Oar size for 12 sb NRS otter? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-30-2013   #1
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Oar size for 12 sb NRS otter?

HI all, i am new to the forum and pretty new to whitewater.... though i have a little experience on kayaks and went through raft guide training in Washington State, got my 50 river hours, but still have a lot to learn.

I have a NRS 12 foot otter. This boat has smaller tubes at 17'' and narrow at 5.6' wide. The problem is i dont have experienced paddlers to get us through any class III without swimmers! So i am looking into building a frame using the connectors found at Frontier Play. I have looked at 'games with frames' and got some great ideas.

My main question......i dont know what size oars i should use? Or any ideas on frames for a boat this size? Generally i feel like i got a boat too small! but i think with more experience we could have a blast. Any suggestions would be appreciated.. Thanks! - Brian

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Old 05-30-2013   #2
CWorthy's Avatar
Tabernash, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 113
I have an 11'6" Otter. I have a single bay Down River Frame with the seat built right in to the frame (sits lower which is great for a small boat). I use 8' Carlisle Oar shafts with Sawyer Pole Cat Blades - works very well on most day and overnight trips. The 17" tubes definitely make it easy to have swimmers when paddling - foot cones will help keep them in the boat. If you haven't put some in yet - I'd recommend you at least put 2 up front and one in the back for the guide. We've run as many as 6 down Clear Creek in my little boat (no swimmers either ). Have fun!
"I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead." - Jimmy Buffett
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Old 05-30-2013   #3
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,344
I added a 12 ft. long, 6 ft. wide, Hyside raft with 19 inch tubes to my fleet this summer. I use a 54 inch wide NRS compact outfitter frame. I tried 8 ft. oars at first, but like 8.5 ft. better. Your boat is narrower than mine with smaller tubes, so 8 ft. oars should work well. Rule of thumb for frame width is to take your boat width and subtract the diameter of one tube. So that would give you 49 inches. Ok to go slightly wider. I just took my little raft on a 7 day Deso trip and it was tons of fun. I was able to carry a cooler, dry box, all my personal gear, and a little group gear with no problem. It was a lively ride, but still stable.
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Old 05-30-2013   #4
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Wow! thanks guys for the quick replies, i do appreciate your input, and feel a bit more confident in outfitting this rig...Thanks!
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