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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking at my 10 footers the other day and they have a wooden dowel plug near the blade end.

I know I could just chuck them in the water to see if they float but if that plug isn't water tight I'd rather not get water in there that might linger, so I thought I'd ask here.
 

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My experience is that the weight of the blade will sink causing the shaft to stand vertically. It seems a shaft would have to have two leaks. One to let water in and one to let the displaced air to escape. With all that said, the shafts are intended to float for a short while.

In turbulent water, I have seen that to be less than a minute.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My experience is that the weight of the blade will sink causing the shaft to stand vertically. It seems a shaft would have to have two leaks. One to let water in and one to let the displaced air to escape. With all that said, the shafts are intended to float for a short while.

In turbulent water, I have seen that to be less than a minute.
Ok... wow... not that waterproof.

Thanks.
 

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They usually do depending on the tightness of the plug.

They definitely don't with a counterweight.
 

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The shafts on my Carlisle's are were filled with cork plugs. As the material dried out it shrank and I started finding little corks in the bed of my trailer. Once I figured out what was happening I repacked the hollow shafts with plugs I cut from closed cell foam. I glued the last one in place so they won't shake loose if the blades are off.

A hole saw and some closed cell packing foam worked well for me..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good info... thanks guys.

I'm playing around with homemade wood counterweights in the hope that I'll still have weight but the float.

Maybe I could get some runny epoxy and pour a little down onto the plug? Or spar varnish or something?

Is ethafoam closed cell? I have some scraps of that lying around. And what kind of glue did you use?

Hell, I might even do this to my cataracts.
 

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Aren't they made of cast iron? But seriously, I think they come with a styrofoam insert that helps keep some buoyancy to them.
 

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I have stuffed pipe insulation inside my oars to keep them floating, they don't have to be sealed to float, they just need to have enough boyant material to keep the overall displacement of the oar positive. My suggestion would be to drill out the wood plug and buy a couple pieces of pipe insulation and jam it in there, then test. The water will drain back out of longs strips of foam. I had to cut the foam a little lengthwise to get it into the shaft but with a little elbow grease it worked fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have stuffed pipe insulation inside my oars to keep them floating, they don't have to be sealed to float, they just need to have enough boyant material to keep the overall displacement of the oar positive. My suggestion would be to drill out the wood plug and buy a couple pieces of pipe insulation and jam it in there, then test. The water will drain back out of longs strips of foam. I had to cut the foam a little lengthwise to get it into the shaft but with a little elbow grease it worked fine.
Great idea... thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I use the same kind of weights but just taped onto my ugly Carlisles... how did you get them to stay put inside the oar at the handle end?
 

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I packed the shaft solid with closed cell foam. The weights are duck taped to the last couple pieces of foam. I used closed cell (water proof) shipping foam I snagged from the recycle center. Cut it with a hole saw.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I packed the shaft solid with closed cell foam. The weights are duck taped to the last couple pieces of foam. I used closed cell (water proof) shipping foam I snagged from the recycle center. Cut it with a hole saw.
I think I'm picturing how you did this... thanks.
 

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It seems that it would be most cost effective for oar manufacturers to simply add some flotation in the form of foam within the shaft and add 20 bucks or whatever to the cost of the oar. But it also seems that they would sell a lot fewer replacement oars, so the cost is likely more than that to the consumer. I wish I had some integral flotation when I had one sink in Westwater a couple years ago.

What sayeth thee oar companies? Maybe offer it as an option?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
^^^ so regardless of the fact that carlisles are cheap oars, I think they have at least tried to address this with the cork plug.

I actually looked closer at my carlisles last night and the two older ones have cork plugs, but the newest one I bough has a plastic plug in there that seems to be glued in. This seems less likely to shrink/dry out and come out than the cork and suggests this newer carlisle will actually float.

I might take it to a calm piece of water and test it out.
 

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In the great words of myself when a youth group kid on a raft trip asked me this, “ let’s not find out!”

Ya, they do, for a while, unless the corks are loose or missing.

Good tethers, equal good oars!
And if you are using pins and clips like you should be, with ankle weights taped to the shafts as counter balances, it will not be much of an issue. :D
 

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Do Carlisles float?

Judging by the stack of them I have found over the years, I would say not very well. Like everyone has said, leashes or additional floatation will keep me from adding them to my collection.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have stuffed pipe insulation inside my oars to keep them floating, they don't have to be sealed to float, they just need to have enough boyant material to keep the overall displacement of the oar positive. My suggestion would be to drill out the wood plug and buy a couple pieces of pipe insulation and jam it in there, then test. The water will drain back out of longs strips of foam. I had to cut the foam a little lengthwise to get it into the shaft but with a little elbow grease it worked fine.
I did this to my cataracts tonight. Instead of struggling to get the full length in one go, when it got tough to push anymore in I just cut it and pushed it to the handle end with a long piece of pipe. Then repeat until I'm 2" from the blade button hole.

Super easy and only cost me a few $.

I do use leashes but here's some extra security for no weight penalty and almost no money... win, win.

Thanks again!

If I were to do the same thing to my Carlisles, any ideas how I'd get the plug out cleanly? That part seems tough to do so I'm inclined to just try to add another waterproof layer at the plug to make sure the compartment is sealed as well as possible.
 
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