with no other modifications. Am I going to bend the heck out of the oarlock? I run mostly Class III and IV water. I see setups with pins and clips with spacers raising the height of the oars. I have even rowed one of those setups a few times and never felt that there was a issue with bending the oarlock.

Does anyone have experience trying to raise the oarlocks this way, and what issues did you have? What about other ways to get more clearance for the legs?

Thanks all!

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Old 08-23-2016   #2
 
Missoula, Montana
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I cut acrylic spacers to raise my oarlocks for the exact reasons you mention, they've worked great for 3 years, they just need to have sand rinsed out of them once in a while or they start to squeak. I could replace mine with taller oar towers, but acrylic is cheaper.
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Old 08-23-2016   #3
 
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Salem, Oregon
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Yes, similair thinking there. My frame is built such that the whole 3" shank of the oarlock is received by the frame. Leaving no room to 'raise' the oarlock with spacers. My only option is to purchase an oarlock with a longer shank if I've going with the spacer options.

I'm at work or I'd add pictures. Hope that is clear.
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Old 08-23-2016   #4
 
GC Guide's Avatar
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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There's always this.......
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Old 08-23-2016   #5
 
Missoula, Montana
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Didn't realize you had no play in your oarlock, I imagine you'll definitely at least need the 5" shank.
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Old 08-23-2016   #6
 
speonk, California
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Originally Posted by GC Guide View Post
There's always this.......
where can I get these I will take 10 sets!!
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Old 08-23-2016   #7
 
Ridgway, Colorado
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I'm the same boat, so to speak. I'd like about 1.5" to 2" of rise on my towers. Googled 5" shanks with not much luck. What am I missing here?
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Old 08-23-2016   #8
 
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Boise, Idaho
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Originally Posted by rtsideup View Post
I'm the same boat, so to speak. I'd like about 1.5" to 2" of rise on my towers. Googled 5" shanks with not much luck. What am I missing here?
Here's something that might work for you--a link to some bronze oarlocks with 5" shafts instead of the 3" ones. Included are spacers to customize the height of the oarlock.
Regal Sporting Technologies Oar Locks
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Old 08-24-2016   #9
 
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Salem, Oregon
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Thanks, I actually had those exact ones in mind! Great minds huh?
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Old 08-24-2016   #10
 
shappattack's Avatar
 
Up North, Oregon
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It would help if the OP posted some pics of the frame in question as well. Don't use shorter than 8.5' oars on your SDP. I use 8.5' on mine, but 9' would even be better. 8' would be terrible.

FYI - the best, easiest to find, material to make your own spacers is threaded thick gray plastic water pipe nipples, just cut the main unthreaded body of the pipe and sand over the edges.

Shop LASCO 3/4-in dia PVC Sch 80 Nipples at Lowes.com

some spacers on my puma, don't need them on the SDP frame. I like to put a washer between the spacer and top of the oar mount.

example in use for an extra 1.5" rise when my 6'5" brother in law needed a little extra height on my puma frame:


I keep the riser bushings always on both my SDP and Puma frame, but they are always used underneath to take the the oar lock shank space, I only put them on top if someone big is rowing and needs extra height
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