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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, new to the buzz. I wanted to pick some brains on wood oars.
I'm in the process of building my first 4 bay frame for my 14' Tributary. Ive read other threads frames (thanks a ton) and wood oars and I'm unable to determine my exact needs. I'm torn between 9.5 Smokers, and a set of Gulls. which style is going to work well for a noob rowing class III & IV water (solid ash and so on) ? Also, has anyone heard of Franks Custom OARS? wondering if they are worth a look. Thanks for your time.
 

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I would buy the Gulls, just because I loved mine and so did everyone who rowed them, including Smoker owners. Custom oars are nice, but can be expensive. If you buy custom, this is the time to do it - so they'll be ready by spring. You should look into Blunt Family Paddles. Kenny makes sweet oars and engraves your name on them too! These laminate oars are lighter and stronger (I think) than solid ash. I personally don't like solid oars. Too heavy...

blunt family paddles

If I were buying oars today, and had the cash, I'd buy two oars from Kenny and two Gull whitewater oars for my spares.

If you're new at rowing whitewater you may want to take some used Craplisle oars out for a while, it's easy to break or lose an oar when you're learning. Also, use tethers! I've seen so many lost oars, even in flat water.
 

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Actually the Blunts are solid ash through the shaft. I have no idea what I'm talking about. They are the shit though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah Ive looked at the Blunt Family Paddles and they look like a quality product. I also really like the rounded blade profile on the smokers it seems like they would be less likely to get hung up in an "oops" situation, but I could be wrong. Any sugestion on shaft size and such? Do I really need a "stout" oar for the type of load I'm rowing? I just want to make sure I have an heavy enough stick for the not so great moments but not so heavy they suck to use on a long day.
 

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I bought Gulls last year, 4 select fir laminate oars (very lightweight) for a 12 ft. cat, and 4 solid ash for a 15 ft. cat. If I lose one they'll float, and I like the feel. I got foam grips but pulled 'em off and now row with bare wood, given a light touch of oil.

Only thing I don't like is the square tips, which need plastic protectors for rocky whitewater. I've thought about getting round tip protectors from Sawyer and trimming the corners off the blades.

Some of the big marine suppliers like Crowley Marine in Portland and Seattle Marine have good prices on Gull Oars.

 

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Only thing I don't like is the square tips, which need plastic protectors for rocky whitewater. I've thought about getting round tip protectors from Sawyer and trimming the corners off the blades.
Englund Marine in the previous post has square tip oar protectors available for Gull Oars. I am also considering some as I have four 8' that I plan on using on my 10.5' raft as they are much lighter than my current Carlisle's. Anyone have any experience rope wrapping these or what the best oarlock protector is to be used with a standard plastic oarstop?
 
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