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Owner: Class 5 Carvings
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Discussion Starter #1
So just went up from my hyside outfitter 14, to a 14xt, and now to a RMR 16' I kept my 10' oars from my old boats which felt too long for those boats and figured they would be fine on my bigger rig, but they feel way too short.

I'd love to hear what other 16' big wide boat rowers are rowing. With my 10' oars I had to spread them like 20'' apart at the handles, and I am still rowing up by my neck to get the full blades in the water. I have a DRE frame and I even turned my oar towers in a bit( have them running parallel to the outside rail of my frame) to get the oar locks a bit closer together.

A little background, I am sitting on my drybox, so only about 5'' above the frame, no captains chair. Also, my oar towers are stock DRE, so the locks sit about 10'' off the deck as well.

Some of my thoughts are that the towers are too tall, and sitting from my dry box I could shorten the towers significantly. But is that enough or do I need to go up to 11' oars? I'd like to turn the towers back to their outward facing position since thats how they are meant to be run with the angle the lock mount is at.

Anyway, anyone else running 10' oars on a wide (7'8'') expedition boat with 22'' tubes (the dimensions on the RMR160 are the same as the Hyside 16XT and the NRS E-160)? Sawyer's customer service says 9'6''-10' should be the "sweet spot" for a 16' raft but I just don't see it, no way could I run shorter than 10', I'd have to stand up to get the blades in the water.

Thanks for the help.
 

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It sounds like we are running almost the same setup. I have a 16' RMR with a Riverboat works frame and 10 ft oars. I sit on a cooler 7" above the frame and my oar locks are a little higher, probably 7.5-8 inches above the frame. The distance between my oar locks is 84". I don't have my oars spread near as far as you do. Probably only an inch or so between them when they are flat / out of the water. This system is comfortable for me and seems to row fine. Admittedly this is the first boat that is my own and I never got used to anything else. Also, I'm relatively tall (6'-5") so having the oars up high-ish is good.

Your numbers seem reversed from mine, you sit a little lower and oarlocks are a bit higher. Maybe some shorter towers and raising your seat would help? It seems to me that 11 ft oars would feel quite long and you'd need to have so much of the oar outboard of the lock that a counter balance would almost be a must.
 

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Owner: Class 5 Carvings
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Discussion Starter #4
Ya I didn't add, I am also only 5'9'', so I am pretty short. I will have a 2'' paco pad coming to sit on so I will be raised up half an inch or so. I guess my first step before buying new oars should be to cut the towers down and see where that gets me.

I would prefer to have the handles on my oars about 2-3'' apart when flat, the wide spacing sucks, I only did that because it was hard to get the blades in the water otherwise.

I think if I was on a captains chair and sitting up high this would not be an issue, but I like sitting low, and hated my old captains chair drybox combo. It's a pain in the ass to get in and out of the box/cooler under the chair, you have to flip it foward, and the box/cooler needs to be facing backwards, it was not as ideal to me to get in and out of your dry box/cooler.

I guess I could raise the lower the tabs on my drybox so it sits up a little higher too if that's necessary.
 

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My SOTAR is probably similar dimensions.
Eeevvvveryone will tell you that you are supposed to use 10' oars on a 16' boat.
I always felt like they were too short.

The river gods demanded the sacrifice of two of my Sawyer MXG's two years ago, so I ordered two new 10'6" Smoker Dynalites.

But I LOVE them!!

I can't imagine going back to the shorter sticks.

Ben
 

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I run 10.5 and 10' on my 16' Avon. I like the 10.5 for big water and the 10's are nice for smaller technical stuff. Mine is a little narrower than yours. My buddy runs a 16xt and has 11'ers which will yank your ass out of the boat if you dip them in the wrong spot. He's a bigger dude and loves them. I think the 10.5 is the real sweet spot for a 16'.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ya I won't be running anything too technical with this boat, it's big. I have a minimax too with a little frame for anything small and tight, so I may go big and go 11' since it will mostly be used on bigger rivers, Salmon, Colorado, Green...

With the width apart my oars are now, 6'' more would just bring the handles closer together, I don't think they'd hit the water any better. I have like 15-20 inches between the handles right now, so 10'6'' will for sure solve that problem, but I think I may need another 6'' on each side to hit the river, or I need to sit higher up, that may be an easier solution to all this is just get a captains chair...

Too many options haha. Hard to really tell without rowing them, and that's hard on the pocket book to order the wrong size shafts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the tip, I appreciate your help on this. I am 5'8'' and about 190 so similar size to you, a little heftier haha. I think the main problem here is I am sitting too low. I think I either need to cut down my towers and/or get a seat, maybe something like the clavey seat mount, I have a NRS high back on my miniframe I could just throw on here, that would get me like 3 inches higher and if I cut my towers down to 7 or 8'' that may solve the problem for way less then investing in new oars.

I just don't want to order 10'6'' and them still be a little short, I'd rather have too much than too little since I'm not 100% sure on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good tip, I will go slowly. I think adding a seat (which i'd really perfer not to do) would really change the dynamic of this quickly.

I almost think my 10's would work if I was 5'' taller, but even adding a seat won't get me 5 more inches higher.
 

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I used to row a 16ft Hyside with 11fters before downsizing to a 14’er. I definitely liked the longer oars, especially in big water or flatwater slogs. YMMV.
 

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I'd raise your seat before cutting your oar towers. Seems like those DRE frames were designed with one of their seats in mind. If you don't favor a seat, just raise the cooler up. You might get that 5" with one of the DRE seats. Also you might prefer to be a little bit higher with that size boat.
 

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16' RMR with a 72" NRS frame and 10' towers set about normal using 10' Cataracts. I added a flip seat to my dry box and it all was perfect. That said I'm 6'2" and all torso. Keep adjusting little things and it'll come together. when I said its perfect I meant its usable and I wish i could tweak it an inch here or two but then another rower would be way out of spec and I'd never get to fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ya I am not sitting on the cooler, I am sitting on the drybox which is on tabs, so there's no easy way to raise it without welding on new tabs lower down. I think adding a flip seat would do it but I hate those DRE seats, you sit up so high, in big water lower center of gravity is much nicer, plus those seats are always in the way when trying to stack boats, pack, open drybox/cooler that's under them. May look into the clavey seat mount and throw an NRS seat on there.

I'd prefer to cut my towers down since I'd rather stay seated on the drybox, but it's not a bad idea to think about moving the drybox to in front of me and putting the cooler under me, that just puts a lot of weight in the back, but then I could get the cooler higher up, I access the dry box more than the main cooler anyway during the day so may be nice to have it in front of me.

I may try that before messing with a seat.
 

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I am running 11's on my 16' RMR, DRE frame, sitting on my cooler or drybox, 5'9"


Same setup I used on my 18' Avon. The raft changed but the frame stayed the same so the distance between the oar locks and my seating position stayed the same. Never occurred to me that I would even consider a shorter oar.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am running 11's on my 16' RMR, DRE frame, sitting on my cooler or drybox, 5'9"
Ya we seem to be about the same stature, I will try raising the cooler and cutting my towers, but from the way this feels I think I just need to go to 11' oars.

If I pull my 10' oars in to have 2-3'' between the handles my oarlocks basically sit at the very bottom of my ropewrap and half the oar is in the boat and the other half is out, it doesn't seem to work but I am going to give it one more shot before I give up and have to invest in new oars.
 

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I have a hyside 16xt and run 11’ oars. Would 10.5’ work, who knows, but if you want to try them out, let me know. I’m out of town right now, but will be back the 18th. Not sure where you are, but would be glad to try and help.
 

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If I pull my 10' oars in to have 2-3'' between the handles my oarlocks basically sit at the very bottom of my ropewrap and half the oar is in the boat and the other half is out, it doesn't seem to work but I am going to give it one more shot before I give up and have to invest in new oars.
This sounds really odd. How far apart are your oarlocks? Is your frame really wide? If I locate my oars such that the handles are touching in the middle of the boat the oarlocks are still only a little more than 1/2 way down the rope wrap. Possibly your oars are actually 9'-6" (Or smaller)? I just measured mine and the true dimension is 9'-10" with handles and blades.
 

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I run an NRS E-160 with a 79" wide frame and 10.5' oars. I originally had 10" towers and have since dropped to 8" and the setup is now pretty cherry.
 
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