Cobra Oarlock - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-18-2013   #1
 
San Francisco, California
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 110
Cobra Oarlock

Hi, I am currently using a regular brass oarlocks made by Aire. I have an opportunity to pick up a pair of cobra oarlocks for around $80. I know many people swear by them. I definitely want to have a back up pair although I run mostly class III.

Is it worth the upgrade? And more importantly, should I spring for the deluxe version? That'll be almost $40 extra. Is there a way to thread the standard version to take a nut?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-18-2013   #2
 
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,099
Since trying Sawyer Cobra locks, I've installed them on all my whitewater cats and also on my wood row/sail skiff.

I use rope wraps and rubber donuts, and the Cobras are curved to maintain constant contact between the stopper and the lock. That gives you a smooth stroke without any hitch. It also keeps the donuts from being bumped inboard during hard rowing.

The other nice feature is that the tips of the horns are not sharp, so if you flip and fall on an oarlock, you won't get speared.

Five stars and an Oscar!

(I use the regular sort, with a pinhole. Can't see using the threaded type unless you're running class IV-V.)
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Old 02-19-2013   #3
 
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vancouver, Washington
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Good but they will bend. I have some threaded and regular. The threaded ones i have have the ever so slightest bend that makes the friction in a nrs tower just slightly noticeable. Never really did anything i can remember that would have caused this.

I tried to straighten the shaft with a dead blow hammer but stopped when i realized my vice was starting to dig into the shaft.

Speaking of shaft, eventually the softer brass shaft will slowly wear. You'll probably get about four long seasons rowing without noticing it, but if they wear they get a bit sloppy. This happens with all brass oarlocks

Not sure about the ability to thread one if you really care i can go dig them up and use the calipers to figure it out. I think its a 5/8 thread

I've got proloks now and am waiting for a free weekend to test if it was an upgrade. The proloks were about the same price as they sell the cobra threaded ones, but you don't need a sleeve, wrap, oar right, and you wont pop an oar, won't have to worry about tuning the soft brass during the middle of the season or whenever an oar does pop out..

Also thought it was nice they got me about an additional inch of tower height

If you are interested in some very light use cobras then PM me - i have three sets and may sell them shortly
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Old 02-19-2013   #4
BCJ
 
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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Cobra Oar Locks

They work well for me on a dory, but I still have standard locks on my raft. The height and angle of the locks on the raft seem pretty much perfect so I haven't felt the need to switch. On the dory they did help provide more up and down swing and fewer popped oars in the big stuff. It is definitely true that they provide more surface area against the rope wrap which means the wrap should wear longer, but I wax my rope wrap occassionally so they're holding up really well. I have the threaded shafts on the dory because there is not as much room below for a snap-ring or key-ring to swivel around. The same is true on another boat I have with NRS towers. The welded oarlock fitting on top of the tower does not leave enough room for pins or rings to swivel freely below. On DRW Rainbow towers there is plenty of room.
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Old 02-19-2013   #5
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Most oar locks can be threaded with a 5/8" - 18 tpi die. Use flat (low profile) ny-lock nuts. It can be helpful to slightly taper the shaft where the threads will be started. We do this all the time! Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2013   #6
 
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Vail, Colorado
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I upgraded and absolutely love mine.
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Old 02-22-2013   #7
 
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NorCal, California
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I heard rave reviews from boating friends about the cobra's so I tried them...I didn't like them, kept popping oars in rapids where I hadn't before. Sold them and replaced with NRS's strongest set...no problem. Cobras are way too soft imo.
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Old 02-22-2013   #8
 
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vancouver, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavester View Post
I heard rave reviews from boating friends about the cobra's so I tried them...I didn't like them, kept popping oars in rapids where I hadn't before. Sold them and replaced with NRS's strongest set...no problem. Cobras are way too soft imo.
Did you tune them? You should get them tight enough that the bare shaft barely pops in with force. When you have it adjusted right, it won't pop out if you are in the rope wrap
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