Water in cataract oar - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-27-2016   #1
Powell, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2015
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1
Water in cataract oar

Hello, I have a pair of cataract oars with carlslise paddles and their is a lot of water getting into both the oar and paddle during rafting, almost immediately after in the water. This causes the oars to be very heavy. Is this normal? Is it because of the mix match or and paddle? How can I stop this? Thank!

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Old 11-27-2016   #2
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 623
Well, if the blades are leaking, there's not a lot to do about it. It's also not a lot of water in the carlisle blades. If the oar shafts are filling up, you're dipping your oars waaaay too far into the water. You (almost) never need to put the shaft into the water.

If your oars are feeling heavy to hold out of the water, try counterbalances (not a great solution, imo) or adjust your frame/oar geometry to move the oarlock closer to the oar center of gravity.
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Old 11-28-2016   #3
FlyingDutchman's Avatar
Hampden, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 347
Cataract oar blades have a small rubber o-ring where the blade shaft meets the oar shaft. I don't know if carlisles have this same o ring. Maybe give cataract and Carlisle a call and see if you can just get the o rings. Should not be too pricey. Maybe be try NRS too cause they pick up the phone.

before buying my cataracts, I used homemade oars with aluminum pipe shafts. I sprayed water proof expanding foam inside the shaft near the blade end to prevent water from coming up in the shaft. Worked. And cost about $6.

And yes. your shafts should touch the water once and a while. Especially in whitewater, where a rower/paddler needs to dig deep to contact that high velocity dark water for a powerful stroke. not just the bubbles and foam on top, also known as "Lilly dipping"
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Old 11-28-2016   #4
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 623
Digging deep to catch some of that water that's running out the bottom of the hole you're stuck in can be a valid technique, but it's also a good way to rip up a shoulder, lose some teeth, or get launched out of the boat because of the difference in speeds between you and the fast water. Ever try to pull out of an eddy into fast current, and let the blade that's in the current side of the boat bite a tiny bit too much and have the oar yanked right down river, while you follow the handle right upriver and out of your seat?

I'm not saying never get your oar shafts wet, but that driving your shafts that deep on 99.9% of strokes is overkill, and not only doesn't help much, but is actually quite inefficient and risky.

It's also such a small amount of water that would be in the first foot of shaft past the blade that I still think the OP's got a geometry problem before he's got a water in the oar problem. What I would be worried about regarding water in the shafts is that they're going to sink in a hurry if you lose one.
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Old 11-28-2016   #5
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,606
Give cataract a call, they will send you some new foam plugs for the oars. You will want to shove the leaking plugs all the way up to the handle, making sure to squeeze out the water. Then insert new plugs.
Living in Montana, boating in Idaho
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Old 11-28-2016   #6
St. George, Utah
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 231
You can also get some rubber stoppers at the hardware store that will give you a tighter fit than the Cataract plugs and won't shrink and slip out like the factory foam.I can't remember the size off the top of my head #9 or 9.5 maybe. Just spray them with silicone and use a large piece of wood to tap them down the shaft past he point where the blade seats. You want a tight fit.

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Old 11-28-2016   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 205
I cracked a blade last year in a bad film/pin. I am lucky bc i work at a place where i can easily fix things so I just wrapped the damaged area in carbon fiber and epoxy resin. Fixed it good as new.
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