Oars - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-04-2011   #1
 
Bozeman, Montana
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Oars

I'm having the great oar length debate on a 14' x 22.75" Sotar Legend with a DRE style frame and raised oar stands. The frame is 40" wide at the floor and 66" wide total. The boat is mostly used for fishing and playboating but also some overnighters and multi-day trips where the leverage of a longer oar comes in handy. I'm using 9' polecats right now but they're too short and flexy.

I'm leaning toward 10' Sawyer MXG's with Ash VG blades and possibly counterbalanced. I know counterbalanced oars will eventually sink but Sawyer said their MXG' still floats decent even with the 4lb weights. Any experiences with this? I've also seen some Sawyer square top oars that are wood in the top section of the shaft but I think they're aimed at drift boats.

However, I'm also considering 9.5 footers as well and possibly all wood; preferably an ash and fir mix for natural counterbalancing and oars that float. I've seen the Cataract H20's but I'm more of a Sawyer/Smoker/Gull guy.
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Old 03-04-2011   #2
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Quote:
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10' Sawyer MXG's with Ash VG blades and counterbalanced.
That's what I would recommend, but I'm biased because that is what I use.
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Old 03-04-2011   #3
 
Bozeman, Montana
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Do they float?
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Old 03-04-2011   #4
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Do they float?
I'm guessing not for long. I use tethers.
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Old 03-04-2011   #5
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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Comfortable and functional oar length depends mostly on distance between the oarlocks, but also the length of the boat. There are some different formulas out there, such as the following: Wooden Rowing Oars - Shaw & Tenney, Information on oars, Rowing, Frequently Answered Questions - skiffs. As I recall Bill McGinnis recommends that roughly 1/3 of the oar length should be inboard to obtain the right amount of leverage. I leave 4" between the handles, but use open oarlocks so I can draw them in and row overhand (Outward Bound style) in high wind situations. On 14' boats (raft and dory) 9.5 seemed to be just right, but if your 14' cat is "wide" between the locks, 10's may work. I only use Smoker solid ash, not counterbalanced, but keeps my shoulders and arms in shape. To me a wood oar is the best feeling and most reliable. They either break, or remain straight and true (if good quality). Current pair is 16 years old. Not too many composite or high-tech oars can match that. Like everything, more moving parts, fastners, etc., means more things to break or wear out.
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Old 03-04-2011   #6
 
Longmont, Colorado
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They do float for a while, My brother lost one of his 10'MXGs w/ counter balanced handles, when he flipped in Lava last spring. He snapped his tether, and we thought the oar was sacrificed to the river gods, until we found it floating the same eddy where we were flipping his raft (which was a mile or two down stream from Lave). No guarantees, but you might get lucky
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Old 03-04-2011   #7
 
Bozeman, Montana
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Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 03-04-2011   #8
 
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What kind of blade did he have Muttster? I would think with the Pro V's that would add a lot of buoyancy to the oar.

I've been contemplating the same setup, anybody have an opinion on the MXF vs. the MXG?
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Old 03-04-2011   #9
 
Longmont, Colorado
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I should also mention that I am saving up for a set of 10' MXGs, with the weighted handles. I have used 10' polecats for a few years and they did well, until I snapped one in half heading into Bedrock last year. After finishing the rest of the trip on the MGXs, it will be well worth the upgrade. I was getting a lot of flex out the polecats when I really put my back into it, but the MXGs responded great. I plan on keeping my remaining polecats for day trips, and for spares on the longer trips.
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Old 03-04-2011   #10
 
Longmont, Colorado
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They were not wood, I think he was using magnums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
What kind of blade did he have Muttster? I would think with the Pro V's that would add a lot of buoyancy to the oar.

I've been contemplating the same setup, anybody have an opinion on the MXF vs. the MXG?
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