Oar Length for 18 foot Sotar ST raft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-16-2013   #1
 
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
Oar Length for 18 foot Sotar ST raft

Folks,

18.5 foot Sotar ST raft on its way. The raft is the normal 8 feet wide with 24 inch tubes. We are having a double rail frame made that will be about 82 inches wide between the outer most rails - and based on all the raft pictures I've seen, it looks like the outer most rails are where the oar stands are always mounted.

I am planning on ordering oars with the boat. I understand that nothing replaces having the boat/frame completed and testing oars before buying - but that isn't going to be an option. I almost ordered 11 foot Cataract SGX with Magnum blades. I wouldn't go shorter - but am afraid they may be a little short. The type of rowing I'll be doing is big wide river with very few short stretches of Class III rapids - and lots of rowing in the slow spots if the small outboard isn't working

My question goes out to those folks who have 18 foot rafts utilizing double rail frame. What size oars do you folks normally use?

I can certainly make adjustments to oar stand/seating height to find tune - just wanting to know what length oars are generally considered normal for an 18 foot raft that is 8 feet wide. Many thanks.

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Old 05-16-2013   #2
 
Walterville, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon77 View Post
My question goes out to those folks who have 18 foot rafts utilizing double rail frame. What size oars do you folks normally use?
I have an 8 ft wide raft with a double rail frame. There is about 84 in between the oarlocks and the stands are not very tall. My tubes are 6 inches larger than yours and I sit on a drybox. 11 ft oars are just right for me.
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Old 05-16-2013   #3
 
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
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I got 11' cat sgg's for my 18' w 24" tubes 8' wide Maravia Hurricane. I am very pleased. Not too big, not too small. It sticks to the 1/3 in 2/3 out rule too. I don't have counter balance, nor do I see the need for them.

Have fun, big boats rock. They will fit down smaller rivers with a little finesse but the wind will get you every time with 24" tubes.

There's a couple pics in my profile.
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Old 05-16-2013   #4
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
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have an 18' hyside with 24s and 8 feet wide. I run 11' sawyers and I think they are perfect can run the grand and ladore at low water. no prob. but with big Alaskan rivers would consider 12' s and do not think they are too long. if I was u I would buy 11's and one foot extensions to have some versatility.
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Old 05-16-2013   #5
 
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portland, Oregon
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Sawyer makes some blades that are a few inches longer than std, if that helps. Based on your dims, I would not go less than 11'
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Old 05-16-2013   #6
 
Yukon, Alabama
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Thanks folks. Appreciate the advice on the Sawyer blades - I had heard they are 3 inches longer. I discussed the 1 foot extension - and would do exactly that if they made a 6 inch extension.

I'm about where I started. Several say 11 foot should be just right - but there is still that nagging doubt they might be a touch too short. I've read just about everything on the forum regarding proper oar length and understand the many variables, including stature/size, and rowing style preference. No doubt it takes experience and testing to get things dialed in right. I only wish I had paid more attention to the oar set-ups during my 6 runs last year with rented/borrowed boats. Of the six different boat - I vividly remember that just ONE of them had what I considered a very efficient and comfortable rowing set-up. A few were completely horrid - thus me hopes to get things relatively dialed in before I make that first purchase.
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Old 05-17-2013   #7
 
Redmond, Oregon
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Originally Posted by Yukon77 View Post
Thanks folks. Appreciate the advice on the Sawyer blades - I had heard they are 3 inches longer. I discussed the 1 foot extension - and would do exactly that if they made a 6 inch extension.

I'm about where I started. Several say 11 foot should be just right - but there is still that nagging doubt they might be a touch too short. I've read just about everything on the forum regarding proper oar length and understand the many variables, including stature/size, and rowing style preference. No doubt it takes experience and testing to get things dialed in right. I only wish I had paid more attention to the oar set-ups during my 6 runs last year with rented/borrowed boats. Of the six different boat - I vividly remember that just ONE of them had what I considered a very efficient and comfortable rowing set-up. A few were completely horrid - thus me hopes to get things relatively dialed in before I make that first purchase.
Perhaps you could smother the, "very efficient and comfortable rowing set-up" owner with praise and they would provide the oarlock/oar length dimensions. People that receive complements are often helpful.
Then, because you're a good guy, you could post those numbers.
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Old 05-17-2013   #8
 
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portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon77 View Post
Thanks folks. Appreciate the advice on the Sawyer blades - I had heard they are 3 inches longer. I discussed the 1 foot extension - and would do exactly that if they made a 6 inch extension.

I'm about where I started. Several say 11 foot should be just right - but there is still that nagging doubt they might be a touch too short. I've read just about everything on the forum regarding proper oar length and understand the many variables, including stature/size, and rowing style preference. No doubt it takes experience and testing to get things dialed in right. I only wish I had paid more attention to the oar set-ups during my 6 runs last year with rented/borrowed boats. Of the six different boat - I vividly remember that just ONE of them had what I considered a very efficient and comfortable rowing set-up. A few were completely horrid - thus me hopes to get things relatively dialed in before I make that first purchase.
I think sawyer also makes wooden counterbalanced handles that may be a foot longer. I'd definitely contact someone like them. The issue is going to be the shipping cost of oversized oars, and the fact that most brands don't offer more than 11'. If they can ship the handles detached that may help. You may also contact cataract about maybe a longer 2 piece design that can be trimmed to size If you determine its too long -- I would think they could join two halves with a slug that would be as strong as a single shaft design
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Old 05-17-2013   #9
 
Skink, Utah
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18' Sotar

I have a 18' Sotar SP (tan), 8' wide with 24"tubes. Double rail frame, oarlocks are 84" apart. I use 11' Cataract SGX oars, counterweighted, with Magnum blades. My seat is a cooler or drybox. Very happy with oar length, wouldn't want them any longer.
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