looking to buy oars for my raft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-08-2012   #1
 
alma, Arkansas
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2012
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looking to buy oars for my raft

me and a friend has built a frame for his raft and are looking to get some oars for it but we are not sure of what lenght to get our size frame calls for 10 ft on the nrs web site but we both feel that will be to long . we are rafting on rivers in arkansas and most of the time the channels would not let us use an oar so big. i think 8 to 9 ft would be best could anyone here help with this and we are also wondering about how wide of a paddle blade to get any help would be much appreciated

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Old 03-08-2012   #2
 
Sarge6531's Avatar
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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What size is the raft?
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Old 03-08-2012   #3
 
Spokane, Washington
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And what is the width between your oar towers?
Blades are pretty much personal preference and river type....I think Cataract magnum blades have the best combination of price, size, shape, and buoyancy....however if money was not an option, hard to beat Sawyer Dynalites....I like the v-pro too but I have shattered a few (I have taken chunks out of carlisle and cataract to be fair). Sawyers lock in mechanism is superior, and will work with cataract and carlisle, just make sure you get the right diameter.
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Old 03-08-2012   #4
 
alma, Arkansas
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the raft is 14 ft long around 6 ft wide to the outside of the tubes not sure just where the oar mounts will set we have ordered a straight pair but wanting to use mitered oar mounts will try to get an idea of how wide the straight ones will be in a sec but the frame is about 71 in wide and the mounts will mount at that width
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Old 03-08-2012   #5
 
alma, Arkansas
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we are going down some narrow channels and looking to hit some class 5 raipids this year we have done all are rafting with 2 ppl paddling so far but have just built a frame out of 1' 7/8" aluminim pipe and are trying to find the right oars for us. we can't afford to buy the wrong size and can't get any real answers from the ppl we talk to from N R S they just want us to buy some thing . so if u can give us some info please do we need it
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Old 03-08-2012   #6
 
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portland, Oregon
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For a 14' boat your frame is probably 60-66" so i would say 9.5. Narrow channels doesnt matter you will need to ship your oars if they are 11ft or 6 feet (which would be totally useless). Too short an oar for your frame means you will have an awkward angle unless you sit really high in your boat

My frame is 72 and i've fit in some tight spots and others where i've had to yank an oar and toss it inside my boat to keep it from hitting something. I run 10's and wish they were 11's (leopard cat)
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Old 03-08-2012   #7
 
Spokane, Washington
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Don't go any less than 9', but 9's would work ok. assuming that your frame is not 71" wide like you claim? seems awful wide if your boat is only about 72" wide.... If your frame is that wide then go with 10'. It really has to to do more with oar management, like Avatard suggests.
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Old 03-08-2012   #8
 
alma, Arkansas
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ok Avatard but do u hit areas that are only 10' wide with trees laying in the river and need to paddle . if so did the 10' oar work good could it have been smaller we are riding in small rivers with tight channels and i know we could never use a 11' oar except for the pools i think 9' will be almost to much do u raft in these kind of places?
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Old 03-08-2012   #9
 
alma, Arkansas
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ok i measured the frame and it is 71 inches wide. boat is 79.5 inches wide
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Old 03-08-2012   #10
 
Portland, Oregon
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[QUOTE=smoke425;264996]ok Avatard but do u hit areas that are only 10' wide with trees laying in the river and need to paddle . if so did the 10' oar work good could it have been smaller we are riding in small rivers with tight channels and i know we could never use a 11' oar except for the pools i think 9' will be almost to much do u raft in these kind of places?[/QUO

You need a 9ft oar - Minimum. If the space you're running through is too tight to accomodate 9 footers with their blades dipped in the water, do this: Pull the blades out the water, pull the oars towards the interior of the boat and swing the blades forward so they rest on top of the tubes, pointed towards the bow. Run a section that way with paddlers, then get the blades back in the water when you can. We call that "Shipping" the oars. If you think you'll be encountering an area this narrow for the majority of your float, don't bother with oars.
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