Eastern oar rigs? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-20-2015   #1
 
Bismarck, North Dakota
Paddling Since: 2012
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Eastern oar rigs?

Due to my wife's job we are looking at relocating in the next year and a half to two years. Eastern Tennessee is the best choice for whitewater. Currently we live in ND, it's a 3 to 4 day trip for a day on a river. I have a 10.5 RMR storm that I'm putting a row frame on, just waiting on some towers.
I have watched allot of YouTube.com videos on the Gualley and Ocoee and have yet to see an oar rig. Am I going to go back to paddle rafting or just an odd man out? Looked like allot of technical stuff but still room for a small oar rig. Not real experienced and kinda hard for me to tell from video. Am I going back to r2? Or can I still row?

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Old 06-21-2015   #2
 
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Eastern oar rigs?

I'm sure you could get a small inflatable w/ an oar frame down some of the runs (Gauley, French Broad, Ocoee, Nantahala, maybe the lower part of the Cheoah, etc), most of the runs are a bit narrow for oars and are more conducive to paddle boats.

A majority of the runs are smaller drainages that go sporadically with rain. A few are dam release (like the Cheoah and Nantahala mentioned above).

I would paddle boat as a first choice, given the style (and length) of the runs.


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Old 06-21-2015   #3
 
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I've rowed the Ocoee in a 16' NRS cat. Lots of strange looks.

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Old 06-21-2015   #4
 
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Hampden, Massachusetts
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See numerous oar rigs on the Gauley and new rivers. I use oars all the time in New England. It is just more stuff to lug down to the put in. I often have to rig and derig on the river bank
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Old 06-21-2015   #5
 
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Denver, Colorado
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Tons of options for an oar rig out here. The primary reasons you don't see many is because of bad river access sites, lots of dams (day run vs. overnight), and a smaller private raft market (lots of open boaters would be rafters if you could back a trailer to the river).

Rivers I've rowed

Cheat- Narrows, Canyon
Big Sandy Creek
Little Sandy Creek
Gauley- Middle, Lower
Yough- Middle, Lower
N. Branch Potomac
Casselman
Savage
Wills Creek
New
Shenandoah

I'm sure I am forgetting a few, all these rivers are less than 3 hrs from home in the eastern panhandle of WV. There's quite a few others within that radius.
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Old 06-22-2015   #6
 
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Charleston, West Virginny
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Everyone I know and float with runs oar rigs. Usually in the 12 to 14 foot range. I run a 14 footer and I and others regularly run these ...and sometimes as overnighters:

-Greenbrier River many runs (light whitewater though)
-South Fork of South Branch of Potomac
-South Branch of the Potomac
-North Fork of North Branch of Potomac
-North Branch of Potomac
-Cheat
-Big Sandy
-Gauley above the Dam
-Gauley Below the Dam
-Shavers Fork
-Dry/Black Fork of the Cheat
-Bluestone
-New River Dries
-New River between hinton and hawks nest
-Elk River
-Coal River (light whitewater)
-2nd Creek
-Tygart
-Back Fork of Elk
-Middle Fork River

With a quick query of my data all those ^^^ rivers have about 76 separate oar-rig raftable floats for a total of 726 miles...I left out all flatwater rivers/sections as well. A 12 foot boat may even increase those numbers (and of course many more paddle raftable). This is just WV too btw...

So you will find runs. Who cares what others think and do anyway?
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Old 06-22-2015   #7
 
Buffalo, New York
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I brought my 12' Trib from AZ to NY. Have definitely paddled more here than rowed but rowed the middle moose. Planning an oar trip on the allegheny in August. I think I'd row more if I invested in a trailer so I could rig derig at home. It's a lot of work for day runs. Like one row trip per year but I have a baby and toddler. I can see doing more row trips as they get a bit older
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Old 06-24-2015   #8
 
Bismarck, North Dakota
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Mines a small 10.5 ft raft with a single bay frame. I can sit it back far enough for a passenger on the front thwart, so I can bring help. Plus a little weight and hi side paddler wouldn't hurt. It's pretty easy to rig and derig.
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Old 06-24-2015   #9
 
Frisco, Colorado
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You'll more than likely be paddle boat'n more out east, that's for sure. I used to guide in WV through college and seeing an oar rig was rare but you could definitely row the New River.
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Old 06-26-2015   #10
 
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Charleston, West Virginny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatch View Post
You'll more than likely be paddle boat'n more out east, that's for sure. I used to guide in WV through college and seeing an oar rig was rare but you could definitely row the New River.

like I said...no it's not. I really don't get where people get this. When I'm on the New, save the gorge...95% of the private boats I see are oar rigs. We took oar rigs down the "Down Elk" and "Top Gauley" sections the past few days.

Tenn/ GA, yes the statement probably does hold up.
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