Mountain Buzz banner
61 - 80 of 81 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
See but I hate that mindset. I fully agree with the manufacturing and business side of it trust me. I get the numbers. But I’m tired of the throw away society that we have become. It’s absolutely depressing. The amount of products that get thrown away is absolutely absurd. So no we shouldn’t be going for the cheapest product, because we should be putting our money where our mouth is. There’s a finite amount of recourses, why waist them just because it’s cheaper? Genuinely gone are the days we make products that last.
I agree, but do think a shift is happening back to more sustainable higher quality stuff. In the world of woodworking, in the last ten years, there have been a huge number of small companies popping up making hand saws, planes, marking tools, etc. When I started, nearly twenty years ago, custom furniture was incredibly tough to sell for what it is worth. Now, it’s fairly sought after. I have cabinet clients that want assurances that I don’t outsource anything I make them. (Most production shops, even high end ‘custom’ shops outsource some or all of their work; cabinet boxes, drawers, fours, etc…)

It’s a small shift, but it’s happening, and hopefully it keeps moving and growing. The downside is that, quality things take time and money, two things not too many people have very much of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I am embarrassed and depressed to be driving my Avon Scout with Carlisle oars. It needs to be seen with sticks of ash or Sitka spruce. The classic old oar artisans are dropping out of business one by one. I had a set of 10' Swansons with my Domar for 30+ years, they never wore out or got shark bites in the blades. They sold with the boat and are still going strong. Swanson went out of business awhile back. Gull is still making oars in New Zealand, but I can't find any in North America anymore. Barkley Sound closed its doors a few months ago. Smoker and Sawyer have merged and the current inventory is dismal. The only way for me to get ash Smokers at the moment is to order from the factory, wait several months, pay a huge shipping fee or drive to Oregon to pick them up. None of the river equipment stores in Colorado are stocking them.
I'm aware that I sound like a geezer that clings to nostalgia rather than embracing new technology. Maybe so, but I do embrace self-bailing floors and aluminum frames, so I am not hopeless.
But I digress. The closest oar artist to me is Songbird in Moab. I have been in touch with him, but haven't brought myself to spending between 400-500 per oar for a work of art. I just want a utilitarian set of wooden oars to row my well-worn boat. I like the prices and look of the oars at Shaw and Tenney, but the shipping costs from Maine are astronomical. I have been rowing the 12' Avon Scout for a couple of years with 8 foot Carlisles that I also use with my Hyside Mini-Max. I am thinking that I would be happier with 8 and a half foot oars on the Scout. With river equipment inventory very low, I haven't seen much availability of 8.5 oars or shafts of any brand. Anyway, if any of you Buzzards know of any deals on 8.5 foot oars, preferably wood, let me know.
I happen to have an 8.5ft pair of wooden sawyers in my garage but I live in NV and not heading east until spring, where are you located?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Domar Dave
I’ve had them all and know that you need nicer oars. Do it! The sport of rafting is rowing literally thousands of strokes everyday down the river. Unless you can’t afford it don’t use an awkward heavy fluttering bending chipping piece of plastic.

I’ve got 10’ square tops for my 16’ and have hundred of days on them. My favorites by far!
I’ve got 9’10” gulls as spares and they are not as powerful and flutter a bit when I pull hard on them.

for my 14’ I had smokers but blew one of them up in really fast hard shallow rocky water, so I replaced with another pair of square tops.

for my wife’s saber tooth I got her 8’ polecats with dynalite blades. Really light at the handle and plenty strong theres never much weight in that boat. They are a bit short so I’m gonna by 6” longer handles. I know those would do well and be a significant upgrade and cheap to ship.

Which ever you chose it’s winter so order soon. When they arrive or when they are finished. Drive to the moab in February on a warm day and float the daily section. Smile all day as you push along thankful for an awesome life.😎
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I am embarrassed and depressed to be driving my Avon Scout with Carlisle oars. It needs to be seen with sticks of ash or Sitka spruce. The classic old oar artisans are dropping out of business one by one. I had a set of 10' Swansons with my Domar for 30+ years, they never wore out or got shark bites in the blades. They sold with the boat and are still going strong. Swanson went out of business awhile back. Gull is still making oars in New Zealand, but I can't find any in North America anymore. Barkley Sound closed its doors a few months ago. Smoker and Sawyer have merged and the current inventory is dismal. The only way for me to get ash Smokers at the moment is to order from the factory, wait several months, pay a huge shipping fee or drive to Oregon to pick them up. None of the river equipment stores in Colorado are stocking them.
I'm aware that I sound like a geezer that clings to nostalgia rather than embracing new technology. Maybe so, but I do embrace self-bailing floors and aluminum frames, so I am not hopeless.
But I digress. The closest oar artist to me is Songbird in Moab. I have been in touch with him, but haven't brought myself to spending between 400-500 per oar for a work of art. I just want a utilitarian set of wooden oars to row my well-worn boat. I like the prices and look of the oars at Shaw and Tenney, but the shipping costs from Maine are astronomical. I have been rowing the 12' Avon Scout for a couple of years with 8 foot Carlisles that I also use with my Hyside Mini-Max. I am thinking that I would be happier with 8 and a half foot oars on the Scout. With river equipment inventory very low, I haven't seen much availability of 8.5 oars or shafts of any brand. Anyway, if any of you Buzzards know of any deals on 8.5 foot oars, preferably wood, let me know.
Try these guys.

WOOD OARS (paddlesandoars.com)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
You're tirade against Sawyer is frankly pretty tired at this point.
In fairness, he's right, though--I've seen a number of Sawyer blades snap off at the shaft, and they do seem pretty expensive for a glass shaft. I still use them, however. It's hopefully good for Sawyer to hear what problems people have with their product...or maybe they just don't care as long as we keep buying them?
 

·
Beginner
Joined
·
3,103 Posts
In fairness, he's right, though--I've seen a number of Sawyer blades snap off at the shaft, and they do seem pretty expensive for a glass shaft. I still use them, however. It's hopefully good for Sawyer to hear what problems people have with their product...or maybe they just don't care as long as we keep buying them?
It's not like I'm going out of my way to bash Sawyer, but my comments were certainly germane to the thread. Are they nicer than some manufactured oars? Absolutely! The cost to likelihood-of-failure balance is my problem with their composite or hybrid oars. I think this balance is best with select lumber, or Carlisle, which I do not recommend. Wrapping cheap wood in carbon just doesn't seem like the answer to me, either.

That said, I heard back from Levi and the Songbirds will be closer to $900 each. I'm pausing until I buy a bigger boat. That's just too much for a little 12 footer! The wooden oar may, in fact, be going extinct soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,740 Posts
So one of you lumber buying guys chip in. How many oars can you build with 1800 bucks? Could you f-up a pair and still build 3? I’d think so? That seems so high but iam also un fairly remember cheap stuff guy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
So one of you lumber buying guys chip in. How many oars can you build with 1800 bucks? Could you f-up a pair and still build 3? I’d think so? That seems so high but iam also un fairly remember cheap stuff guy.
It’s not necessarily the cost of material. You have to include labor, tool depreciation, facility, etc. Manufacturing isn’t cheap regardless of the product and success rate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
That said, I heard back from Levi and the Songbirds will be closer to $900 each.
That seems like a much more realistic price. $600 was WAY too cheap. With materials roughly $150, that leaves $750 for labor, consumables, heat, etc. $900 is a lot for an oar, but for hand crafted heirloom functional art…still pretty reasonable. Not sure what his shop rate is, but that doesn’t leave a lot of time to get an oar built.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,360 Posts
I have been boating for many decades and as mentioned purchased hand made wooden kayak and canoe paddles. But prices were much much cheaper than I see quoted these days. I remember when NC made Silver Creek wooden paddles were super popular and I purchased several and maybe a couple hundred bucks price at the time.

I started rowing in the mid 90's. Purchased everything on the advice of my much more seasoned rower buds than me, rafters who had been taking my gear bag down many western multi day rivers. My first rig was a 18 ft Aire Cat and Carlisle Oars.

Fairly quickly I transitioned to Cataract oars with Carlisle Outfitter blades. Been through a bunch of rafts since then but oars always were and are different lengths of Cataracts and Outfitter big blades. Never broke either and believe me I made a lot of beginner boo boo's. Cataract shafts and Carlisle Outfitter blades have got me down most western rivers including the Grand Canyon.

I sometimes considered wooden oars. Lots of trips but nothing like many of the oarsmen and oarswomen on the Buzz. The thought here is maybe I do not have the time on the sticks to realize the benefits of wood over fiberglass.

After reading and following this thread, I thought Okie, you are over the hill physically maybe it is time for you to get a set of these beautiful wooden oars because they just might help your blown out shoulders etc.

I did research today, Looked at Sawyers and several others. Most are sold out for years or many months back ordered and the prices are sky high, I was shocked. Maybe places like Sawyer, Gull etc have priced them selves out of the market. I realize wood is very expensive and the hand craftsman ship required is hard to find. I looked at Cataract and their prices are still in the couple hundred bucks range.

For an average rower like me, there is no way I would spend the money for a set of even the machine made wooden oars. I have the disposable income to buy, but for me at least way too much money for the expected increase in rowing ease. On the other hand, I learned a lot just reading all the viewpoints presented in this thread of comments. Good reading !!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Anyone heard of Zoar oars? I am rowing with 3 custom made 10 footers made from white ash. They are beautiful and effective. The craftsman passed away a few years ago, I did not have the opportunity to meet him in person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,137 Posts
Anyone heard of Zoar oars? I am rowing with 3 custom made 10 footers made from white ash. They are beautiful and effective. The craftsman passed away a few years ago, I did not have the opportunity to meet him in person.
Seems I've heard the name, but past that..
 
61 - 80 of 81 Posts
Top