Oar Float Ideas? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-22-2017   #1
 
Livenswell's Avatar
 
Edgewood..., Not New...Not Mexico
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Oar Float Ideas?

Howdy Folks and Happy Spring! Hope your boating season is already off to a great start, if not have a good-un!

I run counter-balanced Cataract oars with Carlisle blades (also non-floating) and I really enjoy rowing with them, however, as we all know - being counter-balanced they don't float. I am curious if anyone has any ideas for making up a set of floats that would wrap around the outer shaft of the oar? I have seen a few that were made using a section of ~3" dia. pvc-type material, pool drain hose fitted over the oar that is stuffed with dense closed cell foam with the ends glued closed to keep the foam in the hose, with the whole nine yards secured to the shaft from just above the oar stop and extending to just below the handle. I have not seem them in floating mode so I am not sure how effective the design is, nonetheless, appears adequate.

One thought I had for a cleaner build was to get a sheet of say 1" thick super dense ethafoam you see as padding on dry boxes etc., and cut out a dozen or so (per shaft) donut shaped disks say 3" or 3.5" in outer dia. and then slide them over the shaft in tightly stacked fashion. I dont think you would necessarily need to glue them or tape them in place as they would fit tightly and probably stay put? Would this be enough material to float the oar? at least partially? I am not expecting that oar to float flat like you see the unbalanced floating oars do, but anything to provide enough buoyancy out of the water for a catch and recovery would be better than losing one.

The other thing, in addition to doing something like the above to float a lost oar, I also thought about getting floating blades to use in conjunction with the shaft float, any suggestions for good solid floating blades? I have even pondered the idea of filling the oars with puff foam, but I don't think that will help much as you need displacement on the outside of the oar to float them, so pretty sure the foam idea is for nil.

At any rate, thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions, other than get some different oars! Good Luck, have fun and be safe out there!
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Old 03-23-2017   #2
 
Aurora, Colorado
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The rings sound interesting, but I would think you'd need to at least duct tape them together, else you might wind up with discs all over the place. I don't think that filling them with foam is a terrible idea- sometimes those shafts are open all the way up.

Displacement of just the shaft of a 9' oar should be around 8lb. NRS quotes the weight of the shaft of a 9' oar as 4lb, and the counterbalance as 4lb. So, if you can keep all water out of the shaft, only a little bit more floatation should get you there.

What about a piece of a pool noodle that has a hole about the right diameter down the middle?
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Old 03-23-2017   #3
 
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Old 03-23-2017   #4
 
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lol
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Old 03-23-2017   #5
 
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Originally Posted by climbdenali View Post
The rings sound interesting, but I would think you'd need to at least duct tape them together, else you might wind up with discs all over the place. I don't think that filling them with foam is a terrible idea- sometimes those shafts are open all the way up.

Displacement of just the shaft of a 9' oar should be around 8lb. NRS quotes the weight of the shaft of a 9' oar as 4lb, and the counterbalance as 4lb. So, if you can keep all water out of the shaft, only a little bit more floatation should get you there.

What about a piece of a pool noodle that has a hole about the right diameter down the middle?
I was thinking along the same lines... Have you tried to see if they float? and how much counterbalance do they have? Do you need all of it?
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Old 03-23-2017   #6
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Originally Posted by climbdenali View Post
... NRS quotes the weight of the shaft of a 9' oar as 4lb, and the counterbalance as 4lb. So, if you can keep all water out of the shaft, only a little bit more floatation should get you there.
The math here seems wrong to me. If the oar only weighed 4lbs, and you put on a 4lb counter weight on the handle end, the resting oar would put the handle on your floor. What I'm saying is I think the oar weighs more than 4lbs. Cataract doesn't give a weight on their website. Anyone with one care to get on a scale and see how much they weigh?
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Old 03-23-2017   #7
 
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All the blades seem to weigh around three pounds, and they are at the end of a lever made from 2/3 of a 4 lb oar shaft, so it seems about right that a 4lb sleeve located somewhere along the 1/3 side would not drop the handle to the floor.
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Old 03-23-2017   #8
 
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remember the oar lock is acting as a fulcrum, overall weight vs counter weight is only part of the equation, distance from the balance point is the other. The reason someone uses counter balances is that the long side is leveraging extra weight on the short side (more oar outside the balance point than is comfortable). The amount of weight required to truly "balance" the oar will depend on a lot of factors: Oar length, lock width, seat height, the rowers size etc. These factors dictate where oar sits in the lock. Inside of the 1/3 of the total length it will generally feel lighter in the hand, outside - heavier. (outside being closer to the handle, inside closer to the middle). So the closer to the handle the lock is during a normal stroke, the more weight it will take to lift the blade out of the water. In reality the oars shouldn't actually balance, the balance point should be somewhat outside the lock (a foot or two - depending on preference). In this case outside means towards the blade - sorry for changing our frame of reference. Otherwise when you drop the handles, they will fall to the ground - not a good thing.

4lbs used to be the norm for cataract, now they make 2 and 4 lb weights I believe. The add on slide weights weigh 5 lbs if I recall. I had 9 foot oars, 60" or so between the locks with 4lb counter weights and they were way too handle heavy.
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Old 03-23-2017   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livenswell View Post
Howdy Folks and Happy Spring! Hope your boating season is already off to a great start, if not have a good-un!

I run counter-balanced Cataract oars with Carlisle blades (also non-floating) and I really enjoy rowing with them, however, as we all know - being counter-balanced they don't float. I am curious if anyone has any ideas for making up a set of floats that would wrap around the outer shaft of the oar? I have seen a few that were made using a section of ~3" dia. pvc-type material, pool drain hose fitted over the oar that is stuffed with dense closed cell foam with the ends glued closed to keep the foam in the hose, with the whole nine yards secured to the shaft from just above the oar stop and extending to just below the handle. I have not seem them in floating mode so I am not sure how effective the design is, nonetheless, appears adequate.

One thought I had for a cleaner build was to get a sheet of say 1" thick super dense ethafoam you see as padding on dry boxes etc., and cut out a dozen or so (per shaft) donut shaped disks say 3" or 3.5" in outer dia. and then slide them over the shaft in tightly stacked fashion. I dont think you would necessarily need to glue them or tape them in place as they would fit tightly and probably stay put? Would this be enough material to float the oar? at least partially? I am not expecting that oar to float flat like you see the unbalanced floating oars do, but anything to provide enough buoyancy out of the water for a catch and recovery would be better than losing one.

The other thing, in addition to doing something like the above to float a lost oar, I also thought about getting floating blades to use in conjunction with the shaft float, any suggestions for good solid floating blades? I have even pondered the idea of filling the oars with puff foam, but I don't think that will help much as you need displacement on the outside of the oar to float them, so pretty sure the foam idea is for nil.

At any rate, thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions, other than get some different oars! Good Luck, have fun and be safe out there!
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They don't need to float if you don't loose them in the river. It's called Oar tethers, super simple easy and effective. There is always a risk that the tether could fail, but I would just get ones without the buckle and go with one's that are just one piece or a cam strap design. I think NRS makes these. If you trust a cam strap to the rest of your gear why not the oars.
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Old 03-23-2017   #10
 
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Cataract magnum blades, $78.95 7 Inches wide. They float. Next get yourself two pieces of rope about 3,5 feet long and tie bowline knots in each end. Best oar tether their is. Sure it does not have some shitty plastic buckle that saved you like 10 seconds by not having to tie a knot but it sure as hell won't break and lose a $ 250 PLUS DOLLAR oar.
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