Let's talk oars for a bit... - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-04-2009   #1
 
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Portland, Oregon
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Let's talk oars for a bit...

So I just bought a cat, should be here soon. Talked to Dave Nissen and have the frame sorted. Now I need to seriously look at the oars. I know I am going with 9 1/2', so now it is down to brand and wood or composite.

I have read all the threads regarding oars, but didn't see a definitive thread regarding what personal choices are.

So Sawyer, Cataract, or Carlisle? I am leaning towards composite, but I am still open to suggestions.

The Sawyer fiberglass seem comparable and a bit cheaper, but I haven't heard of many folks saying much about them.

Any thoughts? Any info is appreciated!

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Old 06-04-2009   #2
 
Avon, Colorado
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Sawyer MX-G if i had to buy some (and will in a few years). I have cheap Carlisle. Waiting to break or lose one more of these, then i'll buy the composite Sawyers.

They just feel mucho better and the counterbalance is sweet on flat water.

I have also used cataracts....nice also, but not nearly as nice as the Sawyer with wood blade.

Most peple here will mention middle ground....Sawyer pole cats.
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Old 06-04-2009   #3
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We have totally destroyed carlisles and polecats and have switched to all cataract with no regrets.
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Old 06-04-2009   #4
 
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I have all cataract now, and really like them. They flex, and bend, and seem to break less, you can bend them back.

I have carlisle for my spares, and wish I had thrown down the cash for cataracts. They just bug me, that stupid plastic sleeve moving and blocking the button.

I am thinking about going to cataract blades too, they have seem sleek ones that look the shape of the carlisle, which I like. I don't like the neck on the carlisle, which allow my tether o-ring to get caught. Duct tape has made a smooth transition, cataract doesn't have any of that stupid neck. That is very dangerous post-flip when your oars are all over the place, then you can't slide your oar out because the o-ring is caught on that neck. Stupid.

I row 9 1/2's on my 12'6" Sotar, and 10' on my 14' raft. Are you sure you don't want 10'? I like mine long, and powerful though.
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Old 06-04-2009   #5
 
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Laura - Talking with Dave he mentioned that 10' would be more powerful but not as fast, but that 9 1/2 would be a good size for most situations. Maybe i do need to rethink that. Although my width would be the same as yours. Now I have to mull the size thing over again! =)

Endofmadness - I have been looking at the Sawyer MX series. Just haven't heard anything about them in use.

Mania - That seems to be the consensus elsewhere as well.
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Old 06-04-2009   #6
 
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That's likely true, but it depends on the frame width, and maybe you have the same frame width as my boat? It's 36" between the tubes, fits a drybox perfectly. I recall Dave saying my new frame would fit either length boat, so that may be the clincher. I would not want 10' on the cat.
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Old 06-04-2009   #7
 
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I run 9' for tighter rivers and creeks and 10' for bigger rivers.
Both are set up for the same width frame (both frames are 38"). Sometimes my spare is a foot longer or shorter than what I am rowing with but I carry an extension if it is ever a problem.
Has never been a problem.

Gives me a lot of flexibility on narrow, shallow creeks or big water. Both my daughter and girlfriend prefer the 9'.
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Old 06-04-2009   #8
 
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Like many I started with Carlisle and later upgraded to Cataract and the extra expense is definitely worth it. I use 9' non-counterbalanced oars on my 14' cat and 10' counterbalanced oars on my 18' cat. I really like the counterbalance (built into the oar handle) on the longer oars with the big boat. If I where buying the 9' oars again I MIGHT buy these counterbalanced as well, but the light weight of the non-counterbalanced oars does make them fast which can be an advantage. Just thought I would throw out the counterbalance option in case you have not considered this.
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Old 06-04-2009   #9
 
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I just picked up a pair of 10' counter-balanced, rope-wrapped cataracts and really like them. I never was a fan of the bolt-on counterweights, but I really like the built-in version. My son and daughter can now row my boat as well and they are 5 and 7 years old.

Mania- Yes, the oar rights are now history!
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Old 06-04-2009   #10
 
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Counterbalances - I don't run them on my cat. I had one raft flip (pre-feline) where the oars popped, and as we got the boat to the side both oars jammed HARD into the rocks which were really deep. I almost couldn't pull them out, I couldn't believe the NRS tethers held. It did bend a cobra shank and it was pretty much not fun. I'll still run them on the 14' raft, since I'm not hitting it hard on that anymore. But never the cat. Even on multi-days where I'm specifically trying to avoid flipping.

Just food for thought.
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