Oar sleeves for a 2.375 OD oar? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-28-2017   #1
Scotts Valley, California
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Oar sleeves for a 2.375 OD oar?

I am trying to go on a rafting trip in a week and a half but I need to get some oar shaft protection. I have two options:

1. I have some hand me down fiberglass oar shafts that are 2.375" OD. I am looking to get some oar sleeves for them but I am striking out on where to buy them. Everything is sized for 1.875" OD Carlisle or Cataract shafts. Any suggestions on where I can find larger oar sleeves?

2. I have two other shafts that are the same OD but with rope wraps. This puts the OD too big to fit in my oar locks. I have heard that you just pry the oar locks open but that seems sketchy to me.

I have no idea where these shafts were made. Do I have something that is pretty uncommon?

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Old 03-28-2017   #2
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There is also a 3rd option of Pin & Clips.
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Old 03-28-2017   #3
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Lakewood, Colorado
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You may not need sleeves. You could probably just put the Oar Rights straight on the shaft of the oar. Same thing with a rope wrap.

You can definitely gently pry the oar locks open. Probably takes more force then you think though. I know when I helped a friend adjust his it took some pretty heavy swipes of a couple of hammers to move them.
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Old 03-28-2017   #4
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Before rope wrap they used a leather "sheet" wrapped around the oar shaft and held in place with brass tacks.

This would be a lot thinner than rope wrap.
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Old 03-28-2017   #5
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Unlucky is correct, and with today's glues you can glue the "collar" instead of using tacks - but if you do, line the tacks up in the open end (i.e., "high" part) of your oarlock.
If the oarlocks are bronze alloy (Cobras) or old style bronze "U-locks" you can definitely pry them open but be careful. Shaft in vise or drill a (usually) 5/8" diameter hole in a block of stout wood and put that in the vise, then insert oarlock shaft. Try slipping a piece of thick wall galvanized or any other stout pipe with 3/4 or 1" inside diameter over the open horn of your oarlock - it's more difficult to find the right piece of pipe for Cobras because they flare downward, but you can cut slits in something like 1&1/4" pipe that will allow it to grip the top of the horn. The pipe needs to be a foot or more to give you leverage, but if you can get a piece of pipe over the horns of your locks you can bend them much more comfortably - and precisely - than beating on them with a hammer. The hammer method works, but it's not exactly precise... and can result in injury...
If you have a propane - or better, acetylene - torch handy (spreader tip), you can also try GENTLY applying heat, then forcing the horns apart. Don't go past a dull yellow, not even to orange in terms of color. All you want is a dull glow... turn off torch, proceed with bending asap.
Pins and clips means you can't feather the oar. Works for many, mostly with more muscles in their shoulders and arms than between their ears...
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Old 03-28-2017   #6
Denver, Colorado
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Old 03-29-2017   #7
Aurora, Colorado
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I think by running just the oar rights, with no sleeves, you might run into some pretty fast wear of a fiberglass shaft from the locks. I'd want something there.

Under NO circumstances would I use tacks on a fiberglass oar shaft, or for that matter a wood oar, either. In fiberglass, I think you'd do more smashing than holding by nailing the leather to it. In wood, the tack is creating an entry point for moisture, and that tiny bit of moisture, over time, is enough to critically weaken your oar. One day, when you really want a stroke, your oar will snap right at the lock. If you want to leather your oars, see this post: Oar Leathering 101
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Old 03-29-2017   #8
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Youll run into problems popping oars running two different diameter shafts on the same boat. Most sleeves are going to add close to the same diameter increase as rope wrap unless you just use heat shrink tubing or something like that that wont give protection for very long. If they are just your spares you could go on the trip and try and find a good solution when you get back hoping you dont have to beat on them too hard as spares. If you do want a regular sleeve you could always buy the sleeves for the smaller shafts, cut them down the middle and slide them on. I have seen guys using that approach and it worked fine for them. They were all using oar rights so the oar is in one position any way and they put the oar right over the split.
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