DIY counterbalance? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-14-2011   #1
 
norcal, California
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 105
DIY counterbalance?

I'm thinking to buy some 9' Sawyer Polecats. Anyone know how difficult it would be to add a counterbalance inside the shaft after the fact, if I decide I want one? I know Cataract sells an external counterbalance for $70!! Thanks.

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Old 06-14-2011   #2
 
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Sawyer counter balanced handles are only like $20.
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Old 06-14-2011   #3
 
norcal, California
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
Sawyer counter balanced handles are only like $20.
Thanks Osprey, that sounds like the ticket, I didn't know about those.
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Old 06-14-2011   #4
 
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Ops, I looked they are $20 each, only a couple bucks more than their regular handles. That's why they don't have the up charge if you get them cb upfront. It's just one set screw to change them out. They will also do a 6" long handle if you want a little extra length. Still way cheaper.

I'm sure someone here has a homemade version, seems like it's been mentioned before.
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Old 06-14-2011   #5
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 495
I too was shocked at the $70 price tag for the external counterweights, so I made my own.

I used lead strips sold as 'duck decoy weights', like these...
http://images.cabelas.com/is/image/c...gzKw41DsqQ_3mx


To test them out I just duck taped them to the oars. Later for better looking setup I encased them in fiberglass and added some nylon set screws so they can be easily attached and removed.

I used 8" woven fiberglass seam cloth and some systems west epoxy leftover from a kayak repair. I found some PVC pipe with the same O.D. as my oar shafts to use as a mandrel. I wrapped the PVC in plastic stretch wrap as a release agent, then a layer of wet fiberglass cloth, next a layer of lead strips, another layer of wet fiberglass cloth and finally a layer of stretch wrap to hold everything tight while the epoxy set up. After it was all cured I drilled and tapped holes for some nylon set screws.
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Old 06-14-2011   #6
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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Depending on how ghetto/cheap you wanna get, I've seen folks go with the Jane Fonda ankle weights duck taped to the oars.
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Old 06-14-2011   #7
 
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
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Oh yeah- I'm thinking hot pink ankle weights...quite the fashion statement as well.
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