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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks, I'm going to put a frame on my 90's-era Puma. I'll be assembling a 48"Wx65"L frame, and probably will end up cutting the crossbars a bit shorter to end up around 45 or 46" wide.

Given that this is a narrow frame, I'm thinking about width when it comes to oar locks. @Shappattack put me onto rowframe, where I saw the MT 8x8 and MT 8x12 towers (each offers 8" and 12" of width from the frame, respectively). I'm leaning toward the 8's because 12 inches does seem like a heck of a lot of oar tower sticking off the side of the frame. Each model can be found here, but you need to scroll down.

What do you guys think?
 

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I wouldn't go with the 12". I don't think you would need an oar that long to run that boat. I would run an 8' or maybe 8.5 for that boat and the 8" extension would be plenty.

I wouldn't want my towers hanging way outside the boat like that for collision purposes.
 

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I agree with your rationale to put the towers out wider than a 48" frame. 48" and regular towers would be really funky oar geometry.


I also agree with Zach. 8'-8.5' oars would be great. If you had 9' oars you wanted to run, you might want the 12" offset towers.
 

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Here is a video of OG Puma like yours with an oar setup (second boat...some good views of the frame around 35 seconds in...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Htr8smFmGo

It looks like he is using, I'm guessing, the 8" NRS Oar towers. The frame itself is pretty wide(for the boat) and the oar towers stick out but not crazy far. Seems to work for him pretty well. He flew from Arkansas (the state not the river) to CO with that setup in the back of his plane...so a pretty light setup. I'm not certain...but I'd guess those are 8' oars. Sporty little boat...looked like a ton of fun but had to pick your lines well on the Yampa at 15K cfs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback, glad to know that I'm not alone in thinking 12" is too much. Hopefully 8" wide is a happy medium.

Here is a video of OG Puma like yours with an oar setup (second boat...some good views of the frame around 35 seconds in...
It looks like he is using, I'm guessing, the 8" NRS Oar towers. The frame itself is pretty wide(for the boat) and the oar towers stick out but not crazy far. Seems to work for him pretty well. He flew from Arkansas (the state not the river) to CO with that setup in the back of his plane...so a pretty light setup. I'm not certain...but I'd guess those are 8' oars. Sporty little boat...looked like a ton of fun but had to pick your lines well on the Yampa at 15K cfs.
Sweet! That looks like a 48" frame to me, with NRS towers as you mentioned. Angle looks a tad steep but it's bound to be so with such a narrow boat. They are super sporty! I've R2'd the heck out of mine. They aren't forgiving if you get sideways haha
 

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Here is a video of OG Puma like yours with an oar setup (second boat...some good views of the frame around 35 seconds in...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Htr8smFmGo

It looks like he is using, I'm guessing, the 8" NRS Oar towers. The frame itself is pretty wide(for the boat) and the oar towers stick out but not crazy far. Seems to work for him pretty well. He flew from Arkansas (the state not the river) to CO with that setup in the back of his plane...so a pretty light setup. I'm not certain...but I'd guess those are 8' oars. Sporty little boat...looked like a ton of fun but had to pick your lines well on the Yampa at 15K cfs.
Haha... I'm in that video!

He loved that little boat.

I'd personally want to keep oar length as short as manageable... a small boat with frame is supposed to fit in small spaces and shorter oars help with that. And you're never going to be hauling so much weight in a boat that small that you'd need extra leverage from a longer oar.

Just my 0.02

Edit to add: I don't own one yet but one day I want to get a mini setup and my hope is to use 7.5s. I know a lot of others here prefer longer but my goal would be to use a very low seat and short oar towers so that the shorter oars will feel good. I also theorize that a narrower boat would benefit from a lower center of gravity you'd get from keeping your seat down, due to the reduced boat width resulting in a little less stability.
 

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Haha... I'm in that video!
I was wondering if you'd show up :D

I've been on a bunch of trips with Larry (the guy in the Puma) and some other people on the trip... pretty crazy how many river days I've had since then. That was the biggest rapid I had ran in a raft until that point...but it doesn't seem that bad anymore after running a bunch of other rivers. I was definitely white knuckling.

Anyways... there is no easy answer on oar length all that...just gonna have to make a best guess and go with it...and if you don't like it change it. Maybe try to borrow or rent a couple different lengths of oars and go from there.

fly by night said:
Have you considered a kayak paddle?
ha...or go the Dave Scadden route and just drill a hole in the middle of a SUP paddle.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Lots of good feedback, thanks fellas. My buddy has some 8' oars so I'll get to try those. I expect my oarlocks to be about 61-62" apart, and i've heard from folks who prefer shorter, and longer. We'll see how it goes!
 
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