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My Carlisle raft oars were getting pretty nasty with lots of cracks in the plastic coating. I've heard about folks doing this, and got the heat shrink tubing and went for it. See video at: https://youtu.be/PAli3uq_Ofk
 

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Would there be any reason to prevent this heat shrink from being the solution to fixing Cataract oars that have the exposed fiberglass problem?
 

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I see no performance reason not to. heat shrink would definitely add a durable coverup to exposed itchy fiberglass.

If you use an oar sleeve, it would probably not fit. You'd need to leave the oar sleeve in place and do the heat shrink above/below it.

I like the look of the Cataract layup, and would clear finish them myself. Heat shrink would make Cataracts look like Carlisles.
 

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I see no performance reason not to. heat shrink would definitely add a durable coverup to exposed itchy fiberglass.

If you use an oar sleeve, it would probably not fit. You'd need to leave the oar sleeve in place and do the heat shrink above/below it.

I like the look of the Cataract layup, and would clear finish them myself. Heat shrink would make Cataracts look like Carlisles.
Yes, but you could get it in pink and your girls would love it! [Just not on the wooden boat lol]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Black for Cataracts?

Black heat-shrink would look a little less like Carlisles...

And thanks for the positive comments! It was my first attempt at a video and started out way too long...just kept cutting....:)
 

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I see no performance reason not to. heat shrink would definitely add a durable coverup to exposed itchy fiberglass.

If you use an oar sleeve, it would probably not fit. You'd need to leave the oar sleeve in place and do the heat shrink above/below it.

I like the look of the Cataract layup, and would clear finish them myself. Heat shrink would make Cataracts look like Carlisles.
Unfortunately, some Cataract ores have degraded beyond a clear finish fix and as you know can be dematologically a disaster waiting to happen. Three horrible instances I can think of. One was when a friends daughter was sitting on the side of his raft with the back of her legs rubbing on "bad" Cataract spare oars. A second was when a friend jumped in the river and pulled himself aboard pulling his entire front side over a 'bad' spare oars multiple times. And third when I was helping a friend rig his boat and I absent mindedly carried four 'bad' oars cradled in my forearms down to the river. I'm sure many people have their stories. Otherwise, these oars are fully functional.

I hadn't thought about the sleeve or rope wrap but that just turns each oar into a two step process as you say.

I think this shrink wrap would be much nicer than the 6 inch wide electrical tape I've used in the past.
 

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I had to sand my cataracts down to bare fiberglass to fix mine Ron. If its even worse than that i see no reason why working some polyester resin into it with a hard brissel paint brush wouldnt work to reglue the spliters before respraying with spar urethane wouldnt work. Anyway i just like the look of the fiberglass wrap and think covering that is sinfull. Nicely done video on the carlisles. I have a spare im going to be doing this to.
 

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You can also make your own round cross bars for Yakima towers with heat shrink. 1" sch. 40 steel pipe and a sleeve or two...you can make them any color you want.
 

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You can also make your own round cross bars for Yakima towers with heat shrink. 1" sch. 40 steel pipe and a sleeve or two...you can make them any color you want.
That is a brilliant idea considering how proud Yakima is of their crossbars. That brings to mind a beat to shit old cross bar that I use as a staff for a weather station. Not that anyone driving by likely comments to themself "that sure is a beat to hell Yakima cross bar up on that roof" but I'd just feel better if it looked better.
 

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I used to make "Yakima" crossbars with 3/4" sch40 steel pipe wrapped with vinyl shower curtain rod covers (glued on with contact cement).
OOh! custom white Yakima bars on the wife's '99 Subaru!
 

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I did not know they had this product available love this way to fix old carlisle oars. I sometimes I pick old carlisle up cheap at garage sales or boat swaps for spares.

I have sanded down old cataract oars that have lost their outer coating to age and UV damage and become itchy and have success with applying a few coats of a high quality gloss poly, it will last for a few seasons and then need a re-coat of poly.

Back in early 80's, I had a vacuum bagged kevlar/S-glass lay up kayak that had a very thin top coat that was extremely itchy on my forearms or other body parts. Every fall, I would rebuild the nose and tail with more kevlar and S-glass to repair all the dings and then would lightly sand the entire kayak and brush on a light coat of polyurethane. I learned from Homer King, who built custom wood paddles in NC, that not all poly is the same and he liked fill gloss Deft brand poly as it had more "solids" than other brands and lasted the longest.

I worked as a raft guide in the 80's for a large WV rafting company and one of my fall jobs was to restore about 60 oars at end of season every year by sanding and refinishing them with poly. In the spring, I would install heavy duty heat shrink tubing to the new oars. We installed heat shrink to all the new oars for oar sleeves and for oar tip protectors. We figured out that the mining industry was using heavy duty heat shrink tubing to connect pipes in the mines and it was readily available. The thick heavy duty heat shrink came with a 2 part epoxy inside that would activate upon melting with a propane torch. We used 2 sizes of the heat shrink, a smaller diameter that fit well over the wood shafts, 10 ft' South Branch ash oars. We used an 18" section to be permanently installed with a propane torch to make a bomber oar sleeve that would outlast the life of the oars. A larger diameter of heat shrink about 4" long was melted onto the end of the oars as a tip protector and these would normally also outlast the life of the oars. As anyone who has boated the New and Gauley would know, the rivers are powerful and very rocky. It took 2 people to install the heat shrink as best way was to have one person spin the oar slowly on a set of sawhorses while the person with the propane torch would apply heat evenly and uniformly to get nice results. The heat shrink oar sleeves have zero friction and never wore out.

I have never liked rope wraps, I used them working in Idaho and on Grand Canyon, they wear out and fray fast and have huge friction that makes it difficult to feather oars (solution was wheel bearing grease, lol) which leads to wrist damage like carpel tunnel or elbow tendinitis over time.

We made our oar stoppers in WV for almost free. We went to the tire repair shops and for free we got old coal truck dead inner tubes as there were lots of coal trucks everywhere back in the 80's. We would cut up the inner tubes into strips of flat sections about 1 1/2" by 42". You duct tape one end of the inner tube strip at the location you want your stopper to be onto the oar and then tightly wrap the inner tube strip making sure to line it up as you wrap and then duct tape it tight so it will hold long enough to get a hose clamp over it to snug it down where the stopper will not slip, 2 clamps works better, going opposite directions, but one works just fine. Then wrap a couple wraps of duct tape on and voila, you now have a bomber rubber oar wrap! They are not adjustable like the cheap plastic ones everyone uses now, nor do they slip, as long as you tighten the clamps are hard as possible without stripping the clamp screw. The tiny rubber donuts people use today do not even last me a day on big water as they migrate down the shaft towards the handle. I always have to use 2 of the donuts to keep them in place and they are crazy hard to install.

We also fabricated our oarlocks from mining supplies, steel closed ring oarlocks that were fitted onto the oars before we installed the inner tube stoppers. Closed rings means you never have an oar pop out of your open oarlock during the crux move in the big rapid like we all deal with today. The ring oarlocks would break where the rings are welded to the shaft if you ever got them in a bad spot, like a boat pin and the oar was about to break. Never heard of any injuries due to closed rings, which is the reason everyone uses open oarlocks today. I still have a set in my gear pile, lol.

To this day, I carry a couple of sections of truck tire inner tube rolled up with some hose clamps in my major repair kit as they work so well and can fit any size oar. Some WV boating history for everyone and how to make some DIY boating gear that works. Fabricate on everyone and save some $!
 
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