Cataract notched oar handles - mystery solved! - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-04-2019   #1
 
Beardance42's Avatar
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
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Cataract notched oar handles - mystery solved!

Thanks to all who suggested the spar urethane treatment for my aged SGG's - wife and I finished them up this weekend, 7 coats each. They did need some sanding, but they're mostly smooth and look great now.

At the annual spring boating equipment sale at our friendly retailer (in Arvada, for all you CO Front Range types), we picked up some new cataract oar handles, the ones with the thumb notch. I suppose there's only so many ways you can improve an oar handle, but hey, maybe this thumb notch idea is extra swell.

After the sticks dried this afternoon, I took my spare, cut off the old handle, sanded off the old glue, and slipped the new handle on.

WTF ??? It's too short.


Tried another. That was too short also.

Go out to NRS, have a look. They sell the standard handles and the thumb notch ones. Hey, look!!!
The Indexed Grips have 1/8" thick walls and have an internal length of 6".
The Standard Grips have 1/16" thick walls and have an internal length of 6 1/2".
The notched ones are a half inch shorter.

My question is....who thought this was a good idea ???

And no, I'm not going to lob a half an inch off my handle to fit a $5 handle replacement. I'll just order the standard ones and bye-bye thumb notch.

Hardly knew ya....

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Old 05-04-2019   #2
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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My kids (and I) love the notched handles and I have consider switching my older handles to the notched handles. I have been wondering what the handles look like under the rubber cover.

What do you think I would need to do to grind the other handles down to fit the notched rubber handle?
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Old 05-04-2019   #3
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unlucky View Post
My kids (and I) love the notched handles and I have consider switching my older handles to the notched handles. I have been wondering what the handles look like under the rubber cover.

What do you think I would need to do to grind the other handles down to fit the notched rubber handle?
Unless I'm missing something pretty obvious, and it wouldn't be the first time, seems to me you'd have cut the old ones off, which is pretty easy, then saw about 1/2" off the handle ends of the oars.

Or use 'em with a gap, like the pic I posted above.

Please don't butcher your sticks on my advice. Maybe the good folks at Advanced Composites have a better idea. I may just call them myself on Monday.
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Old 05-05-2019   #4
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Are the ends of the handle hollow or are they solid/"capped"? They look fiberglass from the pics you posted.

Any chance you could post a picture of the end? You also mention different dimensions or the rubber sleeve. I assume it fits on well, other than length

Thx
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Old 05-05-2019   #5
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unlucky View Post
Are the ends of the handle hollow or are they solid/"capped"? They look fiberglass from the pics you posted.

Any chance you could post a picture of the end? You also mention different dimensions or the rubber sleeve. I assume it fits on well, other than length

Thx
The handle ends are capped. The handles themselves are wrapped fiberglass; when you cut off the old handles, you'll see some glue in there. I sanded it off before I slid the (ill-fitting) new handle on.

They say to use hairspray (lube-y when wet, sticky when dry) to slid the new handle on, but thankfully I didn't. I just wrestled the thing on, and with some hard pulling and twisting, I managed to get the new handle off. I don't think it needs glue, it's a pretty tight fit.

Next time I'm out there, I'll snap a pic of the handle end.
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Old 05-05-2019   #6
 
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On The River, Idaho
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Well, from a business standpoint I can understand why they wouldn't necessarily want people to be able to retro fit the product with a cheap replaceable grip. Why sell a $5 part when you can sell a whole new oar with the innovative groove. Just my 2cents. Seems like the easiest option is to lop off a bit of the fiberglass and bond the new grips on, no big deal for a MAN.
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Old 05-05-2019   #7
 
Ridgway, Colorado
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Yep, seems to me that the indexie thing at the end of the grip adds .5". In order to keep yer original exact length, you'll need to lop of that same .5" from yer shaft. No one likes lopping .5" from their shaft; I feel yer pain. Luckily, my shaft came a little long from the factory so this was not an issue.
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Old 05-05-2019   #8
 
Ridgway, Colorado
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I have also been told that the notch is "enjoyable"
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Old 05-06-2019   #9
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtsideup View Post
Yep, seems to me that the indexie thing at the end of the grip adds .5". In order to keep yer original exact length, you'll need to lop of that same .5" from yer shaft. No one likes lopping .5" from their shaft; I feel yer pain. Luckily, my shaft came a little long from the factory so this was not an issue.
From the product manager at Advanced Composites:
Thanks for the email. Yes you would need to saw off the 1/2" from your handles to get the thumb groove grips to fit. The indexed grip was not designed with the intention to allow the retrofitting of older existing oars. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Case closed.
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