Counterweight Oar Sinks Like a Brick - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-09-2018   #1
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Counterweight Oar Sinks Like a Brick

Hey All,

I have some sweet Cataract Oars that are counterweighted in the handle. I realized that with my 7" magnum blades, these things will sink like a brick if I ever lose one. Anybody have ideas on making these more buoyant, or do I just need to bite the bullet and buy some floating Cataract blades? Anybody want to trade floaties for magnums?

Happy Holidays

Troy

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Old 12-09-2018   #2
 
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lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
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Switch to non-weighted handles or cut some of your weight off.
If you like them weighted than just use oar keepers ($30).
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Old 12-09-2018   #3
 
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Golden, Colorado
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Yes, they will sink like a brick. If you want to keep them then leash them. That is true for any oar.

I doubt that floating blades will help much. Once that handle heads to the bottom of the river it will be hard to recover.

Try floating blades before you buy them. I hated them. The feeling that I had to push them down in the water to get a proper stroke sucked. Besides that, I recall that they oscillated during my stroke. On top of that, the blade broke in half much sooner than I hoped. How soon is too soon I can't fully quantify. But, second trip is too soon I figure even though it was a rookie oarsman on a low water MF Salmon trip(perhaps I should cut the blade some slack because I did cut the rookie some slack(Hey "dude", it's a hard day. Forget about it.).

I spent a lot of time thinking about my aversion to floating blades and concluded that if I were a fishing guide perhaps they would be useful in a situation where your guest has a fish on in busy water. Considering that the guides(his tip) wants to land that 10 pound fish they can release the oars such that they don't instantly probe the river bottom on the downstream side. Other than that I don't know why I'd like them. Perhaps I can be educated concerning this matter.
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Old 12-09-2018   #4
 
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanderson View Post
Hey All,

I have some sweet Cataract Oars that are counterweighted in the handle. I realized that with my 7" magnum blades, these things will sink like a brick if I ever lose one. Anybody have ideas on making these more buoyant, or do I just need to bite the bullet and buy some floating Cataract blades? Anybody want to trade floaties for magnums?

Happy Holidays

Troy
I don't understand why people think that this is a big issue. You can tie the oars to the frame with a simple strap, cordage or most anything for cheap, just make sure the knots are good. Why wouldn't you protect your investment in high end oars with a $30 piece of equipment. You know my frame would sink like a rock too if it wasn't strapped in.
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Old 12-09-2018   #5
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Sweet response....dick
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Old 12-09-2018   #6
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Just trying to see if anybody had any creative ways to add flotation. Of course I have tethers.
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Old 12-09-2018   #7
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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The only time I've seen a counterweighted oar get away (broke its tether), it didn't completely sink but it did go handle down and was pogoing up and down in the water as it went through waves. The blade was mostly out of the water most of the time...so not sure if it would make a difference having a blade that floats.

Not sure if it would be enough to counteract the bouyancy of the counterweight, but you could put durable expanding foam down inside the oar shaft to help the situation.

For me...I'm a Squaretop user (have three pairs in various sizes). I mostly have them because they are awesome to row with, but one of the extra perks is that since the counterwieight is wood, they float no problem (found that out a couple weeks ago after my first flip). I know they aren't justifiable for eveyryone, but it did just occur to me that you could maybe consider shortening the oar shaft and making your own squaretop style handles to get the best of both worlds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoRon View Post
Yes, they will sink like a brick. If you want to keep them then leash them. That is true for any oar.

I doubt that floating blades will help much. Once that handle heads to the bottom of the river it will be hard to recover.

Try floating blades before you buy them. I hated them. The feeling that I had to push them down in the water to get a proper stroke sucked. Besides that, I recall that they oscillated during my stroke. On top of that, the blade broke in half much sooner than I hoped. How soon is too soon I can't fully quantify. But, second trip is too soon I figure even though it was a rookie oarsman on a low water MF Salmon trip(perhaps I should cut the blade some slack because I did cut the rookie some slack(Hey "dude", it's a hard day. Forget about it.).

I spent a lot of time thinking about my aversion to floating blades and concluded that if I were a fishing guide perhaps they would be useful in a situation where your guest has a fish on in busy water. Considering that the guides(his tip) wants to land that 10 pound fish they can release the oars such that they don't instantly probe the river bottom on the downstream side. Other than that I don't know why I'd like them. Perhaps I can be educated concerning this matter.
My squaretops use the Dynalite style blade that floats, and I don't find that I don't feel like I'm pushing the oars into the water. The natural movement of rowing seems to do accomplish that for me. If I'm just floating and want to keep the oars in the water to catch current or something you have to put a bit of pressure to keep them there, but not much.

Its still not a sure bet that it won't catch on something, but I do like that I can just let go of the oars and the blades won't sink. They do still sink about a 1/3 of the blade into the water, but it won't dive like a carlisle. They probably pop out of the water a bit better and maybe provide some more power that way, but its minimal. Can't really think of many benefits beyond that though.

I think a lot of the reason for them being floaty is a byproduct of trying to make them light in the right places but still have good bite.
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Old 12-10-2018   #8
 
Carbondale, Colorado
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I don't have direct experience with Cataract oars but did have a pair of counter weighted Carlisle oars that would sink. Like someone else said they would float vertically weighted end first until the air leaked out of the shaft then sink. I solved the issue by drilling a two small holes and injecting non-expanding spray foam into the shaft. Be sure to plug the shaft on the the blade end so the blade shaft can still be inserted. Inject the foam on that end and relieve the air on the handle end, When you see foam come out the handle is full. Plug the holes with epoxy. Works like a champ, oar will never sink ( but does still float vertically ) so it is hard to see. I assume the same thing would work with Cataract oars?
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Old 12-10-2018   #9
 
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Up shites creek, Colorado
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I feel like this is a re-hash topic. Do what jgrebe said, or shove a foam noodle inside the oar.


If you use tethers, you would've saved some grief had you stated that when starting a thread about how to keep oars from sinking.
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Old 12-10-2018   #10
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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A pool noodle will keep water out of the shaft, but it will not displace any additional water volume or make the oar more buoyant.

You can buy foam backer rod (used inside caulk joints) that will exactly plug your shaft.

Square tops are not only wood (less sense than the water) they also increase the volume of the oar--making it more buoyant.

Does anyone know whether a standard counterweight Cataract will float if no water enters the shaft?
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