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Discussion Starter #1
What is your preference on a oar raft?
I have heard that pins and clips are called training wheels because you can not feather the oars. Is This true?
Help me out rafters.
 

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Ahhh. One of the classis rafting debates begins...

I use oarlocks with the OTHER kind of training wheels, oar-rights. I consider pins and clips to be dangerous because of all the sharp metal they entail (hose clamps, etc.) and usually just call them "pins and razors." I once dressed a "pins and razors" wound that required 48 stitches (internal and external).

With oarlocks I can ship my oars easily and have more freedom, even with the oar-rights.

--Andy

Next we can talk about how we like to drain coolers, then what kinds of menus we like for multi-days, then we'll tackle catarafts vs. rafts....
 

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Oar Locks are the way to go........To be honest, if you use oar locks and can learn to feather your ours, you will be a much better boatman. I would say that "training wheels" would be if you used Oar Rights, which utilize your oar locks but prevent you from feathering your oars. Simply use oar stoppers on your shafts and nothing else.
Pins and Clips where created by a man named Lucifer and should never even be considered. But, to each; his own, use what you like.
 

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Holy Can Of Worms!!!!

It depends on what im doing.
My little cat 12' I run pins and clips. It is a highwater, day run, rig.
I like pins a clips because they are more secure, as far as a pop-out goes. (they are dangerous as hell though)

My multi-day rig, I run wrapped and stopped oars. No oarrights, they are the training wheels that you were referring to, not pins/clips.

On multiday trips I like the ability to change the blade position. feathering works terrific, for both manuvering the boat, and to reduce wind drag.
 

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Pins/Clips

What is your preference on a oar raft?
I have heard that pins and clips are called training wheels because you can not feather the oars. Is This true?
Help me out rafters.
A few thoughts on the topic.

Pins and Clips have ups and downs. You can't feather your oar, you can't easily pull your oars in (not tucking the ends, but literally pulling them in to shorten length) - certainly not as "pure" as going w/ basic oar rights. You can maime yourself if not careful (lots of ducttape and good clamps), and they do require some maintenance during trips (hammer, sockets, screwdriver, etc).

The upside is that pins/clips are easy to use, esp for a novice. They tend to stay locked in place, don't need to worry about feathering, don't need to worry (usually) about losing your oar into the water, etc.

Oar Sleeves are a nice alternative to basic oar wrights and pins/clips. They keep your oar at a certain feather, they keep your oar from sliding out away from the boat, etc. They can also be removed when/if you want the basic setup.

Like anything, if you can try before you buy you'll have a better idea of what you like/don't like.
 

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They all suck.

Persoanlly, I'm fighting with this problem right now on both of my cats. In the past I have used all types, oar rights, pins and clips and open oar locks. What I have found is that they all suck. It is a personal preference. I don't like pins and clips at all. They really don't rotate with your oar stroke at all giving you some serious blisters if you don't wear gloves. Oar rights aren't too bad, but over time they end up doing the same, but are tolerable. I've tried alot to run with open oar locks, which seems to be the best way, but has some drawbacks too. Running open oar locks does allow you to feather your blade, but at a price. I think that you expend alot of power just to keep your blade straight and not turning in your hand as you take an oar stroke. Also. if you run wide blades, like 8" blades, it is alittle harder. Right now I run oar rights on my large boat (16' cat) just because I run bigger more powerful water with that boat and there is just one less thing I have to worry about, plus then I'm ensured a 100% power stroke. On my little day cat (13') I run open oar locks and 6" blades. Yes, you can feather the blade and people give you less shit about your "training wheels", but really beside that, I see no advantage to running open oar locks. Sometimes when your blade isn't straight and you miss a stroke and go sideways into a hole, it is definatly a disadvantage. Over all, not sure what is better, all I know is that pins and clips really suck. The rest is up to the oarsman.
 

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Oarlocks

Oarlocks; big boat, small boat, day trip, multiday, high water, low water, Class II, Class V. Oarlocks, oarlocks, oarlocks!!
 

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Oar Sleeves are a nice alternative to basic oar wrights and pins/clips. They keep your oar at a certain feather, they keep your oar from sliding out away from the boat, etc. They can also be removed when/if you want the basic setup.
Fatman... I think you have it backwards. Oar Rights are the things you put on the oar sleve to keep the blade in vertical position. I personally hate those things. I have a set, but feel very confined, as I learned to feather when I started rowing.

I like to run a basic setup with only an oar sleve or rubber stopper. The oar sleve is good, but I would rather have my Cataracts rope wrapped. I use stoppers on my backup pair of http://www.carlislepaddles.com/Carlisle. The stopper can move a little, but I find it to be a workable and cheap solution for a backup set.

I think it comes down to playing with all of the options and then deciding. It also depends on what you started out on.
 

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I know some solid class V rowers that swear by pins and clips, argueing that with proper technique, even if the oar pops it will stay in the sleeve and you can slam it back home without hardly missing a stroke. These are solid boaters, and I respect their opinion, but I couldn't disagree more. There are so many different scenarios in which I feather my blades (including the times in which strange underwater gremlins grab the blade and try to do strange things with it) that there is no way I'd use anything but open oarlocks on anything significant. The pros outweigh the second or two more that I have to spend reseting my oar on rare occasions.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for the dialogue!
So far it looks like oar locks are the way to go. I have only used pins and clips so before I buy some I will have to try some oar locks to get a feel.
 

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Another advantage to open oarlocks (not oarrights which are indeed training wheels) is that if you hit a rock or just a super strong chunk of current your blade will twist rather than snap crackle and pop - so i would argue that they good in class V as well. feather or die.
 

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Lock it, mate!

After starting with oar rights, I figured out that the times when I wanted the blade set in a vertical bite were few, while the times I wanted the oar to rotate freely were many.

More than once, I smacked my oar-righted blades into waves or dipped them inadvertently, shunting me off line.

Besides the things mentioned so far, where there are stretches of flatwater and high winds (the Grand, Deso, etc.) being able to feather your oars and rotate your grip through each stroke is invaluable. That way, the oar enters and leaves the water at the most efficient angle, and cuts the wind. Also easier on your hands and wrists.

I'm dead keen on the Sawyer Cobra locks, curved to allow a smoother stroke while not jiggering the rubber stops and shoving them up the wraps. Worth the extra $$.

Of course any oarlock has to be properly fit, which takes some bashing and prying. (I think they pack 'em with instructions now.)
 

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Pins/Clips

Good correction on the sleeve vs. oarlocks, I stand corrected.

Wow, I'm outvoted 12 to 1 at current! :D Great discussion! Guess I'm a newbie w/ that's still using the training wheels w/ pins/clips. One day I may just graduate to the "pure" form where feathering is allowed (someday when I row more than 100+ miles a season). Until then I'll keep chupando using pins/clips.

Next Poll: Pins and Clips for Kayaks................................
 

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Good discussion

I see some class v guys running pins on the NF Payette quite a bit maybe three or four to one over oar locks.
One thing I have to say is that if you are running oar locks try the cobra. They have saved my butt three of four times already when coming out of a hole sideways and the upstream oar catches used to disappear, but now seems to jam in the lock and be ready for use since it doesn't spread or has more pinch or something. At least once I think the oar catching deep down current helped me get out of the hole.

As to why I am coming out of holes sideways well now that is a story for a different thread that would be something more like "No shit there I was...."
 

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One thing to note is whether the boats running pins & clips are commercial rafts. My impression is that outfitters choose gear, for consistency or whatever reason, that private boaters might not.

Pins and clips might be better for that sort of continuous whitewater, and for running lots of trips per day. But I think the craft of rowing (for pleasure) deserves a more subtle approach.
 

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I do pin 'n clips, but mostly because that's what the guy had available when I bought my frame, and he said he has used p/c for 20 years.

I've never known any different, so I never felt like they are a problem. I kind of like the locked in feel. When it's boney, they can pop out, but you can get them pretty tight on there.

The only problem I had was running Shoshone at higher water, maybe around 4000 or so. I was sort of running safety for some new guides that I went through raft cert with. They took a shredder down (whatever Riken's "shredder" is called) and were on a perma-surf in a sticky hole. I was going over to rope them or help them out when the hose clamps all of the sudden on one side went limp. Later I found out that they weren't off, but just loose. I basically had instant "feather" ability, but thought they were totally broken since they felt all limp all of the sudden....

Anyways, they got surfed for a while, but got out, and then I was mostly trying to keep sort of straight and highside off what rocks were left going down the Wall, and Tombstone before we got the spare on. Anyways, it was kind of ironic, it's like the oar exploded as soon as it saw me glance at my throw bag...

Anyways, other than that, my pins 'n clips have been pretty bomber, but I would like to try out some oarlocks. I didn't realize p/c was responsible for my blisters, I thought that was just normal wear and tear!
 

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feather or die.
I think that is the best quote of the season so far.

I was taught on Pins and Clips with 13' boats on the Arkansas - they work well and if they pop they are generally quick to reset. But here is no feathering and they require a lot of sharp metal.

I them started using oar rights in Alaska on 18' boats. I also got introduced to Cataract Oars, but that is a different discussion. The Oar rights and locks meant that we could pull the oars up, turn them over, and use them as if they were open, just with the oars crossing (watch out for your thumbs), the additional length made rowing standing up a possibility as well. This is handy for rowing into the wind facing forward - more leverage. It also allows you to feather the blades. But for the big whitewater I would always turn the oars back over and engage the oar rights. With open oar locks it is possible to have the oar entirely disengage from the system - meaning that resetting is longer than with pins - assuming that you hold onto the oar and it dosn't get ripped from your hand by current.

I have recently heard that if you get rope wraps over time they get "brassed up." Apparently this means they get the right kind of sticky so you can position your oars at most any length, feather them, but not need the oar stop to hold them in place. This allows for different oar positions and was heavily favored by the person who told me about it.

Personally I haven't come across any guide operations where open oar locks without oar rights were standard (but I am sure that they exist - Dana what's 4 Corners standard setup?).

I wonder if we could have elliptical handles for oars to help with feathering and keeping blade alignment. Don't some kayak paddles have shafts like that?
 

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Personally I haven't come across any guide operations where open oar locks without oar rights were standard (but I am sure that they exist - Dana what's 4 Corners standard setup?).
oh we dont give our guides a choice - its open all the way or paddle guiding even better. Certainly on most upper animas trips its nice to run a stern frame but most of our lower animas trips are paddle boats. i think most of the other outfits run stern frames on the lower and they do seem to be open oarlocks.
 
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