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I have DRE Oar towers. The top where the oarlock slides in is angled inward. So when I started out with 5/8" split ring, I could not spin the oarlock 360 degrees. This resulted in the split rings getting bent like crazy on the first day. I switched to a smaller split ring for know and the locks will turn freely, but I am thinking there has to be a better way to do this that is both stronger and less of a pain in the ass to take off/put on than a small split ring.

Any suggestions?
 

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The Old Troll
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You need the threaded model with the nut. Been there and done that. The split rings will never work.
 

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I feel your pain.....been there. I've tried split rings and lynch pins. The lynch pins were easier on & off, but got stuck and bent even worse than the split rings. Now I use Nite Ize S-biners. It took a couple tries to find the right size, but I like them. They are easy on & off, and they hang straight down. No interference with the oar lock turning in the oar tower. I've used them with NRS and DRE style towers, and a couple brands of oar locks (standard and NRS Atomics).
 

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The Old Troll
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BTW what brand of locks are you using? I use the Cobra with the nuts and they have work well for years. The nuts don't back off and I take them apart once a year to clean and re-grease. I also use the DRE oar towers.
 

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I've had the DRE towers and split rings for years without any issues.
 

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The Old Troll
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don't bogart that
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three years ago, could be five

just tell them what size of die to use so they can thread there own oar locks and what nut they need to purchase
 

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The Old Troll
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just tell them what size of die to use so they can thread there own oar locks and what nut they need to purchase
I bought my Cobra oar locks from DRE when I bought my frame. When the split ring thing didn't work they took them back and sold me the other models with the nuts. No questions asked easy peasy. No problems since. They are known as the deluxe model. I threw the split ring away. The nut is made not to back off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
BTW what brand of locks are you using? I use the Cobra with the nuts and they have work well for years. The nuts don't back off and I take them apart once a year to clean and re-grease. I also use the DRE oar towers.
I am pretty sure these are the ones I am using. Can't say for sure because they came with my boat.

NRS Atomic Aluminum Oarlocks at nrs.com
 

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Washer

Been using split rings and/or pins for years on both my boats. I just put a washer above the ring/pin - no problems in 20 years.
 

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The Old Troll
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I understand that some of you buzzards don't have a problem with the split rings. I'm guessing that the geometry must be slightly different even if you use DRE oar towers and Sawyer Cobra locks. I really don't know why. I wish I had been as lucky as you but it didn't work out that way. The deluxe model with the nut is more expensive but it solved the problem for me.
 

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I understand that some of you buzzards don't have a problem with the split rings. I'm guessing that the geometry must be slightly different even if you use DRE oar towers and Sawyer Cobra locks. I really don't know why. I wish I had been as lucky as you but it didn't work out that way. The deluxe model with the nut is more expensive but it solved the problem for me.
Yea - with DRE towers and cobra locks the only way I was able to get them to work was moving to threaded oar locks. Otherwise any ring that I used to hold the oar lock from popping AND would let the oar lock spin freely, wasn't substantial enough to hold the oar lock in. I can tell you that there's an un-threaded cobra oarlock and a almost new sawyer MX with a sweet dynalite blade on the bottom of House on the Colorado that reinforces this.

It's one of the unique issues with the geometry of the DRS towers that kind of forces this approach. Yes, you can get away without this approach, but I'm confident if enough force is applied to the oar lock it will deform any reasonable split ring that is still small enough to allow the lock to fully rotate.
 

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Yea - with DRE towers and cobra locks the only way I was able to get them to work was moving to threaded oar locks. Otherwise any ring that I used to hold the oar lock from popping AND would let the oar lock spin freely, wasn't substantial enough to hold the oar lock in. I can tell you that there's an un-threaded cobra oarlock and a almost new sawyer MX with a sweet dynalite blade on the bottom of House on the Colorado that reinforces this.

It's one of the unique issues with the geometry of the DRS towers that kind of forces this approach. Yes, you can get away without this approach, but I'm confident if enough force is applied to the oar lock it will deform any reasonable split ring that is still small enough to allow the lock to fully rotate.
It's not just the DRE towers. I've had the same problem with NRS towers. If you angle them outward a little too much, the split ring or lynch pin will contact the tower and jam. Whatever jams will bend. So far I've had good luck with the stainless steel Nite Ize S-biners. I think I'm using a size 3 with my NRS atomic oar locks? With the right upward force I'm sure it might break or bend, but because they hang straight down, at least they don't jam in day to day usage.
 

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The Old Troll
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just tell them what size of die to use so they can thread there own oar locks and what nut they need to purchase
This post kinda got over looked. It shouldn't be all that hard to cut threads in either aluminum or brass with a die. Get the matching nylock nut and you're done
 

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^ that would be the killer app- or swap em for the ones that are already threaded. They work great.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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Should I consider switching to pins and clips? Pros, cons?
No. Do not switch. Figure out your current set-up. We have given you a few easy to moderate fixes that will work. Try the Nite Ize S-biners. Simple and they work. If you still have issues try the threaded oar locks with nuts. Don't change your entire oar tower/oar lock system just because of one tiny part (split ring) that's bugging you.
 

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The Old Troll
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At one time clips and pins were state of the art. A lot of old timers still like and continue to use them but almost no one starting out is using them. You have just kicked a hornets nest with this post and there will probably be a lot of emotionally charged posts on the topic of clips and pins vs. oar locks.
 

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3116BC Bit Snaps - N222-919 | National Hardware

I had the same problem and found the smallest "bit snaps" at the hardware store worked great. I drilled the hole of the oarlock out a little to allow it to make the tight turn. They are large enough to keep the washers and springs from sliding off and have held up fine for at least four years now.

...and cheap!
 
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